If you want to be kind but not naive, say goodbye to these 8 habits

We all aspire to be kind. But are you being naive too?

Hold on, I know what you’re thinking.

You’re the type who always extends a helping hand, offers a listening ear, or gives someone the benefit of the doubt. That’s kindness, right? Absolutely. But here’s the kicker…

Sometimes, our kindness can be taken advantage of, leaving us feeling exploited and naive.

I get it, it’s a tough pill to swallow.

Don’t worry, you’re not alone in this. Many kind-hearted individuals struggle with finding the balance between being compassionate and becoming a pushover.

Here’s a thought – Maybe you’re not naive at all. Perhaps, you’ve just picked up some habits that make it seem so. The signs can be quite subtle, you know.

Today, we’ll discuss some of these sneaky habits that may be making you come across as naive when all you want is to be kind.

So, let’s say goodbye to those habits, shall we?

Let’s find out if you’ve been harboring any of them unknowingly…

1) Ignoring your own needs

Here’s my confession. I was once a chronic people-pleaser, always putting others’ needs before my own. Sounds familiar?

I thought it made me kind. But then, I found myself exhausted, frustrated, and frankly, a bit resentful.

Being kind doesn’t mean you have to neglect your own needs. In fact, it’s vital that you take care of yourself to be able to genuinely care for others. I learned this the hard way.

It’s not selfish to prioritize your well-being. It’s self-respect. And trust me, people respect you more when you respect yourself.

2) Not setting boundaries

Let me share another story. I had a friend who would call me at any time of the day or night, expecting me to be there for her, regardless of what I was doing.

At first, I didn’t mind. I wanted to be there for her. But over time, it became apparent that she was taking advantage of my availability and kindness.

That’s when I realized the importance of setting boundaries.

Having boundaries doesn’t make you unkind or uncaring. It simply means you value your own time and space, which in turn helps you help others without feeling overwhelmed or taken for granted.

Remember, you can be kind without being a doormat.

3) Believing everything you’re told

You don’t have to believe everything you’re told, especially if it doesn’t add up.

Being kind doesn’t mean you have to be gullible. It’s perfectly fine—and smart—to ask for clarification, or even proof if necessary. 

After all, a healthy dose of skepticism can save us from a lot of unnecessary trouble.

4) Constantly saying yes

There’s something incredibly beautiful about the word ‘yes’. It’s a word full of promise and potential. It opens doors, builds connections, and fosters relationships. 

But it’s not always the kindest word you can say.

Sometimes, the kindest thing you can do—for yourself and others—is to say ‘no’.

Saying ‘no’ allows you to honor your commitments without overextending yourself. It gives you the chance to invest your time and energy where they truly matter.

And most importantly, it teaches others to respect your limits.

5) Ignoring red flags

I’ll let you in on a little secret of mine. I used to be the queen of ignoring red flags.

I would notice them, sure, but I’d always find a way to justify or explain them away. After all, everyone deserves a second chance, right?

But here’s what I’ve learned: kindness isn’t about blindly giving second chances. It’s about acknowledging those red flags and addressing them head on.

Once, I ignored a colleague’s constant negative comments about others, thinking it was just harmless venting. But one day, I found out she was speaking ill of me behind my back too.

That’s when I understood that ignoring red flags wasn’t being kind, it was being naive.

So, it’s essential to recognize these warning signs and deal with them instead of brushing them under the rug. It might be uncomfortable, but it will save you a lot of heartache in the long run.

6) Over-apologizing

I bet you’ve found yourself saying ‘sorry’ when you’ve done nothing wrong.

I know I have. It’s easy to fall into the habit of over-apologizing, especially when you’re trying to keep the peace or avoid conflict.

But here’s the thing – saying sorry when it’s not necessary can diminish the impact of your words and can make you appear less confident. 

You don’t have to apologize for having an opinion or making a request. Stand your ground and express yourself respectfully without feeling the need to constantly apologize.

7) Not speaking up

Have you ever held back from expressing your thoughts or feelings because you didn’t want to upset someone? I’ve been there. In my quest to be kind, I often kept my opinions to myself.

But over time, I realized that by not speaking up, I was not only denying myself a voice but also potentially enabling harmful behavior or ideas.

Speaking up doesn’t make you unkind. On the contrary, it shows that you care enough about a relationship or a situation to address issues that matter. 

So, let your voice be heard. It’s one of the most empowering things you can do for yourself and others.

8) Always giving in

My grandfather once told me, “Don’t be a pushover. Stand up for what you believe in.” His words have stayed with me throughout my life.

Don’t compromise on your principles in the name of kindness. Stand your ground, be firm, but always be respectful.

Final words

In closing, being kind does not equate to being naive.

By saying goodbye to these habits, you’ll not only become a stronger individual, but you’ll also be better equipped to extend genuine kindness to others.

Remember, true kindness begins with being kind to yourself.

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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