If You Don't Have Anything Nice to Say...

For as far back as I can remember, I was taught that if I didn’t have anything nice to say, that I shouldn’t say anything at all.  Not only was I taught that, but it stuck, and I passed it right on down the line when I had my own daughter -and I would have to guess I have said it a time or two (hundred) to other young people I have encountered over the years.  Now, that’s all well and good, and I certainly still agree with the message, but it seems like there should be a little more to the story…what about the importance of saying the nice things?  It seems like we are always talking about the DON’Ts, the list of things we shouldn’t do, but what about encouraging the DOs?

I have recently made it my personal mission to say the nice things I think about people, out loud, to them, rather than simply holding back any negative thoughts.  While I certainly like to have pleasant, positive thoughts floating around in that head of mine, it sure seems like those positive thoughts might go a lot further in the minds of those of whom I am thinking. 

I am beyond impressed with so many things about so many people on a daily basis, so why shouldn’t they know about it?  Not so long ago, I told a stranger in the pedicure chair next to me that I thought she was gorgeous -because she was!  I’ll never forget the look on my daughter’s face, the silent mouthing of “DO YOU KNOW HER???” and the facial evidence of at least a little mortification that is typical at her age whenever I open my mouth.  No, I didn’t know her, but shouldn’t she know how pretty she is?  And unless she is not an actual human female, I am sure she doubts certain things about herself from time to time; I can only hope that my compliment made her smile and feel good about herself at least in that moment -if not a couple of times after that when she repeated the story of the crazy lady next to her at the nail salon.  My biggest takeaway from that experience was that I need to ensure my daughter feels comfortable telling other people the positive things she thinks about them.  I’ll cut her some slack and not expect her to talk to strangers (I am not trying to un-do all of my lessons here), but I sure hope she remembers to tell people around her how great they are.

I am sure you are surrounded by amazing people, so stop just keeping your lips zipped when you have moments of negativity, and let loose with your thoughts when they are positive.  Tell people how impressive they are!  I am always in awe of all of the amazing young women I encounter every time I am at a SHINE event, so if you are reading this, YOU are amazing and the world needs your positivity!  

Let it shine!