Friday, March 15, 2013

if you don't have something nice to say... don't say anything at all

A friend and I were discussing the other day a co-worker that has a bad attitude. We were joking that you would think someone in the yoga world would just be happy and yoga blissed out all the time, but unfortunately this person isn't.  I remarked that it is so much easier to be nice than to be mean. I made this comment to my friend in passing.  Days later she and I were talking again and she brought up what I said and told me it had really stuck with her.

It is so much easier to be nice than to be mean or angry. 

Think about it. When you are angry you get worked up. You are unproductive because you are spending your time and brain power thinking about how you were wronged- a driver cut you off, your server is rude, your boss hates you. You can feel the pressure building in your chest, the anxiety, the heat rising in your skin.

Guess what? These are all effects on you, not the person or thing that "wronged" you. So the only person suffering is you. I've held this belief for a very long time. Its a completely selfish idea. If I get upset because of what's going on with another person I am the person that suffers, not the person who did something rude or hurtful, so its easier to not get bent out of shape.

Now, this is a great idea in theory. But, reality check- I'm not perfect, neither are you, so we're going to get upset. We're human, we have feelings. Its been a constant struggle for me to not take things personally.

I'm the kind of girl that if I recommend somewhere for you to get a manicure and you don't like it, I feel personally responsible. I recognize that this is irrational, I didn't give you manicure, I'm not at fault, but I still feel awful.

Likewise I have a very hard time when someone insults me. Even if its the kind of snide comment that isn't really meant to dig deep, it does. A comment about the height of my heels can leave me reeling for a week, thinking of the smart comments I should have made in the moment, speculating about whether there was any truth in the insult.

I know how silly these things can sound, but I also imagine that each of you also has a sensitive spot that when someone pokes hurts. If not, tell me how you've managed to brush these comments off, I'm still trying to learn!

I'll tell you what I've been doing trying to do. I've been nice. As nice as I possibly can be. And not sarcastic, sugary nice, just nice. If a person makes a snide comment I am trying to realize that comment isn't about me, its about them, the tough day they are having, the fight they had with their mom, whatever else is going on in their life. The reality is, its easier for me to be nice than to be upset, be hurt, or be angry.

In the end, I'm taking the lazy way out, which is just fine with me.


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