Difference Between Kindness and Compassion

Kindness and compassion are categorized as feelings that are recognized as the basic human value. It shapes the relationship between people along with shaping the community.


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These two factors are believed to bring peace and happiness to the world. Kindness and compassion are not just limited to help others, but it is also acting towards oneself.

But these two are often confused as they require similar qualities.

Kindness vs Compassion

The difference between kindness and compassion is that kindness is an action and compassion is a feeling for other living being. An act of kindness can even be done without feeling towards the person at all but in compassion, one feels and relates to the other person and then works on it.

Kindness vs Compassion

Kindness is an act where one tries to help someone who is in despair or requires help. In an act of kindness, it is not necessary to feel towards that person. It can be even done without feeling anything at all.

Whereas compassion is the ability to feel for someone and experience the same things that the other person is going through and work on it to help them.

Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonKindnessCompassion
DefineAct of trying to help others who are in need.The ability to feel for someone or experience the same to feel it.
FeelingDoes not involve much feelingInvolves deep feeling in others misery
ActionMight feel sorry but not act on itFeel the same emotions as the other person does
BibleMentioned in a separated chapter in bibleNo separate reference
InvolvementMight not feel but still doInvolvement of feeling and emotions and then acts on it.
ExampleSending flowers to someone who is ill.A  caring nurse taking care of an ill person.

What is Kindness?

Kindness is an action that is seen by others as a social signal. It includes actions such as care, affection, warmth, playfulness, generosity, consideration, and concerns towards others.

Act of kindness caters to openness and humility. Kindness promotes us to emphasize people, and help the one who is in need and also support one through difficult situations.

Kindness is one of the major topics discussed in the bible. It is quoted as “helpfulness towards someone in need, not in return for anything, nor advantage of the helper himself, but for that of the person helped”.

It is considered one of the knightly virtues.

Act of kindness can be proved both in small and big gestures. It can be experienced in all- a heartfelt word of encouragement, a thoughtful gesture of affection, an act of generosity, and many more.

Act of kindness often involves chores that have to be made as there will be more tempting or easier choices to make such as anger and apathy, but one needs to stand strong to their core and be kind to others.

A common misconception that people often have with the theory of kindness is that they believe one can only be kind towards others, but that is not the case before treating anyone one should be treating oneself with the same amount of care and generosity.


What is Compassion?

Compassion is an inner experience. Compassion refers to “suffering together”.

It involves letting oneself be impacted by the suffering of others and experience it to motivate and help others. Act of compassion can be defined by several factors such as sympathy, empathy, concern, patience, wisdom, kindness, and resolving the matter.

The process of compassion includes relating to the other person on any ground as it is only possible to sympathize or empathize with someone if we anyhow relate to that person or their experiences. Compassion has the ability to the feeling f kindness and forgiveness into a person often helps to prevent a situation.

Dalai Lama had quoted “compassion is a necessity, not a luxury” and “it is a question of human survival”. Compassion is an evolved function from a harmony of the grid of internal system includes- contentment-and-peace system, goals-and-drives system, and threat-and-safety system.


 Main Difference Between Kindness and Compassion

  1. Kindness is the act of trying to help others who are in need or are in despair whereas compassion is the ability to feel for someone or experience the same amount of suffering the other person is going through and act on it.
  2. Act of kindness does not involve necessarily involve much feeling. It may or may not involve feeling whereas compassion involves very strong feelings acting upon it.
  3. In kindness, the person may feel sorry for the one in despair but might not act on it. However, in the case of compassion, the person experiences the same feeling like the one in despair.
  4. The reference of kindness is mentioned in a separate chapter in the bible whereas for compassion there is no separate chapter mentioned for it.
  5. In kindness, there might be no or very little involvement of feeling is it majorly n action whereas it is quite the opposite for compassion as there is a huge involvement of feeling which is then later put into action.
Difference Between Kindness and Compassion


  1. https://psycnet.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037/a0013237
  2. https://www.jstor.org/stable/2118238
  3. https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s10615-007-0091-7.pdf
  4. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0092656606000353
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