Has anyone said to you “you need to stop being too kind to everyone”?
The other day I was just talking to a friend who believes that people don’t get to have a second chance because she fears that people would walk all over her if she were to give the benefit of a doubt too easily.
I, on the other hand, disagreed.
I kept my arguments to myself because to me, it’s important for me to process what she had said than having to shove my own opinions down her throat too quickly.
To be fair, she had her own reasons to believe that way. She told me stories that I never thought would ever had happened to someone like her and the more I listened, the more I started to rationalise why she had said what she said.
The truth is, I’ve had this phase too.
I used to plant my thoughts and heart with the idea that not everyone deserves your kindness. It is the idea that most people that you’d encounter with has the capacity to use you when they want to for their own personal gain.
This was when I was just going through an extremely difficult time in my life that made me build a huge wall as I was still internally in pain. I wasn’t ready to open up yet.
Then it comes back to the concept that you are who you surround yourselves with. Being positive at all times is not easy when you’ve been surrounded with negative people for your whole life. It’s only reasonable when people build a wall so high that only a few people are able to enter.
After a moment of contemplation, it all started to make sense. She was still hurting. She hadn’t completely healed from her past. It only made sense why we were not on the same page. Alhamdulillah, I am healing and have been for a while but her wounds are still there.
But then it comes down to this mindset.
A lot of the times, we confuse kindness with naivety. Being kind to other people doesn’t dismiss your innate defense mechanism, especially someone messes with your values. It simply is putting your best self forward in order to serve other people for a cause greater than yourself. So, if you ask me, if there is such a thing as being too kind, I’d say “no”.
If there was a textbook example of kindness, it would be Rasulullah (PBUH). His kindness is so pure that people fell in love with Islam because of his kindness. Sometimes, his kindness isn’t logical but I guess that’s what happens when you internalise the true meaning of being an abd’—the slave to Ar-Rahman (the Most Gracious). Yet, he knows when to fight and stand up.
Kindness is so subjective and intangible. We have our own boundaries. I have my own too.
You don’t have to open your doors to everyone as that would be foolish to think that everyone has the right intention. But sometimes, we’re so afraid to be vulnerable that we’d end up missing out people who has the right intention to help us and empower us.
So, in my book, kindness comes with courage, wisdom and sound intention. You have a choice.
You have a choice to speak up, be direct and explain why you are feeling what you’re feeling. You have the choice to say “no”. You have the choice to walk away from a toxic relationship which is by the way, being kind to yourself.
Of course, it’s not easy to put yourself out there with your raw emotions and let your guard down. To show your vulnerability is difficult because it means you could be showing your darkest and most broken side to people whom you barely know.
The first step to opening is the most difficult one but it becomes a lot easier when you’re a lot more aware of who you are as a person. Kindness then, becomes a lot easier because you know when to stop. You just need to be aware of yourselves. You just need to find your own capacity on how much you’re willing to take.
Despite my internal struggle to accept her reasoning at that time, I couldn’t have had it any other way as she ended our conversation “Thank you for today”. It was a lot powerful to me to receive than having to argue why I thought I was right.
If there is anything I can take away from what I’ve experienced so far is this: surround yourself with kind people by first being kind. This is when you’ve completely healed from your wounds—whatever it may be.
The more you meet people, the more you’re able to sense who’s genuine and who’s not. The latter people are not ones who we’d need to judge but guide. But if they refuse to, then you are in your own power to either stay or move on.
In the end of the day, if you were to die tomorrow and people remember you as one of the kindest people they’ve ever met… in my book, it’s well worth it. At least we’ve got at least one good thing that we’d leave this world with.