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Unkindness

  • Unkindness almost always stands for the displeasure that one has in oneself.

    • Adrienne Monnier,
    • 1939, in Richard McDougall, tr., The Very Rich Hours of Adrienne Monnier ()
  • Nobody pushed him uphill, but everybody was willing to lend a hand on the downward shove.

  • Unkindness is death to the home. One unkind, unsocial, critical, eternally dissatisfied member can destroy any family.

  • When the milk of human kindness turns sour, it is a singularly unpalatable draught.

  • Vinegar he poured on me all his life; I am well marinated; how can I be honey now?

  • ... a person who was clever ought to be clever enough not to be unjust or deliberately unkind to anyone.

  • People of delicate health, selfish dispositions, and coarse minds, can always bear the sufferings of others placidly.

  • Her mother used endearments a great deal — sometimes to put an edge to displeasure. 'Darling, how could you be so stupid!'

  • Words can bruise and break hearts, and minds as well. There are no black and blue marks, no broken bones to put in plaster cast, and therefore no prison bars for the offender.

  • I am not kind, I cut people off as with shears and I drop them like nettles.

  • I long to be ... Like Other People! The extraordinary, ungetatable, oddly cruel Other People, with their way of wantonly hurting and then accusing you of being thin-skinned, sulky, vindictive or ridiculous.

  • I think that the desire to be cruel and to hurt (with words because any other way might be dangerous to ourself) is part of human nature. Parties are battles (most parties), a conversation is a duel (often). Everybody's trying to hurt first, to get in the dig that will make him or her feel superior, feel triumph.

  • It is terrible to destroy a person's picture of himself in the interests of truth or some other abstraction.

  • The cold indifference, the each-for-himself look in the eyes of the people about her were like stinging slaps in the face.

  • There are murders as subtle as a turned eye.

  • One of the keys to our present definition of good taste is that it is better to be kind than to be 'correct.' There is no situation in which it is smart to be nasty.