Would it kill you to say something nice?

Yesterday I saw something very unusual. As a matter of fact, I’d say it was  even moving.

I saw someone actually say something encouraging to a person planning to get married.

...and there is cake. What's not to like?

It seems almost a convention that when people meet someone  about to get married that they say something clever like “don’t do it” or encourage them to run away, fast. Now I like joking around as much as the next person, possibly more. I just never have figured out how humorously warning people against committing to the person they love was funny.

I was with a group from a class that I teach, waiting to tour a facility relating to the class. There was a lull in the conversation, then someone mentioned the upcoming wedding of a woman in the group. Several members of the group made the obligatory jokes. Then someone did what I wish I would have thought to do myself.

“You’re doing a wonderful thing” said a man in the group who was both older than the woman, and essentially a stranger to her. He went on. “If you put into it what you want to get out of it, you will get even more from it than you realize.” The woman looked at him, almost shocked that he’d said it. She then smiled and said “thank you, I think you’re right.

Well, there you have it. That is exactly what I will be telling people when they get married or move in together (yes, I do think that is a commitment) from here out, every time.

Relationships are people’s own personal choices. We ought to honor those choices by honestly supporting them and encouraging their happiness, not hiding behind lame jokes. Is living with another independent adult a challenge? Yes. Does it have its rewards? Oh yeah.

Do you know what else I noticed? Neither the soon to be newlywed nor the older gentleman who encouraged her with the wisdom gained in his relationship seemed a bit threatened by the fact that people of the same sex are able to marry in some places. Yeah, I know,  a little off the original topic.

Sometimes I just want to say things.

Let’s practice together, shall we? Say it with me:

You are doing a good thing. If you put into it what you want to get out of it, you will get even more from it than you realize.


10 Comments on “Would it kill you to say something nice?”

  1. wineaux62 says:

    Timely thoughts…

  2. KathiD says:

    I like that plan. I do try to say an encouraging word whenever I can. I learned from my mother that kind words reap rewards.

  3. Karen says:

    I agree that this is a lovely pre-Valentine’s Day sentiment. I’d say KathiD’s grandma was onto something that extending it to all types of relationships isn’t a bad idea.

    Several years back on a particularly bad day, I was so weary of hearing negative gossip when, as The Universe is wont to do, it delivered nice gossip. I was struck, as you were in this situation, by the notion that it was surprising to me that someone said something nice about someone who wasn’t there to hear it. I decided to pass it along and what eventually came of it was a fun weekly staff thing called Virtual Chocolate (which I’m sure since then has become the name of an Internet candy store or two). I picked chocolate since that’s a teacher favorite. Each week I compiled submissions from the staff and sent out an email with all the nice things people had to say about others. I also put a little piece of real chocolate in the mailbox of the “gossipees.”

    Not only did it improve everyone’s mood, it significantly decreased the amount of negative energy I’d been receiving.

    Gosh, I feel like I’m about to launch into a rendition of “Kumbaya” or something. Anyway…thumbs up to this post!

    • omawarisan says:

      Thank you!

      It really ought not be surprising when people are kind, but it is, isn’t it? People sometimes don’t even know how to respond when they do get a compliment.

  4. pienbiscuits says:

    What an excellent statement. You can apply that to just about anything. You get a much better feeling in your stomach when you say something positive to a person. It makes your day as well as theirs. I try to do this most days, but if I can’t, then I strive to do better next time. If more of us did this, we would start to turn the tide on this strange assertion that being nasty and cold is a sign of strength.

    • omawarisan says:

      Nasty and cold as a sign of strength to some is a good point. That has to be exhausting to put up that kind of front. I worked with some one like that years ago. She never smiled and joked, no one knew anything about her. Her participation in the work group we were both in waned, then ended. None of us ever knew why because she made herself so unapproachable while trying to look strong.

  5. Kate says:

    Thanks for this post, Oma! The older gentleman sounds like a helluva guy. From my perspective, no one ever made the “don’t do it” jokes to me, but they made them to my husband. This all makes me wonder if these “jokes” are made more to men than to women, following the stereotype that women find marriage romantic while men think of it as acquiring a ball and chain. Thoughts?

  6. omawarisan says:

    I think you’re right. It is more common for guys to do it to one another. Ive seen it done to a few women, but never seen a woman tell another woman to run away.

    It is ironic that this and the ball and chain label are applied toward women only. Neither sex really has an exclusive hold on controlling behavior, but I don’t know anyone who is controlling who is in a healthy relationship.

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