If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say…
Your mama probably did always tell you, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all!” We all know it. But sometimes we forget and a little too much slips out at the moment. Now, I’m not talking about “BFF-level tell me how you really feel about this” type conversation. Yes, we are called to be really real sometimes, and that’s different.
Get Some Sleep, Girl!
Last week, my best friend was in the grocery store with her two small children after working all week and probably juggling cheerios and OJ, when an acquaintance walks up. She says hello and they chat for a few minutes, which she is expecting to be a simple and pleasant grocery-store level conversation. You know the kind: How are you? How are the kids? Is everyone settling for back-to-school? Then amidst the normal chit chat, this acquaintance proceeds to tell her not once, not twice, but THREE times (gasp) how very tired she looks.
And then, as walking away, send-off message she touts “Get some sleep, girl!”
My friend is baffled that this other mom has just put her down FOUR times about her apparently exhausted-looking face, and as this story is relayed to me, I am thinking: PEOPLE, just stop! “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say ANYTHING at all!”
Hot Mess Express
The most surprising part of this story (besides the obvious and overt rudeness), is that I happened to see that very friend that morning and she didn’t look tired at all. She looked happy and well-rested and, although she is incredibly successful and busy with her work, she never looks haggard or disheveled (unlike myself – don’t find me at Walmart market early on Saturday mornings!).
Keep It To Yourself
So, what was that? Was it an attempt to be self-elevating? Was it some sorry attempt to express concern? Was it something awkward people say when they can’t think of something nice? I really don’t know. But I can confidently say that it goes in the same bucket as “Are you pregnant?” and “Did you gain weight.” Just. Don’t. Say. It.
Offer A Compliment
If someone openly shares that they feel tired with you, please do feel compelled to ask how they are doing and if they would like to talk about sleep therapy or stress reduction or whatever feels appropriate. Try some yoga. Talk to your doctor. Otherwise, please keep all negative comments about the appearances of others to yourself! In contrast, you can make the world a better place by offering a compliment.
According to happify.com “Compliments don’t just make others feel great. They also enhance our own self-confidence. Giving a genuine compliment requires us to look for the good in others. In doing so, we also start to see the good in ourselves. We realize that we are all on the same journey together and that each of us has value to share with the world.”