Volume 12 Issue 1
Find A Nicer Way to Say Things
Start the new year, not with resolutions, but with ideas and knowledge about better ways to do things. You know to read your Bible, eat right, exercise, and do unto others the way you want them to do unto you. One area that affects everyone in the world on a daily basis is communication. Communication affects everyone daily.
I had a teacher in school who once said to Cynthia, my best friend at the time, that she had diarrhea of the mouth. What a Horrible analogy! I remember being so hurt for my bestie. Rather than saying, “You talk too much,” maybe “you could try to listen to others more.”
While I would never want to utter these words let alone speak them, I have heard people say, “you’re such a loser.” Now, there was probably a reason the words were said, but how much kinder and probably more successful would it be to say, “It would be great to see you set and achieve some goals.” That may make a positive difference rather than reinforcing some already believed negative thoughts.
When trying to motivate others, rather than saying, “You’re not trying hard enough” maybe “I know you have the ability to do this.”
Can you hear a smile? I contend that you can. The simplest request, when asked with a smile on your face, comes across better. It’s simply a nicer way to say things.
Are you using your manners? One example I use often, and overwhelmingly received positive response, is pointing out the difference of hearing, “You may be seated” and “Please be seated.” Our mothers were correct – manners count.
Are you asking or telling people? I often overhear people, who legitimately have the power over another, such as a manager for an employee, telling others what to do. There is nothing wrong with this form of communication, and as the lines of authority are clearly drawn, doesn’t it work better to ask versus state. “Go clean up the spill” is just not as nice as, “Would you clean up the spill?” It would be even better if you added manners to the question and threw in the word please. It is clear the underling is going to accomplish the task either way it is proposed, so find a nicer way to say it.
Further, it’s more than just verbal communication. Try writing a note to others. I was tickled beyond words a few months ago when my daughter left chocolate and a note that read, “Good morning, Beautiful” by my bed. The note (sans chocolate) was then left in her room. It continues to go back and forth, often hidden. What a fun communication game.
If writing a note is just not your forte, send a card. It really is the thought that counts. The idea that you took time to say something nice means a lot.
Non-verbal communication counts as well. Taking time to dress up for a meeting, whether with a vendor or a spouse, is noticed. Hand gestures, timeliness, and smiles all communicate internal thoughts, whether or not you realize you are sending any messages. Consistent tardiness, for example, suggests disrespect or disdain – is that what you really meant to say? It’s to be a few minutes early than have to apologize for being late.
We all communicate, verbally and non-verbally, daily. Consider both what you say and how you say it to see if there is a nice way to share your thoughts.
Blessings in Christ,