Kristen Bell has built a career on kindness.
I mean, when you think of her you can’t help but think of a gentle soul and a friendly face.
Both her roles and her generally bubbly outward demeanor paint a very kind picture of the actress. And that is the authentic Kristen!
But now the actress is getting real about kindness. In a new essay she penned for Cosmopolitan, Bell opens up about being nice and argues that kindness manifests itself in unconventional ways.
Bell discusses that growing up, she found strength in kindness. The boost we all get from performing good deeds fueled Bell for a lot of her life.
So the actress hit a bit of a rut when she wasn’t getting the roles and jobs she wanted and found herself feeling down.
Naturally, she turned to her friends. Bell explains,
“I had, unknowingly, tied my self-worth to everyone other than myself. Most
of my friends validated my feelings, and I loved them for it! I was happy to hear, ‘You’re right! You should be getting those roles. You deserve it.'”
She then turned to her husband, Dax Shepard, who gave her a surprising response. He said,
“Are you crazy? This is a self-destructive path. You can only compare your current self to your former self. You’ll get a comparison hangover if you constantly measure your worth against someone else.”
Instead of just validating her feelings, Bell’s husband was upfront and honest. In this moment, Kristen explains that she was surprised, but learned and grew so much. She explains that his words were a true act of kindness. She states,
“It was at that moment I realized being nice isn’t synonymous with being kind. Being kind is more than a smile on the street or donating to charitable causes. It’s even more than making people feel good. Not to dismiss any of these acts. They are all wonderful and admirable and imperative to making the world go round. But kindness is different. Kindness is the high dive. It requires courage and vulnerability to choose to be honest with people when they may not want to hear it. Real talk — it’s scary. Like, pee-in-your-pants scary. But it’s also worth it because when executed correctly, kindness can produce real personal evolution.”
We truly love these words from Kristen and the actions of her husband Dax. We love supporting our friends and loved ones, but sometimes the truest forms of kindness are surprising. Helping people along their life’s path often requires a dose of difficult honesty, but that is the truest form of kindness.