Daring Greatly #3: Expressing Gratitude & Appreciation the Old-Fashioned Way

Life is an echo. What you send out, comes back. What you sow, you reap. What you give, you get. What you see in others, exists in you.  Remember, life is an echo. It always gets back to you. So give goodness.
– Unknown

Point to Ponder:
Who in your life do you wish you would hear more “thank yous” from?

Action Item:
Realize that what goes around comes around, and tell at least 3 people in your life a genuine “thank you” this week.

by Neissa Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Per last week’s ‘stop stealing your joy quest’, I give myself an A-.  I was much more conscious of my thoughts and words and focused on the gratitude piece; however, what came from it was unexpected, interesting and much needed.

On a ‘daily joy and gratitude scale’ of 1-10, I give myself a 9. I consider myself simple — I see the glass half full and I have very few needs, except when it comes to my husband Russell. Because he is my life partner and I can be completely vulnerable with him (which translates to bitchy) he gets dumped on. Sounds fair, right? Of course not!  Well, after having a rich conversation with a stranger (that’s the unexpected and interesting piece), it dawned on me that while I was grateful in spirit, I needed to verbalize my appreciation and gratitude with a simple “Thank you” much more often than I’ve been doing.

I mean really, can you imagine what would happen to our relationships (spousal, work, children, friendships, etc.) if rather than nit-pick or take their hard work and efforts for granted, we simply thanked them everyday, even if it were forced and for the tiniest of things? I have zero doubt that this would solve the majority of our relationship struggles, because after all, no one wants to feel taken for granted and everyone wants to be appreciated.

I will admit this. Russell’s job can sometimes drive me crazy because of the long hours and time away, however the second he sends me a text or calls and tells how much he appreciates my patience and understanding and thanks me for being a great mom and wife, ALL of my defenses come down and I’m a new person, simply because I feel appreciated. And then of course I feel like a jerk because I haven’t thanked him for working hard to provide for our family, so I then thank him. It’s the appreciation and gratitude circle, and it works every time.

Now that we are no longer foreboding joy, how about we start healing, transforming and taking our relationships to the next level by verbalizing our appreciation and gratitude? And, don’t forget that verbalizing these things can be difficult for some people and must be learned. So, if you want someone to appreciate you, start by telling them “thank you” while patiently coaching them on how much you’d appreciate a “thank you” from them. Sounds silly and counter-productive I know, but everyone comes from different backgrounds and it is wise to never assume that they can easily express or verbalize emotions. This will be fun and will WORK.

Here’s to building relationships the old-fashioned way!

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