- Great paradoxical question. You have some good answers here, like the overprotection. I would however like to add some “big” ones that people didn’t mention. Things like politics and religion.
So, politicians promise so many good things and use wonderful ways to do so. Then comes the reality when people suffer from their “rule” and things are far worse than the story they gave. This is all over the world and it’s really cruel.
Second religions and sects promise and preach beautiful things but in some when you’re within their grasp, they’ll force you to things, things you may not want to do. Extreme example was the sect where people had to drink poison under gun threat. You’re being forced by intimidation, punishment threats in different forms, frozen out by people in your community. The ways are many but initially you were “lured” into this by kind words of love, forgiveness etc. Then the “hell” star.
The same goes for some jobs, where the presentation can sound fantastic in an interview of your job description but it proves to be very different than those “kind” descriptions.
All these things above are cruel and very dishonest. You simply aren’t told the truth about things. That’s a BIG cruelty to anyone. Kind words and something else afterwards. Lying to people can rob them of their life energy, lose their motivation, and even make them commit suicide. That’s really cruel stuff with no compassion for your fellow human being.
- Being cruel to be kind can be a saying meaning “tough love”. The intent here is to not protect someone “from the consequences” of their bad choices/actions/mistakes, so they “learn from them” for their higher good, development of good character and future wellbeing.
The reverse has the reverse meaning. A person may protect someone from the consequences of their “bad choices/acts/mistakes” and they do not have to face the consequences. This leads to enabling bad behavior and the person they are protecting “never learns or grows to be better”, as protecting is condoning stating that what they did was okay – to the detriment of their character. The result of this act of misguided “kindness” is being cruel in reality. A person’s good character is everything.
Another way a person would be “kind to be cruel” is in the agenda to be deceptive in deceiving someone; – pretending to be something they are not, kind and good, with the motive to draw them into a relationship/situation/circumstance; using them for their sole benefit, that would lead to their demise that inflicts suffering on them – which is cruelty.
Just a few “important” adds to the other answers.