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Being kind and honest is a challenge

Honest Comic

One of the most difficult things in life is to be kind and honest at the same time.

If possible I tend to be too kind and that doesn’t always help people or me. I am not bragging because I can see that being kind can sometimes be used as a way to avoid an adult conversation that needs to happen. However I have worked with plenty of people who were honest with what they felt/thought and they were jerks, and their intention was not to help me but to just be a jerk.

Honest Comic
honest comic

There must be a way to be both kind and honest and help people get the feedback they need to change. Normally the way I do this is to take responsibility for my feelings/thoughts and then state the behavior that I don’t think helps either of us.

For example, I recently had to tell a friend that when she always looks for problems that only makes her anxious and that doesn’t help her or me. I understand that people are always looking for danger however often danger doesn’t exist or it can be handled. Too often people are concerned about dangers that will never affect them, and not concerned about the very real danger that they have.

For example, I have a friend who thinks of things years from now that may happen but doesn’t want to save money to prepare for surprise expenses that may happen now. She trades a false sense of security that everything is ok now, and that the danger is only in the future. The danger is always present, and we should always have savings to prepare/deal with unknown risks.

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I was guilty of this too in the past. I was afraid that I would be alone because most of my high school peers were married, but it turned out that didn’t happen. The real risk should have been the ideas and beliefs that took me time to make peace with that damaged my happiness and joy in life. We need the help of outsiders like therapists or sincere friends to help us understand.

Am I asking you to be a friend/therapist to others by being kind and sincere? No. I am only asking you to not further harm people by saying things that only benefit yourself, and not truly for their well-being. If what you say to someone else doesn’t elevate and lift them, don’t say it.