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[Video] Give yourself permission to be unkind

By Michal Spiegelman

I had a good laugh with myself when reading the title; I chose for this vlog. Being kind to others and myself is one of my top values. I just spent a major part of a workshop I hosted, teaching women how to embody being kind. So what’s the story with promoting being unkind, suddenly?

Watch this 6-minute video and find out.

I’m really curious to hear your perspective this time, even if it’s different than mine.
What do you think? How would you handle the situation differently?

Post in the comments area. I promise I’ll reply!

Meet Michal
Michal Spiegelman

Michal Spiegelman is Medical Intuitive who helps women get to the root source behind disease, disharmony, imbalance, stress, and trauma-related conditions.

Having studied in Israel, Germany, England, and the U.S., Michal is a Certified Professional Coach, a Reiki Master, and a former social worker who brings years of experience working with a variety of modalities into her intuitive teachings, coaching and mentoring.

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  1. Beth Halsema

    I call it jerking a knot in there chain.I’ve found usually once brought to their attention they do a self check.They are much more pleasant to be around.

    • Michal

      I have a feeling that you refer to a specific experience that you had, Beth. Maybe a loved one who abused you on some level and you had to set a boundary. If it someone that you spend a lot of time with, and you continually call them on their behavior, you have success with navigating a process of change. With people that are not so close to us, I’m not sure that it makes them more pleasant to be around. IN those cases, we set the boundary focusing on US and our needs, and most of the times, it will not change their behavior. I appreciate your comment.

      • josiah truschka

        you see I have taught it to always be kind no matter what because sometimes that person is angry and bitter and are being unkind because they have things they need to let go of and they have so much pain inside they are holding onto they feel the need to bring someone down and be a jack*** to them to bring them down to their level, and what they need is love and compassion and a simple i know you feel this way and im sorry, but if you backlash at them they will respond and then you will have a yelling match and it’s not good because then they have accomplished what they wanted to in the first place and that is that they brought you down to their level so being mean to people only makes the situation worse.. please for the love of God always show people love and compassion and teach them forgiveness

        • Michal

          I appreciate your honesty and courage to speak your truth, Josiah! And you are right: “to always be kind no matter what” is a value we want to live by. In fact, one of the Reiki Principles that I teach in my classes is: “Just for today, be kind to all living things”. That’s why this conversation is important. Because “being kind to all living things” includes being kind to ourselves. And I am wondering if there are situations where being kind to ourselves means setting a boundary at all cost, and not putting up with “abuse”. Again: idealy: always be kind. And if you’re not, forgive yourself.

      • Wanda Hernandez

        I have to set boundaries for some of my patients who are verbally abusive. I remind them that i am a professional and i am there to provide quality care to them but , that I am not there to be verbally abused. I reintroduce myself to them and tell them that we should start over again. This approach always works for me.

  2. Juliet Blake

    Some people are all about control. As empaths, we may run into these types constantly. We tend to attract them.

    Some of them are bulldozers and some of them wear a velvet glove that hides the fist. It’s important to be very clear about what you will tolerate. Whatever you allow will continue.

    Everyone has the capacity to be unkind. No one in the flesh is exempt from this. My sense of ethics will be to show (or expect) compassion if the unkindness comes from stress, overwhelm, trying to protect yourself, or establish boundaries. If it is sourced in mean-spiritedness, bullying, trying to exploit someone, or just seeking power, I will be very uncompassionate. It’s all a matter of where it is coming from. You need keen discernment sometimes to determine which is which. The fact that you would even post this suggests that you may be questioning yourself as an empath would. Trust me, the woman in your story wouldn’t spend one minute doubting herself. She doesn’t deserve a good soul like you.

  3. Gwynyth Isaacson

    Thank you for this lesson!! I am a sensitive and a public school teacher. Two things that frequently do not mesh well. Working in a public school places me in a position of having to protect myself a lot. It’s very difficult to maintain boundaries when part of my gift is being open to others so I can help them grow and learn. I’ve only recently begun to work toward the idea that this is possible without hurting myself in the process. This message is very helpful. Being able to speak up for myself is not an easy task. So thank you for your explanation and guidance.
    In Kindness anfnLove,

    • Nancy Dyer

      Some people are so full of negative, it’s the only thing they understand, and they only way they receive the message. Thank you for sharing this, another great example of setting your boundary, and some people won’t let you be nice about it.

