7 subtle behaviors of people who are kind to everyone else but tough on themselves

Ever heard the saying, “We are our own worst critics”?

While it’s great to show kindness to others, it’s equally important to be kind to ourselves. Yet, many of us are often tougher on ourselves than we are on anyone else. We push ourselves to the brink, never giving ourselves the credit we deserve.

You might not realize it, but there are subtle behaviors we exhibit that reflect this tendency. And these behaviors could be holding you back from achieving your full potential.

So, if you’re curious about what these behaviors are and how they might be affecting you, stay tuned. In this article, I’ll be revealing 7 subtle behaviors of people who are kind to everyone else but tough on themselves.

By understanding these behaviors, you’ll not only learn more about yourself but also discover ways to treat yourself with the same kindness you extend to others.

Let’s dive in, shall we?

1) Perfectionism

We all strive for excellence, right?

But there’s a difference between wanting to do your best and insisting on perfection. If you’re the type of person who’s kind to others but tough on yourself, you might fall into the latter category.

Perfectionism is a classic sign.

It’s when you’re never satisfied with “good enough”. You always feel like you could’ve done better, even when you’ve done a fantastic job. You beat yourself up over small mistakes or minor flaws that others probably wouldn’t even notice.

Remember, it’s okay not to be perfect. After all, nobody is! So, give yourself a break and celebrate your achievements, no matter how small they may seem.

2) Overworking

Here’s a personal story to illustrate this point.

I’ve always been a hard worker. I often find myself staying up late to finish tasks or waking up early to get a head start on the day. At times, I even skip meals just to squeeze in more work hours.

Sounds familiar?

This is a classic behavior of people who are kind to everyone else but tough on themselves. We believe that the more we work, the more value we have. We push ourselves to the limit, ignoring our own needs for rest and recreation.

But here’s what I learned: overworking leads to burnout. It’s not healthy, and it’s definitely not sustainable.

So, if you find yourself working overtime too often, it might be time to reassess your priorities and give yourself some much-deserved downtime.

This brings me to the next point…

3) Neglecting self-care

Self-care isn’t just about bubble baths and spa days. It’s about taking care of your mental, emotional, and physical health.

I’ll admit it, I’ve often put myself last on my own priority list. I’ve skipped meals, forgotten to drink enough water, and even pulled all-nighters just to meet deadlines. I’ve neglected my own needs for the sake of others or for the sake of work.

But here’s the truth: you can’t pour from an empty cup.

Neglecting your own needs while constantly looking out for others isn’t sustainable. If you’re not taking care of yourself, sooner or later, you’ll burn out.

So, take that break. Have a proper meal. Get a good night’s sleep. Remember that self-care isn’t selfish; it’s necessary.

4) Constant self-criticism

We all have a little voice in our head. It’s that internal monologue that keeps us company during the day.

For some of us, that voice is a constant critic.

You know what I’m talking about. That voice that says you’re not good enough, smart enough, or talented enough. That voice that magnifies every little mistake and diminishes every accomplishment.

This constant self-criticism is a common behavior among those who are kind to others but tough on themselves.

But here’s the thing: you wouldn’t speak to a friend the way your inner critic speaks to you. So why do it to yourself?

It’s crucial to recognize this behavior and learn to silence that negative voice. Be as kind to yourself as you are to others.

5) Difficulty accepting compliments

pic2611 7 subtle behaviors of people who are kind to everyone else but tough on themselves

Did you know that how you receive praise says a lot about how you view yourself?

It’s true. People who are kind to everyone else but tough on themselves often struggle with accepting compliments. They brush them off, downplay their achievements, or turn the attention back to the compliment-giver.

This behavior stems from a deep-seated belief that they’re not deserving of praise. It’s as if every compliment needs to be analyzed, questioned, or outright rejected.

But here’s a thought: a compliment is a gift. When someone offers you one, they’re acknowledging your value and worth. Accept it graciously and let it bolster your self-esteem. It’s okay to feel good about yourself and your accomplishments.

6) The need to please everyone

As someone who’s been a people-pleaser most of my life, I understand the urge to make everyone happy. You want to be liked. You want to be helpful. You want to avoid conflict at all costs.

So, you say “yes” when you really want to say “no”. You put other people’s needs before your own, even when it drains you. This is yet another subtle behavior of those who are tough on themselves but kind to others.

But here’s a gentle reminder: it’s impossible and exhausting to try and please everyone. It’s okay to set boundaries and prioritize your own needs. Those who truly care about you will understand and respect your decisions.

Repeat this to yourself: You matter too. Your feelings are important. And it’s okay to put yourself first sometimes.

7) Ignoring personal passions

In the hustle and bustle of life, it’s easy to put our passions on the back burner. We get so caught up in obligations and responsibilities that we forget about the things that truly light us up.

This is especially true for those who are kind to others but tough on themselves. In their quest to help others, they often sideline their own passions and interests.

But here’s an essential truth: pursuing your passions is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. It’s what makes life rich and fulfilling. It’s what replenishes your spirit and gives you the energy to keep going.

So, make time for your passions. Whether it’s painting, hiking, reading or cooking – do what makes your soul happy. It’s not selfish; it’s a form of self-care.

In conclusion

If you see yourself in these behaviors, know that it’s not a life sentence. You have the power to change.

Recognizing these signs is the first step. The next is taking action.

Begin by treating yourself with the same kindness you extend to others. Allow yourself to make mistakes and learn from them. Celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how small they may seem.

Remember, it’s okay to prioritize your needs and interests. It’s okay to say “no” when you’re overwhelmed. It’s okay to take time for yourself.

In fact, it’s more than okay—it’s necessary.

Balancing self-care with care for others isn’t easy, but it’s worth it. When you take care of yourself, you become a better friend, family member, and colleague. You can give to others from a place of abundance, rather than depletion.

So take this journey one step at a time. Be patient with yourself as you navigate this process of change.

As speaker and author Steve Maraboli said, “The most powerful relationship you will ever have is the relationship with yourself.”

Make sure it’s a healthy one. 


Picture of Ava Sinclair

Ava Sinclair

Ava Sinclair is a former competitive athlete who transitioned into the world of wellness and mindfulness. Her journey through the highs and lows of competitive sports has given her a unique perspective on resilience and mental toughness. Ava’s writing reflects her belief in the power of small, daily habits to create lasting change.

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