“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” –William Arthur Ward
In life, we have many kinds of relationships. Some push us. Some test us. Some show us appreciation. Some show us, love. Some relationships can help us grow and some challenge us in ways we don’t expect. But every relationship teaches us. It can teach us to trust and to forgive. It can teach us to love ourselves as well as each other. We can learn to say no. We can learn to step out of our comfort zones.
But how do we thank the people we have these relationships with? Is a simple thank you enough?
Yesterday I had a very long texting conversation with Kitty. I told her that I completely appreciated all she said to me (even if some of it I initially took the wrong way) because I knew she was alone at work and has a very demanding job in the medical field. I appreciated that she took the time to say all that she did out of concern and it all came from a place of sincerity. I’m not the easiest person to deal with and I told her that just having the opportunity to say the things that I did “out loud” helped me quite a bit.
On Tiny Buddha, they list 50 things that we can do to show gratitude. Some of them I really like and agree with wholeheartedly.
Giving someone a hug. I like hugs. I like to think I’m a good hugger. Sometimes, I don’t have the words and all I can offer is a hug. This may not be a gratitude thing, but I know someone who gives me hugs all the time. Sometimes I have to text him to thank him because he may not have known it at the time, but that hug was a blessing.
I always make sure that if someone I care about needs to talk, that they know I’m there for them. Even if it’s just a “text-a-thon” session. They know they have my full attention and I will be as brutally honest as they need me to be.
One of the suggestions was to look them straight in the eyes and say, “You make the world a better place.” This may sound bitchy and petty, but I really wish someone would say that to me. After this week, I’ve questioned my place and impact in the world.
Show Gratitude to People Who Challenge You
- Resist the urge to tell them they’re wrong. This made me think of something Fritz said about Thumper.
- If they inspired you to push outside your comfort zone, thank them for inspiring you to take a risk, and let them know how it paid off.
- Write a blog post about how they helped you see things differently and dedicate it to them.
- Use the lesson this person teaches you through your interactions, whether it’s patience, compassion, or courage.
Show Gratitude for Yourself
- Make a list of ways you’ve impressed yourself lately.
- Treat yourself to something you enjoy, like a pedicure or a massage.
- If someone compliments you, thank them and let them know you’re proud of that skill, talent, or accomplishment.
- Compliment yourself—say it while looking in the mirror, write it in a journal, or jot it on a sticky note and put it on your refrigerator.
- Give yourself time to enjoy a passion you’re sometimes too busy to fit in.
- Take an inventory of all the good things you’ve done for other people and the world.
- Write yourself a love letter. Seriously, start with “Dear Lori” (but insert your own name) and describe all the things you admire about yourself.
- Let go of any conditions you have for being kind to yourself—meaning you appreciate even if you didn’t accomplish or do anything specific.
- Schedule a date with yourself—an afternoon or evening that’s all about you.
- Share the beauty that is you with the people around you, knowing they’re fortunate to have you in their lives.