5 minutes
Mental Health Foundation

There are many definitions of what it means to be kind and kindness is often entwined with related concepts like empathy, compassion, and altruism. At its core, researchers suggest that kindness is a gesture motivated by genuine, warm feelings for others.

Kindness, therefore, is not just an emotion, but is defined by our actions. These “acts of kindness” do not have to be grand gestures. Listening to and being with someone as they talk about a bad day, holding the door for someone who has their arms full, or being accepting towards those around us can all be acts of kindness. However, it is important to note that kindness also involves the perception of others, in that an action we intend to be kind or helpful may not always be perceived by the recipient in that way. It has been proposed that kindness has three main facets: considering the feelings of others, having everyday acceptance, courtesy and love towards others and behaving honourably towards them.


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