If you can’t say something nice…
Can you finish the sentence?
“If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”
I’m sure that most of us would have a nice wad of cash if we had a dollar for every time we heard that while we were growing up. At least I know I would.
I received this message from my family, and from society (i.e. my ballet teacher, I hate to admit it but I got kicked out of ballet class for talking too much at the ripe old age of 4, even though I am positive I must have been being “nice”.)
In my memory it seems that being nice was the only option allowed and approved. Anger was NOT nice. Grumpiness – NOT nice. Complaining – NOT nice. Whining – DEFINITELY NOT nice.
My Sweetheart’s brother likes to joke, “If you can’t say something nice, say something mean.”
And even though that was said as a joke, I think it is the thing that most people are trying to avoid by “not saying anything at all.” Most of us don’t want to “be mean”.
I will agree that there are times that just “not saying anything at all” can be the best choice. No sense in starting a melee over a small slight from a stranger in the grocery store line.
But what about the times we keep quiet with our loved ones, with those that are closest to us, with our colleagues we have to collaborate with every day, with co-workers, neighbors, friends, family?
When we avoid addressing something, we usually end up tolerating it. And when we find ourselves tolerating something we begin to foster resentment and anger and that can lead to depression (especially if we are keeping it all inside because we want to be “nice”), not to mention all sorts of other stress.
The key here is being able to address a situation without being mean, and without being injudiciously nice.
This really is possible, and it begins with being observant and aware, choosing to be nonjudgmental and relaxed, and acting from a motivation of Love (as opposed to Fear).
Love & Magic,
If you’re ready to address that issue that you’ve been avoiding, end the conflicts and connect on a deeper level with the people in your life click here. And remember to use the code MAGIC to get a special limited time only discount.