Is kindness a sign of weakness?

Today is World Kindness Day. Has this day impacted on your life or has it passed you by? Do we value kindness or do we regard it as something twee or even a sign of weakness?

world-kindness-day

 

The definition of kindness is “the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate“. These are all human qualities and in my opinion, those that are invaluable when you are living in the real world. Saying “hello” to your work colleagues when you arrive at work; not barging on a train pushing everyone when you commute to work; being aware of the old lady (or pregnant woman) who is standing on the train and offering her a seat; offering to do the coffee run for your colleagues; making your partner a cup of tea. The examples are endless! Being kind is a win – win situation, because you feel good, and you have made someone else’s day.

HOWEVER, kindness COULD be perceived as a weakness in certain situations. I don’t know how many times I’ve been referred to as “Sweet” and “kind” – but in a patronising way. Because I am a generous person – like many other people, we can be taken for granted and our personal brand can therefore be damaged. “Oh I’ll get Susan to do this, she won’t mind”. “Susan always wants to help; I’ll get her to do this last minute task”.

Of course, like many generous people I DO want to help, but I have had to learn to be kind to MYSELF. It is okay to say no if it is inconvenient for you. You might assist someone else; getting them out of a hole or crisis, but if it is at the expense of you missing an event you’ve booked on or missing your children before they go to bed, you will only feel resentful and angry. Are you being kind to the other person who is constantly not meeting deadlines and relies on you? No. Are you being kind to yourself? No.

So my kindness message today is to be kind to yourself as well as others. Don’t push yourself at the expense of your health, energy or life! You will then find that people respect you and don’t take you for granted.

I have created a great series: the “Superstar Speaker” top tips series. I will share a series of bite sized tips – on video, podcasts and blogs. The tips are short and to the point – AND they will be great skills to try when you are speaking to other people.

Register here to receive your free Superstar Speaker series:

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Susan Heaton-Wright
About the author

Susan Heaton Wright is a former opera singer who works with successful individuals and teams to make an impact with their voices and physical presence. Using her experience in using the voice and performing on stage, she works with people to improve their performances in a range of business situations; from meeting skills and on the telephone, to public speaking, presentations and appearing on the media.

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