As children parents teach us to be nice but make little mention of being kind. Children hear they should play nice, to be nice to elders, and other similar messages. Children hear about kindnesses less often. Both niceness and kindness are important. Failure to stress the kind words and deeds leaves a gap in children’s upbringing.
Nice Indicates Care For Others
Merriam-Webster defines “nice” as pleasing, agreeable. Telling a child to play nice teaches sharing and relating.
A nice person has a positive, generally pleasing, effect on others. Nice also invites others to expect the nice person to agree to ideas, situations.
A person who chooses nice focuses on pleasing others. There is little emphasis on what that person wants and more on what others want. They share and go along. While important, it can lead to giving too much of self and result in resentment.
Kind Indicates Care For Both Others And Self
They define “kind” as a sympathetic or helpful nature, gentle, or arising from or characterized by sympathy or forbearance. A kind neighbor may provide a helping hand or otherwise assist.
A kind person also has a positive, generally pleasing effect on others. People have less of an expectation that a person showing kindness will agree. It has power. While the kind person may disagree more, they continue to respect and care for others.
Kindness focuses on pleasing both others and self. They consider what others want and at the same time look after what they want or need. This might lead to some disagreement, but their continued care for others maintains the pleasing aspect while they disagree. Resentment is minimal. Self care matters.
Choose To Be Kind
While the difference between the two (nice and kind) might appear slim, the edge goes to kindness. Strive for demonstrating kindness. Respecting yourself along with others maintains your health and your enjoyment of life. Everyone has the right and obligation to take care of self. Failure to do so leads to resentment, bitterness, depression and any number of other negative consequences. Treat yourself with the same care and respect you use with others.