Kind vs. Nice : Is there a difference?

Have you ever stopped to contemplate the difference between being kind or being nice?

A former boss of mine calls me every 4–6 weeks to say “hi” and see how I am doing.

At first, when his call would come in, I wouldn’t answer thinking that it must be a mistake, a “butt-dial”. My name does start with an “A” after all, and why would he be interested in checking in with me? He wouldn’t leave a voicemail, but then a few weeks later the call would come again.

The last time his number came across my caller ID, I finally decided to answer. He was so pleased to have reached me. It was a very intentional call, intended to connect and stay engaged! It was a great conversation and I felt his genuine care and interest in me.

During the 10 minute call, I learned he schedules time on his calendar for these seemingly impromptu calls to friends and colleagues. If he doesn’t reach the person, no harm no foul, he just tries again some weeks later. In an age where it seems every moment is busy, emails pile up, text messages disconnect us and social media pulls at our attention, this heart-felt, direct and engaging outreach touched me!

So back to the original question…Is there a difference between kind and nice? What is the difference?

Adrienne Bankert, an Emmy award winning ABC New journalist and Good Morning America correspondent, describes the difference between kind and nice in her book Your Hidden Superpower : The Kindness That Makes You Unbeatable at Work and Connects You with Anyone.

“…nice is being polite to people; kind is connection with people. Both can be conveyed without words and within seconds. Kindness ultimately lasts. Nice can be a busy person’s attempt to be kind. Kindness transforms us into genuinely caring people who enjoy seeing others thrive and succeed.”

I am now practicing this impromptu calling approach. While “liking” a social media post or sending a random text to people in my network is NICE, reaching someone by phone for an intentional and genuine moment of connection is KIND. I certainly haven’t perfected this kindness approach, but in each instance where I have scheduled time for impromptu calls, it feels great and the friends I have reached have been touched in a similar way as my boss touched me!

How would you differentiate between kind and nice? How can you step more into the “kindness zone”?



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Amanda P Burton

Amanda P Burton

Business & Personal Development Coach, Sound Healer & Thought Leader teaching mindfulness, understanding & empowerment and demonstrating abundance for all.