- No one is owed you. No one is owed your company. You choose to whom you offer yourself. But sure, all those with whom you deal? Deal kindly. Why not? What’s it cost you? To whom does it give the advantage?
Certainly not to the other one.
To deal kindly with them may be as quick and simple as to arise, acknowledge a greeting, excuse yourself courteously and go. You don’t have to give any misuser of you any more of your time or interest to abuse. You may go. If they object to you going, well, how can they? What claim do they have on you? A thousand replies will answer.
Choose the best. You’re always free to go.
Why make yourself look bad – no, not “look bad,” be worse – than your best? For the sake of some unkind, abusive user? What can they do to you now that you know who they are? Why not be kind? “It’s more than they deserve?”
Sure it is. But what about what you deserve? Our worst which we give to those we find deserve it, is who we really are. Shall you become your worst? What, for them?
You’re kidding, right?
Surely anyone who deserves our worst isn’t worth it.
Kindness doesn’t mean giving – not giving more. It’s more in how you give all you choose to give. Kindness doesn’t even mean forgiving – though of course, there’s very little sense in carrying around someone else’s badness as your baggage, as grudge. It neither punishes nor burdens them. But even forgiveness does not mean you must give them more of yourself than you already gave away. Forgiveness just means you’ve wiped the slate clean. There is no wrong between you, anymore. They owe you nothing. Which is also what you owe them.
Kindness just means you treat others in kind – not by returning to them how they’ve treated you. By returning to them how they should have treated you. By returning to them how you treat people, not how they do. By treating them as your kind: one equal in dignity, respect and worth to yourself.
Even if, let’s say hypothetically, they may not be.
Run this one forward in your mind. If you treat them unkindly, how do you come out of it? In your view?
Yeah, pretty sure no you don’t, and you know you don’t. So I’d say, yes! Sure! By all means: in the dealings you have with them, in passing, in chance encounter – deal in kindness. Why not. It is nothing to you. It’s just how you deal with all us FOOLS. Fools for love, fools for life – we’re all fools for something, aren’t we? Like Mr. T, you pity the fool – and you deal in kindness. Except in an actual case of defending the weak against the cruel and strong – there, you deal in brutality, but it’s only because of a deep, sweet kindness you have in you for those being brutalized, right? Anyway, let’s assume so. You deal in kindness.
You don’t need to seek any more dealings than you have to, with anyone you’ve learned you don’t want to know any better than you already have. It’s just that in the dealings you have, in the crossings of paths, you are kind. Invincibly kind. You don’t have to give them what they ask for, if they ask for more of you than you want to give. Kindly decline, in that case.
You know all the ways to decline. Choose the best.
Or, if you’re moved to do so, take them up on it! If you really want to; not out of some misconceived obligation. But if you do take them up on it, remember what kind you’re dealing with. Even as you treat them as one of your own (which – of course you do, it’s gold-chased steel-keen habit with you by now!), remember who they are, which they’ve given you to know. Remember what you can trust them for. Pity, if you would; mercy, if you will – but kindness for sure.
It costs you jack nil. To cut yourself down to any less than that…costs more. Maybe a lot more.
Never give anyone any more of yourself than you’re willing to lose. No return, no repayment. Nothing ever expected back. Give stingless of you, with never regret over such free gift. You gave because you wanted to. This is the way to grow so much self you couldn’t give it all away if you tried. And you know, at that point? You might as well try. You’ll never catch up with the wild appreciation (in the sense of increase, but who knows? Probably a good bit of the other, too) of all you have to give, by that point.
It’s easy as can be. Easy as sincerity. Costs you nothing! Deal in kindness. Why not?
I mean, if you’re absolutely aces at keen, cutting repartee – I do admit to indulging a bit myself, time to time. But only in the moment of sudden crossed blades, you know – and I’ve never come away with hard feelings. So realistically, it would never arise that I’d charge in cutting and thrusting! What an ass I’d be, doing that! Bad form, woot?
Anyway, you know your best. Trust yourself to it. Be it. I suspect you have no best better than kindness, though.
I don’t think anyone really has. Short-term, long-term, any other term. Kindness is one bad mother*ucker, attitude-wise. I trust myself to it, just about exclusively, for all my in-person and phone dealings. Online, I confess I’m sometimes forced to substitute a sort of weird, courteous bombast. Tone is so hard to gauge.
There should be merit to everything, otherwise it becomes foolishness.
To an extent, “being kind to unkind people” is not wrong. Sometimes it can be better to let things slide than start a fight over one’s behavior, especially if making a fuss will hurt you more than the other person. Sometimes one might be rude just because they had bad day or something and if you behave kindly they might recognize the error of their behavior and apologize. Sometimes you let thing slide because you realize that you are not going to change the other person and it is pointless arguing with them.
That said, there is no reason to accept a continuous ashes behavior of someone. You may let things slide once or twice in hopes to calm down the situation. But if you see that being nice only makes matters worse, it is time to stop being nice and draw some hard boundaries with the offending person. After all, if you are not going to ensure your own peace of mind, nobody will do it for you.
- Being on the receiving end of an abuse of kindness is difficult, but it is possible to remain kind and assertively stand up for oneself.
Maybe more difficult than that is realizing someone doesn’t appreciate the kind things you do for them. In those situations, it’s important to remember that being kind to others is something people should do with or without recognition. Be kind because it makes you who you are, not so you can receive appreciation for it. Lift up others for the sake of lifting them up. Get a copy of SAME KIND OF DIFFERENT AS ME