“Being told you’re appreciated is one of the simplest and most incredible things you can ever hear.” – Unknown
Studies have shown the implications of showing appreciation to someone has tremendous social, emotional and physical health benefits. Not just for the recipient but also for the person who displays gratitude.
Yet, for some reason, we don’t practice it enough. We fall into the trap of taking people who play an important part of our lives for granted. We assume they are well aware of our gratitude to only thank them on the designated days marked throughout the year.
For the people in your life who give like there is no tomorrow. It’s time to step out your gratitude game. Here are 8 unique ways you can up your game to show gratitude to the people you value.
1. Say I’m listening and give them your undivided attention.
2. Appreciate them in the way they like it.
- in person
- via a handwritten gratitude note
- over social media or publicly so everyone can see
- spending time with you
- mix it up with a combination of the items listed with words and a gesture
- a gift
3. Get creative in expressing thanks.
Piggy-backing on the above point, instead of just a “thank you,” find other ways to express it. This way it doesn’t lose the well-intended meaning after awhile.
You can say it in different ways:
- “I feel so taken care of when you…”
- “I love it when you…”,
- “I really appreciate it when you…” You get the gist.
4. Complement actions. Reciprocate with effort.
It is very easy for people who give selflessly to forget their boundaries. If they are always there for you when you need them, be there for them when they need you.
It doesn’t have to be tit for tat. For example, if you have a friend who always invites you over for dinner, you could do something to help them save time and energy in their life, such as:
- Bring a bottle of wine
- Get a gift certificate where one can shop online for groceries and have it delivered to their house
6. Switch up the routine.
Within your interpersonal relationships, you have established roles. You may be in charge of cleaning, and your partner is in charge of preparing dinner.
Why not surprise your partner and take on one of your partner’s task as a form of appreciation. Say, “Hey honey, don’t worry about cooking tonight, I’ll pick up some takeout from your favorite Thai restaurant. Easy-peasy right?
7. Put your ego aside and learn about yourself.
It takes two to make a relationship work. Sometimes we run into differences and disagreements. In times like these, we need to:
- look within to see how we are contributing to the clash
- what can you do to improve the situation
- what can you do not to be defensive but open-minded to learn about yourself and see from the other person’s perspective
Help the person who you appreciate understand where you are coming from and work together to enhance the relationship.
8. Express thanks when they least expect it.
Saying it is a given but when you take the time to give a sincere, heartfelt thank you reflecting and referencing something specific they did to make your life easier, you will make them feel extra special.
Maya Angelou said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
What will you do today to show gratitude to someone you care about?