Nice vs Kind in a personal context

Kindness is rooted in love. Niceness is rooted in fear.
-(MeditationMag.com)

I kind of love psychology. I minored in it in college. And my tiny bit of knowledge from my 18 hours of college courses (adn a couple more in educational psych during my Masters), opened my mind to so many ways of considering people, making my judgements fair and balanced and also leading me to be a pretty good judge of character (IMO). This could also stem from my childhood- growing up in a “sandwich generation” house- my parents and also my grandparents living under one roof. This part of my childhood (ages 12-18) also lead to me seeing 3 family members in hospice care essentially under our roof and those near and dear go through the roller coaster of caring for the terminally ill.

ANYWAY, I think I learned the importance of being kind vs being nice in those two contexts. Also, leading me to the conclusion that being kind is more honest than being nice. When push comes to shove, niceties mean nothing, and honesty and kindness mean the world.

When I think of being nice, I think of doing it to please someone. Nice is graciously turning down a party invitation because you have “plans” when you don’t actually have plans but just don’t want to attend the party. Nice is complimenting someone because they complimented you. Nice is from a place of inadequacy and often, in my experience, leads to over extending oneself in order to please or creating lie after lie to cover your butt.

Kindness is so much BIGGER. Kindness is compassion and empathy. Kindness can be unconditional, it can have boundaries, it can be HONEST. And it can be for YOURSELF. Being kind is confident, rooted, and responsible. When I am kind to someone it is because I want to be, it is a choice I made to take the other person into consideration because I value them.  Further, I try to be kind to myself before I am kind to anyone else. That is where the honesty comes in. You need to be honest with yourself to be kind to yourself. And conversely kind to your friends in order to be honest with them. In theory, your kindness allows people to extend their grace to you during your honest moments.

Have you ever heard of someone saying “I’m being nice to myself”? No. Usually its “I’m being kind to myself…”. Usually in the context increasing or limiting something one does not desire to continue. I’m being kind to by myself by eating more fruits and vegetables, I’m being kind to myself by limiting alcohol, I’m being kind to myself by resting, I’m being kind to myself by ending a bad relationship etc…. I think a lot if being kind to yourself deals with our mental health. And so, may I suggest switching your mindset to being kind in your everyday life instead of being nice.

Have I been nice in the past? Sure! Sometimes I still am. New situations and people bring out the niceness. We aim to please! But you know what, being “nice” isn’t going to get us the relationships we want. Kindness might not either, but I think its a better place to start.

 

 

Recap of 2017

My Intentional Year

At the start of 2017, I felt a tinge towards moving in a new direction. But nothing was making me move, nothing was out of whack, nothing NEEDED to be CHANGED, improved, sure. So that’s where I started- improvement. I chose a word of the year for the first time ever- Intentional was my #woty for 2017. I wanted to be intentional with my time, money, and choices. I wanted to improve my mental health, relationships, and physical health. And I did- I made many improvements throughout the year. But it wasn’t enough!

Here’s what I did in 2017 that was a starting point to lead me to my 2018 changes. Preface each of these with INTENTION/AL

  • Life
    • Keeping a calendar
      • Paper, White board, Digital
    • Social Media
      • Limiting time
  • Eating
    • Healthier
    • Things I enjoy
  • Self Care
    • Reading
    • Spiritual Growth

How things panned out:

  • Life
    • Keeping a calendar
      • Paper, White board, Digital
        • I bought a beautiful Plum Paper planner– I used it diligently until the summer, then I lost interest. Trying it again this year! With amazing erasable markers to make it prettier and more fun.
        • I bought a magnetic weekly dry erase calendar that looks like a chalk board similar to this. I have been using it and mostly keeping it up to date for the entire year.  I utilized erasable chalk markers to make life easier. *
        • I utilized my Android calendar and linked it with my husbands and it is so nice to see both our activities in one place! We will keep this up.
    • Social Media
      • Limiting time
        • I tried the apps, I tried self-control, I failed.
  • Eating
    • Healthier
      • Eating cleaner. I had a hard time self-regulating so I turned to Weight Watchers in March. And for the year, I am down 12 lbs. I think I will keep at it a while longer. But for now, I am enjoying the HOLIDAYS!
    • Things I enjoy
      • I LOVE food. Cooking it and eating it. I like good food, food to savor. I like trying new things. I signed up for a meal service- Plated. I get 1-2 meal boxes delivered per month depending on their menus and our schedule. I also have enjoyed cooking meals for only ME! Intentionally making myself a priority. This WILL keep happening.
  • Self Care
    • Reading
      • I never considered myself an avid reader but I do like to escape into a good book every now and again. I read a few fiction/non-fiction but fun books, a few self-improvement books, a few business books and a few spiritual books this year. Probably totaled less than 12 books but it was nice, quiet, and reflective with no pressure. I hope to keep this going. 
    • Spiritual Growth
      • I had every intention of starting a bible study or a bible reading app or doing a rosary each day. I failed.