      • Michal

        I hear you, Nancy! I know that you face similar situations daily because of your job. I know how king and loving you are in your nature. That’s what what you wrote is perfect for you. Stand strong in your boundaries, sister!

    • Michal

      Thank you for sharing from the heart, Gwynyth. It is interesting to read your message today, because yesterday, during my Reiki class one of the students shared that he is a public school teacher, and he said that the reason he came to Reiki is helping him ground and protect himself energetically so he can be in better serve for his students. You are working in a demanding environment and you need to take care of yourself.

  4. Sandi

    I have been married to my husband for 51 years.
    It has taken a long time to understand that some of his behavior is verbal abuse.
    Other times he can be very nice, and caring. It is his anger that gets him into trouble,
    and harms be at times. This I do not respect. It is a bit late in my life to make changes,
    but I am slowly learning to draw boundaries and stand up and communicate by feelings more to him.

    • Michal

      Since I know you, Sandi, I can honestly say that it has been an honor to watch you grow in the last few month. You demonstrated that it is never too late. With the help of the Wise Woman within you, you are learning when it is time to stand strong in your boundaries. Don’t be too hard on yourself, dear!

  5. Karen Lee

    I completely understand what you felt…I have experienced the same controlling people.
    It is hard to stand up for yourself and create those boundaries but also so very important.
    Thank you for sharing…

    • michal

      Thank you for writing, Karen.

  6. Amanda Yown

    I agree with you 100%. Some people are always negative no matter what you do or what the day may bring to them it’s like they always find something negative to say.

    I have been in this situation. It was with a co-worker as well. No matter what he was doing he was always negative. He would find something to complain about.
    It actually got so bad that it started effecting my own mood when I was around him. I would come into work happy ready to start my shift but being around this co-worker drained me.
    I had finally had enough and asked him not to be around me. That I needed him to leave me alone.
    I started feeling like a ton of bricks was lifted off my shoulders.

    I personally had to take a step back regroup my boundaries so I physically could start feeling like myself again.

  7. Nancy Seibel

    I think self-observation and self-awareness is key here. Am I being petty, reactive, unfair? Or am I in a situation where my emotional or physical integrity is threatened? You spoke of taking responsibility in our Master training call last week, which is so important. I think we have a responsibility to take care of ourselves, to not allow others to harm us, whether or not they’re doing so on purpose. Is a woman experiencing sexual harassment or abuse required to be kind to the harasser? No! Is a someone being controlled or threatened by another person required to be kind? No! Why? Because you, me, all of us, deserve to be safe. If we are treated in a threatening way and a kind response isn’t improving the situation, then we have a responsibility to express negative feeling if necessary to put an end to it. And I don’t think being angry or firm or exasperated is necessarily unkindness. It’s complicated but I think we can hold both loving-kindness and strong negative feeling – though maybe not in the same moment! I’m not sure my thoughts are entirely clear, so what I’m writing here may not be either. I guess my bottom line is, I don’t see this as not living by the Reiki principles. You too deserve kindness. When you encounter the opposite, you have a right to protect yourself from it. I don’t think this is “unkind,” which I understand as devaluing another as a human being with aggression, oppression or lack of empathy.

    • Michal

      Nancy! Thank you so much. You know how much I appreciate you as a writer and a wise woman. Your bottom line really speaks to me: “I don’t see this as not living by the Reiki principles. You too deserve kindness. When you encounter the opposite, you have a right to protect yourself from it. I don’t think this is “unkind,” which I understand as devaluing another as a human being with aggression, oppression or lack of empathy.”
      Could I be kinder? probably yes. But considering how I felt in the moment, I did my best. And like you said: self-awareness is the key.

  8. Jen

    i don’t think it’s being unkind to set a boundary or state what you’re not willing to accept from a person who is being a bully, negative or controlling. Being unkind would be intentionally not being nice to someone, speaking to them in a harsh tone when not warranted. What you did was not unkind, you were being nice to her and decided not to be treated in an unkind manner which is fair. People like her need to know it’s not ok to treat people the way she did or does.

    • Michal

      I appropriate you taking the time and writing, Jen. You know that I always value your wisdom. You are making an important point: are we doing it intentionally or unintentional. You made me think…

    • Nancy L. Seibel

      Michal, thank you for opening up this discussion. You shared a distressing and thought provoking experience in a way that has engaged us in an important conversation with ourselves, and with each other.


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