A while ago I was driving home with a friend when they said, “someone was talking about you today.” I instantly thought to myself, “Here we go again…” When a friend comes to you saying someone has been talking about you most people instantly assume that they are about to hear some sort of nasty story or rumor. To my surprise this wasn’t the case at all - my friend actually told me something nice that someone else had said about me. After we were done talking – I felt really good. So good in fact that I developed a new theory I like to call “Say it to their face.”
Whether we like to hear it or not negative things people say about us seem to make their way to our ears. We’ve heard it all before with comments ranging from our looks to our demeanor or attitude.
The amazing thing about this is that most of us have been on both sides of the fence. In many situations we may not be saying it directly to the persons face we may find ourselves commenting to a friend, “Who would wear that?” or “Can you believe they would do such a thing?”
On the surface it appears harmless, but what if the person found out? Would they be happy to know that you thought what they were wearing was ridiculous or that you think the way they act isn’t up to your standard?
We all know that sooner or later all the “bad” information seems to make its way back to the person it’s about. When you hear it – how does it make you feel? I can tell you from personal experience that it doesn’t feel good. You start feeling angry followed by a wealth of frustration and ending with a lowered sense of self-worth (to think it all began with someone saying something harmless to someone else).
The keyword here being “harmless” because when we make the comments we don’t think they are going to actually be heard by the person – we don’t want to intentionally hurt anyone’s feelings, but each time we say something harmful it could possibly happen.
What if we could take our “harmless” words and use them to do some good. As it currently stands, we often hear about the negative things people say about us, but how often do people share the good things with us? Sure, we do hear good things every once and while, but I would bet good money that the bad things we hear out numbers the good in 9 out of every 10 situations.
So, what’s stopping us? If our words are truly “harmless” wouldn’t it also be easy to say nice things to people? But, we often hold back. We’ll think it, but we won’t say it. Why is that? We know how good it feels to hear really nice things about us and we know it doesn’t take much to share our “harmless” words – so what’s holding us back?
As the band Sloan would say, “If it feels good, do it.” From this point forward I’m saying it to their face.