Today’s world offers many opportunities to be rude and indifferent to others. One may feel entitled to special treatment, impatient, or simply feel tired and grumpy. I posit that anonymity and speed are also catalysts as to how some humans mistreat others. In any case, each day we encounter many situations that cause us to feel stressed, offended, and angry; there’s no reason to allow toxic emotions control our interactions with others.
When we make snap decisions to follow through on negative emotions and react brusquely we are allowing outside circumstances and other people power over our happiness. We have the choice to take a breath or three to gather our composure so we can more mindfully respond to real and perceived threats. To refrain from reflexive, harsh speech can provide long lasting benefits for everyone concerned.
This is not to advocate in favor of people behaving like doormats. We are wise to stand up for ourselves in assertive, constructive ways. However it is wise to remember that a clever bon mot may cost us a friendship or business opportunity. Sometimes it is best to settle an argument by agreeing to disagree. Most times, escalating a minor quibble is not worth the negative emotions. It’s helpful to realize that someone else might be trying to cope with a difficult life situation that is completely unrelated to the quarrel. If this is the case, then it is best to simply defuse the situation and wish the other person well.
For most of us, quarrelsome situations are rare. Most of our interpersonal interactions are either neutral or pleasant. In such everyday scenarios, an authentic compliment or words of encouragement can make another person’s day better. To say something nice costs us nothing, but yields happiness to both parties in return.
Sincere compliments said with positive intent give people confidence and motivation. Such compliments are not flattery nor means to manipulate others. Sincere compliments are encouraging mainly because they are genuine and uplifting. To genuinely say something nice to a store clerk or a delivery person might be exactly what they need to hear in the midst of a hectic day at work. At any rate, to say something truly complimentary is an easy way to spread positivity and happiness.
When done with sensitivity, and without seeming too forward or cringy, expressing one’s positive observation about another person is a way of helping another person see one of their overlooked attributes. When the asset is brought to mind, self-confidence and self-respect are enhanced. There is no need to be uptight about saying nice things to each other. Our reluctance reveals that it might be time for a personal reassessment of oneself and our motives.
Although giving a quick compliment to someone else might appear shallow to some, if the nice words come from the heart in proper context, they are actually deep and meaningful. This is true for all of our relationships. It’s important to enhance a relationship with a significant partner or a spouse with small favors and treats. The simple act of sharing a sincere compliment or other nice thing is a vital part of maintaining the relationship. Rather than just yelling out “goodbye” as you rush out the door, to take a few moments to mindfully bid farewell in the morning with a loving statement makes a world of difference. Those careful moments may be the last memories they have of you.
In the end, nobody is absolutely certain about how long we will live on this earth. This is not an unpleasant thing to remember. When we are fully cognizant of our limited lifespan, we are more likely to feel gratitude for all the good things we own and the privilege of knowing people who share our journey through life. Saying something nice is an expression of gratitude.
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes author, humorist, singer, and voice actor, Garrison Keillor. “They say such nice things about people at their funerals that it makes me sad that I’m going to miss mine by just a few days.”