12 signs you’re a kinder person than you give yourself credit for

by Brendan Brown | January 26, 2024, 4:07 pm

Too often, we can be our own harshest critics, undermining the gentle kindness that forms the fabric of our character. 

We tend to overlook the small acts of compassion, dismissing them as insignificant. Yet, they’re anything but. 

So, for those of you who habitually underestimate your goodness, this one’s for you. 

Here are 12 signs you’re a kinder person than you give yourself credit for.

1) You’re empathetic

You don’t just sympathize with others, you empathize with them. You put yourself in their shoes and try to understand their feelings and perspectives. 

This isn’t just about feeling sorry for someone; it’s about truly understanding their experiences and emotions. 

This is a telltale sign of a kind person.

2) You listen more than you speak

In a world where everyone wants to be heard, you choose to listen

You understand the power of being present and making someone feel heard. 

You don’t interrupt or try to insert your own experiences into their narrative. 

You’re the kind of person who knows when to speak and when to simply nod and offer a comforting smile.

3) You practice gratitude

You’re thankful for the little things in life. Gratitude is a powerful expression of kindness, and you understand that. 

Even in tough times, you try to find something to be grateful for. 

This isn’t about being overly optimistic or ignoring your feelings—it’s about recognizing the good that exists amidst the chaos. And trust us, that’s not a small thing.

4) You’re kind to yourself

One of the surest signs of a kind person is how they treat themselves. 

You understand that self-care isn’t selfish, but rather a necessary part of maintaining a healthy mental and emotional state. 

Whether it’s taking a day off to relax, pursuing a hobby you love, or just saying kind things to yourself in the mirror, you prioritize taking care of your own well-being

This inner kindness radiates outward, touching everyone you come into contact with.

5) You feel genuinely happy for others

In a society that often breeds competition and envy, feeling truly happy for someone else’s success is a sign of a big heart

You celebrate others’ achievements, not because you feel obligated, but because their joy brings you joy. 

Whether it’s a friend landing their dream job, a family member buying a new house, or a stranger on the internet accomplishing a personal goal, you rejoice in their happiness. 

This empathetic joy, or ‘mudita’ as the Buddhists call it, is a rare trait that speaks volumes about your kind nature.

6) You go out of your way to help

Some people help when it’s convenient, but you, my friend, go out of your way to lend a hand. 

Whether it’s helping a colleague meet a deadline, carrying groceries for an elderly neighbor, or volunteering in your local community, you go the extra mile. 

It’s not about recognition or praise; it’s simply because you can’t help but respond to someone in need.

It’s this kind of selfless action that truly embodies kindness and compassion.

7) You’re patient with people

In a world that moves at lightning speed, patience can seem like a forgotten virtue. But you, ever the symbol of kindness, have this trait in spades. 

You understand that everyone is on their own journey, with their own pace, and you respect that. 

You don’t rush people or make them feel like they’re dragging you down. Instead, you give them the time and space they need. 

Your patience often brings a sense of calm to those around you, making them feel valued and heard.

8) You forgive and let go

Holding onto grudges is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. You understand this all too well. 

Therefore, you practice forgiveness, not just for the sake of others, but for your own peace of mind. 

It doesn’t mean you forget or allow yourself to be mistreated, but you don’t let anger or resentment consume you. 

This is a quiet but powerful sign of kindness and maturity.

9) You’re respectful of differences

In the face of diversity, you don’t judge or discriminate

You respect and value differences in opinion, lifestyle, and culture. 

You’re not quick to label or stereotype people, but instead, you take the time to understand their unique perspectives and experiences. 

This doesn’t mean you agree with everything everyone says or does, but you maintain a level of respect and openness. 

10) You avoid gossip

It’s easy to fall into the trap of gossiping, especially in a social setting. 

But you tend to steer clear of it. Instead of engaging in spreading rumors or engaging in idle talk about others, you choose to focus on the positive or change the subject entirely. 

This habit of yours doesn’t go unnoticed. 

People around you respect your discretion, and it fosters a sense of trust and camaraderie.

11) You stand up for others

Injustice or unkindness towards others, no matter how small, doesn’t sit well with you. 

You’re the type to stand up and say something when you see someone being mistreated, even if it’s not the popular choice. 

Your courage to support others, especially when they can’t do it for themselves, marks you as a protector, a beacon of kindness in a sometimes harsh world.

12) You practice random acts of kindness

Last, but definitely not least, you’re a believer in random acts of kindness. 

You understand that small gestures can make a big impact on someone’s day. 

Whether it’s leaving a generous tip, paying for a stranger’s coffee, or even just leaving a sweet note for a coworker, you love to spread joy. 

This is a sign of a truly kind person, as it shows you’re thinking of others and doing what you can to brighten their day. 

These random acts of kindness are like tiny sparks, igniting a chain reaction of positivity in the world around you.

Why we don’t see ourselves as kind

Understanding and addressing these reasons can help us to more fully embrace and celebrate our own kindness, without any disclaimers or doubts.

We’re our own worst critics

Many of us have a tendency to downplay our positive qualities, including kindness. 

We’re quick to point out our own flaws and slow to give ourselves credit for the good we do. 

This could be due to a host of reasons like past failures, societal pressure, or even imposter syndrome

It’s important to remember that everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses, and kindness is a quality that shines in its own unique way.

We often compare ourselves to others

In our increasingly connected world, it’s easy to fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to others. 

We see the good deeds of others plastered all over social media and think, “I’m not that kind.” 

But kindness isn’t a competition, and it can’t be quantified. What matters is the sincerity behind our actions, not how they stack up against others.

We view kindness as an obligation

Sometimes we’re kind because we feel we have to be – it’s a social obligation, a norm, a way to be accepted. 

This sense of obligation can sometimes make our kind acts feel less genuine to us

But kindness doesn’t lose its value because it’s expected. 

Even if you’re just being polite because that’s how you were raised, it still contributes positively to the world around you.

We dismiss small acts as insignificant

A lot of us discount our small acts of kindness, thinking they’re too trivial to make a difference. 

We think real kindness is grand gestures and heroic acts. 

Every act of kindness, no matter how small, has an impact. As Aesop once said, “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”

We fear being seen as weak or naive

Unfortunately, in some circles, kindness is misconstrued as a sign of weakness or naivety. 

So, we downplay our own kindness to avoid being taken advantage of or seen as pushovers

But in reality, it takes immense strength to be kind, especially in the face of adversity.

We’re uncomfortable with praise

For some, accepting praise or compliments is uncomfortable, especially when it comes to personal qualities like kindness. 

We might brush it off or redirect the conversation. 

This discomfort can sometimes stem from a deep-seated belief that we’re not deserving of praise. 

Remember: Accepting a compliment graciously is a kindness in itself.

Final words

You’re a kinder person than you give yourself credit for, and it’s high time you start to see that. 

Kindness isn’t just about grand gestures; it’s found in everyday actions and small moments of compassion. 

So, don’t belittle your acts of kindness or compare them with others. You’re on your own unique journey. 

Embrace your inherent kindness, let it shine brightly, and watch as it touches the lives of those around you. 

After all, kindness has a ripple effect, and your one small act can create waves of positive change. Be proud of your kindness – it’s an incredible gift to the world.

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