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Effectiveness of "killing people with kindness" vs firmer approaches?

Infinite Metamorphosis

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Honestly, everyone should be respected as a human being. No matter how wrong someone thinks an individual is, the moment you dehumanize them proves that you are are no longer human yourself. To dehumanize, is the worst thing you can do to anyone. Because when you dehumanize, you stop seeing someone as rational, and interpret everything under extreme bias. Your empathy turns off, and they become fodder to your own selfish whims. I assume people in power tend to go through this cycle at one point. They become so enriched, and supported by an echo chamber. That they no longer see their adversaries as human, and just mow them down with complete ignorance to their suffering, and disregard their complains and fears as "Conspiracy".
I'm guessing there is some specific context to this that is not clearly specified here.

I don't really think firmer approaches--even harsh ones--necessarily indicate a lack of empathy. Sometimes you do need to shut people down, or "mow them down" as you put it, because it's the only way to get them to stop crossing boundaries. Furthermore, sometimes things are done out of "tough love" such as disciplining your kids. Not to mention, sometimes people simply get a bit emotional and say things.
 
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тень

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I'm guessing there is some specific context to this that is not clearly specified here.

I don't really think firmer approaches--even harsh ones--necessarily indicate a lack of empathy. Sometimes you do need to shut people down, or "mow them down" as you put it, because it's the only way to get them to stop crossing boundaries. Furthermore, sometimes things are done out of "tough love" such as disciplining your kids. Not to mention, sometimes people simply get a bit emotional and say things.
I mean "mow them down" as in, they accept no interference or argument, and only harm anyone who listens to them. You are right, you do need to shut someone down sometimes. But some people think that means you can dehumanize them as well. Afterall, it is easier to hate monsters than a reflection of yourself/humans. Tough love to me, is just a different form of affection, that people also misinterpret as evil. The issue at the end of the day, remains in perspective. Your perspective, can make friends into devils, and devils into friends.
 
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Siúil a Rúin

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Fair - I respect that. Thanks for sharing.

Sounds like for some reason you're ending up in the company of the wrong kinds of people. Hopefully you can find some healthier acquaintances and intimate relationships. All that bullshit isn't necessary, life doesn't have to be that way.

I obviously know next to nothing about you and can't really say much about your situation, but in my case when I experienced something similar it was that I needed to establish and enforce healthier boundaries. I didn't know that I was supposed to have certain ones there because I never had them respected by loving people such as parents, etc. Certain other things, such as low self-esteem, were also caused by childhood environment / abuse...which then attracted predators. Stuff like that all came together to create even more negative experiences and therefore further validate negative, unhealthy worldviews I once had. I had to do some work on my inner self to change my experiences with the outer world. Perhaps something like this may help you also? Dunno...just tossing the idea out there in case it may help.
This is a good post and most every counselor would stand by it. The point that I am trying to make is that the very reason we need to be constantly vigilant about healthy boundaries is because it is human nature for people to press in and try to cross them. I call that a power dynamic. I call that people who would violate or take your money if you don't exert energy to stop it. The answer is healthy boundaries, but that requires acknowledging the fact that one has to exert power to push back against attempted power plays. In this manner the majority of human interactions are about power dynamics, which is equivalent in my mind to boundary establishing.

My experiences are not worse than typical. Most humans survive by creating equilibrium, sometimes matching bad behaviors with similar. People also use denial to not see the worst of it, and habit, going long with familiar schedules, ritualistic exchanges of phrases, small talk, repetition of the mundane. Beneath the surface humans can degrade quickly into cruelty and violation when threatened or placed off balance. This is seen in wartime scenarios and throughout the history of mankind.

For myself my boundaries were more often crossed when I tried to think the best, assume the best, and be super nice. Now I'm more guarded, withdrawn, and have solid boundaries, but it does come from recognizing the constant attempts to scam, monopolize, and dominate. Also, I do try to be kind to people, but it's mostly hope and trust that dies over time even in completely normal circumstances. At this point the main flaw in my position is tossing out the good with the bad in terms of trust. Most people are capable of being bad, but they are also good at the same time.
 
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Infinite Metamorphosis

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This is a good post and most every counselor would stand by it. The point that I am trying to make is that the very reason we need to be constantly vigilant about healthy boundaries is because it is human nature for people to press in and try to cross them. I call that a power dynamic. I call that people who would violate or take your money if you don't exert energy to stop it. The answer is healthy boundaries, but that requires acknowledging the fact that one has to exert power to push back against attempted power plays. In this manner the majority of human interactions are about power dynamics, which is equivalent in my mind to boundary establishing.

My experiences are not worse than typical. Most humans survive by creating equilibrium, sometimes matching bad behaviors with similar. People also use denial to not see the worst of it, and habit, going long with familiar schedules, ritualistic exchanges of phrases, small talk, repetition of the mundane. Beneath the surface humans can degrade quickly into cruelty and violation when threatened or placed off balance. This is seen in wartime scenarios and throughout the history of mankind.
Ahh, I see. That makes more sense now, knowing you see this as a power dynamic. I can also understand why you would see it as such, and I guess it can be if people are not trying to be respectful of them and then just accidentally crossing them.

Tbh, I'm pretty oblivious as to what "most people" do a lot of times. I had some extremes in isolation that continued on until age 27 roughly. I have no idea how most people are. What I do know is that it's entirely possible to surround oneself with healthy relationships in which boundaries are respected, people take responsibility for their actions and try to do better, compromises are made, and so forth.
For myself my boundaries were more often crossed when I tried to think the best, assume the best, and be super nice. Now I'm more guarded, withdrawn, and have solid boundaries, but it does come from recognizing the constant attempts to scam, monopolize, and dominate. Also, I do try to be kind to people, but it's mostly hope and trust that dies over time even in completely normal circumstances. At this point the main flaw in my position is tossing out the good with the bad in terms of trust. Most people are capable of being bad, but they are also good at the same time.
Many people often do "pendulum swings." Finding balance isn't easy for anyone probably.
 

Paisley

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Dale Carnegie in "How to win friends and influence people" would have us killing each other with kindness all day long, just so long as Kindness isn't the the name of your physical weapon, and to some extent I think he's right. I know that all it takes is one dark cloud to enter a room where everyone's working hard to kill productivity, so a kind attitude is always on the right side, but that kindness has a healthy boundary that starts with knowing your own intrinsic value and worth. So I think kindness needs to come from a healthy place, where you show lavish kindness towards the needy because you know how much you've been given so you give, but also tough love towards misbehaviour because you know it'll help them long run, or a firm approach towards those threatening you with whatever harm because you know you need to protect yourself, I think are all forms of killing people with kindness.

Answering someone who's really angry with you with a diametrically opposite love and kindness can in certain circumstances instantly cause a 180 and snap them out of whatever bad mood they were in and change the energy, or it can confuse and infuriate them because it exposes their shameful behaviour and their own lack of love for themselves and others that you have and they don't, kinda like Proverbs 25:21-22 and Romans 12:20. Some circumstances are difficult and require wisdom in holding onto the truth (Galatians 5:22) that being kind is right and rudeness is wrong, because, it's so easy for people to push our buttons, and even more difficult to become buttonless in those moments of weakness.
 
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