Being Kind In Action
You never know what someone else is going through. So say something nice and give them a boost in their day.
A couple of years ago I watched a 60 Minute episode with Lesley Stahl sharing a story about how humans remember things. She was interviewing a professor who was researching memory and in particular how we remember. His study revealed that we more easily remember the negative things that are said to us, whither or not they’re even true. To prove his point he told Lesley she was a terrible reporter. He paused and then said, “that comment isn’t true, you’re great at what you do. But you’re not going to remember I said that. You’ll remember the negative fabrication.”
Since then I’ve read a few articles in Psychology Today about how we become programmed to remember the bad. There are different theories about this. But one of these articles shared a thought that stuck with me. We as people think nice things about people, even complete strangers, but we’ve been programmed not to say them out loud. Imagine if we could get over the social stigma of not looking at other people on the street or in the store and said the nice things that popped into our head.
Today my son and I went to The Yankee Candle shop somewhat near our house. It’s a tradition for us about this time of year. As we were walking through the store we saw a woman looking through a sales table. She was truly stunning and I told her she was. I didn’t say she was lovely or beautiful. I told her what popped into my head; “You’re stunning”. She blushed. She seemed somewhat taken aback and after a few seconds, she said “Wow you gave me a huge boost to my ego.” Then she asked if she could give me a hug and when she did, she whispered “You have no idea how much I needed something like that today”. That was it. Wasn’t a big discussion. We went on our way and she on hers.
We don’t need to know what others are going through. Everyone has their challenges. But it’s nice when you can be nice, out loud. You don’t have to make a big deal of it. A few words as you’re passing by someone. “Oh don’t you look dapper” is one of my favorite things to say when someone is all dressed up. It’s always nice when someone tells you, “I love that perfume you’re wearing”. Or “Wow I love that dress, it really looks good on you”. Don’t be afraid to complement a man either. I have a thing for hats, so I’m often telling guys “That’s a great hat”. I’ve been known to do that on FB and Twitter a time or two, so don’t think it’s only a good thing to say something in person. Words have energy too.
Being nice is a good thing. But putting some action behind it and saying it out loud, well I think that’s even better.
© 2016 Springwolf, D.D., Ph.D. Springwolf Reflections / Springs Haven, LLC. All Rights Reserved.