Kindness confused with weakness
The economy of boundaries
Ok this is a draft. Haven’t really been able to formulate this in a way that’s somehow clear to me.
I’ve been contemplating how I should behave with contractors at the construction site. I’ve experienced it all I think and the general approach for me has been appreciation and kindness to everyone who steps into the site. I’ve met incompetent, I’ve seen drunk people, I’ve seen rude, sexist, racist workers, and I’ve seen wonderful, thoughtful, best-in-country and proud craftsmen. The question is how to keep kindness as the underlying and consistent behaviour in me.
And is it kindness when my vibe is not to try to seem difficult. Why do I do that? No worries. That’s fine.
I’ve noticed that with people who are professional are also the ones where negotiating price and quality of outcome is easier. The good ones seem to have space for receiving kindness that manifests in practical terms of two things; negotiating time and sometimes price on the basis of good work.
Those I fundamentally do not get along with there’s of course down the line not so much kindness involved. Angry emails and threats of breaking contracts and legal action. And I think the first seeds to observe the incompatibility between people is when kindness or humanity is seen as a weakness.
Sometimes I’ve experienced people who are not very good at their work try to act kind to somehow justify their bad work. Does that make sense? What is that all about? It’s as if kindness is an opaque veil for the hope of getting away with the subpar work. Is kindness here weaponised or is it just a way to cope? Human nature? Puppy eyes?
To me, the economy of being kind, is efficiency and not necessarily naivety (although it might be about general anxiety of avoiding conflict). It takes a lot of energy to be defensive selectively. It’s easier to be consistent and the chances of kindness paying off is not monetary but just the general feeling of positivity about a process and ultimately being gifted with a perspective of a larger context.
But this is hard.
I say kind. You say set boundaries! OK! Fine…of course. But setting boundaries also have its limits.
Sometimes, in a weird way, I dream of the day I can create the House terms and conditions, visiting rules and codify those boundaries. Those written boundaries from within I can legitimately operate and funnel slowly and surely our operation and space to be a comfortable and safe one for everyone.
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