Causes: Growing up in a loving home; having a strong sense of kinship with others; being the recipient of kindness; a feeling of wellness derived from giving; an appreciation and connectedness with the world and living things in it; having one's life shaped a moment of kindness at a crucial time in one's past
Characters in Literature: Diana Barry (Anne of Green Gables); Mr. & Mrs. Weasley (Harry Potter); Peeta (The Hunger Games); Juliette & Adam (Shatter Me)
Positives: When in a safe environment, Kind characters are genuine and forthright, and their giving nature and positive attitude draws people in. Observant and often great listeners, Kindlies type uses their intuitive sense and provides an uplifting word or act when another needs it most. Most kindhearted people see it as their duty to help when and where they can, even when it requires a sacrifice of some sort.
Negatives: Kindlies know how to bestow acts of generosity, but often grow flustered or overly humble when kindness is returned to them. Because of their giving nature, their first instinct is to refuse the gift because they do not want to be a burden, or tell the other person it wasn't necessary. If they accept it, they feel compelled to 'repay' the kindness, which can leave the giver feeling less satisfied. They also commonly refuse help or don't let others know when they need it, denying others the chance to participate in kindness themselves and get the feel-good rush that comes from giving. Sometimes a Kindly's act or gift has a sacrifice component attached to it, which can make the recipient feel guilty about taking it.
Common Portrayals: Grandparents, the elderly, nurses and heath care personnel, counselors, mothers, women
Cliches to Avoid: The cookie-baking grandmother; kindness paired with 'demure & submissive'
Twists on the Traditional Kindly:
- Kindness is a very likable trait, especially when it belongs to a male. Show us more kind, REALISTIC male characters (but don't go overboard as masculinity must always factor in).
- The most powerful kindness comes when the person giving it has every right and reason not to be kind. This requires strong characterization & character motivation to make it work, but when it does? Magic.
- Kindness is often paired with 'soft' positive traits that are in a similar range (friendliness, generosity, caring, etc). What better way for kindness to stand out than by pulling some darker or discordant traits (such as the ones listed below?)