I thought of an interesting fact today…. Not one of the couples that I have ever counseled has come in with a feeling of being appreciated by the other partner. Repeat: Appreciation of one another is always absent in the relationships that are in trouble or are problematic.
We hear a lot about Gratitude these days and people are increasingly keeping gratitude journals, expressing three things, and inspired by gratitude quotes but I wonder how many of those same people actually take the time to express appreciation (gratitude) verbally to the important people in their life.
Are appreciation and gratitude the same thing? According to Dictionary.com they are in fact, synonyms. Why then, don’t we take the time to practice gratitude – literally upon – one another?
It’s the little things … every single evening, my significant other makes coffee so it will be ready for me in the morning (I need… need… coffee in the morning) and he’s been doing it for a long time. Occasionally I come down and it hasn’t brewed for one reason or another and I always manage to make a comment about when the coffee wasn’t there but when I think about it, I’m not always good at appreciating that the coffee IS there. Actually – I appreciate the coffee every morning but I don’t often enough take the time to appreciate the person responsible for making sure the coffee is there! Since I know he reads this blog, I’ll publicly say – “Thanks honey, I appreciate that you express your love for me by making coffee each night. I will try to tell you more often!”
When You Feel Unappreciated
You know when you feel deprived of that feeling… you start thinking of all the things you do for the other person/ people in your life. You start feeling taken advantage of… that you are not in control of what happens. You begin resenting choices that you make. You start ‘grumpin’ about the little things.
Try this instead:
“Jane, I love doing things for and with you. I choose to do them even though it may fill up my day or be a thing that I don’t like doing but I feel as though it often goes unappreciated. I am willing to do almost anything so long as it is appreciated, would you be willing to express it more often?”
It is important to remember to connect to the feeling that resides underneath the grumpy attitude, or the short temper and share with your partner / friend / family member – that you are experiencing a lack of being appreciated. More often than not, it’s that simple because we all get wrapped up in our own lives and begin to take people for granted even though we’ve said “thanks” a thousand times in our mind and/or told all our friends how wonderful someone is…
I appreciate that each one of you took the time to read this post! : )
Make gratitude a verbal experience in your life!
- Teaching Kids the Importance of Gratitude (everydayhealth.com)
- Sister, Do You Need A Gratitude Adjustment? (scottlnk.com)
- Thankful Out LOUD (cast-light.com)
Photo was borrowed from: Happy to Inspire Blog