Killing people with kindness.
This expression comes from Shakespeare in his play: The Taming of the Shrewd.
Petruchio’s monologue (modern text translation), “…the way trainers do with young hawks that flutter and flap and will not obey. She had no food today and will have none. Last night she got no sleep, and she won’t get any tonight. Just as I did with the meat, I’ll make up some problem with the way the bed is made, and throw the pillow one way and the cushion the other, and the blanket over here and the sheets over there. And through all the shouting and fuss, I’ll swear that it’s all out of love for her. The end result will be that she’ll sit up all night. And if she starts to drop off, I’ll rant and yell until I wake her up. This is how to kill a wife with kindness. And this way I’ll cure her wild and willful nature. If anyone here knows a better way to tame a shrew, speak up, please. It would be much appreciated.” (Act 4, Scene 1)
It means responding to rudeness and mean people with kindness in order to cause some kind of epiphany.
It is about not staying upset all day, all night, and even all week.
Being extremely kind or helpful to bullies actually make them feel guilty.
That’s how you should treat the haters.
No matter what you do, some people will hate what you say, what you do, who you are.
There is no way you can change that.
That’s called diversity and thank you for diversity.
But everything has its good side and bad side.
Haters are the bad side of the diversity, but its a necessary side too.
If there are haters everywhere…
… that doesn’t mean you are hopeless.
You can actually do something about it.
Here are a few scenarios to kill them with kindness.
1) Be sincerely concerned.
When someone is mad at you for not moving fast enough, for obstructing the road with your family, etc., go see them and ask them if they are okay. Be sincerely concerned about their health.
Doing this will calm them down, make them think about their actions and maybe spare both of you unnecessary discomfort. No one needs more stress in their lives.
2) Losing your spot.
When someone is in such a hurry he or she has to yell and elbow people, offer them your spot. Tell them you didn’t know how hard life was for them and they deserve to go first.
It doesn’t cost you to back up and let a disruptive person have his or her way. Think about the consequences if you actually get angry, make snipe remarks, become upset for days over a place in a queue. Your health is much too precious to lose in on some seconds you might lose.
3) Nicer than nice.
When someone insists on doing something unreasonable, go along with it. Go above and beyond to make them happy.
In the end, there is a good chance they will realize their mistake. That’s much better than an exhausting direct confrontation.
4) No fault of my own.
People get consumed by negative feelings. Be so kind to people that they cannot find a way to discredit you or find anything wrong with you.
You know you have done your best for them; you have nothing to be remorseful about. You are kind to them for your own benefit.
5) They go low, we go high.
Michelle Obama said, “When they go low, we go high.” By embracing the haters and responding in kind, we stoop at their level.
When they go low, we go high. We respond in kindness because otherwise we become worse than they are.
Do not weaponize kindness. Kindness is one of the rare things that should stay pure without bad intentions.
You can actually make someone’s day by killing them with kindness.
Sometimes we need to be reset.
Sometimes we are upset and frustrated and take it on the first person who irritates us.
We go overboard.
Angry people can actually go to extremes when their frustrations are rising throughout the day.
Sometimes we get more and more angry as time passes. It’s like we are trapped in a cycle.
A little killing by kindness can reset all of that and place our feelings back at their rightful place.
Someone killing us with kindness can actually bring tears to our eyes and release or deflate our frustration.
Of course, I wouldn’t use this on anyone.
But I think if you do this not in the spirit of hurting or teaching a lesson, it’s not kindness anymore. It's not kindness at all.
Instead, do it in the spirit of helping.
It can help both of you.
So go kill them with kindness, with real honest kindness.