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19 January 2009

Why do we wait until funerals to say positive things about someone?

There is one thing that I've often thought was sadder than a funeral itself. It is the way that everyone stands around saying what they liked about the deceased when they are no longer around to hear it. Sometimes it is even sadder to hear that they never told the person in question.

Why is it so hard for us to say positive things to each other?

It certainly seems easier to be critical and to say negative things. And when you think about this it does start to make sense.

Saying positive things opens us up and makes us vulnerable to the other person and to rejection. While saying negative things closes things down and seems to keep us safer and more distant from the other person.

One change I can make this year is to say positive things to people when I get the chance. Not suggesting to make stuff up, just to speak truth. I'm not waiting for another funeral to say a positive thing about someone. And if that opens me up to rejection then c'est la vie!

[Image source]

By Carruthers via Aide-mémoire

3 comments:

Ben said...

I'll carry around some regret, for the rest of my life, that the last time I spoke to a friend was 5 minutes before he was killed in an accident.

We were speaking about having an accident of the same type that killed him.

Never, ever, leave chances un-utilised to say something *great*.

meldet said...

Hi
I agree but also have thought at funerals when I hear the eulogy how much more there was to this person and how much more to their life story than I ever knew. Often the case when you get to know someone when they are in midlife I suppose. Makes me wish I had known some of that while they were here.
You are right Ben, never miss a chance to say something " great" to someone. Especially telling them how they might have helped, inspired or influenced you .

dekrazee1 said...

I made the decision some time ago to do just that. (Started from me thinking funerals were stupid.) At this point in time, I can confidently say most people around me know how I feel about them, whether they are close personal friends or just online acquaintances. Saying it is easy, it's a reaction of some of the population which makes it hard. (They just brush it off, look at you like you're mad, patronise you etc) Still, I learnt to do my bit, and not worry too much about the reaction I get. Gets easy after the first few. As with most things, just have to make it a habit.