If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say …


Wow, was I raised like this!

I remember in high school, the girl I most emulated was soooo nice. People would say, “She never says a bad word about anyone.” For a while, that’s what I wanted to be like, especially because my own thoughts ran rampant, swinging from happy to murderous in the same five minutes. In the South, where I lived at the time, angry women were frowned upon, unless you could master a kind of faux anger, where you playfully put your hands on your hips and pouted, all the while remaining cute.

All through high school, I practiced controlling my emotions to make them more acceptable, and because I was a new girl, I though it might make me acceptable as well.

After those years of hormonal upheaval, the murderous feelings subsided, but so did my ability to voice an opinion. At some point, I realized, I had given up my own voice to make other people comfortable. I’m still learning how to find that voice again.

Obviously, there is nothing wrong with being nice. But it’s being nice to the point where not making waves outweighs everything else that is the problem. Perfect example! I sometimes hesitate to tell the person blowdrying my hair that they are actually burning my scalp. I keep thinking they’ll stop any minute, and I won’t have to say, “That’s a little too hot for me, ha ha! I’m such a whiner!” On a much more important level, I put off having difficult conversations with my children that need to be had. I fall back into the pattern of saying nothing, when I have nothing nice to say.

But what if the truth is upsetting?

Here’s an article from the Elephant describing one woman’s thoughts on being too nice:

(Sorry about the racy ads, on my version at least. : (

Why Niceness is a Cover for our Struggle to Speak Truthfully