Be Nice to Me: Three Ways to Give a Little Grace
By Rev. Caroline Osborne
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
Robert and I have a code phrase. It goes like this: “Be nice to me.” When I say that, I don’t necessarily mean Robert is actually being mean and needs to change. What I mean is that, for whatever reason, I need him to be especially nice in that moment. We use it when one of us is particularly stressed, or not feeling well, or maybe just really tired. It’s like saying, “please give me a little extra grace right now.”
As we are in the middle of a period where we have been spending a lot more time in very close quarters with our families, we need to all to give each other, and ourselves, a little extra grace. After all, sometimes the people we love the most can get under our skin the most!
Here are some good ways to practice giving each other grace:
1. Make extra effort to say nice things. We are all going to be tired and stressed and worried some days. Make it a goal to compliment each person you live with at least once per day.
2. Practice gratitude. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: gratitude journal! At least five new things every day. In addition to your personal gratitude, express your gratitude. Tell someone “thank you” for something specific at least five times each day, and, if you live with multiple people, make sure it isn’t always the same person.
3. Forgive and ask for forgiveness. Inevitably, when we are stuck in close quarters for a long time, we are going to get snippy with each other sometimes. When someone does that to you, forgive them before they even have to ask. When you do that to someone else, make sure you ask for forgiveness. You may be fighting a little more than usual, too; make extra efforts to make up afterward.
This season is stressful, but, if we put in the effort to be nice to each other, we can come out with our relationships even stronger than they were when this started!