Have you ever struggled to be kind to someone who’s mean to you? Sometimes you have that *one* person that, no matter what you try to do, they’re just not that nice to you.
I know I’ve struggled with those kinds of people. As someone who has kindness written into the core of who I am, I really wrestled with those people for a long time.
Those kinds of people brought out the “revenge-seeking” in me. When people were mean to me, it made me just want to mean right back and give them a taste of their own medicine. That is, until I finally realized…what kind of crap was I giving out if that was my end goal?
Let me make a promise to you: being kind to someone who’s a jerk to you is NEVER the answer. I assure you.
Yes, they are some of the most frustrating people to be around. If you’re just trying to be kind to everyone you come across and they’re mean, it leaves you thinking, “What did I do to deserve that?”
The truth is? You probably didn’t. But there’s some people in the world, and even the best of us have to deal with them. (Karma sure does take her time, doesn’t she?)
So I wanted to give you a “guide” that will help you be kind to the people that are just simply mean to you. It’s not easy, but it’s still very important work!
Remember that being kind has positive effects on yourself
You know that concept that goes something like, “smile often enough and you’ll eventually feel happy?”
It’s similar to that. If you spread kindness to other people, the better you feel. If you’re mean to other people, you kinda feel like shit when you think about it later on…
And the whole goal in life is to NOT feel like shit, amiright?
The more kindness you give to other people, the better you end up feeling. Even if people don’t respond positively to your kindness, you’ll walk away with a good feeling in your heart knowing that you positively impacted someone!
(Read this article from HuffPost about the benefits on kindness!)
That’s what you need to remember when someone isn’t very nice to you. Remind yourself that if you go out of your way to be mean to that person back, it doesn’t benefit you in any way.
Sure, you might get immediate satisfaction that you “told them off” or whatever you want to call it, but…it’ll probably sit a little funny in your heart later on.
Avoid that altogether. Just be kind! Even if you have to remember it for your own sake, instead of theirs.
Think about how being nice to them now might postively impact them later
I’m trying to think of a good movie to represent this concept, but I can’t for the LIFE of me remember one of them. And there’s like…TONS.
But alas, such is life. Let’s try to explain this without the movie reference.
Let’s say someone is being a jerk to you. They could be doing or saying any number of things. But you come along and just say, “Hey, I like your shoes.”
At first, they might be all confused or think that you’re just trying to get under their skin. But they’re wrong – you genuinely like their shoes!
After a while, they finally realize that you really meant what you said. And then they get a little glimmer of hope inside of their chest because you were nice to them.
Maybe the suddenly recognize how much of a jerk they were being to you. But you complimented them anyway. Like, dang, that’s nice of you…
…so they pass on the favor. Maybe a few weeks, months, or even years later, they find themselves in a similar situation to what you were in with them. Someone ELSE is being mean to them, and they remember that time YOU were nice to them when they were being the same kind of mean.
So instead of lashing out right back, they say, “Hey, I like your shoes.”
Somewhere in their minds, your kindness stuck with them. It resonated with them. And it had an effect on them that caused them to act positively later on.
That’s a really special thing! It’s a lot easier to be kind to someone else when you have that kind of thought in your head.
The kindness that you show to someone might not have an immediate effect on someone. It could be YEARS before they act in a similar, nice fashion. But the time doesn’t matter. The point is that it *could.*
Related: Why Kindness is Important Both for Ourselves and the World
If you can remember that possibility when someone is mean to you, it motivates you to stay kind and not stoop to their level.
Realize that the reason they’re mean probably has nothing to do with you
This is something that we forget about ALL the time.
If you take ANYTHING from this post, it’s this: people aren’t born mean and bad. They’re made.
Most of the time, if someone is mean to you when all you are is nice to them, you are not the problem.
They probably have something else really terrible going on in their lives, and they’re taking their anger out on you. Of course that doesn’t mean it’s okay, but it DOES make it the truth.
If you can simply remember that the reason why they’re being mean has nothing to do with you, it’s easier to be kind.
It actually encourages you MORE to be kind. For all you know, they could be getting all sorts of terrible, awful things handed to them on a silver platter. Instead of being another side dish on that platter, you could be the gold platter that brightens their day.
And again, they honestly might not register your kindness at first. They not ever register it at all. But it’s not your job to think about that. Your job is to be kind to them with the hope they recognize it. And if they don’t, it’s not your fault.
But what WOULD be your fault is being mean to them just because they’re mean to you. #truthbomb
Don’t worry yourself with that kind of weight. Simply be kind to someone when they’re mean to you, and remember that they’re attitude probably nothing to do with you.
Understand that you being mean to someone else doesn’t do any good for the world at all
Really think about this: what does ANYONE have to gain by you being mean?
Unpopular opinion, but someone being mean to you doesn’t give you good enough reason to spread negativity in the world. No one needs it, and no one should have to put up with it.
Being mean to the person who was mean to you is only an excuse for vengeful for feelings, and those aren’t necessary. Despite what’s so common in the world nowadays, it’s not! Vengeance doesn’t solve anything.
If you are reading this right now, it’s probably because you want to be someone that spreads light and love into the world. You might just be struggling with the how of it.
If that’s the case, then you need to remember that spreading negativity in any capacity helps no one. No matter WHAT someone else has done to you, dishing out mean things to them isn’t the answer.
Finding a way to be kind to someone who’s mean to you is one of the hardest things you can do in this life. It takes a LOT of self-discipline and practice.
But once you find yourself consistently remembering that doing anything but spreading kindness does no good, you’ll be on your way. It’ll make being nice to those mean people 10x easier.
You’ll be motivated by your overall goal to see the world become a better place. You’ll be inspired by your knowledge that kindness can be the fix to every problem we have, and that’s powerful!
It’s hard to be kind to someone who’s mean to you….
Finding the strength to be nothing but kind to the person that’s nothing but a jerk to you can be one of the hardest tasks. But it’s always worth it. You never know what that person could be going through, and you could positively impact someone in a major way.
Always try your damn hardest to spread kindness as much as possible, and together we’ll eventually see less people being mean. Just wait. 🙂
If you like what you just read, be sure to check out The Kindness Notes!