Kindness is a rarity in a busy world where each person predominantly looks out for themselves. So, when we experience an act of kindness, we often take the time to step back and appreciate the actions of that thoughtful human being who made our day a little brighter. But not all acts of kindness go a long way – and Reddit have come together to list the ‘kind’ gestures that actually just lead to annoyance or inconvenience:
Yielding in traffic when you have right of way
Even if you’re the one this person is trying to help, it’s so freaking dangerous – and never actually helpful. If you’re that desperate to perform a kind act, buy us a coffee instead of trying to let us in at a dangerous intersection. Waving us through when you have right of way, and we’re parked at a stop sign is just going to create massive confusion anyway. It’s anxiety-inducing enough to ruin any benefit that the kindness may have added to our days anyway – so just don’t try.
When someone tries to ‘one-up’ you with their own hardship story to comfort you
PSA: this doesn’t really work. It’s also really hard to not do; when a person you care about opens up to you about their struggles, we tend to respond with our own experiences as a subconscious means of relating to them – but it doesn’t always come across positively. Simply saying “I’m sorry you have to go through this” and making a genuine effort to listen will go much further than any sentence that begins with “OMG same”.
When people take heavy items out of your arms to lighten your load, but it actually just throws you off balance
Let us struggle in peace – this rule is especially relevant for the devil’s spawn who try to help a waiter unload drinks from a crowded tray. Unless you want to wear your chardonnay, just don’t.
Offering to do basic tasks for someone with a visible disability
When we see somebody with a cane struggling, instinctively we want to step in – but this isn’t always the kindest way to go about things. Firstly, you could mess with their balance and cause an injury. Secondly, sometimes performing particular tasks provide a person with a sense of empowerment – so while it might be polite to offer to help someone you think is in need, you must never, ever insist, and always ask first.
Give someone a surprise puppy for Christmas
Pet ownership is a huge responsibility, so gifting an animal to a person who didn’t consent to those responsibilities is doing an injustice to the pet and owners alike. Sure, animals can make lovely and meaningful gifts – but it’s so much better to have a conversation about it before the exchange, rather than surprise them with a commitment they mightn’t be prepared to meet.
When the waiter drops by way too soon
We’ve all been there, a few minutes into a fresh, sizzling meal being delivered to our restaurant table and our mouths are full of burger, and the waiter rocks up with ye olde “is everything okay with your meal?” The hasty swallows, watering eyes and hurried nods that come with this question almost make me not want to eat out ever again. Uber Eats, anyone?
When you’re at the dinner table and people keep offering you food
In some social circles, when dinner is served, the words “no thanks, I’m not hungry” disappear from the human tongue. If we’re hungry, we’ll eat more. We promise.
It’s great to be nice – but goddamn, sometimes it’s more trouble than it’s worth. Just remember to consider the implications of your actions. Do you have any pet peeves when it comes to acts of kindness? Drop them in the comments below!