Sometimes this weird thing happens where I feel like my kindness is fake. I feel like there’s this secret side of me that doesn’t actually want to be nice. I fear the person I am talking to is going to tell that my kindness is fake.
Half of this is true and half is B.S.. The part that is true is that people can tell if your kindness if fake. The part that is B.S. is that there’s a secret side of me that doesn’t actually want to be nice.
This happened to me last week when I was in a conference in San Diego. I started realizing I was being a little bitter and my kindness started feeling fake. Knowing at my core that my kindness is indeed an indestructible quality (as it is in all of us) I sat down to figure out what was going on.
I remembered an important thing. Our ego is a sneaky little fellow. If that term seems vague to you here, what I mean by ego is the part of you that says “I am ____. I like _____. I want _____. I don’t want _______.” It’s the part of you that sees itself as separate from other people. I forgot last week that getting your ego to quiet down and sit in the corner doesn’t just happen automatically. It is a practice. It’s a practice of different habits. These different habits train your brain to eventually completely wither away your ego.
These ego-quieting habits could go on forever. But I am going to list the 4 habits that helped me stop feeling like a fraud last week. If you’re starting to feel like you don’t actually want to be “nice” and when you’re doing it you feel “fake” but you don’t want to feel “fake”, try this:
1. Think about others more. Think about how your friends are doing. Ask people how they’re doing. Think about events or situations people have coming up. Ask them about it. Pray for them. This will train your brain to automatically think about others more regularly and it will help you stop feeling “fake nice”.
2. Don’t put your convenience in front of other people (or animals). What I mean by this is let others go in front of you on the street. Let people in your lane. Hold the door open for that family, even if you’re running late. Let others walk out of the classroom before you even when you’re having a bad day. Don’t squash that bug in your house. Take it outside. These things may seem trivial, but doing them trains your brain to think that your convenience is not the only thing that matters. It will then feel more “real” when you are kind to people. You will actually care about them.
3. Focus on making other people feel good in conversations. Don’t think about what you’re going to say next. Don’t focus on what accomplishments you can boast about. The only reason someone does that is to plump up their own ego. There is no need for that. Converse with someone with the intent of listening fully every time and eventually you will see why it’s so important to hear what they have to say. You will then stop feeling fake for listening when you’re actually “annoyed”. You will not be annoyed any more.
4. Give gratitude. This one is pretty self explanatory. A lot of the time we start feeling bitterness creep in, being grateful can completely shatter it. Over time your feelings of gratitude will be trained into your brain and will ooze out effortlessly. This will make it hard for you to be bitter in any given situation. This will make it more natural for you to be in a state of kindness.
I hope this helps because it has definitely helped me. I don’t like feeling inauthentic. Often times when I catch myself feeling fake, one of these 4 things has been lacking. Becoming the truest version of myself takes time and practice. That’s something that has been difficult to admit but fun to experience.
Let me know how it goes for you guys!
As always, my wish is that slowly but surely I can help in training our brains to end our suffering and make inner peace our default state. In due time 😉