11 traits of naturally kind people who know when to say “no”

Children are always taught to be kind to others. Adults…not so much. Turns out you don’t become rich, accomplished, or even loved for being kind. 

In fact, nice people are often viewed as weak, naive, and gullible. You learn that kindness can attract the type of people who use and take advantage of others.

Regardless, many still insist on remaining altruistic. Fortunately for you, there are ways to help others without selling yourself out. 

Here are the 11 traits of naturally kind people who know when to say “no.” 

1) They know the importance of boundaries

Kind people usually know just what to say. More importantly, they know when the best thing to say is nothing at all. Everybody needs space sometimes.

So, if you deal with people often, whether strangers or loved ones, you know when you hit your communication limit.

All of us can, at some point, just reach a place where even words of affirmation and physical touch do more bad than good. Sometimes, it’s the silence that heals.

That’s why kind people who know how to say “no” are mindful of their own limits. They’re able to politely decline when people ask them for more than they can give at the moment. 

2) They understand people are flawed yet capable of growth

Patience is one of the key traits of kind souls in a chaotic world. People will always have flaws and consequently make mistakes, sometimes even mistakes that hurt others. 

Some folks think that this means they can get away with a simple “that’s just how I am” or “that’s just how that person is.” 

Kind people with boundaries know that this is a destructive way to think for the person who failed and those who have to put up with them. 

You can be understanding of people’s bad behavior, and you know that others can change and actively choose to be better, no matter how long it takes. 

If you’re the type of person who knows when to say “no,” you let people know you believe in them and that you’ll be with them in their journey. Even if, for now, you have to decline their request.

3) They stick with good people

Loyalty is another trait of kind people. They take great care of their friends and value their relationship with them. 

Friends of the kind folks know they’ve got their back through good times and bad. 

They tolerate and even encourage behavior that is beneficial or harmless to them. But those of us who can firmly decline don’t tolerate habits that would be destructive in the long run. 

The naturally kind people who know when to say “no” encourage the growth of others by not hesitating to tell them when they make mistakes. 

There’s a lot they’re willing to sacrifice for those they love. But they have enough self-respect to not have their loyalty taken for granted. 

Some friends might turn out talking about them behind their backs, consciously making decisions that could hurt them. But the kindest of us, who have strong boundaries, love themselves enough to let these people go.

4) They know how to communicate

Good people can’t have good relationships without nailing down their communication skills. You may not be the most chatty person, but if you’re a person with strong boundaries–you make your words count. 

You speak with the purpose of helping others, clearing misunderstandings, and getting a message across.

Being petty or passive-aggressive just isn’t your thing. Rather, you’re honest and make yourself clear. This is good not just for cheering people up but also for establishing boundaries. 

The naturally kind people who know when to say “no” want your relationships to be good for both parties. They want to be the friend who helps others become the healthiest version of themselves. 

They encourage others by talking about their needs and feelings. In these conversations, they’re able to become a safe space for others where they can share and be themselves freely. 

Kindness shouldn’t mean taking everything that’s thrown at you, even unintentionally. You deserve to be with friends that are as good to you as you are to them.

5) They’re open about themselves

Kind people aren’t naive, and they know how to be vulnerable. It encourages people to open up to them, as well.

By letting down their guard, they open up a safe space for other people. It helps remove notions of hostility between them and the other person. 

This connection that is established by vulnerability increases the opportunity for kind folks to extend empathy, validation, and care to one another. 

That way, they can truly be unapologetically themselves instead of shrinking themselves to accommodate other people. 

6) They are very compassionate

It goes without saying that kind people have a lot of compassion towards others. They want to help people with the various things they could be struggling with in their lives. 

People feel like they can express their feelings towards those who have kind but firm boundaries without interrupting or judging them. This helps them process their problems in a nurturing space. 

The naturally kind people who know when to say “no” actively try to understand what others may be going through and put themselves in their shoes. It helps others feel understood and comforted. 

However, if you recognize yourself in what I just said, remember that it’s important to extend this compassion not only to others but also to yourself. 

7) They help people without letting themselves be exploited

Kind people lend a hand even without being asked and knowing there will be little to no reward for it. They volunteer to help people carry things or clean up the moment they see the need for it. 

The weight it could lift off others’ shoulders is a reward in itself. However, this shouldn’t be taken for granted. 

By now, we should know that kind people are not foolish. They can sense when they are being taken advantage of and act accordingly. 

Though they may be nice, they know how to put people in their place. 

8) They understand that they make mistakes

Even the kindest person in the world makes mistakes, whether it be engaging in bad habits or losing their cool for a moment.

Needless to say, they can’t be nice one hundred percent of the time. What’s important is how they face negative parts of themselves and the damage they have done, either consciously or unconsciously. 

They don’t hesitate to apologize when they realize they’ve made some mistakes. It’s very easy to be dragged down by guilt, but they know how to self-reflect and push themselves towards self-improvement. 

A kind person with boundaries has mastered the art of holding themselves accountable while also forgiving themselves. 

9) They are very honest

They don’t waste their breath on lies, even those that can bring temporary comfort. 

When something isn’t working the way it’s supposed to, the kind people who just know how to say “no” when it’s needed–say it like it is. 

They keep communication with others open and transparent. It gives their relationships time to breathe in the good and breathe out the bad. 

Though they do not hesitate to deliver bad news, they somehow manage to remain inoffensive due to their sensitivity toward others’ feelings.

10) They’re really tactful

Kind people speak out of genuine concern for others, which is why they are often gracious and polite.  Even in hard times, they treat others the way they would want to be treated. 

They are generous with polite phrases like “please” and “thank you” out of a desire to make others feel appreciated. 

Words can hurt, so they make sure to use them carefully. That way, they can navigate gently around or through possible sources of conflict. 

11) They’re very accommodating 

Naturally, kind folks put others before themselves and don’t mind giving up small comforts or advantages to help someone who may need it more. 

Whether it be their place in a queue, their last stick of gum, or their comfy window seat, they’re willing to give it all up to make room for those more marginalized than them. 

However, they know the limits of what they can give and know that there are bad elements that they should not accommodate. To protect their own peace, they know how to say “no” when it gets too much. 

When it comes to others’ bad behaviors, they don’t hesitate to hash it out instead of tolerating a negative attitude.  They make room for other people’s problems, but more importantly, they make room for them to grow. 

To summarize

It’s never a bad thing to choose to be kind to those around you. You just have to remember to be kind to yourself as well. After all, you can’t pour from an empty cup. 

Naturally kind people who mastered the art of saying “no” can both protect their own peace and foster people’s growth by being open about concerns they may have. 

It’s easy to see why adults feel discouraged about being kinder, but if you have firm boundaries but still choose goodwill, you know just how much kindness is needed in the world. 

It can be difficult, and some may try to exploit you, but the right thing to do has rarely ever been the easy thing to do. Go out there and keep spreading the love!

Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash has years of experience writing relationship articles for single females looking for love. After being single for years with no hope of meeting Mr. Right, she finally managed to get married to the love of her life. Now that she’s settled down and happier than she’s ever been in her life, she's passionate about sharing all the wisdom she's learned over the journey. Pearl is also an accredited astrologer and publishes Hack Spirit's daily horoscope.

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