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To be kind or to be a doormat?

2-19-2019

AnaBella Lassiter, Arts & Entertainment Editor

Ever since we were young, we were taught basic “golden rules”, one of these being that we should treat others with kindness. However, due to things such as social media, our generation has developed a tendency to be less kind than we should be.

With this being said, the question is “Why?” Why do so many people tend to have their guards up? Why do many find it a waste of time to demonstrate basic common decency?

A survey performed on campus showed that three out of five students believe that being kind can make one seem weak or more vulnerable.

Many times, those who are kind are also perceived as softer or spineless. Psychology Today reports that there is a general contrast in society between being strong and being kind and as we develop through childhood, adolescence, and enter adulthood, we develop a type of defense.

According to Julia Breur, a psychotherapist, “We want to protect who we are and what we think, and we can become rude or even curt to others in order to protect our self, other people, and things we care about.”

As a result of this defense, many tend to avoid being kind. Otherwise, we fear that we will be walked all over. Our identities are potentially at risk as well as the identities of those around us, we think. So, to be rigid seems like less of a choice but a duty to oneself.

It must be stated that being kind is always a good option. It is what makes us feel like we are making differences, no matter how big or small. There is reason to be worried about being taken advantage of though. That is a founded concern.

So, how can one be kind while also standing for themselves?

“Half-selfish,” stated one survey-taker.

“Having self care,” was another comment.

The common factor in both of these comments is “Self” and this is key. Kind people tend to be very selfless. To keep from being walked all over though, you have to see yourself as a prominent factor in every situation.

If a situation is going to put you in harm or make you uncomfortable or is a severe inconvenience, that needs to be taken into account because you are your main concern. Without taking care of yourself, you would widdle yourself down to nothing. So, making yourself a priority and keeping your wellbeing in mind is vital to keeping yourself from being treated like a doormat.

For example, if your friends need you to help them out with their Econ class or read over their presentation, but you have an exam to study for, give them a time limit. Tell them that you only have a half hour to spare.

Or, if you feel like you really cannot make room for two things and you have to choose between helping them or preparing for your exam, do not be afraid of saying no. It is the only way to ensure you are keeping yourself and things that concern you a main priority.