The old adage goes that if you don’t have anything nice to say about Steve, don’t say it at all.
But what if you’re really in the mood to talk?
What if you’ve just consumed way too much coffee and you’re scrolling through your Instagram and that person you hate-follow because he or she she stole your heart/boyfriend/parrot/milk money has just uploaded the world’s MOST obnoxious picture and it reminded you of all of the things you can’t stand about said human, and your skin begins to crawl and your heart begins to race and if your phone didn’t cost a billion dollars you’d throw it at a brick wall — you’re expected to just sit there tight-lipped because polite society has deemed shit-talking passé?
Kind of. At least around any mutual friends or in circumstances where your words could be used against you. And while repressed emotions aren’t great for the psyche, neither is getting your heart rate up to a dangerous level just because you needed to go on a one-woman rant about how awful Phyllis is. Or Steve. I think we mentioned a Steve earlier.
So why not try the flip-switch trick and say something…nice.
A reader named Julia emailed me this video that was made to test that fineeee line rom-coms like to play with between love and hate. (Think about how much Kat hates Patrick in 10 Things I Hate About You at first. THEN THEY FALL IN LOVE. Also, I totally did not remember that Heath Ledger’s character’s name was Patrick. Had to look that fun fact up.) It seems almost impossible in real life but these people gave it a solid go:
Saying someone has nice skin is a great compliment. And we can pretend that the girl laughing is doing so because she remembered a very funny joke. They did a fairly good job, all things considering. (Guy at the end with the dimple, you can do better.)
There are maybe only two people on this planet that I really, truly dislike and the one nice thing I can say about both of them is that they had fantastic oral hygiene. They floss! That’s huge.
It’s unrealistic to pretend that we live in a world of marshmallow pies and compliments. But because it’s a Monday and that’s enough of a downer on its on, why not try and say something nice about the one person you really can’t stand.
Steve, Phyllis — congratulations on your healthy gums.
— Amelia Diamond
Image Courtesy of Grazia France, shot by Honer Akrawi