Next To Whom Are You Sitting?


I remember my elegant Granny saying, “If you do not have anything nice to say, do not say anything at all.” (Tweet That)

I bet the senator’s wife of the following story wished she had known my granny when she was a child.


imageAt church, one of my wealthy friends was sitting next to the wife of the senator of whose campaign she generously contributed. The pastor of the church was talking about the new bus ministry. He spoke of how they are busing in the poor underprivileged children, “so they can socialize and be exposed to new and prosperous experiences.”


The senator’s wife leaned in to the wealthy contributor and snootily whispered, “I am not sure how I feel about my children socializing with bus ministry children.” 


Without missing a beat, the lovely contributor whispered back, “Well, you are sitting next to one.” 


What thought comes to mind, when you read this? How would you have responded?

Oh, the rest of the story: After the meeting, the contributor helped the senators wife feel better, by assuring her that she too had said things she wished she hadn’t. She was gracious with her.



6 thoughts on “Next To Whom Are You Sitting?”

  1. I love how your example shows how by being gracious and allowing the person to learn from the feedback without feeling shame, the person learned something and maybe changed their frame rather than reacting to criticism and staying the same because they could not back down.

    Excellent lesson Amy.

  2. Terrific story Amy – because of its powerful insights.
    1. Be careful what you say – at all times.
    2. Have empathy for those who ‘misspeak’ – we’ll all done it.

  3. Wow…. great story, Amy!
    If I have to pick one thing that I remember my father saying to us to the most when I was growing up, it was “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything…”. I live by this rule (as best as I can!) and don’t like being around people that regularly break it. In fact when someone around me is negative or unkind with their words, I have had to take a deep breath and zip my lips from how I want to respond. We can be honest and respond accordingly, but be gracious and non-judgemental in our delivery!
    Thanks again, Amy.
    p.s. Blog on! you rock, girlfriend!

  4. Mary, Thank you. “Respond accordingly,” is key. Bob Burg’s reverse gossip, has worked for me many times, when expecting a shift in an attitude. Again, thank you for your input here.

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