Self-Kindness Vs Selfless Kindness


I believe that given the chance most people will choose to be kind…selflessly kind. I think it’s instinctual really.  Even the grumble bunnies out there, when put to the test will often choose an act of kindness when the opportunity strikes.  It makes us feel good. I guess to some, that’s not selfless…but I’m going to call it that here. People like to do kind things for others. Period.

I also believe that self-kindness is something most of us struggle with.

Self-kindness is often confused with selfishness and wrapped up with guilt or shame.  It can be seen as weakness or self-absorption. We actually feel bad inside for choosing to be kind to ourselves.


I’ve been mulling this question over and over in my mind for the last several days and to be completely honest the best answer I can come up with is because we are afraid to look bad. We don’t want to be the bad guy/girl. We don’t want to disappoint someone. We don’t want to look selfish, self-absorbed or weak.  So when we choose self-kindness over selfless kindness we feel like crap. We feel shame, guilt, and all the other icky, yucky things we feel because we are inherently good people.

Self-kindness can mean saying no.


It can mean putting our needs ahead of someone else’s. It can mean setting boundaries or honoring our limits. It can mean that we have to stand firm in our skin and say,

This is what’s best for me and I matter. 

I believe that the only way we are ever going to get comfortable with truly being kind to ourselves is through practice.  We need to pounce on opportunities to be kind to ourselves, no matter how small.  With practice, we will learn that while it’s awesome to show kindness to others, we are no less valuable, our needs no less important.

We have to show up for ourselves through random acts of self-kindness. We have to let go of the destructive and toxic thoughts that self-kindness is less important than selfless kindness. We have to be our own champion and simply be to ourselves what we love being for others.

Moving forward, I challenge myself…and YOU…. to practice self-kindness every single day. It may seem awkward, or uncomfortable at first, but if we allow it to be the new norm, we will become accustomed to it and the world around us will adjust.

Thanks for reading


Originally posted on A Kinder Way 1/2018


11 thoughts on “Self-Kindness Vs Selfless Kindness

  1. I connected so much to this post. I have always struggled with guilt around saying no to others. I guess it is just human nature. However I realized if they are your friends and family, they are actually more understanding than you think. Plus, after I’ve said no here and there and realized that no one hates me. It is more in my head than anything. Lovely post.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m so glad that you felt a connection to this post. I agree it’s human nature and I applaud and envy anyone who doesn’t have to work at it. 🙂
      I am one that has to work at it. 😉
      Thank you so much for this lovely comment.


  2. Absolutely true. I have known people burn out by never allowing themselves any personal healing time while making no end of time for others. At the end of the day, though, one cannot give energy if one has none left.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Exactly!! The more we care for ourselves the more we actually have to give. It’s a really hard truth for most people to put into practice. In the moment it’s so much easier to just do for others. Self-kindness, self-care…. takes time, but with practice and baby steps we all can get there. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. As you know from living with me this is an area where I struggle. I’m better than I used to be, but it’s taken effort. I used to spend a lot of time trying to be what others wanted or needed me to be, and not much time being who I wanted be. This is a good reminder to stay the course. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I needed to read this post so badly today, Nikki. I said no to a ridiculous request from my friends and got torn a new one for it. Apparently, when you are ‘family,’ you do what is expected of you, no matter what. WHAT?! Your words were a good reminder that my job is not to take care of everyone else’s needs, but my own, and that it is okay for me to do so. Sigh. I can’t imagine going through life with such high expectations of people, I just don’t get it. Forging on, though!! Thanks for this. Have a great day, gorgeous! xo

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I know right? Expectations are something we should only put on ourselves.
      It sounds negative but I like the way of thinking that goes like this…
      Expect nothing and you will not be disappointed but you may be surprised.
      If you take the passive aggressive way of saying that out of the equation, it’s a pretty good way of looking at things.

      and GOOD FOR YOU Tanya for saying no when you needed/wanted to. We must set boundaries and stand firm with them.

      ❤ ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post Nikki. I guess in the end it all comes down to self worth. How much we’re willing to put our needs first, and make ourselves a priority, always a challenge but so worth it. Big hugs x ❤️


  6. We must each lead a way of life with self-awareness and compassion, to do as much as we can. Then, whatever happens we will have no regrets


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