I have come to realise that while it is my definite preference to be kind and considerate to others, if it compromises my kindness and consideration towards myself – no deal. How about you? It strikes me as quite funny that when people are not treating you kindly because they are being self centred, they think they’re looking after their own best interests.
What they seem to fail to factor in is that the person on the receiving end of the unkindness may respond by withholding gestures or benefits or assistance or opportunities that would have enhanced their world – sometimes BIG time. Usually they actually have no idea how much they have lost out.
Just one example: I intended to offer something to someone that represented a benefit to them of several thousand dollars. Their continual unkindness to me caused me to change my mind. If they had any idea how much they had lost out as a result, they would be totally shocked.
My take on it is that being kind and considerate is ultimately an act of self interest regardless of the intent behind it, and the other person gets to experience kindness instead of unkindness, so it makes much more sense all around.
One little caveat though – when someone is unkind to me and the unkindness persists, I have come to realise that if I continue to be kind I become a door mat.
Some say continue to be kind irrespective of others, if that’s your nature. I’ve tried that. It’s been fabulous in certain scenarios.
Some say ‘match the energy’ of what is being delivered to you. I’ve tried that. It’s been fabulous in certain scenarios.
By withdrawing kindness or not offering kindness, that’s not to say I must then be unkind. There is a neutral place I can be in that is neither kind or unkind – that isn’t laced with emotional, reactive stuff. In philosophical speak, this is a place of ‘observer’. It’s a potent place to be.
This quote (pictured) nails it. Givers need to put boundaries in place because takers never do. I’ve come to see that this is a healthy thing to do when an unkind person keeps taking. If I don’t have my own back and put boundaries in place, it becomes a lack of self love, a lack of self respect. Sacrificing kindness and consideration towards myself is an unloving choice that I don’t choose any more. If I don’t have my own back, I can’t expect others to.
I have finally come to realise that while it is auto-pilot as part of my nature to be kind and considerate to others, it’s BS to judge myself as not being kind when choosing not to extend kindness where it is unappreciated or taken advantage of. It’s be kind to me day! …every day.