"Don't mistake my kindness for weakness."

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default "Don't mistake my kindness for weakness."

Post by melodiccolor on Sat Mar 07, 2009 9:58 pm

"Don't mistake my kindness for weakness."

Someone posted this on another forum some months ago and it's remained with me all this time. I thought it might make an interesting discussion.

Do you see showing kindness, compassion or respect for someone as being weak and leaving that person vunerable somehow? If so, why? If not, why?

Personally, I do not see kindness or compassion in any way weak. It takes stregnth to be caring when all around society tells us it's everyone for themselves and only the most self reliant and strongest will thrive.

I do think it is weakness however when people are kind or compassionate because they think it is expected of them and they do not want to be, or if they make themselves a doormat to be used in the process.

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default Re: "Don't mistake my kindness for weakness."

Post by SimplyNan on Sat Mar 07, 2009 11:14 pm

For me, kindness does not imply weakness. I believe that when you extend kindness/compassion to another that it comes from your inner source of strength/power. In a world where most often this is ignored or overlooked, it does indeed take this inner strength to do otherwise. It is also very powerful in that it can change or shift perception(s) of others involved. I definitely do not see weakness as a part of this equation.
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Post by Bluedream on Sun Mar 08, 2009 12:02 am

I see kindness to others as really our natural state...what we are mostly here for...at least for sensitives.
Now perhaps that thought/feeling has been lost in the shuffle so much that it actually has been perceived or has evolved differently through time. Perhaps by the warrior/conqueror types who think that these acts will be judged by potential adversaries as "letting your guard down". This thought having caused simple acts of kindness to be viewed as weakness.
Perhaps this is why it seems to cause such a great strength to "give" to others....by how we've made the simplicity of compassion seem like not such an easy act in these days and times. Our basic mistrust of one another that we have learned through time unconsciously overiding our simpler feelings....
Just a thought....
d.
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Post by Luna on Sun Mar 08, 2009 1:43 am

You know how many times I have been told "You are too nice" and the people saying it really seem to feel it's a negative thing and a sign of weakness. Since when did being kind and caring about others become something negative?? I hate the fact that because I'm nice and care about others people equate that with I have no back bone. If you aren't bitchy and rude you're not a strong person? I agree with what others have said here.. imho it takes a lot more strength and courage to care about people and get out of your bubble and go out on the limb to show you care.
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Post by SimplyNan on Sun Mar 08, 2009 2:27 pm

Hmm, interesting point, Dan, is kindness our natural state? There are many angles to this and honestly I don't know if I agree or not. Maybe I'll start another thread on this because I think it would be very interesting to discuss it and get other's ideas.
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Post by Nucky on Sun Mar 08, 2009 7:31 pm

Kindness is indeed a great strength. It conflicts with our natural instinct towards competitiveness and aggression as I mentioned in the thread started by Nan, but once one gets in the habit of being kind, it feels much better in the end.

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Post by jaded on Wed Jun 24, 2009 9:50 am

Oh I think most people mistake kindness for weakness. My family looks at me as being weak. They mistake it for lack of a backbone because I prefer to find good in people society has cast off. I am unsure as to how I view it in myself. I am so used to thinking everything about me is flawed. I think the key to not being weakened by your kind heart is knowing when to stop extending it to those who are parasitic. Does that make sense?
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Post by melodiccolor on Wed Jun 24, 2009 5:03 pm

Perfect sense. I think that is what the saying is referring to: being kind and giving while avoiding being taken advantage of for being so.

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Post by jaded on Thu Jun 25, 2009 8:25 am

melodiccolor wrote:Perfect sense. I think that is what the saying is referring to: being kind and giving while avoiding being taken advantage of for being so.

Old habits die hard. But I am working on it.
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Post by Harmony on Tue Jun 30, 2009 11:52 am

seashell wrote:Oh I think most people mistake kindness for weakness. My family looks at me as being weak. They mistake it for lack of a backbone because I prefer to find good in people society has cast off. I am unsure as to how I view it in myself. I am so used to thinking everything about me is flawed. I think the key to not being weakened by your kind heart is knowing when to stop extending it to those who are parasitic. Does that make sense?

