This Tuesday I paid a lot more attention to what I was saying to people and how I said it. I could only say things that were nice, true, and useful. Everything that I said, texted, facebooked, or emailed had to meet those requirements. After doing this, it really made me notice some things about myself and others that I had never really thought about before.
After telling some of my friends about what I had to do, they laughed and asked if I was serious. I told them that it was for a class and that yes, I was serious. They knew it would be difficult for me because I am a very sarcastic person. Its not that I am mean, I just joke around with my friends a lot and they know my personality and they do the same thing. So when I was only able to say nice but true things, my friends had a ball with it. They would try whatever they could to get me mad and say something “mean” or sarcastic. It was hard for me not to cave but I think I did pretty well.
When I was first assigned this self-observation, I didn’t really think I would notice or learn anything from it. I always thought of myself as a nice person who told the truth and didn’t really say mean things to other people. Once I actually did the observation, I realized that if someone who did not know my friends and me were to read our conversations over text, they would probably think that we hate each other and are really mean. I thought that was really interesting and something I can work on.
While doing this self-observation, I went food shopping. I still was only able to say nice, useful, and true things. I found that even if they are total strangers, if you are just nice to other people, most are nice back. I had always been taught that if you are nice to others, they are nice back. But I never really went out of my way to be nice to everyone I crossed paths with. Usually I would just smile at the other person trying to grab the same cereal as me, or just wait and grab the one next to it. Instead I started a nice, quick conversation joking about the cereal. After being nice to people and getting the same kindness back, it made my day a lot happier. I really enjoyed being able to only say nice things; it made me think more nice things.
Overall, I really enjoyed my experience with this self-observation. Even though in the beginning I thought it was going to be useless and I wasn’t going to have fun, I ended up really learning a lot.