14 phrases only genuinely kind people use, according to psychology

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Genuinely kind people can be seen by their mindset and their actions. 

They treat others with the kind of respect and consideration that they want to be treated, and they go out of their way to show empathy and think about how their words and deeds impact others. 

So how can you tell who’s a truly kind person from somebody who’s just going through the motions?

Many clues are embedded within the following key phrases used by highly kind individuals, as psychology shows us. 

Let’s take a look. 

1) “That’s a good point.” 

Out of the Big Five traits relating to personality, kindness is most related to a person’s level of agreeableness. 

By recognizing that somebody has made a good point, the truly kind individual provides valuable affirmation. 

We all love hearing it, and this kind of agreeable affirmation is a key trait of kindness. 

As psychologist Alexandra Lane writes

“Of the Big Five traits, agreeableness has shown the most consistent correlation with kind and helpful behaviors.”

2) “I hear what you’re saying.” 

Genuinely kind people are able to practice active listening in an empathetic way. 

By listening without judging, they give people a secure zone in which to open up and talk about how they’re doing. 

This makes an enormous difference, and the kind person knows it, which is why they do their best to be a great listener and provide that space for others. 

“When someone really hears you without passing judgment on you, without trying to take responsibility for you, without trying to mold you, it feels damn good,” noted American psychologist Carl Rogers. 

3) “Let’s start with what we can agree on.” 

Genuinely kind people start by looking for agreement in both their personal and professional lives.  

Even if the subject is quite contentious, they do their best to look for common ground to start with and work from there. 

By deciding on what can be agreed on early on, they build bridges of empathy right away and make it more likely that later disagreement won’t be quite as bitter or entrenched. 

Psychological research backs this up, as Kori Miller notes

“When tested using a Public Goods Game approach, Rand, Greene, and Nowak (2012) learned that faster decisions led to more cooperation. From their perspective, this happens because longer decision making involves careful deliberation.

When we’re asked to make a decision right now our actions are more intuitive.”

4) “It’s my pleasure.” 

Truly kind people don’t assist and encourage others out of obligation. 

They do so because they feel glad to help. This isn’t just a figure of speech, either. 

Psychology backs up the fact that we are designed to experience pleaser from assisting others in productive ways, a phenomenon which is known as the “helper’s high.” 

“The ‘helper’s high’ is the uplifting feeling that we experience after doing an act of kindness to others. The “helper’s high” shows up in our brain’s reward system,” notes Professor Shahram Heshmat Ph.D. 

5) “I don’t want anything in return.”

In addition to acting voluntarily out of a desire to be kind and useful, the kind individual doesn’t engage in transactionalism. 

In other words, they don’t want something back for what they do for anybody:

There are no strings attached to their favors, and they really mean it. 

This selflessness is good for psychological health (within reason) and is supported by various spiritual and religious traditions. 

“What is quite clearly the most consistent and all-embracing act of faith is called chesed, which means kindness and implies the giving of oneself to helping another without regard to compensation,” explains the late author, scholar and theologian, Rabbi Maurice Lamm. 

6) “We’re all worthy of love.” 

Genuinely kind individuals understand that love isn’t conditional. 

They have grown to a level of self-awareness where they have faced their own shadow and flaws and tried to improve. 

But at the same time as they want to improve and grow, they have accepted who they are at a fundamental level and learned to be kind to themselves. 

This is a kindness they try to pass on to others, encouraging them to realize they are loved and valued. 

“You’ve been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens,” advises American motivational speaker and psychological researcher Louise L. Hay. 

7) “It’s not just how I was raised. It’s how I choose to be.” 

Those who are raised to be kind and considerate often show more generosity and thoughtfulness. 

But as psychologists explain, being a kind person is also something that can be learned and consciously adopted later in life by those who may not have grown up in a very kind environment. 

Truly kind people choose their attitude and behavior, not only if it is how they were raised, but also because it’s who they want to be. 

As Heshmat explains

“We learn kindness from our parents, our family, and our community. We can also teach ourselves. It is a skill we can strengthen, much as we would build muscle.”

8) “I’m working on myself to improve and learn.” 

The truly kind person is focused on self-improvement and wants to keep getting better and growing in their own life journey. They realize that many of the faults they see in others also exist in themselves. 

By looking in the mirror emotionally and psychologically, they keep growing in self-awareness and advancing in their journey to becoming a well-rounded and emotionally mature individual. 

As Swiss psychologist Carl Jung asked

“What if I should discover that the least amongst them all, the poorest of all beggars, the most impudent of all offenders, yea the very fiend himself— that these are within me, and that I myself stand in need of the alms of my own kindness, that I myself am the enemy who must be loved— what then?”

9) “I love your…” 

Giving compliments is a stock-in-trade for the truly kind person. 

They don’t just give them to attractive folks or rich folks or people of any one demographic. 

They hand out compliments universally, just to spread joy and show appreciation for people, even if it’s only something quite small.

And these compliments make a big difference. 

As English novelist and astute psychological observer William Makepeace Thackeray advised

“Never lose a chance of saying a kind word.” 

10) “You must be feeling extremely…” 

Genuinely kind folks do their best to walk in another person’s shoes. 

This shows a high degree of emotional intelligence (EQ). By demonstrating empathy and imagining how they would feel in another person’s situation, they build bridges of understanding. 

People are grateful to not be invisible and to have their struggle and experiences validated.  

As Kendra Cherry observes

“ A large part of emotional intelligence is being able to think about and empathize with how other people are feeling. This often involves considering how you would respond if you were in the same situation.”

11) “Take all the time you need.” 

Kind people are good at slowing things down and removing any pressure. 

In our fast-paced, quick-clicking world, letting somebody know that they’re not on the clock is very considerate. 

Kind folks do their best to remove pressure and time constraints, allowing others to take all the time they need. 

“They’re showing understanding and patience, acknowledging that sometimes life gets tough, and it’s okay to slow down. This phrase reflects their empathy and respect for your pace and process,” notes psychological writer Sinitta Weston. 

12) “Nobody’s perfect.” 

The start of empathy is self-awareness, and kind people are very much about improvement combined with unconditional support

In other words, they recognize that life is about the journey not the destination, but that improving along the journey is worth it for its own sake. 

Nobody is perfect, but we’re all learning. And that’s a good mindset to be in.

“The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction, not a destination,” observed Rogers.

13) “I’m here if you want to talk.”

Kind people let others know that they’re around if they need anyone to talk to. 

In a society which can sometimes seem uncaring and leave us feeling invisible, this is a powerful statement:

It lets us know that we are seen and that our experiences are valid. 

The kind person is making it clear that if we need someone to speak with they are around. 

This is “a heartfelt offer of support, showing they’re willing to be a shoulder to lean on,” Weston observes

14) “Is there anything I can do to help?” 

Offering real action and help is the hallmark of a truly kind person.

They aren’t only giving you support, advice, company or inspiration: they’re also offering somebody practical assistance if they need it. 

Of course, there’s no guarantee the kind person will say yes to a request. 

But they mean the offer, and that’s what counts. 

5 phrases only genuinely nice people use, according to psychology

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