5 Selfish Reasons to Give Thanks to Others

It’s been said, “silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.” With that in mind, and with the kickoff to the holidays upon us, be sure to be loud and proud with your gratitude to family, friends, colleagues and acquaintances.  Thanksgiving is the time of year for saying thank yous, receiving gratitude, and being grateful. But showing a little appreciation has a bigger impact than you may realize.

Here are five selfish reasons to give thanks to others:

#1) It Creates a Good Impression of You for Others.  When you thank someone for what they do, it causes them to think positively about you for who you are.  They will give you the benefit of the doubt. They will be more inclined to do “extras” for you without asking.  When you need some help, they will be more likely to offer a hand. Doling out thankful expressions will leave a lasting impression.

#2) It Forces You to Be Optimistic. Being appreciative isn’t something you do for another person just to make their day. When you take the time and energy to thank someone, it forces you to look at the person through a lens of  optimism. Research shows that optimistic people lead happier lifestyles.  People who enjoy life look for positive things, and in contrast, negative people who have a hard time in life are often ungrateful and pessimistic. Don’t underestimate the power of a simple “thank you,” in your life and those you say it to.

#3) It Keeps You In Good Graces with Others. People often complain about not being appreciated. When was the last time you heard someone complain that too many people thank them? Think about those who clean your clothes, dump the wastebaskets at your office, serve you food and drinks at the restaurant, or transport you from place to place.  Next time you have the chance, look those people  straight in the eyes and say, “thank you for what you do for me.  I really appreciate it.” Not only will your actions have a positive, short term deposit into their emotional wellbeing, you will have a prominent place in their memory bank.

#4) It Makes a Positive Difference in Your Kids.  In the whirlwind of family life and the stresses on the home-front, too many parents forget to appreciate their children. Yet, we know that it is natural for children to imitate behaviors they consistently see in their mom and dad. Take the opportunity to model what you want your children to do. Express appreciation for their good behavior. Compliment them in front of guests and relatives. Be grateful for their positive character traits such as, taking leadership, showing responsibility and being honest. If your kids hear positive and consistent feedback about who they are and what they do, they are more likely to continue behaving that way.

#5) It Meets Your Partner’s Deepest Needs. Marriage affords people the opportunity to have their deepest needs met, while they’re meeting the deepest needs of another. One of those needs is to be appreciated for who you really are as a person, a human being.  Affirm your partner in life with words and actions that fill them up , gives them life, and makes them feel loved. Thank them for the little things they do, and appreciate who they are. They are longing for you do it, whether they realize it or not.

There are so many personal advantages to thanking others. Don’t hold back your gratefulness for one day or season out of the year. Make it a regular habit and reap these benefits year around. Be selfish and thank others. In the end, you will make a good impression, gain an optimistic outlook on others, stay on people’s good side, make a positive difference in your kids, and meet your partner’s needs. All with a simple “thank you,” and then some.

How to appreciate others:

  • Learn about how appreciation and encouragement can cause a positive change in your partner >>>
  • Make a list of people in your life who are a part of your week (e.g. barista, dry cleaner, bus driver, grocery clerk, etc). For the next week, look them in the eyes and let them know that you appreciate them and why.
  • Write a letter, email or note to two or three family members letting them know how you appreciate them and what they have meant in your life.
  • During the Thanksgiving meal, start a round of “I’m grateful for…” and have everyone finish the sentence. This is a great “game” that even those sitting at the “kids” table can take part in.
Written by Lucinda Loveland – Copyright (C) 2011 Healthy Relationships California

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