Quotes / Cruel to Be Kind

And when I ask you to be nice, you say
"You gotta be cruel to be kind, in the right measure
Cruel to be kind, it's a very good sign
Cruel to be kind, it means that I love you
Baby, you gotta be cruel to be kind."
— Nick Lowe, "Cruel To Be Kind"

"I must be cruel only to be kind.
Thus bad begins and worse remains behind."
Hamlet, Hamlet, Act 3, Scene 4, 177179

"I mean, don't..." he hesitates, "don't buy into it. Their... thing. Their weird worshipful thing. They'll try to mold you. They don't mean to. But... they're naive... sad wigglers... don't be an ass. And by that I guess I mean be an ass. Don't let them walk over you with their sad broken souls, push back as hard as you can and force them to stand on their own."
Karkat, Cultstuck

Elan: Jeez, Belkar. I can't believe you said all that to Roy. Don't you think that was a little harsh?
Belkar: Isn't that why you losers keep me around? Hurting people is the only thing I'm good at.

"'Proteus' is one of my favorite stories in the original comics, largely because it has a moment that the adaptation skips over for no good reason. In Claremont and Byrne's original story, Wolverine is every bit as shaken as he is here, and Cyclops realizes that he has to do something to snap him out of his depression or else he's going to be so shaken that next time they fight, which is inevitable at this point, he's going to get killed.

So Cyclops straight throws a cup of coffee in his face, calls him a coward, and bodyslams his ass to the friggin' ground. It is, without question, my single favorite thing Cyclops has ever done. It's this perfect blend of ruthless dedication to the mission above all and complete social awkwardness that encapsulates his character. I mean, I'm pretty sure you're not supposed to respond to psychological trauma by throwing hot liquids into the victim's face, but it gets Wolverine back on his feet to fight again, forcing him to repress all that fear to get the job done, just like Cyclops himself does. It's the rosetta stone to understanding his character, and it's the reason that the Cyclops of the '70s and early '80s is actually a really cool character especially as compared to his '90s counterpart."
Chris Sims on X-Men, "Proteus, Part 2"

Shinji: Why did you lie?
Asuka: What?
Shinji: When it became apparent that we'd be the only ones left, I was glad that at least you were here with me. Not because I was with somebody, but because I was with you. And I believed you, when you said that you would feel the same way about me. But that was just a lie, wasn't it? It never mattered to you that it was me. You just didn't want to be alone; anybody would... (Asuka slaps him)
Asuka: How... how dare you...?
Shinji: If you really love me, why are you trying to take away what I love more than anything else?
Asuka: So you already love it mo...
Shinji: I'm talking about you! Can't you see that it will kill you if you go on like this? Didn't you say you never wanted to give up life again?
Asuka: I- I did... didn't want... I...
Shinji: So, do you really want to leave me here by myself... or are you going to eat something?
Asuka (giving in): This isn't fair...
Shinji: No. No, it's not...

Shinji: Nine bullets. I'm sure there will be plenty enough for you. You're not much of the Shakespeare type, so I don't think you'll use them on yourself. But...if you want to join me, or fight, you'll still have the choice.
Asuka: Shinji...
Shinji: What? You want to ask me to die with you? You know what? Kaoru may have been right...he told me that this had all happened before.
Asuka: What... what are you saying? Shinji... I... I thought...
Shinji: What if it's my fault, Asuka? What if everything is happening because of me? Because of Unit-01? If I am the thing that's holding you back... and making you give up, then I will fix that right now.
Asuka: Shinji... I just wanted us to be...
Shinji: For the last week, the only thing on my mind is trying to figure out how to get you back. How to make you fight back. Like you taught me to. If I'm just a bandage to make it hurt less, then I'd rather you have to sew yourself up.
Asuka: You...I was only...
Shinji: Then GET IN THAT PLUG!

Asuka: I thought Shinji was your best friend.
Misato: Shinji's a doormat.
Asuka: Isn't that my line?
Misato: He is! He's helpful and earnest and very nice, but he wouldn't know assertiveness if it walked up and bit him. And it's so frustrating! He stands up to you all the time, I see it, but with everyone else he's a passive little mouse.
Asuka: That's true. He doesn't like it when I yell at him, and he's learned that being assertive around me means I'll be nicer to him. But the rest of you are too polite to criticize him, so he doesn't feel the need to change. Typical Japanese.
Misato: How delightfully racist of you.
Asuka: It's true. You only ever called him out when it came to his piloting; apart from that you let him do whatever he wanted, which was usually nothing at all. What did you expect?

Supergirl: But we don't have to go out there with our dukes up, spoiling for a fight. Do we, Kal?
Superman: No. Most of the time, it comes to us.
Supergirl: Well, it's gonna have to start coming somewhere else before long. I'm tired of this. I wasn't born to be a, a super-heroine. I just wanted to be a normal girl from Argo, and, and get a good job and a good man and settle down...
Superman: (gently) Except, there aren't very many people from Argo left anymore. Are there, Kara?
Supergirl: Oh.
Dev-Em: El, You have got the most peculiar set of proprieties I've ever seen. Why don't you just shove a Daxamite knife through her heart? Or would that be too kind?
Superman: What I'm trying to remind her of is that our powers place us in a certain position. And it's one of obligation. No one on Earth can do what we can, and very often, to protect it and other planets, we are required to do everything we're capable of.

In 1980 or '81 — I forget — Jack [Abel] had a stroke that paralyzed his right arm and his drawing/inking hand.[...]Then, Howard Chaykin came breezing in. Howard had been one of Jack's roommates at Continuity.
Howard's opening line was words to the effect, "You were a lousy inker anyway, so no great loss." Then he proceeded to insult Jack's talents, his ancestry, his looks, his wife, his kids.....
Jack looked up. At Howard. And fired back. And they had a raucous insult-fest.
It brought Jack back to life.
Thank you, Howard. You knew what to do and you did it, while we dimwits stood around helplessly.

Q: That was a difficult admission. Another man would have been humiliated to say those words. Another man would have rather died than ask for help.
Capt. Picard: I understand what you've done here, Q. But I think the lesson could have been learned without the loss of 18 members of my crew.
Q: If you can't take a little bloody nose, maybe you ought to go back home and crawl under your bed. It's not safe out here. It's wondrous, with treasures to satiate desires both subtle and gross. But it's not for the timid.

"Because I am hard, you will not like me. But the more you hate me, the more you will learn."