Personal Development
Be nice without being fooled

Be nice without being fooled

Psychology, especially positive psychology, has taught us the powers of kindness.

“A nice person is generally in better physical and mental health and has a greater life expectancy”, recalls the researcher in social psychology Christophe Haag in his latest book, “Cause your luck!”, citing several scientific studies.

We experience it by giving a gift, by cheering up a friend, by making a donation to an association. The well-being felt at that moment is inscribed in the body.

Sensation of heat, impression of dilation at the level of the solar plexus, feeling of euphoria. Our emotions become positively colored, our stress levels drop and our thoughts become more optimistic. What is stopping us then, especially in these times of uncertainty and turbulence, from giving ourselves permission to be kind, more often and without ulterior motives? Fears and beliefs that we must deconstruct to free ourselves from them.

Go back to the roots of your mistrust

In our culture based on competition and individualism, the fear of being overtaken, cheated, robbed is present in the schoolyard, and even long before. It takes root in the very first interactions. The attachment can be secure or insecure. The first promotes more open, more fluid, less anxious relationships than the second. Likewise, it promotes more spontaneous acts of kindness, because distrust is less, and less interested, because the need to be recognized or the fear of being mistreated are not driving.

Identify the two types of kindness

Negative experiences, on the other hand, produce the opposite effect and place us in a vicious circle. Hence the importance of becoming aware of what is at stake in our acts of kindness.

In particular by starting by asking these three questions: with whom and why are we generous at a loss? Where does our first feeling of emotional disappointment or betrayal come from? What are we looking for in kindness? The fear of being too nice is probably the most shared fear.

Psychologist Juliette Marty notes that English Researchers distinguish two forms of kindness: kindness, which emerges from a person who is compassionate towards others, confident towards themselves. And niceness, which is rooted in the need for approval or validation.

Kindness-type kindness is based on a confidence and self-respect strong enough to relish the free gift. Give to give. And not to be recognized, valued or gratified in return.

Practice cognitive kindness

The goal is to avoid cognitive overload. The recommendations: express your intention clearly rather than assuming that the other has understood you and will (re)act accordingly; in an interaction, show your interest even if it means exaggerating (verbally and by facial expressions) in such a way as to leave no doubt open; express as clearly as possible your feelings, your state of mind but also your ideas. The key: a clearer mind, more fluid and peaceful relationships and less anxiety. And a fairer and better appreciated kindness.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.