On Saying Nice Things


I read somewhere that today is “Say Something Nice Day”, and that got me thinking about the power of kind words. It’s been a rough week, for lots of reasons, but I’m finally feeling like things are turning around a bit.

I go through life fairly independently, and while I have good friends who make my life better by being in it, I’m still a very solitary person. I used to really pride myself on that independence, because I’ve always felt that showing emotions is a weakness, rather than a strength. This last week, however, I’ve shown more emotions in public than I’m generally comfortable with and I’ve learned that it’s maybe not so bad.

It’s amazing what the power of a few kind words will do, whether it’s someone telling you they think you’re pretty great, or saying that they hope things get better because you deserve to be happy. (Each of those things have been said to me in the last 10 days or so, and I needed to hear them both for wildly different, yet important, reasons.)

I was going to drop nice messages in people’s DMs on Twitter, but then I realized that I’d be at it for hours and hours (and I don’t have time for that). Instead, I’m going to try it here:

  • To those of you who offered a sympathetic ear last week – thank you. It helps me to know that there are people in my corner who will listen when I need to talk. I’m bad at asking, though, so I doubly appreciate that you all recognized that I needed someone to talk to. If I didn’t take you up on it this time, I can almost assure you I’ll need you again.
  • To those of you who offered to make things right for me – I do appreciate that too. I’m not big on vengeance or retribution, but the fact that people were willing to really go to bat for me means an awful lot.
  • To everyone I talk to regularly on the twitter machine – I’ve built a really great little community there and I’m always amazed at how much you guys pay attention to what’s going on in my life. It means the world to me that you all care as much as you do, and I’m grateful for the support I get. (I suppose I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank the Oilers for being the worst, because I definitely wouldn’t have that community without them. Thanks, losers.)
  • To those of you who see me all the time and heard variations of the same story on multiple occasions – thank you for letting me vent. I definitely need to talk things through to really process what’s going on and while I know I’m repetitive, it’s very helpful to me to have people I can talk to who will actually listen.
  • To those of you I complain to all the time about all the things – I appreciate that you take it and offer advice and tell me that I’m being dumb and overreacting (because I know that’s the case), but I also really appreciate that you don’t tell me to go away because there aren’t many people out there I trust as much as I do you.
  • To those of you who phoned and asked if you could do anything – it’s not that I don’t appreciate the gesture, but I was near tears for most of the last 8 days, and I wasn’t ready to talk to anyone if I didn’t have to. (That said, I might have to call in a favour or two.)
  • To my students who are more observant than I probably give them credit for – thanks for not pushing me past my breaking point. It brings me a lot of joy to spend time with you guys (most days, anyway), and if it hadn’t been for you I may not have made it through the week.
  • To the Hallway of Winners – I don’t have the words to thank the three of you for everything (not just now, but all year long). I don’t say it enough but I can’t imagine a better group of people to work with, and even though I’ll deny it in person, I do know the difference between love and hate and I love you more than you know.

I’m fortunate to have an amazing network of people in my life, and I can’t imagine having to go through any kind of strife without them.

Tell the people you care about that you do, in fact, care about them. Hell, tell them you love them if that’s true. It matters, and it’s always nice to know you’re being thought of.