Being Nice and being kind occasionally, look the same from the outside, but only in the most trivial of actions. A little look under the hood of “nice” and it is often outright harmful or cruel. The big difference between being nice and being kind is that being nice makes you feel good, but being kind is an act of doing good.
Kindness Does Not Expect Payback
The easiest way to know if you are being nice or being kind is if you are expecting something in return. Do you hold the door open for someone and get upset when they don’t say, “thanks” as they pass? If you get offended when people don’t offer you praise for being “nice” then you can be certain you aren’t being kind.
Kindness means that you do something for the benefit of another, without needing a return or payback.
Being Kind Doesn’t Always Feel Nice
Something like “Dang Tayo, your breath is terrible!” is probably outright mean. However, saying, “Hey Tayo, I want to warn you that your breath is a bit stale today” is genuinely a kind service. It feels scary, you worry you might offend them, but it is most helpful. Sometimes being honest and telling the truth is a perfect form of kindness.
Kindness is Better than “Tough Love”
Kindness doesn’t wear out, in part because it doesn’t require the constant effort of pretending to be nice. Kindness is OK with establishing proper boundaries, and clearly communicating those boundaries. Kindness is OK getting embarrassed by someone else’s behaviour because kindness isn’t worried about image. Being nice is often a way we try to control others and manage the world around us, kindness gives up control and only looks for ways to help.