Are you Nice or are you Kind?

Post by Joyce Hopewell

I was inspired to explore the theme of “nice and kind” having read a blog post by Jane Fritz on this topic.

I left a comment on her blog, having pondered on the differences between being nice and being kind. Using my understanding of psychosynthesis, which underpins the astrological psychology which I use and am most familiar with, I said:

“…if you’re being “nice” you’re probaby coming from a sub-personality but if you’re being “kind” you’re coming from a far more authentic place – your very centre, the core of your being. Kindness is more of a transpersonal quality, aligned with love. If you’re coming from your centre, you’ll be heard (not neccesarily liked, but your truth will shine through), whereas being nice is more cosmetic and without depth and authenticity. But niceness and kindness can cooperate – it’s possible to be kind and nice at the same time, loving and firm.”  

I went on ponder on how the expression of “niceness” and “kindness” might work out in the context astrological psychology, and specifically in an individual’s natal chart. The Moon – the ego planet associated with contact needs, emotional dependency and the need to be loved – is most likely to be the root and base from which nice and kind behaviour stems.

Expression of the nice aspect of the Moon may come when this planet is operating at an asleep, unaware level, when childish needs, often ignored when the person was growing up, are still seeking fulfillment, and they do not want to be hurt, or for  things to be unpleasant, or to be seen as someone who is not “nice”. So what may be presented to the world is not neccesarily “nice” as it may have other, often unconscious motivations driving it.

Being kind is another matter altogether, and draws on the awake, fully conscious aspects of the Moon. Coming from this place, the person is comfortable within their own feelings, and far more aware of their needs; they can ask for them to be met and they don’t have to skate around things being nice; they can be direct. The qualities which come into play here are harmlessness, openess, receptivity, sensitivity and compassion.

Of course, most of us can be both nice and kind – if you’re being kind you’re going to be nice, pleasant, well-mannered, good humoured and all the other meanings in between – and you’re very likely to be expressing kindness and consideration too.

The elderly twin sisters in the photo at the start of this post seem to me to be expressing not just being nice as they did their volunteer work in this church in Brittany, they were being kind too. Their faces show warmth, they were friendly, charming and had a sense of humour too. Their kindness shines through.

We need kindness, probably more then ever right now, in this stage of our human evolution, and as we work our way through this pandemic.

First published on Joyce’s blog.