Kindness is very simply,
TREATING OTHERS HOW YOU WANT TO BE TREATED
That's what I live by. That's why if someone respects me, I will do the same as them. If someone tries to belittle me or attempt to make me feel inferior, I will take a step back and assess the proper response and correct them.
How do you feel when someone has been kind to you and when you have been kind to others?
I got this particular feeling as far back as childhood. One year during Christmas, I was more concerned with giving rather than receiving. I was looking forward to having my family enjoy themselves by seeing what I gave them, instead of being concerned so much with what I was getting. It really gives me a sense of satisfaction or a sense of serenity to be kind to others, even if it is nothing more than helping them.
How about kindness towards ourselves?
Now, this I haven't given much thought to, as I am really hard on myself at times. However, it is something I need to do more of. I am always striving for perfection and hate to fail, but I recently learned that you should not be afraid of failure because it is how you learn.
Were you brought up with an awareness of how to recognize your needs or were you taught that it was self-indulgent?
Wow! What an arduous and challenging question. After pondering this extensively, I really wasn't brought up either of these ways. I was brought up under the assumption at times that I thought I could never please my parents, which could be why I despise failing and want to be successful right out of the gate. At times it was "tough love." I was, without a doubt, brought up to be very respectful, considerate, helping, and loving as well as self-sufficient, instead of self-indulgent. I also was taught to take on my own responsibilities and to own my own consequences and mistakes. I was also involved with "Indian Guides" as well as sports like soccer. So I met some of my own needs.
When does kindness go too far?
Actually it can happen when you let yourself get taken advantage of. I had that problem when I could never say "No" I then found myself buying from many salesmen, things that I really could live without.Also if someone asked for a favor and I obligated myself.Another thing I remember is if someone was doing something I didn't like and I didn't have the balls to say "No, don't do that!"
Fortunately, this has all changed.
Can it go too far and be damaging - either to yourself or others?
Oh my yes!
If you do nothing but cater to their every need and spoil them or answer their every beck and call, it will not only damage them, but you will suffer as well.
As I just covered above it would be letting them take advantage and you would be so concerned with their needs that would not have time to take care of yourself. They would not learn to take care of themselves and they would walk all over you.
Not good for either of you!