This wasn’t the original post I had in mind for this week, but it just seemed like the right option. This has been on my mind lately, and I wanted to just share my thoughts with all of you. I’m honestly a little surprised I haven’t done any posts about this topic yet. It’s super important and useful for everyone. It is also something that I am continually working on improving in my own life.
Words are powerful things. Words can create or destroy. There are words of love and words of hate.
My words have not always been the best, but I’m working on it. I’ve said some mean things and things I regret. But I’ve also said a lot of kind words and offered a lot of support. The older I get, the more I want my words to be genuine and kind. This doesn’t mean I won’t fail or be sarcastic. I’m human and I mess up. But I want people to remember me as encouraging and uplifting rather than cutting and degrading.
One way I’m working on doing this is by complimenting things as I see them. Right now, that mainly focuses on my friends. I had a friend recently get a new tattoo. I told her that I really liked it privately over the same media I saw it. She then complimented my tattoo as well. Neither of us had to do that kind of a thing, but it was a really good moment of showing support.
I have another friend who I more recently began talking to. We used to be really close when we were younger, but time kind of pulled us apart. We are on very different paths of our lives, but that doesn’t mean we can’t support each other. We have had conversations about how we both respect what each other is doing. Recently, she did something that she felt was a little outside her comfort zone and posted about it. What she did looked good on her, and I told her so.
In both of these instances, these weren’t things I HAD to say. That’s more of what I am talking about when I say to be nice. Be nice with your words because you WANT to be, not because you HAVE to be.
You can’t take back words once you say them. A lot of times, words are not easily forgotten. Even though it has long since been deleted out of my inbox, I can still see the email I got from a professor saying that I may have to drop her class because my schedule was busy. I can still hear words said by someone in a class that still gets me fired up. I remember yelling at some people because I finally hit my limit with them.
But for all those bad words I remember, I remember a lot of good ones as well. I was home over the weekend for a baby shower and went to my church on Sunday. Two different people told me that I looked good. I’m probably going to remember that for a while. I can hear one of my best friend’s voices when I walked into her house because we hadn’t seen each other in a while.
I remember the insults and the pain, but I also remember the kind words and support. I’m working on being supportive and surrounding myself with people who support me. I think that’s really important. It’s not enough just to be kind. You have to have kind people around you as well. I talked last week about the different kinds of friends I have. One of those is those who always shoot straight with me. But just because they keep me straight does not mean that they are unkind. They tell me when I’m being dumb, but they don’t make me feel bad or degrade me in any way. That’s an important distinction! Do not surround yourself with people who make you feel bad about who you are. I was talking with the guys at work the other day, and I mentioned that I cheered all four years of high school. One of them was a little surprised because he said he couldn’t picture me as a cheerleader. But never once did he insult me because I was a cheerleader.
This mindset is something I want to both give and receive. I offer support as much as I receive it. If my friends are going through something, I want to be there for them. I know that I’m the emotional friend (going back to what I talked about last night) but I also try to be straight and real with my friends.
That’s part of what I want. Not just being kind and supportive, but being real. I want kindness to be such a real part of me that it flows out to everyone I interact with. So I’m working on changing my mindset. I can be mean and judgmental (most of the time those words don’t leave my mouth), but I can also be kind and supportive. I want those to be more common than the harsh remarks. There is enough hate in this world. I don’t want to spread any more.
I hope you’re like me. I hope you have a desire to be kind. Support those around you. You give off the energy you receive. So surround yourself with kind people and you can get better at it too. Be supportive. Your words have a powerful impact. Encourage those around you. Give compliments when you see them. Brighten someone’s day. Use your words to create and nurture, and watch how much you grow.