Are you looking to surround yourself with kind people? Perhaps you want to be sure that the people around you are genuinely kind, and not just pretending to be.
Everyone wants to surround themselves with kind people, and with good reason. But perhaps a more important concern than this is learning how to be kind. You might want to know if you are a genuinely kind-hearted person, or perhaps you’d like to better understand how to be one.
To get a clearer picture of this, here are 6 traits of genuinely kind-hearted people.
1. They treat others with respect.
A kind person respects other people and their needs. This can be acted on in simple ways, such as helping family out at home, keeping shared space clean, or giving credit where it is due. This also means that they are not only courteous, but fair—they believe all people should be treated equally (Cherry, 2021; Miller, 2021; Riggio, 2016).
Moreover, a genuinely kind person does these without an ulterior motive. This will generally be the case if they treat others with respect consistently: at all times, and with people from all walks of life. Their respect is not limited to people in positions of power. It extends to strangers, the average working man, and people without powerful positions, jobs, or even homes. In other words, they treat others with dignity and respect regardless of whether that person can give them something in return (Your Self Love Matters, 2021).
2. They are helpful.
Kind-hearted people extend their help to others, and are there for them in their time of need. It is common for kind-hearted people to be altruistic and charitable, but kindness can also exist in other forms. Acts of helpfulness and kindness can be as grand as saving lives, or as simple as doing little good deeds, taking care of loved ones, and making others happy.
Similar to how they treat all people with respect, sincerely good people help others even when they have nothing to gain from it. They do so out of genuine concern for them, and not just to solicit favors in return, gain a good reputation, or generally appear politically correct and socially acceptable (Cherry, 2021; Kim, 2016; Miller, 2021; Riggio, 2016; Your Self Love Matters, 2021).
3. They are happy to be kind.
Genuinely kind-hearted people don’t just feel obligated to help others—they are happy to do so, and thrive off of it (Your Self Love Matters, 2021). A person who agrees to help others just to serve another purpose for themselves might only do so reluctantly or begrudgingly. Otherwise, their cheerfulness about it may appear forced or temporary.
Furthermore, studies have shown that frequently performing acts of kindness boosts happiness and decreases stress (Miller, 2021). You may notice that sincerely kind people seem generally happier—perhaps even lighter, and more fulfilled.
4. They are empathetic and understanding.
Kind-hearted people are empathetic. They constantly try to understand how others feel and where they’re coming from. They are usually great listeners, willing to lend an ear when others are troubled and need someone to talk to. They are not judgemental, and will hear a person out first and try to see their point of view before forming an opinion. They will also take other people’s feelings into consideration when choosing their words and actions (Cherry, 2021; Miller, 2021; Your Self Love Matters, 2021).
These qualities also mean that they develop genuine concern and compassion for others, relating to how they tend to help people and treat everyone with respect.
5. They don’t tear others down.
Kind people do not take joy in tearing others down with criticism, and tend to steer away from criticising in general if it won’t be constructive or helpful for anyone.They do not thrive off of gossip, neither spreading lies nor partaking in malicious rumors. It might make them feel uneasy, as they are likely to worry about how the person in question might feel.
Instead, kind people are happy to lift others up with praise, and when they give compliments, they usually do so sincerely (Cherry, 2021; Your Self Love Matters, 2021).
6. They take responsibility for their mistakes.
Nobody is perfect, and even kind people can make mistakes and hurt others sometimes. But genuinely kind, good people know how to accept their own mistakes and failures. They are able to do this because they have enough humility, and they are especially willing to do so when their mistake hurts someone else. Their concern for others will take priority over their ego.
Kind-hearted people are willing to not only accept their mistakes, but also take responsibility for them. They will apologize to those they have wronged, or make amends and make up for the hurt they inflicted or the problems they may have caused (Cherry, 2021; Riggio, 2016).
One consistent theme here is that genuinely kind-hearted people care about others, and put this above petty or selfish motives. It is a wonderful mindset to have—one that anyone would do well to learn from.
Do these traits remind you of someone you know? Can you perhaps relate to these qualities, yourself? What are some other traits that let you know someone is a sincerely kind person? Leave a comment below!
Riggio, R. E. (2016, October 14). How can you tell if you are a good person? Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/cutting-edge-leadership/201610/how-can-you-tell-if-you-are-good-person.
Kim, J. (2016, September 21). How to know if you are a good person. Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/valley-girl-brain/201609/how-know-if-you-are-good-person.
Cherry, K. (2021, July 27). 6 ways to become a nicer person. Verywell Mind. Retrieved from https://www.verywellmind.com/6-ways-to-become-a-nicer-person-5194074#defining-nice.
Miller, K. D. (2021, September 13). What is kindness in psychology? . Positive Psychology. Retrieved from https://positivepsychology.com/character-strength-kindness/.
Your Self Love Matters. (2021, October 18). 8 Traits of Kind Hearted People.