Why is it so Hard to Say Something Nice?

Why is it so Hard to Say Something Nice?


It is easy to be critical and to comment on things when they are done incorrectly.  It is much more difficult to say something nice.

Saying something nice often requires looking past what is wrong. That is hard for me. I want to attack problems. Often that means attacking people. Being critical of others does not inspire people to want to do their best. Often the focus is on the people instead of the problem.

I have to remind myself that most times people are trying to do their best. If I try to address the person instead of the problem I won’t get the results I want. If for instance somebody produces a bad quality product it would be best not to demean them. Instead I should ask what caused the quality issue and try to get the person involved to try to help find a solution.

Being nice instead of critical requires patience. It is easier to just lose my cool and blow off steam than to sit back and gather facts. It is also easier to look for fault in a person than discover a problem in a process.

The trouble is once you damage the person, or a relationship, they are much harder to fix. Processes can always be fixed – they don’t have feelings.

Some may say that being nice means being taken advantage of. I supposed that can happen. But being nice shouldn’t mean being  a push over. It just means treating people fairly and with respect. For more on this topic see an article from mindful.org on this topic – Being a Kind Boss Pays Off.

Not only will being nice make people want to work with you, it will also make them want to stay. Finding good, and even mediocre employees is difficult. It is expensive to hire and train new people. On top of that most managers have no say over pay and benefits offered by a company. Often times the only way a manager can influence employee retention is by creating a positive work environment.

I have to remind myself everyday that it is my number one job to make the work environment a positive place. That is hard to do some days. How often do I come to work and it seems like everything is going wrong? Machines are broke down, people are acting inappropriately, upper management is making demands, and I just feel tired and wore out.

When I get feeling too overwhelmed the best thing I can do is look outside myself. Instead of getting wrapped up in my problems I need to look to help others with theirs. There is a lot to be said for the positive benefits of doing good for others.

Work makes a lot of demands on a person. When you are responsible for others it is easy to feel like your own needs aren’t being met. It is easy to get wrapped up in your own problems. Sometimes it is hard to just stop and be nice. Being nice is easy though and the payoffs can be huge.

This week I am going to do my best to be nice even when others aren’t nice to me.


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