Would it kill you to say something nice?Posted: February 11, 2010
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.
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.