Being kind to and helping others doesn’t necessarily make you a happy person yourself.
Here we highlight 6 ways that people who are kind may find themselves being unhappy:
1. Overthinking it.
Kind people tend to be intelligent people, and intelligence can breed depression. Part of the reason for this is that kind people tend to use their brains on overdrive when they’re not actively helping someone or doing some mundane errand (or perhaps WHILE doing some mundane errand). They start thinking of all the people who need help in the world, the ongoing problems in the geopolitical systems, why the drug addict down the street who they bring food to won’t stop using and get some help so she can get back home to her husband and kids. The process of rumination -that is, spending large periods of time on certain thoughts- is a tricky one to get out of, and very, very easy to slip into. Overthinking is a difficult problem for many kind people.
2. No self-satisfaction.
Kind people aren’t finding any self-satisfaction because they only seek to do more, give more, reach out to help people instead of inward to help themselves. Self-care is incredibly important especially if you spend most of your time helping others. You must take care of yourself, so as to be of utmost service to others.
Work. Time with family. Relaxation time. Time with friends. Food. Sleep. This is only the beginning of a laundry list of the sacrifices kind people make in order to extend themselves. It’s only possible to extend one’s self so much though: one can only go so far in helping others before they must help themselves, and instead of budgeting time to take care of themselves, kind people often wait until the breaking point before addressing the sacrifices they’ve made.
4. Expectations of fair treatment.
Kind people are innately givers: they help people anywhere they can, they give of themselves to the point of unhealthy exhaustion, they are constantly giving, giving, giving. They’re also constantly being let down, because the rest of the world doesn’t operate as they do. So journeying out into the world brings a lot of pain and sadness at how selfish people are in general and how unkind the world is.
5. The Giving Too Much Conundrum.
Kind people give of themselves even beyond what they can afford to, sometimes running up huge bills and credit card purchases to help a family in need or a homeless man with cancer. All of this giving exhausts them, and when they are spread too thin like this, nobody comes to their aid. Nobody comes to help them. Nobody shows up to support them. This leaves them not only exhausted and worn too thin but also can create a cynical outlook, as well as being acutely painful.
6. They have desires.
Kind people didn’t stop being people when they started to reach out to help people. While their work with others will fulfill them to a degree, kind people also have desires of their own that, as the years go on, seem further and further away from them because they have spent all of their time taking care of and extending their kindness to others.
Does this sounds like someone you know, or perhaps even you? We’d love your feedback in the comments.