It’s not always easy to say what’s on your mind.
Personally, I thrive at having entire conversations in my head. I can work things out, make plans for later, overthink something from 10 years ago, and make myself laugh—sometimes accidentally out loud.
There are times however, when I’ll be with a person or group of people, and I’ll find myself walking away from a conversation or situation where I wish I would have said something. Maybe it was a compliment I wanted to give, a joke I wanted tell, a story I wished I had the courage to share, or simply a hello, how are you? But for whatever reason, it just sits there on the end of my tongue and doesn’t budge.
So, I’ve been trying to do better.
The way I see it, if you have good intentions, and especially good jokes, you should do your best to share them with other people. You should share you with other people. Even though sometimes it’s scary, and sometimes your friend just went to the bathroom and left you at this table with a bunch of random people you don’t know and you wish you could hide under your chair until they get back.
I’m not saying you have to make awkward, miserable small talk, or say things you don’t mean, but if you find a compliment forming or a relatable story coming to mind, go for it.
Make your mark on a conversation, or on that stranger whose ______ you really like.
Say what you’re thinking, even if it’s just hello. You never know what kind of internal dialogue someone else is having, and you never know how much you can put their mind at ease. Maybe you can make them laugh or tell them something they’ve never heard before or simply make them feel noticed. Maybe you can inspire them to try something new or be inspired yourself. Maybe you’ll make a new friend who might feel just as uncomfortable as you are in a certain situation, and who might even offer you contraband snacks. You never know.
On the opposite side of this whole situation, it’s also not always easy to receive compliments.
Personally, I thrive at deflecting, rejecting and passing them along so I don’t have to bear the weight for even a second. Compliments make me uncomfortable, and sometimes overwhelmed. My toes curl up inside my shoes and I usually change the subject as fast as I can.
But again, I’m trying to do better.
For as uncomfortable as compliments might be in the moment, they’re not going to hurt in the long run. Like on those days when you feel like a troll who doesn’t dare leave the house looking like such a disaster, or when you feel rejected or sad or alone. It’s times like these when we could use a compliment or two, some motivation and encouragement that we are more than we are making ourselves out to be, and deserve more than we’ve led ourselves to believe.
So, when someone tells you look nice, or when they compliment a project you’re working on or a blog you posted or a meal you made, keep it. When someone thanks you for being a good friend or for a good gift or for a great day, keep it. Keep those compliments and tuck them away for later. For when you need them most.
Say the good things and keep the good things. You deserve them, someone else might need them, and sometimes there might be snacks. It’s a win win win as far as I’m concerned.