Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Gratitude 101: Part 10

It's time for our weekly discussion on Gratitude as part of Erika's wonderful link up. 

This month the link up will be focusing on the theme Expressing Appreciation

Erika has decided to step things up in the link up and provide prompts for each week for us to think about. Today I will be answering the prompt: 

How do you let others know you appreciate them? 

When I read this question the first thing that popped in my head was the book The Five Love Languages: The Secret To Love That Lasts by Gary D. Chapman. 

I read this book earlier this year and absolutely loved it. The whole premise is that we all have a way we feel love, and often times it is different than the love language of those close to us. 

The languages are: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. 



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While this book mainly focuses on the relationship between married couples, I think it can be applied to any type of relationship. When you feel gratitude towards another it is so important to express that gratitude. We need to always make sure that people know we appreciate them. But what I realized is that we have to make sure we are speaking their love language. 

One quote I loved while reading the book states, "By nature, we are egocentric. Our world revolves around us. None of us is totally altruistic."

I know in my life there have been times I have not shown my appreciation for others. I didn't say thank you- I didn't pick up the phone and return a call- I didn't say kind words- I didn't do the laundry-

In my life, there have been a lot of "I didn't" moments. But there have also been many "I did" moments in  my life. I love the feeling I get when I get notice or appreciation for something I did, so I always try to make sure others get that same sense. But it's an effort. As the quote says, our world revolves around us. At times we may think well- why wouldn't so and so do that for me... it's what they were supposed to do. I know I think to myself well why wouldn't Matt clean the dishes... we're married- he should pull his weight. {Which by the way, he pulls more than his weight and often times I am too lazy to do said dishes.} 

Showing appreciation is what holds relationships together. Healthy relationships revolve around mutual respect and appreciation for the other. If you think about your best relationships in your life- I bet they include give and take on both sides. Appreciation is a necessary key to any relationship.

I encourage all of you to find out the love languages of those that are closest to you, and when you go to show appreciation try to speak their love language.  I know I am going to recommit myself to showing gratitude towards others. 

If you are stuck on ideas here are a few things to try: 

1. Send a handwritten Thank You card
2. Instead of sending a text- pick up the phone and have a conversation 
3. Find any household chore to be done and do it
4. Pick up the person's favorite treat from the store and surprise them with it
5. Find an honest compliment relating to the person and share it 
6. Make their favorite dish or go out to their favorite restaurant 
7. Offer free babysitting 
8. Make a list of 10 things you love about them and share it with them
9. Give them a hug and a kiss 
10. Let them pick the tv show or movie of the night 
11. Put together a small gift basket with their favorite treats or a package of stuff to make brownies, cupcakes, etc. 
12. Treat them to Starbucks or lunch or dinner
13. Send a letter about all the things they have helped you with and explain how your life is better with them in it 
14. Simply say the words THANK YOU!  

PS- Don't forget the 'little' people in your life that also make a difference. {Custodians, a helpful store clerk, a receptionist, etc.} You might not know their love language, but a simple Thank You goes a long way. 

{When my Abuela was starting chemo, I had everyone in my family give me memories of them with Abuela, or reasons why they loved her. I wrote them all down and put them in this vase. The outside is filled with pictures of all the family. It felt so good to be doing something for my Abuela, and showing her how much we all love her.} 

I hope this list is somewhat helpful. The possibilities are endless when it comes to expressing appreciation. We just have to take the time to do it. 

If you've missed any of my last gratitude link ups- just click here

GRAD-ITUDE 101: A Linkup By Chimerikal

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- Alex