Friday, 10 April 2015

Silence Isn't Always Golden

I have often heard the saying, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” I think that these are wise words to live by. Sometimes I would like to repeat this short sentence to people when I receive complaints from customers at work or witness the gossip going around a group of people.

Although this idea of staying quiet if you are not going to be nice seems helpful, I have realized that sometimes when I do have something nice to say I don’t say anything at all!

I often think wonderful thoughts about others. I take notice of a kind word, a great new outfit, or even just think of how much I care for someone. I am quite aware of the things that I treasure in the people who I get to engage in life with. Lately I have been wondering why I too often keep these thoughts a secret.

I was with one of my closest friends the other week discussing a bit of a frustrating situation. Throughout the conversation I had the opportunity to share how much I love our friendship and her. Yes, she certainly knows all of these great things about our relationship but I realized that it should not only be during rare occasions that these thoughts are expressed.

Too often we let the things we are thinking float through our minds, getting lost between our tight schedule for tomorrow and our phone buzzing in our purse. As quickly as the nice thought comes in, it can get pushed out.

But what might happen if we actually shared with others the good things that we thought of them?

Would we have a world of egoistic, compliment hungry people? No, I actually don’t think so. I think we might end up with the opportunity to band together, speak life into each other, and remove some of this negativity and self-doubt that seems to be constantly poured over us.

For myself personally, I thrive off of positive affirmation. No, I do not need someone to follow me around cheering me on. But I do love when someone reaches out to me to encourage me. It may seem petty or unnecessary, but I love to be loved in this way... and I’m sure I am not alone.

It is amazing to me though, that even though I love people encouraging me, I probably only entertain and actually do something with about half of the compliments towards others that run through my head. Sometimes I think of someone and think of how nice it would be to write her a note or to send her a text with a positive word. And just like that, I don’t do it.

Life is tough and sometimes the negative voices in our minds toward ourselves can become all we can hear. And for some, that voice is louder than others. You don’t know the impact you might have on your co-workers, neighbours, or peer if you simply started to share the good things you think of them.

So if you have something nice to say, try sharing it. Be intentional. Focus on the character traits that you love in the people around you. Commit to complimenting at least one person a day in a substance-rich capacity.

Your words hold power. Silence isn’t always golden.

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