I am very lucky; people often say nice things to me when I work with them or meet them professionally. Not all the time of course – I feel sure I irritate some and that others actively dislike me but I do my best to be myself, to set my own standards and to be authentic. I have previously blogged about authenticity so I feel confident they are responding to the real me these days. I have relaxed into being me and increasingly only know this way.
What I find confusing though is the feedback I get and I can’t decide if it matters or if its just another thing I need to relax into, I mean is this enough?
When people say nice things to me I often ask ‘What do you mean? Can you tell me exactly what I did that made you feel x or y?’.
Their response is most often ‘you are kind’.
I struggle with this – I wonder why kindness is something that isn’t ordinary and deserves feedback in this way. Am I being damned with faint praise? I’m not being disingenuous (or looking for reinforcement) – but isn’t kindness ordinary? I honestly don’t understand the feedback. I’m not looking for more kind (there it is that word again) words but why is the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate (definition of kindness) seemingly of note?
So I have thought about all of the adjectives I would like to be and am thinking perhaps need to try a bit harder! Here’s the list:
- Musical (I think I can sing but I fear its not musical)
- Loving (I need to practice this a lot more)
- Generous (there are some things I would struggle to give away)
- Funny ( I would so love to be funny – if you don’t know what I mean look up @gussiegrips)
- Flexible (I can’t even touch my own toes)
- Brave (r)
- Focussed (To say I’m butterfly like is being kind!)
- (more) organised
Don’t even get me started on the list of things I don’t want to be!
Well that’s my list for today. Do you have a list of adjectives you would like to be described as?
I love this post, I am always described as (and not to be big headed), but things like organised, and independent, and passionate. But kind is one word I wish I was more of! I think I am kind, but I am brash, and maybe I need to learn on being kinder and stop thinking the world is so hard faced! I love this post though! x
Ah, Talia, what lovely words! Independent and passionate! Wow! And combined with organised I bet you are awesome. I suspect you are not ‘brash’ so much really either. The world can be hard faced but if you offer it kindness watch and see what happens!
Have you ever looked up random acts of kindness? I love that stuff. It makes the world feel better somehow xx
I think this is very much a hang over from the 80s and the managerialism introduced into the NHS and wider society. All things feminine took at bit of a back seat whilst male traits were welcomed and in some cases rewarded. So it’s become counter cultural to a degree. Reclaiming this place is important. In my own journey I have been working on peaceful , content and grateful .
I have met you a couple of times and read many of your posts/ blogs and feel, or have witnessed you, display these adjectives. You/ we call upon these skills and attributes at different times in our lives and many are wrapped up in our values.
Maxine do you mean kindness is a feminine label? I think I’m going for useful, sassy and at peace (with myself)
By the way I certainly find you those!
Thanks Ruth. Genuinely that’s what people say to me! Although when I have pressed more, of late, they do say other things too which is helpful. Xxx
I think kindness can be underrated but is so important in healthcare. As a patient I really value kindness from healthcare staff whether they are the reception staff when I check in or the clinician I see as to me it signals they see me, the person, and not just my condition.
Like Talia I often get the ‘organised & independent’ descriptors but I aspire to contented and writer to add to my wish list!
A list – inspired by Anne Cooper | Still learning about leadership
Christine – Writer is an exciting and inspiring adjective 🙂
About being Kind and Adjectives | Health Blog R...
Great blog Annie – kindness? I remember someone turning a taxi around to pick me up! The blog is a real thought provoker & really makes u think of who you truly are. Have an afternoon out tomorrow with colleagues – a good topic of conversation I reckon. Looking at your lisrt, I think you tick most of those boxes
Ah Mike! I remember that too. But you would have done the same 🙂 x
I prefer kind to compassionate. It should be ‘normal’ but it doesn’t mean it can’t be commented on when we see it. I like to think when I describe someone as being ‘kind’ it is because I want to note the characteristic, not because I don’t expect it or see it in other people all the time. As for adjectives to describe me, I’m not sure. I would like to be described as intelligent, considerate, and supportive. Sometimes even enthusiastic (depending on the day!) but mostly, particularly at work, I’d like to be considered fair, open, honest and kind. If I can get there, I’ll be happy (not necessarily how I’d be described but what I’d like to aspire to!)
Great blog post Annie, as always, and very thought-provoking. When I gave up my full-time career three years ago to work in areas which I really feel passionate about (hasn’t always worked!), I made many lists of skills and qualities I think I have, and skills and qualities I’d like to develop. But, I wonder about your struggling with kindness. For me, being kind is often overlooked but it is one of the greatest qualities to which any of us can aspire. For me, being kind is about not being judgemental, about being with someone or something in that moment and showing genuine, unconditional concern. Tommy Whitelaw (@tommyNtour) signs off his tweets #kindness which says so much about his work. By all means, embrace other adjectives but being thought of us as kind is some accolade.
I would describe myself as loyal,loving,dependable and tenacious.
Good adjectives for a Nurse I think so.