Kindness is believing that the person whom we trust is acting for our own good. Kindness is connected to the attachment to the person we want to trust. When doing an overview of the various existing research you can find similar concepts such as altruism and loyalty. What is more, there is a direct link between kindness and honesty. Honesty is the first essential element of trust building and a foundation for the perception of kindness. In addition to honesty, kindness is the second critical trait which determines whether we are seen as trustworthy.

Kindness and trust – a real life example

A few years ago I heard a story about a woman who was waiting for a plane which was delayed. As the delay was growing, she asked the person sitting next to her to look after her luggage as she went to buy her favorite chocolate cookies. After coming back, she began to read her newspaper and nibble on her cookies, taking one after another from her bag. She noticed that her neighbor also was taking them without permission. At first she was surprised but did not say anything. She thought the man might be taking his “reward” for looking after her bag. As he was still eating her cookies, she grew impatient. At first she gave him reproachful looks and then she started mumble under her nose but did not say anything out loud. At some point the man took out the last cookie. He looked at her gloomy face, broke it in half and gave it to her. That was too much. She rose abruptly, gave her neighbor a cold look, took her things and went to the check in gate. The man smiled cheerfully, waved to her and ate the whole cookie. As she boarded the plane, she noticed the packet with cookies was still unopened. She felt shame, embarrassment and relief she did not go further in her accusations. We might have all experienced such a situation in life, whether we express our feelings out loud or not. Anyhow, such experiences can teach us patience, mindfulness and kindness. They are a practical lesson of values.