When I was young, my idol was Elle Woods from Legally Blonde. She was beautiful, smart, positive, and most of all kind. I admired her ability to be loving and joyful in all situations. Being positive felt natural for the most part. I carried a journal with me for an entire year called, “The List of Things I Love.” I still have it too, besides for the page dedicated to a high school boyfriend… oh geeze.
Kindness was my ultimate goal. Since childhood I've made gratitude lists. I wrote people kind cards and encouraging letters weekly. I won an award for being the most positive person in high school. SUCCESS!! I was acting like the person I genuinely wanted to be. But it wasn’t the whole truth.
My kindness was a way for me to uplift people, but it was also a mask I hid behind. More than wanting to BE kind, I wanted to be SEEN as kind. I wanted to please people. I wanted them to like me. In my desperation to be liked, I hid my real feelings. I sucked up and flattered everyone. It’s funny how disingenuous I was, considering positivity is a natural strength of mine. The pure heart of positivity I had naturally was tainted by my inability to be real with myself.
Learning to be okay with my frustrations, to experience my anger, to stop letting people off the hook- it was hard. I had to learn what forgiveness really meant, and what kindness really meant. I had to learn how to be genuine, and to admit that I could never be perfect. (Darn.)
Now I realize that, more than kindness, genuineness is the true virtue.
Here are 4 ways to make the switch from kindness to genuineness today:
Stop flattering everyone and give more compliments. Speak up for the good you see, as long as you’re sincere. Make your words have weight. Many believe that when God spoke, the universe was created. I want to have weight in the things I say. Let them be sincere.
Stop saying, “It’s okay!” when it’s so clearly not. Tell people the truth.
Say no when you want to say no. Your yes will hold more weight this way. You will be more respected. You will be genuinely agreeing in spirit and in action, and it will feel a whole lot better than a half-hearted yes.
Everyone is not meant to like you. Some people just don’t click. Don’t dwell on it, just go and find your people. (They exist, I promise!!)
Check your motive. Ask yourself why you are doing something. Are you longing to be seen? Are you needing affirmation? Are you seeking approval? Is this action coming from love or fear?
Genuine kindness is a virtue. It’s kindness willing to go unseen. It’s from the place of love, not fear. If your kindness is a mask, you will feel fake, fearful, and isolated. The real you is better. (Even if she pisses a few people off and says no.)
Have an amazing week! Thanks for sharing a part of yours with me. If you enjoyed this article, please share with your friends and tag me so I can see! I love it when I get to connect with you on social media. xx, Madison.