Things You’d Never Do If You’re A Genuinely Kind Person

Things You’d Never Do If You’re A Genuinely Kind Person Shutterstock

We all want to be good, kind people, but sometimes (okay, maybe often) we slip up. It’s easy to get caught up in our own lives and forget the impact our words and actions have on others. Here are some behaviors that truly kind people simply wouldn’t do. If you see a bit of yourself in these, don’t worry. It’s a chance to reflect, and choose to be a little kinder every day.

1. Gossip or spread rumors

Kind people focus on the positives in others. They won’t tear someone down behind their back just for entertainment or a cheap thrill. They understand that gossip can be hurtful, and even if there’s a tiny bit of truth in it, spreading it around only causes damage. Plus, if they’re talking trash about someone else, what might they say about you when you’re not around?

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2. Hold grudges

Beautiful mixed race creative business woman shaking hands with a female colleague. Two young female african american designers making a deal. A handshake to congratulate a coworker on their promotion

Everyone makes mistakes. Kind people offer forgiveness, move on, and don’t bring up past wrongs to use as ammunition in the future. Let’s face it, holding a grudge is exhausting. Imagine carrying around all that anger and bitterness… kind people choose peace of mind instead. And remember, forgiveness doesn’t always mean reconciliation, sometimes it just means letting go for your own sanity.

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3. Judge people based on appearances

First impressions can be deceiving, as research published in Frontier notes. Kind people look beyond the surface and give everyone a chance, regardless of how they look or dress. They know that fancy clothes or a perfect haircut don’t reflect someone’s character. Judging a book by its cover means you might miss out on some amazing stories – and some amazing people.

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4. Try to change people

Kind people accept and respect others for who they are. They might offer gentle support, but won’t try to force change on someone. Trying to mold someone into your ideal version is a recipe for disappointment on both sides. Kind people know that true growth comes organically, not through nagging or manipulation.

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5. Put your needs above everyone else’s


It’s okay to prioritize yourself sometimes, but kind people are considerate of others’ feelings and willing to compromise. They’re not the ones demanding the biggest piece of cake, or insisting their favorite show is always on. Kindness is finding that balance between self-care and understanding that everyone’s needs matter.

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6. Break promises

two guys laughing and chatting

Their word is their bond. Kind people know that trust is earned, and they take commitments seriously, even the small ones. If they say they’ll help with the move, they show up on time – not an hour late with a lame excuse. Cancelling last minute or forgetting obligations makes you seem flaky and unreliable – not exactly qualities of a kind person.

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7. Look down on those less fortunate

two men walking with strollers

Kindness extends to everyone. They see people struggling and offer help, not disdain. Everyone deserves a little compassion. Life throws curveballs, and you never know when you might be the one needing a helping hand. Kindness means seeing the humanity in everyone, regardless of their circumstances.

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8. Take credit for other people’s work

colleagues chatting in business meeting

Kind people celebrate team efforts and give recognition where it’s due. They don’t hog the spotlight or steal someone else’s thunder. The truth always has a way of coming out eventually, and trying to take credit for something you didn’t do just makes you look insecure. True leaders, the genuinely kind ones, know how to share recognition and make everyone feel valued.

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9. Brag about your accomplishments

two friends looking at a cell phone

Confidence is one thing, arrogance is another. Kind people are secure in themselves, they don’t need to boast to feel good. It’s great to be proud, but bragging makes you sound full of yourself. Besides, truly successful people inspire others through their actions, not by talking themselves up constantly.

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10. Criticize people to make yourself feel superior

Putting others down never makes you look better. Kind people focus on lifting others up, not tearing them apart for a fleeting sense of superiority. Remember, true confidence comes from being secure in yourself, not diminishing others. If you need to put others down to feel good, it’s definitely time for some self-reflection.

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11. Give backhanded compliments

If you can’t say something nice sincerely, it’s better to say nothing whatsoever. Kind people are genuine, even when giving constructive criticism. Those thinly veiled insults fool no one (“Wow, that dress is…interesting”). A truly kind person knows how to offer feedback that’s helpful, not hurtful.

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12. Ignore people in need

Even a small gesture matters. Kind people take that extra moment to offer a smile, hold a door, or simply ask if someone is okay. It costs nothing to show a little kindness, and can make someone’s day a little brighter. You never know the invisible struggles someone might be facing – your simple act of noticing them might be more significant than you think.

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13. Make fun of people for being different

Kind people embrace diversity. They celebrate what makes each person unique instead of mocking what they don’t understand. Bullying or tearing someone down because of their differences shows a lack of empathy. Kind people know that a world full of interesting, diverse individuals is far more exciting than one where everyone is the same.

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14. Let your anger control you

Everyone gets mad sometimes, but kind people don’t lash out or let anger turn into cruelty. They find healthy ways to express and process difficult emotions. Losing your cool makes you say and do things you’ll regret later. Kind people know that true strength comes from channeling that angry energy into something positive, not letting it control them.

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15. Play the victim

Kind people take accountability for their actions. While they might acknowledge hardships, they don’t wallow in self-pity or always blame others. Constantly playing the victim is a way of avoiding responsibility, Healthline explains. Kind people take ownership of their mistakes, learn from them, and move on – that’s how you truly grow.

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16. Make excuses for bad behavior

We all mess up, but kind people own their mistakes. They apologize sincerely and try to make things right, not brush it off. Excusing your own bad behavior makes you less trustworthy, and erodes the foundation of good relationships. A sincere apology doesn’t make you weak, it actually shows strength and the willingness to improve.

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17. Fish for compliments

Kind people don’t need constant validation from others. Their self-worth comes from within, not from external praise. Neediness and constant insecurity aren’t exactly endearing qualities. Kind people know they’re pretty awesome, without needing others to constantly tell them so.

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18. Give up on people too quickly

Kind people understand that relationships take effort. They’re patient, forgiving, and willing to work through difficulties, if the other person is too. Of course, there’s a limit to how much you can take, but kind people don’t bail at the first sign of trouble. True bonds are worth fighting for… but know when to walk away too, if the relationship is consistently toxic.

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Phoebe Mertens is a writer, speaker, and strategist who has helped dozens of female-founded and led companies reach success in areas such a finance, tech, science, and fashion. Her keen eye for detail and her innovative approach to modern womanhood makes her one of the most sought-out in her industry, and there's nothing she loves more than to see these companies shine.

With an MBA from NYU's Stern School of Business and features in Forbes and Fast Company she Phoebe has proven she knows her stuff. While she doesn't use social media, she does have a private Instagram just to look at pictures of cats.