Something people seem to compliment you the most on.
A few people have mentioned that I am kind hearted. Some also say I am soft in the head! I tend to agree with the latter more readily than the former.
I do make an effort to be kind wherever possible. I don't like to see people struggling, I would rather stand alongside and help out where I can. I think this is an instinctive response though, so I don't entirely accept that it is something to be complimented on. I am not very comfortable with compliments on the whole.
To me being kind is not about saying nice things although that is part of it. It's about being more aware of the people around me, noticing them and thinking about how they seem generally. It's all too easy to ask people how they're doing and then not listen and look properly when they're answering. People will often say that they're fine verbally but give non-verbal clues indicating otherwise.
Sometimes I'm tempted to offer help when I think I see a need, but where it hasn't been requested. I guess in this instance being kind also entails letting people figure stuff out for themselves even when I see or think that they're going about it all in a very cock-eyed manner. Respecting others involves letting them make their own mistakes but being there to help pick up the pieces if need be. No-one likes a know-it-all.
Sometimes I find it hard to find ways to soften the truth with kindness ... this is especially the case when friends ask for my opinion. I've always thought that part of being a true friend is to treat them lovingly but also like the adults that they are. So I give my honest opinion even when I know it might not be what they are hoping to hear.
I still debate with myself internally whenever I find myself stuck between trying to be kind and telling the truth. I pretty much always opt for the truth except when it comes to people's physical / personal appearance or outfit, even if I don't like it. I figure that my opinion in this area is of no real consequence anyway, so I go with confidence building responses. If I can think of something that doesn't sound too over the top so much the better. Too much emphasis is put on appearance in my view ... why should it matter so? And so that's how I justify it to myself!
sketchbook drawing as prep art for an oil painting
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