I can relate to this. My mom views me the same way. She thinks that I'm a pushover. She doesn't realize that I can be forceful, and still remain kind. My ex completely missed this factor too. For example... We had purchased a couch...when we got the call that it was in we went to pick it up... When we got to the warehouse and they said "This is it!" We gave it a cockeyed look and said... "Is it in two pieces?" Their response, "No, it's the love seat you ordered." My face sunk, we had already gotten rid of our other couch. "Hmm, we ordered a couch..." They called the store (which was within walking distance) and we went back to the store to get it straightened out. My ex was fuming the whole way screaming this and that, and I just looked at him and said "You just keep your mouth shut and I'll handle this, your attitude will only make this worse." Stunned, he looked at me in disbelief. The sales person approached, I smiled at him and before I could open my mouth he explained it was his error. I just said I understood, retail can be hectic. He proceeded to tell me that he'd put a rush order on the couch, charge us for the love seat price and gave us free delivery. So, what had the potential to take 30 minutes because my ex wanted to scream and yell, took 5 minutes, because I handled the situation calmly.

I've always remained calm in everything I've encountered. From what I have noticed, I rarely don't resolve the problem in a positive manner... And if it is a particularly nasty person I'm dealing with, as I remain calm through it all they tend to get flustered and trip over their own anger and aggravation. Remaining calm and keeping kindness in the game has always played out quite nicely for me. Some people don't understand, and until they open up their eyes and give it a try themselves, they never will. cat
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default Re: "Don't mistake my kindness for weakness."

Post by jaded on Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:18 pm

Some days I wish more than anything I was cold hearted. Today being one.
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default Re: "Don't mistake my kindness for weakness."

Post by melodiccolor on Tue Jun 30, 2009 5:05 pm

Harmony wrote:
seashell wrote:Oh I think most people mistake kindness for weakness. My family looks at me as being weak. They mistake it for lack of a backbone because I prefer to find good in people society has cast off. I am unsure as to how I view it in myself. I am so used to thinking everything about me is flawed. I think the key to not being weakened by your kind heart is knowing when to stop extending it to those who are parasitic. Does that make sense?

I can relate to this. My mom views me the same way. She thinks that I'm a pushover. She doesn't realize that I can be forceful, and still remain kind. My ex completely missed this factor too. For example... We had purchased a couch...when we got the call that it was in we went to pick it up... When we got to the warehouse and they said "This is it!" We gave it a cockeyed look and said... "Is it in two pieces?" Their response, "No, it's the love seat you ordered." My face sunk, we had already gotten rid of our other couch. "Hmm, we ordered a couch..." They called the store (which was within walking distance) and we went back to the store to get it straightened out. My ex was fuming the whole way screaming this and that, and I just looked at him and said "You just keep your mouth shut and I'll handle this, your attitude will only make this worse." Stunned, he looked at me in disbelief. The sales person approached, I smiled at him and before I could open my mouth he explained it was his error. I just said I understood, retail can be hectic. He proceeded to tell me that he'd put a rush order on the couch, charge us for the love seat price and gave us free delivery. So, what had the potential to take 30 minutes because my ex wanted to scream and yell, took 5 minutes, because I handled the situation calmly.

I've always remained calm in everything I've encountered. From what I have noticed, I rarely don't resolve the problem in a positive manner... And if it is a particularly nasty person I'm dealing with, as I remain calm through it all they tend to get flustered and trip over their own anger and aggravation. Remaining calm and keeping kindness in the game has always played out quite nicely for me. Some people don't understand, and until they open up their eyes and give it a try themselves, they never will. cat

Politeness and patience always gets more accomplished than temper tantrums and bullying. It is amazing how many people don't get that.

Shell, you have my sympathies; I just read your thread on this. I hope my suggestions help.

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default Re: "Don't mistake my kindness for weakness."

Post by jaded on Wed Jul 15, 2009 1:22 pm

Mel, you have helped me loads through the past couple of years. I may not always show it, but I am learning.
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default Re: "Don't mistake my kindness for weakness."