 

Overall, I think my year (as it falls under being more INTENTIONAL)  went pretty well. I will give myself a solid C+. Room for improvement but some good work was done.

It set me up for a few big changes coming in 2018 and I will reveal those when the new year gets closer. 🙂

With Love and Honesty-

Honest T signature

 

 

 

*I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.”

Welcome to Honest T and Kindness

A friend of mine texted me the other day that she appreciated my honesty. While I have never really thought of myself as a liar or someone who paints a story of their life so that it appears all sunshine and roses, I never really thought of myself as a purely honest person either. Why? Because I am a typical non-confrontational white woman. I like tact. I like everyone to get along. Also, because being ‘nice’ is sometimes easier than being ‘kind’ (more on that soon) and honest.

So, when my friend said she appreciated my honesty, I thought, ‘WOW, she must see something I don’t.’ And as I texted her back I started to think about how she viewed me in this moment of truth. The specific instance she was speaking to was my honesty about my motherhood journey. I solo parent the majority of the time, being a stay at home mom with a couple side hustles and a husband who travels a whole heck-of-a-lot for work, I don’t have the bandwidth to create a space that would make you think that I am living a charmed life as a mother. I don’t see my job as a stay at home mom with rose colored glasses. This shit is hard. Sure, some days I think I am killing it and feel like superwoman handling all the snuggles, book reading, crafts, healthy meals, and whines with positiveness. But mostly, it is monotonous, and boring, and messy, and it is full of cleaning and tears. I hate cleaning and when my babies cry… so does that mean I hate motherhood? No. But I think I am allowed to be truthful about it.

What was it that I said to my friend that made her compliment my honesty?  I commented to a group about how I would rather NOT help at an upcoming event but be able to enjoy it with my babies. That feeling the tug of obligation to do something that would totally add to my madness and/or children’s unhappiness was not how I was planning on spending my time that day.

But the fact that saying that to a group of fellow mothers was worth complimenting my honesty made me realize, that most of us aren’t being honest the majority of the time. And perhaps, when we are, sometimes, we are not being kind- to others but more importantly to our self. Why can’t we openly sharing about our journeys without feeling shame or guilt? My friend felt like she was hiding parts of her journey, that it was hard to share about the drudgery of the day to day, or even say one word differently than what it would look like to be the mother she “should” be.

AND you know what? I GET IT. How many of you feel that way? Sometimes I feel that way (mostly from the pressures of those around me). I see social media (believe me, that is one of my huge faults- addiction to the social medias). All those pretty moms with their blow dried hair, and their size 2 jeans, and their baby in a freaking pram- in Texas! This isn’t bloody England, you are NOT Kate (more on my love for the princess in another post)! That mom on Instagram is NOT being real, sure she is branding herself like a boss (her brand-beautiful, skinny, put together, stress free and stylish mom) but she is also lying to us. She never shares her hardships, she never shows us her makeup free face or her baby crying or her secret chocolate stash. And you know what that creates for others who think that is what a mother “should” be like? Shame, guilt, isolation.

Let’s just be real with each other and not just real in our Instastories, because they will disappear in 24 hours. Let’s be honest in every way (or like 99.9% of the time) . In our answers to each other, on our social media, in front of each other’s faces (gasp!). No, not mean, just real. Speak your truth, be vulnerable- this is the way to build your community, your real-deal-love-the-REAL-YOU-tribe.

So that is what this space is for- BEING REAL. Which means, most of this will be off the cuff, unedited, and true to the mom life that I live. Let’s do this- let’s share the brutally beautiful realness of honesty and kindness.