On Kindness

NewsletterAshley Stahl

“Don’t mistake my kindness as a weakness.”

I heard that from a woman who runs a high-level intelligence unit for the Department of Homeland Security. We met at a networking event years ago and instantly turned into friends… And if you know me, you know my friends are the age of my mother.

…So, she’s in her 50s and incredibly inspiring.

With her red lipstick, her high heels and her leopard mittens on, I almost couldn’t take her seriously when she said those words.

“Are you telling me you and your gummy bear martini over here can be aggressive and assertive towards people?” I asked.

She fiercely starred me in the eye: “Oh, believe me. Just because I’m nice and I wear stilettos to the office doesn’t mean I don’t know how to stand my ground.”

She spoke of her time in the military, about how she fired and managed hundreds of employees…

If I’m being candid, I was enthralled.

And a thought came to mind… My kindness or generosity can sometimes turn into a weakness in my life.

…Do you ever feel like your kindness gets you into trouble?

I’ll sometimes over-give to a fault—because it feels good to be generous. Yet on occasion, I’ll offer something up because I “feel bad” or because I want to save someone in some way.

It’s only lately that I’m realizing: kindness is great as long as it’s coming from the right place. An authentic place… This means it’s not ideal to help someone because you feel bad, or because you want to save someone from their downfalls.

Kindness is a strength so long as it comes from the heart.  

…And being strong doesn’t mean being mean. Boundaries are the highest form of self-love. (Check out this article on how to set boundaries from Brene Brown)

This applies to your career, your personal relationships, and even your relationship with yourself. Don’t you think?

Sending you my best!

A

P.S. Fall into the trap of being too kind?  Stop making those “Nice Girl” errors – read Nice Girls Don’t Get The Corner Office.

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