If you can’t say anything nice…..

There’s a rule in our house that if you say something mean about someone, you have to counter-act it by saying two nice things about them. There is also a subset of rules stating that the nice things can’t be sarcastic. Why we have to make things so hard I really don’t know, but it sort of goes like this:

If I say someone is “an error in the genetic code”, then I can’t then say:

“But I’m sure his mother loves him.”


“But he probably uses a  high-grade compost on those nasal hairs.”


It’s all about changing the neural pathways, but that’s not the point.

So I met someone (no, definitely not in that sense) about whom I couldn’t say a single nice thing. What to do? After a few remarks, I realised that I needed to say at least eighteen nice things about her.

“You’ll find something,” says my daughter.

“How about, ‘She really knows how to use that selfie stick’?”

“Now you have to say twenty nice things.”

“Okay, how about, ‘The Botox makes her lip look like a duck’s bill’?”


“What? I love ducks.”


“Okay… what about….. ‘Monkeys might feel better knowing their butts aren’t the ugliest thing in the world’?”


“How about I just don’t say anything else?”

“Good idea.”

Now I’m not saying I’m mean to people as a general rule – I have my moments like everyone. It’s just that I have to work harder with some people than with others.

So I guess the moral of the story is to just not say anything about them at all. Not a lot of fun, but probably less work in the long run. So don’t leave a mean comment (otherwise, you have to leave two nice ones).



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