I admire kind people
As Maya Angelou said, when someone shows you who they are, believe them.
In life and in relationships, it’s important to remember that no one is all good or all bad. But while we all make mistakes and no one is perfect, there are certain personality traits and characteristics you want to watch out for in order to avoid finding yourself on the receiving end of unkind behavior.
People who are truly kind hold pure intentions and genuine concern for the well-being of others. They try their best to follow “the Golden Rule” of treating others the way they want to be treated.
It’s when you pay attention to how someone responds when things go wrong that you’re most likely to recognize signs of someone who has no idea what kindness means or how to be kind to others.
What is kindness, and why is it so important to be kind?
By definition, “Kindness is a behavior marked by ethical characteristics, a pleasant disposition, and concern and consideration for others. It is considered a virtue, and is recognized as a value in many cultures and religions.”
And as explained by Karyn Hall, PhD, “Science has now shown that devoting resources to others, rather than having more and more for yourself, brings about lasting well-being.
I used to naively believe that everyone was kind, and if they were not behaving kindly in a given moment, I’d assume they were just having a bad day or didn’t know better.
The more I got to know myself and others, however, the more clearly I could see that there can be many sides to people. And when things go wrong for someone, those aspects of themselves they try to keep hidden can be seen much more clearly. That’s why one of the most classic places for true colors to emerge is the airport.
It’s easy to appear kind when all is going well, but how do they treats others when things go awry?
To ensure you surround yourself with people who understand what kindness means, steer clear of men and women with these 6 dominant personality traits, because they have no idea how to be kind.
We all know someone who seems to think they are owed something more than everyone else. Somehow, they deserve extra for their hard work when everyone else is also working their butts off.
They tend to complain or stir things up in situations where raising a raucous provides no value. Their opinions and beliefs are more important than yours.
Entitled people feel that what they give, do or think has a higher standing.
This ranges from people who require heaps of praise, recognition, and reward for their good deeds to those willing to step all over others to fuel their own sense of what they deserve at any cost.
It’s a ‘me, me me’ mentality, instead of a ‘we’ one.
When someone feels a strong sense of entitlement, it’s easy for them to justify their unkind, sometimes even cruel behavior. They can’t take responsibility for any wrongdoing or hurt they cause because, in their minds, they are better, and you are worse. Period.
If someone sees themselves as superior to others in a way that justifies their condemnation of another person, kindness is the last thing on their minds.
They are right and you are wrong, so anything you say to the contrary will be taken as offensive.
“How dare you say that?” will be their response.
Those who are judgmental see others as inferior to them in some way, shape or form that allows them free rein to trample all over you, unapologetically. They aren’t open to hearing your truth because, from their perspective, you are already wrong before you even open your mouth.
The most dangerous types are judgmental people in positions of authority, influence or power, because when they condemn you, it’s their way or the highway if you fail to fall into line.
A quick way to spot if someone is judgmental is by listening to the way they speak about their ex-lovers or ex-friends they no longer like. We all have genuinely negative experiences we share with our trusted loved ones, but if ex’s are openly being put down, ridiculed, and despised behind their back, it may speak volumes about how little kindness means to them.
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Low self-esteem can create insecurity, which can be a difficult trait to spot. Insecurity creates neediness, so those who are insecure often reach out to help others or give excessively while carrying expectations of whatever they need back to feel more secure about themselves.
This becomes ‘conditional kindness’. One moment they seem like the nicest person, and suddenly they’re angry and upset because you didn’t meet their expectations. Not so kind behavior starts to show up.
Do you know someone who can’t seem to be happy for you despite the happiness you feel for them? There’s a resistance there tied directly to their unfulfilled needs.
At its worst, this personality trait can lead to sarcasm, insults, bullying and other abusive behaviors towards others.
People who behave with an authoritative style when things go wrong quickly reveal that they have no idea what kindness means. They default to using punishment to control, demanding obedience, rather than setting appropriate consequences.
They place little value on teaching the lesson behind the matter, something which requires both kindness and patience.
Often, a person’s ego grows inflated in proportion to their perceived position and they lose any grip on how far away from kindness they’ve drifted in their treatment of others.
People with this trait have a strong tendency to blame others, justify themselves, stone-wall or give the silent treatment and react defensively, failing to taking responsibility for their behaviors and choices.
Apologies are rare, if they arrive at all.
We all know someone like this. They give you unwanted advice. They tell you what to do rather than teach you what’s important or why. They impose their own beliefs, rules, and views of “the way it is” on those around them.
They set the agenda, and you need to follow it.
There’s no discussion to be had with these people, because have no room for other perspectives during times when things aren’t going their way.
Kindness goes out the window. They may listen, but they will not seek to understand. Their need to control is simply too strong.
This is arguably the most baffling character trait you will find in people who are unkind. And it’s strangely more common than you may think.
When someone’s words don’t align with their actions, kindness gets lost in the mix.
Someone who condemns others for being “all about money” but then talks about it non-stop and spends all of their time, and energy focused on making and spending money, is so wrapped up in their own self-deception, it’s pretty tough to find space to also be kind.
And even if someone like this asks you tell them if they’ve done anything wrong, when you go ahead and share with them what isn’t working for you, they push back, telling you how offensive it is that you would say such a thing!
The moment you notice this kind of misalignment between someone’s speech and their behavior, you should realize that you cannot expect to find kindness there.
The personality traits listed above all come from a place of a deeper fear: “I’m not good enough.”
When you feel good enough, there is no reason to be unkind.
When someone shows you who they are with any of these traits, it’s important to be compassionate while understanding they will never receive your kindness fully.
Maintain a healthy distance so you don’t block the kindness coming back to you from those you’ve given it to who can receive it.