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In any comedy there is always a good-natured person whom no one appreciates. His boss is in no way inferior to Miranda from The Devil Wears Prada, and his brother is worse than Scar from The Lion King. When you look at the life of such a nice character, you begin to understand that sometimes kindness is a direct path to problems.
We are taught from childhood to be kind and sweet. At the age of 3, when we still don’t understand that it’s impolite to take toys from other children, parents tell us: “Be good.” But now 20 years pass, and we understand that being good is not the best tactic. Have you at least once in your life done something not of your own volition, but simply because you didn’t want to let someone down or were worried about what others would think? This is where the trouble starts.
What are the problems with being too kind?
It should be said right away that kindness is an excellent quality, it has a huge number of advantages. But there is another side.
For example, research showthat more accommodating men earn much less. For women, the situation is different: no matter how sweet and accommodating they are, their salary is about 14% less than that of their male counterparts.
In addition, excessive goodwill can lead to burnout and significantly reduce productivity.
But don’t worry, you don’t have to give up kindness altogether. You just need to learn how to control it and figure out how it affects your life.
How to find a balance between kindness and your desires
Work on leadership qualities
You probably know a person who is working hard on his career, but he is still never considered as a candidate for a higher position. His door is always open for others, he is used to helping and lending a shoulder, even when he himself is very busy. It would seem that these are excellent qualities. If not for the other side of the coin.
Such a person is not perceived as persistent. He seems satisfied and happy in his place, which is why he is so rarely offered to move to another department or become a leader.
From this follows the first part of the advice – to develop leadership skills. Think about who you think is really cool and what makes that person so cool. Perhaps he is active, purposeful, or incredibly strong in spirit. Observe his mannerisms, communication and work style and try to bring his techniques into your life. Such a strategy may seem like a dumb copy. But remember that this is just a plan for internal use and does not need to be shared with anyone.
The second part is to identify who is living the life you have always wanted and how those people got there. Adapt routines and habits that will get you closer to your goal. Gradually, you will become much more persistent and more confident in yourself.
Practice speaking your mind
Many people believe that getting everything you want in life is impossible. This thought pushes us to accept less with humility, because nothing can be changed anyway. Another obstacle in our path is the desire to be kind to everyone. We do not speak our minds or forget about them altogether in order to keep the peace at work or at home.
However, if you are worried about your excessive goodwill, which does not allow you to get what you want, you do not need to go to the other extreme and start kicking puppies, being rude to others and tripping everyone up. Instead, one or more of the following steps must be taken:
- Become a priority for yourself.
- Don’t be afraid to express your desires.
- Set personal boundaries.
- Learn to say “no”.
- Plan everything you want to achieve and go for it.
If you find it difficult to stand out and express your opinion, look at the problem from a different angle. Ask yourself, “If I don’t speak up now, what state of affairs will I agree with?” Analyze what and how your kindness hinders you. Perhaps you alone are pulling life in the family, and the rest treat you like a servant. Or at work, all the tasks are always shoved onto you. Find ways to counter this, such as scheduling household chores or discussing workload with your boss.
If you want to learn how to say no, work with your communication style and come up with language that will make it easier for you to say no to others. Step by step, you will be able to develop this important skill in yourself. Remember that sometimes each of us has to make unpopular decisions. It’s not fun for anyone, but it’s necessary.
Stop following the ideal
Do you know at least one person in whose life everything is perfect: the perfect appearance, the perfect home, the perfect job, the perfect relationship? The truth is simple – no one’s life is perfect.
It is important to remember that we are all the same. We all have a heart and a brain, we all need food and water and go to the toilet. Try to focus on similarities with others rather than differences. This will remind you that the ideal is just an impossible concept that you don’t have to follow at all.
People who try their best to appear perfect have their own difficulties. Most often, they say the phrases “I can’t let others see this” or “I will never leave the house looking like this.” The main problem of such perfectionists is the unwillingness to accept reality. High standards and the desire to meet other people’s requirements exhaust them physically and emotionally.
This often happens, for example, with young parents. They try to take care of everyone around them, while they themselves suffer from lack of attention. They do not have time to fulfill their desires, besides, they constantly feel tired.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, draw clear boundaries between being kind to others and taking care of yourself, and analyze the negative attitudes that your brain generates. Ask yourself, “If I declare my desires now, will I be selfish or just take care of myself?”
Review the way you talk to yourself and remove from your vocabulary all the words that prevent you from defending your interests and moving forward. And do not forget about brain chemistry, which will help you become happier and enjoy life more.