Be Kind - Good for the Soul - But Harder Than it Sounds!

Education & Training with Sell with Soul

A few weeks ago, I came across one of those enlightening Facebook quizzes that promised to "determine my dominant personality trait" based on my responses to a number of questions. Okay, I'll bite.

I took the quiz. Here was my result:

"Your answers reveal that kindness is your most dominant personality trait. You are very sensitive to others and rarely have a bad thing to say about anyone. People are constantly impressed by your thoughtfulness. If someone is having a bad day, you always seem to know how to make it better."


Now, lest you think I am sharing this with you to brag how awesomely well I'm doing on my 2016 New Year's resolution to Be Kind, well... I'm not. As much as I would like to claim that I've been a little ray of sunshine everywhere I go since making my Resolution to Be Kind, I can't, at least, not with a straight face.

The truth is...I'm finding it very hard to Be Kind. Oh, sure, it's easy to Be Kind to people who behave themselves; people who aren't inconsiderate, incompetent or otherwise irritating, but... well... nearly every day I find myself failing miserably when I encounter inconsiderate, incompetent or otherwise irritating humans.

But as they say, the first step in solving a problem is to admit you have one. So, here I am, publicly proclaiming that I'm having a problem Being Kind.

I want to do better. So here is how I'm going to try to Do Better at Being Kind:

  • I shall try to remember that when I choose Kindness, I don't have to fret about seeing the person I was unKind to and feeling weird;

  • I shall try to remember that when I choose Kindness, I don't have to worry about what others who may have observed me being unKind are thinking about me;

  • I shall try to remember that when I choose Kindness, the person I am Kind to might have been expecting an unKind response and be grateful not to have received it;

  • I shall try to remember that when I choose unKindness, I hurt myself as much as the other person, due to the emotional state I put myself in (related to the above three factors!).

Off I go to Be Kind!

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Comments (39)

Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Thank you all for your Kind comments (and to AR for the feature)!

My biggest challenge isn't so much being Kind to people who are unKind to me - it's more not losing my cool when I encounter people who are incompetent or irresponsible. I TRY to remind myself that these people are doing the best they can with their limited resources (oops, that was probably unKind in itself) but it's hard. It just is...


Mar 09, 2016 09:01 PM
Dr. Paula McDonald
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

Lovely post.  I especially like your comment that when we are kind, we have no reason to feel weird around anyone.

Mar 09, 2016 09:02 PM
Dianne Goode
Raleigh Cary Realty - Raleigh, NC

I agree with you -- being kind is harder than it looks!  There's a great little book called The Cow in the Parking Lot that helped me learn the advantages of choosing kindness.

Mar 09, 2016 10:15 PM
Michele Connors

I need to get that , sounds like a fun read

Dont get mad, get calm. 

Mar 10, 2016 11:09 AM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I can't say that I understand how being kind could be hard. I'm gonna evaluate my day and see if I ever think it's hard.

Mar 09, 2016 11:16 PM
Dianne Goode

Tammy Lankford  It's hard because it means recognizing and accepting the other person's perspective instead of your own.   That's not the default  : )

Mar 10, 2016 10:25 PM
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Great post and words of wisdom Jennifer! When we're kind to everyone, no matter what, we actually benefit from it. Kindness we give to others is not earned, can't be earned but it comes naturally. When we think it's not possible, give meditation and deep breathing a try.

Mar 09, 2016 11:55 PM
Mike Frazier
Carousel Realty of Dyer County - Dyersburg, TN
Northwest Tennessee Realtor

Jennifer, I by nature am a calm and kind person but I get taken advantage of alot because of it. I personally do not know where to draw the line.

Mar 09, 2016 11:57 PM
Steven Hollowell
Keller Williams Metropolitan Realty - Houston, TX

It's not always easy, but they say it takes more energy to be angry,  and upset than it does to smile and be kind.

Mar 10, 2016 12:13 AM
Paul McFadden
Responsive Pest Control - Seattle, WA
Pest Control, Seattle, WA.

