Monthly Archives: February 2019

Being Kind to Yourself Part Two

Being nice to yourself and being kind are different things, although that idea may seem strange: aren’t they the same thing? No, not really: being nice to yourself means to give yourself what you want, when you want it. Being kind to yourself means to put something off if it is good for you, for your health, so you can do something else that you need even more or even caring for yourself. Being kind can be acting like your own mother! It seems so nice to yourself to put off something you have to do: the term paper, the homework, the chores or whatever.

But being kind to yourself helps you realize that, if you did your term paper early, that would be very nice indeed. Being kind means that you do your homework, not because you have to do it for the teacher or for your parents or whatever but because when you learn things, you make everything easier. You can never know when you might need to remember about the square of the hypotenuse or that a cup of water is the same as eight ounces of water and the same as half a pint. You never know, so it’s kind to make sure you have as many tools in your toolkit for life as you can.

Being nice to yourself means doing your chores, again, not because you’re doing it for your parents or because you’re being punished! No, doing your chores like making your bed, taking out the trash, doing the dishes, makes things really so much easier in the future! If you know how to wash dishes then when you move out and you live alone you can always find a clean dish when you need one and you don’t have to go and buy one! If you take out the trash, all that walking and carrying makes you a little stronger, remember?

So: being nice to yourself usually means that you give yourself a free pass for right here and right now. Being kind to yourself is when you think things through for the future and you can see how something will be good for you later, even though it might not seem good for you right now.

Being Kind to Yourself

When you are kind to yourself, you become a better person. How can this be so? Doesn’t almost everyone tell you that if you do something you like, or take time for yourself, or say “No” to someone else’s demands that you are being selfish? Being selfish is considered bad and unkind to others, right?

The difference is that being kind to yourself is being selfish, but selfish with wisdom. When you are kind to yourself, you think things through first. You don’t let yourself get conned into doing something bad just because others are doing it: you reason things out first with yourself in mind. My friends are going to someone’s car and joy-ride it and they want me to do it with them, Why not? After all, I’m feeling bad and lonely and sad, and doing something daring (or dangerous or “special” with my friends ought to make me feel better, right?

If you are not paying kind attention to yourself, you might think, “Sure, why not? The adults (or rich people or the people who live in the classy neighborhoods or someone I just don’t like right now) haven’t giving me what I want, so sure, it’s right that I should take it from them. It would make me feel better now, so, sure, I’ll do it.”

The trouble is, that is not being kind to yourself at all. Because you decide to do something to hurt someone else, you are setting yourself up for shame at least and harm at worst. To do something just because others are doing it means that you are not being kind to yourself: you haven’t listened to you! You haven’t listened to yourself long enough to know that you are hurting, that you do feel lonely and unhappy. If you had been kind to yourself and listened, you would deal with the sadness and loneliness first, instead of doing something stupid right now.