by Devora Krasnianski, founder of Adai Ad Institute
When we express gratitude we celebrate how our life has been enriched by other people’s specific actions.
As humans, we have an innate need to contribute to meeting other people’s needs.When we express gratitude we offer a gift to the other person – the knowledge that they have contributed to our lives. Our expression of gratitude for their efforts helps them feel appreciated.
A fuller, more detailed expression of gratitude really helps the giver feel that they have contributed to your life.
After doing something for someone, which words would you prefer to hear?
“You’re so smart. Those were some good tips.” Or, “I really thank you for your insights and tips today. I learned some new strategies that I can implement to really make this project move more smoothly. I am feeling much more confident about my role in the project.”
“I am so much less overwhelmed now. Thank you for stopping by with the package of dinner. With all that is going on, I wasn’t really eating properly and my body was really beginning to feel it. Just eating a better meal, and knowing that someone cares has given me strength. Thank you!” Or, “Thanks for dinner. Delicious!”
Marshall Rosenberg, founder of NVC (NonViolent Communication) itemizes 3 important components of an effective expression of gratitude (The order doesn’t really matter):
- what we witnessed the other person do (what we experienced from the other person)
- what needs of ours were met by their action
- how we feel as a result
- (check to see that our expression of gratitude was received)
Your first attempts at a richer and fuller expression of gratitude may feel scripted or awkward. Keep practicing. The benefits are worth it. For the giver. And perhaps even more so for yourself. By articulating how your life was enriched and how you feel as a result of their actions, you will start noticing more good in your life, starting a positive spiral or appreciation and richer relationships.