I think at one point or another most people have heard the phrase, "Hey, I'm just being honest."
This society has given honesty a negative connotation, and that is ridiculous. If being honest is showing the worst of your human nature, that says a lot about American society. This is shown through phrases like, "That was brutally honest." It seems the term honesty is used to justify being mean to people, but we need to change that and, instead, retrain our society to be nice.
What if we changed things around. What if we said, "I'm just being brutally kind?" Isn't that honesty if it is genuine?
Have you ever been walking past someone and thought, "Oh, wow, I love those shoes," or "Her hair is so cute," or "She's beautiful," or "His band shirt is rad!" Any nice thought toward someone? Some of us choose to act on those passing thoughts and tell the person, but a lot of times we don't tell them.
Why is that? Part of our hesitation may be our pride. People typically don't want to come across as creepy, weird, or awkward. But it shouldn't be awkward to tell your friend that they are fierce, beautiful, and compassionate!
Here are four reasons to speak the kindness we think in our heads.
1. It will probably make them smile
Not only will it cause the person to smile, but it might make their day. When we are noticed and appreciated for how we look, our characteristics, personality, or attributes, we feel affirmed and encouraged.
2. If you don't say it, someone else might not
This goes back to the quote, "Be the change you want to see in the world." Assuming someone else will take care of it or make the change passes responsibility to everyone but yourself. Some of us assume people know they look good or know that they have a cute laugh, but it is shocking how untrue that is.
We usually see every tiny flaw in ourselves and sometimes don't see the amazing parts of who we are and how we look. C'mon. If we justify saying mean things to people, we can definitely justify any awkwardness to say kind words.
3. It can spark a new friendship
I cannot count the number of friends I've made by going out of my way to say something nice to someone I didn't know. Spreading kindness has an element of vulnerability and is a great way to put down your wall, pride, or hesitation, and show another human that you are brothers and sisters.
4. It is contagious
At my college, we spend a lot of time complimenting and affirming each other. Like, all the time. And I can't stress enough how rewarding and beautiful it is. Once someone starts speaking kindness, others start doing the same. It's helped me learn more about myself and given me confidence in the good qualities.
Each time you think something kind about someone, tell them. Tell your barista you love her headband, tell your girlfriend she's a warrior, tell your choir-buddy they have a beautiful voice, tell your friend he looks cool, tell your sister she's compassionate. You will never regret being kind. And, if you're afraid people will find it weird, just give a disclosure or say it in a non-creepy way.
Don't hold back a timely word that will make someone smile one more time in their life.
Be honest. Be kind