Nice vs Kind
“The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let things go.” Alicia Keys
Autumn is a very spiritual time of year. This is reflected in nature— how the trees shed leaves, how some animals go in to hibernation, the days become shorter. Even on a social level, celebrations move indoors from outdoors.
The Fall can be a great time to move inward for reflection, to spiritually shed the weight of something that has been burdening or dragging or to learn from the animals and find ways to rest more.
Recently, someone asked me to remind them of a conversation we had where I was explaining the difference between being a kind person vs a nice person. This led me to reflect deeper on how kindness and niceness are different yet similar. I started to notice areas in my parenting where I needed to be kind, and areas in my interactions where I was just being nice instead of focusing on being kind.
See, kind people are usually nice, but being a nice person does not automatically mean kind.
According to the dictionary, nice means: enjoyable, pleasant, agreeable, good, satisfying, gratifying, delightful; entertaining, amusing, diverting, lovely, great. Kind means: good-natured, kindhearted, warmhearted, caring, affectionate, loving, warm; considerate, helpful, thoughtful, obliging, unselfish, selfless, altruistic, good, attentive, compassionate. In another context, kind also means: character, nature, essence, quality, disposition, makeup, type, style, manner.
Do you see the difference? Nice can be considered as something that you do, and kind can be considered as a part of who you are— your character or essence. One of the things to look out for in being nice, is to be careful not fall in to becoming a people pleaser or conflict avoider. While it is understandable why one would want to avoid problems or upsetting others, approaching a perceived difficult situation from a place of kindness may help to improve communication/resolution about a difficult topic. Kindness brings compassion and understanding to the situation vs trying to be nice which can be more about propriety and possibly inauthenticity.
It has been very interesting and insightful thinking about becoming more kind— I have had to apologize to my child and explained the reason I was apologizing, which took humility. While being nice to my child would have been okay, it would not have showed me the humility I needed to see myself. So, yes Fall is a very spiritual time of year!
**Information in this blog is not meant to treat or diagnose any health conditions. The information is for motivational, inspirational and education purposes only. Please reach out to a healthcare provider if you need health related attention.