Growing up my mom always told me, “if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” I understand that. Don’t say something that isn’t kind. But, why aren’t we encouraged more to say nice things? To compliment people. We seem to focus on the negative, not saying mean things, as opposed to the positive, saying kind things.
The other day I walked into a store, and the manager stopped me and told me she thought I was beautiful. Now, whether or not that is true is not the point. The point is that she thought I was beautiful, and she was kind enough to tell me. Not just think it as we so often do. That made me feel lovely. It made me feel special if only for that moment.
Why don’t we tell people they are beautiful when we think it? Why don’t we tell someone they are intelligent when they impress us with their knowledge? Why don’t we tell that girl in our class that we like her shoes? Why don’t we tell the barista that they did an excellent job making our coffee?
Is it because of our pride? We don’t want to seem impressed by someone else in an attempt to somehow boost our self confidence? Man. So often we put other people down, or don’t build them up because we want to seem better than them. We don’t want to give them the satisfaction that someone else likes what they do or what they have or how they look. We want them to feel less than us. That’s thanks to insecurities. They are a beast. They make us who we don’t want to be and hold us back from being who we do want to be. They don’t have to though.
Take it a day at a time. Everyday for the next week try to compliment at least one person. Don’t just make something up to check it off your list for the day. Find something you really like about someone and just tell them. It’s as easy as that. I truly believe that if we begin to do this, it will get easier, and then it will become natural to encourage people, and in turn, we will be glad we were able to make someone smile for even a moment. Imagine if you compliment someone, and then because you have encouraged them, they go and do it for someone else, and so on. I’m not saying we are going to change the world, but maybe we can change the attitude of our small community, our school, or our group of friends.
“Say something if you have something nice to say” is going to be our new phrase. Just say it. It will make them feel special and will make you feel good that you were able to encourage even just one person today.