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  • Writer's pictureBrandon Robbins

Being Nice and Being Kind

Updated: Dec 10, 2021

There is much debate on these actions. Being Nice and Being Kind. How are they the same, how are they different? What do we do when we receive these actions and maybe give us a different view on how we feel around this. What is Kindness, What is Niceness? What is the intention we connect to? How does it affect us? How does it affect those around us?

Nice| nīs |


1 pleasant; agreeable; satisfactory: we had a nice time | that wasn't very nice of him | Jeremy had been very nice to her.

• (of a person) pleasant in manner; good-natured; kind: he's a really nice guy.

2 fine or subtle: a nice distinction.

• requiring careful thought or attention: a nice point.

3 archaic fastidious; scrupulous.

That is how we as a people define the word, but it somehow translates differently when we put that intention into action. Being Nice is doing what is appropriate. It is good manners and polite. Often it is behaving opposite to what you might feel. Being appropriate is not always honest, but is perceived as the right thing to do at the moment. Doing the right thing does not always feel right.

Being Nice is often expected. Acceptable behaviour and its tradition. It’s the right thing to do…isn't it?

  • Celebrating someone else’s promotion- but it's something you also wanted.

  • Going to a birthday as a child- and the person is not your friend.

  • Learning of a Death - Sending a card or a casserole

  • Being happy for someone’s achievement - When you don’t want to be…

  • Mowing the neighbour’s lawn, shoveling their walkway- for the cash

Being nice for me is the actions we do for people because we feel we have to. We do it because there is obligation to do so. Is it polite, to do as instructed? Having good manners can make any gesture feel hollow. For many etiquette demands us to behave in a manner that is acceptable to society. How to behave, given the situation, what is to be expected from others.

If not for the sense of being polite; would you do it at all?

Kind| kīnd |


having or showing a friendly, generous, and considerate nature: she was a good, kind woman | he was very kind to me.

• [predicative] used in a polite request: would you be kind enough to repeat what you said?

• [predicative] (kind to) (of a consumer product) gentle on (a part of the body): look for rollers that are kind to hair.

• archaic affectionate or loving.

That is how we as a people define the word, but how does it translate into our actions? Being Kind comes from a different place. It comes from inside us, invites connection. Being Kind comes from a place of need. The timing may not always be appropriate, but it is honest. An action that matches your intention. Meeting people where they are with the emotions to match. Sharing because you need to share. Doing because you felt compelled. The things we do to honour our connections. Doing and performing actions for people because it’s the right thing to do and feels right.

I can list out acts of kindness, but it would mirror the list above.

The difference is the reason for the action. Whom are you doing this action for? The other person, or yourself? Having this intention in mind might affect how it is received…

The Take-Away:

That is the biggest difference between the two actions. The reason for doing it. Completing an action for the benefit of the person you have in mind. Conveying thoughts, caring, connection, and maybe loving intention. Is Kindness.

Completing an action with yourself in mind, because it makes you feel good to do. Having the other intentions in mind that perhaps make you feel the sense of obligation, or because you were taught to behave or respond in a certain way. Is Nice. Good Manners and Politeness can be disconnecting.

Being Nice isn’t always Kind.

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