Kindness is key

There are many qualities that make a good friend; so I’d be silly to say there’s only one. And yet, Dr. Mark Hyman’s sweet grandmother had a good point when she says kindness is key.

 Hyman shares how his grandmother used to always only ask one question of him when he told her he made a new friend: are they kind? 


How profound yet simplistically relevant the question of kindness is.

Wait…surely we all choose kind friends?

But perhaps we don’t…And if that is so, what is the reason that we don’t choose the kind friend? 

And what does a kind friend actually look like?

We live in a world that is guilty of placing many things before kindness. Take employment: kindness is probably not top of the list of requirements in characteristics that the employer is looking for.

In the 100 years we’ve seen a shift of priority move away from character, towards personality.

Character refers to our inner morals and internal beliefs. Such as:

Personality refers to our attitude and behaviours. Such as:

There’s a huge temptation to be friends with a person just because they appear to be successful. They draw the crowd, have the gadgets, the family name, the smooth talk, the popularity.

An example of the negative effect of an unkind friendship would be this: 
imagine that as a child, you become friends with one of the most popular kids in school. They play the sport that you love, and speak much easier to all the other kids than you do. You call them your best friend, and yet they’re not very kind. In fact, you’re spoken down to and made fun of by your “best friend”, who uses you to look better for everyone else. 

The unkindness is felt within the anxiety you have when you’re with this person; a pressure to be or do something that you are not; and an expected loyalty/allegiance to be held for only that one person, preventing you from having other friends. 


A kind friend has many qualities, but undoubtedly these would be included:

– They have your best interest at heart
– Accept you, for you
– See your potential and challenge you , not to destroy but to move you out of comfort zones
– Respect your yes, and your no
– Who knows how to say yes, and no, to you too
– Speak kindly to you
– Who would go out of their way to do something for you
– You don’t have to phone them 10 times before they call back 

Okay. What do we do with a question like this?

It is for you to decide. We definitely need to consider this in our friends, especially the ones that we spend a lot of time with. Ask if this is a kind friendship, or if it is reaping some negative effects on you due to a lack of kindness. 

If you discover some unkind friendships, it could mean you need to spend less time with those people; or perhaps even no time with them at all. 

And when you’re searching for new friends, look out for people that value light, goodness and selfless caring, over status and popularity. 

Pay attention to:
* The way they speak to people 
* How they would respond if you called them at 2 in the morning 
* What their core values are 
* Most importantly – how do they make you feel? 

And of course we ourselves must consider the level of kindness we show in our relationships, too. Always ask yourself if you are giving in their love language, and doing your part to connect with them. 


As one must never forget: kindness breeds kindness

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