Good for you. It's tough sometimes. But I would hate to be mean and bitter! Thanks for your post!

Mar 10, 2016 12:39 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

Jennifer, I was writing about this yesterday. We are aligned. I choose kindness ... yet when others are not and they attempt to cause me or my clients harm ... that's a challenge to be kind to them. 

Mar 10, 2016 12:46 AM
Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert
Zion Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Broker/Owner of Zion Realty

In a world that is increasingly more and more unkind it's not even hard to be recognized as kind anymore. Sometimes all you have to do is smile at someone. 

Mar 10, 2016 12:50 AM
Denise Hamlin, Broker/Owner
Cardinal Realty ~ 319-400-0268 - Iowa City, IA
Helping Happy Clients Make Smart Choices

Practice makes perfect Jennifer. There have been a few occasions this year that have required extreme kindness on my end. (It was that or asking them what the heck they were thinking!) After the fact it's a waste of time to tell people where they went wrong. Nobody likes a know-it-all. (And you can't change the past anyway). You might as well smile and get on with things. 

Mar 10, 2016 01:42 AM
Jill Moog
Coast & Country Homes and Estates, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
Carlsbad, CA Homes for Sale

Really great, thought provoking post. Thanks for the reminder to always be kind.

Mar 10, 2016 02:26 AM
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Broker
Elizabeth Anne Weintraub, Broker - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Kindness, for me, means not reacting immediately in the manner I might be so inclined. To try to put myself in the other person's shoes, even if they are ugly, with pointy toes and hurt my instep. I often find myself deleting emails and starting over because my pragmatic nature says being unkind rarely accomplishes my prime directive, much as it might provide immediate satisfaction, being unkind also doesn't produce the best possible end result.

Mar 10, 2016 03:17 AM
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn

Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents YES YES YES!!! That's it exactly! 


And I am being tested today BIG TIME. 

Mar 10, 2016 03:23 AM
John Meussner
Mortgages in AZ, CA, CO, DE, FL, GA, MD, MN, MT, NC, NJ, NV, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WI - Fair Oaks, CA
#MortgageMadeEasy Fair Oaks, CA 484-680-4852

Whew, quite the challenge, especially in an election year ; )

Best of luck, and I will try to follow your lead!

Mar 10, 2016 05:02 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good evening Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn ,

Love this post and so glad to see it featured! I do try and be kind and with some it is difficult but you make a very good point..try harder! Thanks for the reminder!

Mar 10, 2016 08:33 AM
Jeanne Gregory
RE/MAX Southwest - Sugar Land, TX
The most important home I sell is YOURS!

I think I need to remember this in Houston traffic.


Mar 10, 2016 08:47 AM
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

I have found that, all human beings, just want to be loved.  That is it. How can you be anything but kind to them? Don't you want to be loved too?


P.S. YES! I am blissfully naive! I believe in the good of people...

Mar 10, 2016 09:47 AM
Michele Connors
The Overton Group, LLC Pitt & Carteret County - Greenville, NC
Your Eastern North Carolina Realtor

Great reminder... We never know what someone else is going through.. and a smile can really bring joy to someone. I make a conscious effort to speak to the elderly when I can....I know some don't have anyone at home to talk to and get out to try to engage with others. 

Mar 10, 2016 11:08 AM
Brigita McKelvie, Associate Broker
Cindy Stys Equestrian and Country Properties, Ltd. - Lehigh Valley, PA
The Broker with horse sense and no horsing around


The key is to stay focused and continue to be kind and considerate, no matter what.  We don't know what is happening in the other person's life.  Maybe our kindness will lift up their spirits and may make a complete 180 turn simply because someone was kind and thoughtful towards them.  


Mar 10, 2016 09:21 PM
Dennis Swartz
Full Circle Property Management - Columbus, OH
MBA, GRI...experience counts!

As always, great post and thanks for sharing. You and I seem to be on the same thought plane on this.

May 07, 2016 09:34 PM