Question of the Week: How important is it to focus on using positive language with our peers?
Now, under most circumstances, as a fully grown adult male, beautiful isn't really an adjective that I'm used to hearing about myself, nor is it even on my top ten list of things I'd like to hear about my appearance. Nevertheless, when it comes from my 2 year old daughter, there is a distinctly warm and fuzzy feeling attached. The truth is, she doesn't have all of the language tools at her disposal to offer a more gender-appropriate compliment, but it doesn't matter. At 2, she has gone out of her way to say something to me that she knows to be positive, (regardless of whether or not it's true or relevant,) and there's something about that that feels really nice.
The activity we did in Citizenship last week was, in many ways, very similar to the comments from my daughter. There are too many times in Junior High, where you are hearing things said TO you or ABOUT you that are rude or mean or hateful, and not nearly enough opportunities for you to hear what other like about you. What's more, is that technology has made it so easy to say things that are mean or rude without us really having to face the consequences.
Writing positive comments about your peers in Citizenship ultimately accomplished 2 things. First of all, hopefully the comments gave you a little boost. After all, hearing positives about ourselves, regardless of their origins (as with my daughter's comments), makes us feel good. Even if comments are vague, or simplified, or coming from someone who doesn't know us well, there is value in hearing that we are perceived as being "nice" or "pretty." Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, every one of you, even if you did not take the activity very seriously, made an effort to write POSITIVE comments about your peers. This, in itself, speaks volumes for the type of people that you are, and shows that you are all capable of finding something nice to say to someone else - even if you don't know them. As my daughter would probably say: "That's really very beautiful," and it is, isn't it.
Based on this posting and the activity from the past week, please take a few minutes to respond. Use the questions below to help guide your response.
How does it feel to hear someone say something negative about you?
How does it feel to hear someone say something positive about you?
What made the in-class activity difficult or easy for you?
Does making someone else feel good have benefits for you as well?