How to Be Kind—Always with a Key Fierce Kindness Tool: The Kindometer

Kindometer Image with Happy Lady

In this article we’re looking more closely at one of the 4 Threads of Fierce Kindness: 3) Choose Kindness – Always.

Being kind is a brave and radical act!

Have you noticed how our society is becoming less considerate of other people, even as we all yearn for connection?

Online forums and social media allow us to vent our rage and hostility without having to ‘face’ the consequences. Corporations constantly make decisions that put more strain on their workers or the local area/residents. Technology and media companies (TV shows, news, movies, online games, search engines, phone apps etc.) are only concerned with making money and knowingly choose to make their products more addictive.

UNkind behaviour across all walks of life is becoming the norm. So when we’re kind, we stand out, which is why being kind is a brave and radical act!

Why a Kindometer?

I find visuals the best way to help us remember concepts and ideas, so I created the “Kindometer” as a tool to help us put Fierce Kindness into daily practice.

The Kindometer will help you:

  1. Visually remember to be kind.
  2. Focus on kindness as your primary response both to ourselves – and others.
  3. Consciously choose an appropriate level of kindness – so that we are neither bullied nor bully others.

Kindness is a practice

When we’re tired, stressed or overwhelmed, or when we feel ignored, unimportant and upset, it can be really hard to be kind to ourselves and others. And yet. This is when it’s most important to practice kindness. This is an opportunity to role model for others that there IS a different way to be.

Crucially we must be the change we wish to see in the world.

So kindness is something we continually work towards—a practice. We won’t always achieve it, and that’s OK, but we can make it our goal or practice. And when we do this, it becomes our way of BEING.

How to pronounce Kindometer

Kindometer is pronounced like the mileometer or odometer on your car. Kind-OM-eter.

Introducing the Kindometer!

The Kindometer is a visual representation of the different zones of Kindness we can choose from. And it helps us consider what type of Kindness may be required for a particular situation.

Personally, I use the Kindometer to help me visualise what level of kindness is needed in any given situation—and also to remember to avoid the “Red Zone” of just plain Fierce.

How to use The Kindometer and the 4 Levels of Kindness!

Being kind always is a path we must consciously choose. We can always be kind, we just need to choose what level of kindness is needed.

Level 1) KindLevel 1 Kind on the Kindometer

Level 1 is simple kindness (which of course is not always so simple when life happens!)

This is our base level – we aim to always be kind.

For example:

  • When we notice we’ve made a mistake, we can choose to be kind and gentle with ourselves instead of beating ourselves up.
  • Or when someone irritates us, we can choose to be kind in our response to them.

Level 2) Fiercely KindLevel 2) Fiercely Kind on the Kindometer

Level 2 on the Kindometer adds a little “Fierceness” to the mix.

Fierce Kindness is kindness plus courage to be braver, go deeper, stretch ourselves and take bold action when needed.

Adding Fierceness brings in qualities like strength, determination, perseverance, integrity – and courage. And being Fiercely Kind is about accessing these inner qualities to help us be kind and do the right thing, in situations where it may be hard.

For example:

  • It takes courage to be kind to another and stand up for what is right – especially when it might mean losing a potential friend or standing out at work.
  • And it takes a special type of courage to do the work to look within ourselves and see the truth of who we are eg. to fully own our weaknesses – and our strengths!

Level 3) Kindly FierceLevel 3) Kindly Fierce on the Kindometer

When we feel threatened, we may need to access Kind Fierceness. This means being as Fierce as we need to be, but using the minimum amount of ‘force’ necessary. Generally this will not be physical force, but our presence and verbal energy.

So this is a step up from being Fiercely Kind.

When we’re Kindly Fierce we need to amp up our delivery to the next level of intensity.

This doesn’t mean shouting, but it may mean raising your voice a little, maintaining eye contact and using calm body language that shows you mean what you’re saying.***

When we’re Kindly Fierce, our kindness is embedded in the clarity and solidity of our words – in our commitment to protect ourselves, our environment or our loved ones.

***Obviously we need to do this safely and not put ourselves in physical danger eg. with someone who is high or violent etc.

Level 4) Fierce

I am never proud to participate in violence, yet, I know that each of us must care enough for ourselves, that we can be ready and able to come to our own defense when and wherever needed. Maya Angelou

Level 4) Fierce on the KindometerBeing (just plain) Fierce when we truly need to be, is the ultimate level of kindness to ourselves.

BUT. And it’s a big but. We should only use this option when pure Fierceness is the only choice left to us.

This is literally the “red zone” and it’s reserved for dangerous and life-threatening situations – like when we need to let someone know to leave us alone, stop putting us at risk or we must fight physically for our survival.

If you’re reading this, the chances are you won’t need this level (just plain Fierce) often – hopefully at all. Sadly this isn’t true for people living in more precarious living situations, or in less wealthy countries.

Unfortunately, it’s too easy to slip into Fierce, when Fierce Kindness or Kind Fierceness would work instead.

And that’s where the Kindometer comes in: as a reminder that we have other options and ways to be…

Change the world. Start with you!

Wrap-upFierce Kindness Logo

So, next time you’re feeling stressed, tired, or someone is rubbing you up the wrong way – remember the Kindometer: What level of kindness is needed here?

Be gentle with yourself as you develop your Fierce Kindness practice…

There are just some times when it’s easier to be kind than others. And as we get more practice in, we get better at it and it becomes a habit – something we do naturally.

I hope you’ll watch for next week’s article where I share a step-by-step guide on how to use the Kindometer (with examples)!

Be part of the solution and make Fierce Kindness your practice!

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Image of Happy Woman on yellow background by via Shutterstock


  1. Ruby McGuire

    I LOVE all of your posts Emma-Louise. This is such a lovely visual way to consider kindness, I will keep this in mind in my interactions. Thank you for sharing 🙂

    • Emma-Louise Elsey

      Thank-you Ruby! Glad you found it helpful 🙂 Love Emma-Louise x

  2. Tonya Hyman

    This is such a great reminder and a great tool. It is so needed at this time. I often have to remind myself to just breathe, before doing anything else. I think this is a similar tool to use, prior to responding or reacting … or even thinking. Thank you, as always.

    • Emma-Louise Elsey

      Hi Tonya, so glad you find the Kindometer useful 🙂 And “Just Breathe” or “Take a Breath First” are also very useful “tools” 🙂
      Em x

    • Emma-Louise Elsey

      Dear Clare,
      That is wonderful! So glad you liked it and thank-you for sharing <3
      Em xxx


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