Post by melodiccolor on Fri Apr 16, 2010 4:35 pm

Given what so many of you have been posting about; learning not to be used, taken advantage of; I thought it might be time to revive this thread.

An excellent point has been made; you have to respect yourself, be kind to yourself as you are to others in order to learn how not to be used or taken advantage of. Your needs are just as important as theirs and it is vital you give that kindness to yourself as well.

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Post by jaded on Fri Apr 16, 2010 7:15 pm

Mel. I am considering taking the kids & running. That makes me a coward. But I don't know what else to do.
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Post by Nucky on Fri Apr 16, 2010 7:32 pm

No, Jaded, it makes you a coward to STAY. Your husband is a monster. Right now, he is holding the reins of your life. Grab them away from him! Run away, fast.

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Post by SimplyNan on Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:27 pm

Oh, Shell, to stay is being a coward, to leave with your kids, that takes a huge amount of courage so cowardness most definitely does not play a part in it. Leave, dance in the rain, be free, be you.
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Post by melodiccolor on Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:35 pm

What Nan said. Go, take the kids and start a bright shiny new life for yourselves.

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Post by Luna on Fri Apr 16, 2010 10:29 pm

I hope you can find a way to get away from all this shell. Sending you positive thoughts and prayers. And you are very courageous!
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Post by Alethia on Sat Apr 17, 2010 4:11 am

It is in these times we feel caught between what we need to do and what we want to do........our heart is our best guide for both ourselves and our children......I hope you follow your heart.
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Post by jaded on Fri May 07, 2010 3:58 pm

Alethia wrote:It is in these times we feel caught between what we need to do and what we want to do........our heart is our best guide for both ourselves and our children......I hope you follow your heart.


I hate him in my soul, love him in my heart. I am caught in a contradiction witin myself.
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default Re: "Don't mistake my kindness for weakness."

Post by melodiccolor on Sat Jul 21, 2012 4:48 pm

I'm reviving this old thread for those of you learning your boundaries and to stand in your own strength. Enjoy.

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Post by anarkandi on Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:02 am

Was having a discussion about this recently. I just wanted to add that I get a bit pissed when people see my kindness as me being weak, I've always thought of others the same way - oh, you're lying to the person you love, you don't tell the person how you feel, oh, you're trying to protect yourself from him/her, oh and you've been together for 2 years and you hate each others and you can't let go of each others? I feel bad for you.

Actually, I feel that you're weak and scared to be vulnerable. But don't feel bad, most people seem to be.
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Post by Adanwen on Sat Jul 28, 2012 1:13 pm

This quote immediately came to mind:
It is the weak who are cruel. Gentleness can only be expected from the strong. - Leo Rosten
And that's how I see it.
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Post by unicorn13 on Sat Jul 28, 2012 2:21 pm

anarkandi wrote:I just wanted to add that I get a bit pissed when people see my kindness as me being weak, I've always thought of others the same way - oh, you're lying to the person you love, you don't tell the person how you feel, oh, you're trying to protect yourself from him/her, oh and you've been together for 2 years and you hate each others and you can't let go of each others? I feel bad for you.

Actually, I feel that you're weak and scared to be vulnerable. But don't feel bad, most people seem to be.

Brilliant, just brilliant and hilarious. I can imagine a comedian saying this - it's soooo true!
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Post by Merrily on Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:14 am

Harmony...I tend to deal with matters in the same manner that you do. My husband is like your ex-husband in that he has a short fuse.

As I've gotten older, I've developed a sense of humor that has served me well in life and in our marriage. When I was taking a computer course at the senior center (yikes...how did I become THIS age already?), an instructor tapped my hand when I was further ahead of the class. My neighbor had had a similar experience there years ago and was still angry when she brought it. How I addressed the situation was this way, I said "That's pretty good...I come here and get beat up". Not only did the class laugh, the instructor did as well and he never did it again in my presence. No one felt uncomfortable and I never experienced anger because I resolved it in a different way other than letting it get to me.
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