Do not mix up pleasing with kindness

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A recent article by Gary Vee on LinkedIn talked about being kind and competitive and it got me thinking. 

There were many responses saying it was wrong and you have to be ‘unkind’ to win and that there was nothing wrong with that. 

Well here is what I believe the problem is with this. 


It’s not the words but how we in today’s society are defining the word ‘kind’ and the meaning we are putting on the outcome. What I have found working with many men and women over the years and now high net worth individuals is that kindness is often mixed up with ‘pleasing’ resulting in a very different outcome and feeling. 

Let’s unpack this for a moment because I believe you can have a win-win in any competition with kindness not pleasing. 

In modern-day society, half of us are raised by single parents and the majority of these parents are female. Resulting in a growing number of men lacking full time great masculine role models. What happens here is men are starting to develop the ‘pleaser syndrome’ and mistaking it for ‘kindness.’  

Let me explain why the two are very different. 

Pleasing is when you go against your gut instinct to avoid conflict and to be liked and in service of you, not the receiver. 

Pleasing’s outcome is to be liked and avoid conflict with the result being inauthenticity for all and a lack of trust for the receiver of the communication. Pleasing is driven by like.

Kindness (true kindness) results in honour and truth and the receiver respecting the communicator even if they are uncomfortable and challenged at times. It is in service of both the receiver and communicator. Kindness is driven by love.

One requires bravery, courage, and knowing who you are, and speaking it for the greater good of oneself, the receiver and all. The other is when one lacks inner security and confidence and requires others to value and validate them and therefore seeks to avoid conflict and being disliked. 

You can love someone and show kindness by being ‘cruel/tough’ for the benefit of all. Pleasing is just pushing the can down the road for another day and results in the problem being compounded! 

I believe GARY VEE was correct and you can create a win with kindness in a competitive workplace, however, this takes a certain level of self-awareness, confidence and courage when executed for the greater good of all!

You can be loved and not liked but can you sit comfortably with that feeling? 

Great men and women will become, they know their truth – honour, love and respect.

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