There are two ways to be a kinder person: either follow in a kind person’s footsteps, or avoid doing what mean people do.
Sometimes, following the lead of a kind person can be out of reach for us emotionally; we may not yet be ready to forgive others like a kind person does.
But we could start out by not holding a grudge on someone, unlike what some harsher people do.
Focusing on not becoming a mean person might just help you become a kinder person by consequence.
It may still take some time though, but it could be easier for you.
To help you learn more, here are 12 things that kind people avoid doing.
1. Think They’re Better than Others
When some people reach a certain level of wealth, their egos tend to inflate as well.
They might be denied at a restaurant because there’s genuinely no tables left then pull out the “Do you know who I am?” card on the waiter just doing their job.
But kind people aren’t like that.
Despite earning large amounts of money and driving expensive cars, a kind person would still be someone who welcomes anyone, regardless of their social status.
They aren’t the type to think that they’re “too important” to greet waiters or doormen.
They understand that the universe does not revolve around them.
They don’t use their background as leverage to get what they want.
2. Impose Their Thoughts on Others
If they’re having a discussion about a certain movie that they personally didn’t enjoy, others might tell their friends that they shouldn’t see the movie because it was objectively bad.
A kind person, on the other hand, might instead say, “The movie wasn’t for me.”
If they’re talking about someone they don’t find attractive, they don’t tell others that that person is ugly.
They say, “That person isn’t my type.”
Kind people understand that what they think is right might differ from other people’s.
They always try to be considerate of other people’s opinions.
When they do disagree with people, they don’t close their minds.
Instead, they engage in a discussion for mutual understanding.
3. Hold a Grudge
There are bound to be people that anger and disappoint us. They might say something we found offensive or they treated us unfairly.
Or we may not see eye to eye with someone on something, but neither of us wants to back down on our opinions.
While others might mentally blacklist them, a kind person doesn’t tend to be that absolute.
Kind people do still get offended, however.
It’s just that they don’t hold onto that anger for long.
Eventually, they may try to repair their relationships with the people that they had bad blood with.
They learn to understand the other person’s side and forgive them.
If they can’t bring themselves to forgive them just yet, they might try to first learn to let go of the anger.
4. Interrupt Others While They’re Speaking
When the other person is sharing their opinions, a kind person won’t interrupt them. They don’t sit quietly just waiting to reply either.
A kind person listens deeply, leans in to show they’re interested in the conversation, and makes eye contact to reassure the person that they’re listening.
Only once the person is finished talking do they respond with their own opinions.
Kind people also aren’t the type to have their phone in their hand or on the table while talking to someone.
They don’t look around past the person they’re talking to.
When a kind person is talking to someone, they give that person their full attention; it’s as if the person they’re talking to is the most important person in the world.
5. Spoil the Social Atmosphere
Kind people aren’t the type to make others feel bad about themselves.
You might be in a group setting when a mean person shares that it’s one of their pet peeves when someone shares a story about when they traveled.
It might be awkward because just a few moments before that, someone did actually share their travel story, thus making them feel bad.
Kind people can read the room.
They know when it’s time to make a joke or share something personal and serious.
They’re able to be sensitive to other people’s emotions and the general atmosphere of where group conversations are going.
And if they have nothing valuable to say, they’d rather say nothing.
6. Expect a Reward for Their Deeds
Other people might do something nice because they expect to be able to cash in a favor some time in the future.
They might only give someone a lift home if they receive something in return.
But kind people do kind things for their own sake.
They donate to the poor without showing it off to people.
They’re generous with their items and time.
They don’t view friendship as merely transactional; they help their friends because they genuinely want to take care of them and see them succeed in their own lives.
7. Critique Without Consideration
Say you have a friend who’s learning how to play the piano and they write a song.
When they finish it, they share it with you.
Given that they’re beginners, it’s to be expected that what they made isn’t going to be the best – but they’re proud of it either way.
A mean person might dismiss it point-blank, saying that it doesn’t sound good.
While a kind person may not sugarcoat their honest opinions, they’ll at least give constructive criticism.
They’ll point out the parts they enjoyed, while also letting the person know the parts that could’ve been better.
8. Take Credit for the Work of Others
Even though they might be in a leadership position, they always consider the hard work and dedication of their entire team.
They know that success wouldn’t be possible alone.
Kind people tend to be more grateful than others. It’s also why kind people always seem so positive all the time.
Research has shown that being grateful makes someone happier.
So they rarely take full credit for achieving something; there’s always someone who supported and inspired them they need to thank.
9. Lose Their Temper Often
If a waiter gets their order wrong, they wouldn’t call the manager to help scold the waiter.
A kind person knows that the waiter might have just made an honest mistake.
If they’re having problems with something they bought, they aren’t the type to get angry at the customer service employee.
These people are only doing their jobs, and kind people know this.
When things don’t go their way, sure they might still get disappointed, but they wouldn’t act out in a fit of rage.
They remain calm and ask for help when they need it.
10. Play Favorites
While others might make it obvious how much they dislike someone over someone else, a kind person treats even the people they hate with the respect and the dignity that they deserve.
They aren’t the type to be biased with people.
If they learn that someone is being toxic, a kind person would talk to them about it – even if that person was their close friend.
They might pull their friend aside and call them out for their behavior.
11. Become Envious
Say there’s a group of friends who are struggling journalists.
Then one day, one friend discovers a shocking and important story.
They write about it and eventually rise to journalistic acclaim.
While meaner people might try to discredit their friend’s work, saying that that person was just lucky and they don’t deserve the praise.
But a kind person would act otherwise.
They might instead be genuinely happy for their friend, even going so far as to be their top supporter.
They can set aside their egos and congratulate others on a job well done – even if it is something they wanted to achieve themselves too.
12. Think of Themselves All the Time
Kind people don’t live in their own bubble.
When they’re at the cashier, they don’t linger and only think about what they want to order at the cashier.
They think about what they want to order before, so they don’t hold up the line.
If they have a meeting in the morning, they make sure not to arrive earlier.
They understand that being late is disrespectful; it tells the other person that your time is more valuable than theirs.
When they see one of their friends shivering in a cold room, they offer their jacket. Kind people are always considerate of what other people feel. They want to make others feel good too.
Being a Kinder Person
Kind people are nice to be around, that’s why they’re so likable. But a kind person isn’t kind because they want others to like them.
They’re kind because they know it’s the right thing to do.
People can sense when someone isn’t being genuine about this, when they’re only helping you because they want to ask a favor from you, or because they only care about their own reputation.
To be a kinder person, avoiding toxic behaviors can already be a good start.
Once you recognize that something you’re doing is toxic, if you stop it, you’ll almost automatically become a better person.
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