The Golden Rule We've Forgotten

There’s a simple rule that so many of us grew up hearing: if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. It’s really a basic concept, yet our society has somehow completely forgotten what it means to be nice to each other.


In a world of social media arguments, politics, cancel culture, unrealistic standards, and so much more, most people seem to have forgotten that one simple rule. People say and post things without even considering the weight of their words.


It’s not just the online world that is struggling to follow this simple rule. It’s friendships, relationships, and even how we talk to ourselves.


So let’s take this rule we all learned as kids and apply it to parts of our grown up lives… because it’s time to start being nice again and learning to have a simple filter.

Relationships:


It’s easy to get too comfortable in your relationships. If you’re in a serious relationship, I hope you and your partner are honest with each other about how you feel; however, I think we can sometimes be too honest and can say things in a hurtful way without even realizing it.


Your partner is going to do things that get under your skin. Heck, I’ve had times that I want to yell at Jake just because of the way he’s eating his cereal.


We’ve gotta learn to still be kind to each other even though we are comfortable with our partners. Find ways to cool off if you’re irritable. Tell your partner that you need a little space because you’re feeling a little moody.


Your partner is never your punching bag.



Yourself:


It took me a long time to apply the golden rule to how I talk to myself. You have to understand this: the way you talk to yourself MATTERS.


Let me say that again: THE WAY YOU TALK TO YOURSELF MATTERS.


I have always been my biggest critic.


I would pick apart every single picture I was in.

I would wake up and notice countless flaws when I looked in the mirror.

I would tell myself how lazy I was for not being motivated to work out.

I would beat myself up for eating an unhealthy meal.

I would constantly think about something embarrassing I did months ago.


This is something I’ve been working on a lot lately. Every time I start thinking like this, I ask myself, would I ever say that to a friend?


Would I ever point out that her arm looks a little bigger from that angle in a picture? Would I ever tell her how dumb she was for bombing a test? Would I ever intentionally say anything that I knew would hurt her feelings and confidence? No.


There’s a difference between being your biggest critic and being your biggest bully.


It’s okay to be tough on yourself and have high expectations. It’s not okay to never give yourself grace and never learn to actually love yourself.


Be kind to others and yourself.



Social media:


If your feed is anything like mine these days, it’s exhausting. Politics and COVID have everyone's tensions sky-high.


Here’s the thing: we all have different opinions about so many different things. We always have. Now it’s just easier than ever to broadcast your opinions and hide behind a screen while telling people why their opinion is wrong... I’m here to tell you, you aren’t changing their opinions.


No matter how right you think you are, people probably aren’t going to change what they think over a social media argument.


It's okay to have different beliefs about things. It can actually be really awesome to learn about people's opinions. You can still respect them even if they're different from yours.


If you need to, unfriend or mute people who only add drama to your feed. If you have the urge to snap back at someone on social media, get off your phone. Take some time to think about it. If you still want to say something to them, consider sending them a DM instead.


Just because it’s on social media doesn’t mean it’s not rude. I know half the things I see on my feed would never be said in person. Stop hiding behind your phones, and don’t say something if your main objective is to be mean, degrading, or argumentative. That comment or post can end up haunting you in the long run.


And don't even think that commenting something rude on someone's social media is okay. Even if they're famous, viral, or you don't know them, they are still human too.



Strangers:


I don't know why it's so easy for us to judge someone without even knowing them. We're all guilty of saying something mean about someone across the room that we don't know.


Don't say anything at all. Even if you aren't saying something right to their face, you still shouldn't say something mean about them to your friends.


You have no idea what their story is. Strangers are people with feelings just like you and me.

In a mean world, be the nice one. Do whatever you have to do to just be kind and think before you say something.