To The People Who Lie To Us: Thank You
Don’t let the title alarm you. I don’t mean people who maliciously lie, the ones who will tell a tall tale whenever the time comes to manipulate or cheat someone. I’m talking about people who spare another’s feelings, who take the time to feel the atmosphere and realize that someone may need a little lift at the moment.
We’ve all run into them sometime in our lives. The partners who kindly comment on their significant other’s appearance although it’s basic at best. The parent who leans in a little more to whisper praise in their child’s ear. The boss who recognizes a workplace fan and approaches them with a handshake even though there’s more pressing issues to address.
Those are the heros, the emotionally astute who take the time to make someone’s day. They enjoy watching their admirers lift their shoulders, stand a little straighter and feel good about themselves. They’re uninhibited, willing to take a chance, knowing that their comment will matter to someone.
At a time when the rate of depression and the number of suicides are only growing, it’s good to have people like them around. As opposed to the ones who will never deliver a kind word if nothing rewarding is in it for them. Or the colleagues who exclude others for the sake of appearing as company powerballs. There’s a lot at stake when you practice kindness toward others, when you take the time to wish someone well, to ask about their day or their family. You can potentially be mocked or looked suspiciously upon. Can’t tell you the number of people I’ve paid a compliment to who looked both ways and over their shoulders, waiting for some boogeyman to come out from somewhere.
Some may argue they don’t enjoy pseudo comments. They want the truth and don’t need to have their feelings spared. I say they’re wrong and lying to themselves. Who can’t use a small lie now and then, to get them back on track, to make a bad day, better? We can all use people in our lives who go out of their way to make others comfortable. Of course, it’s our job to make sure that this interaction isn’t flagrant or deceitful. But there’s nothing wrong with accepting and giving an innocent compliment now and then. It could change the course of someone’s life.