How to Practice Showing Your Appreciation
We often forget to appreciate what other people do for us, and even if we do appreciate things, we forget to show that person we appreciate it!
We know from our own experience how very important it is to us to have what we contribute be appreciated. We can’t force others to appreciate what we do, but we can be more aware of showing appreciation for what others do for us. To do this, we may have to stop complaining about what our spouses (friends, parents, committee members, etc.) are not doing, and start really focusing on what they are doing. Perhaps your spouse just ignores you for the most part. (S)he spends his/her off time watching TV or playing video games, and has no idea whether or not you are even in the house. Start saying thank you for whatever you can find to say thank you for. Thanks for putting gas in the car, for taking out the trash, for doing the dishes, etc. Thanks for paying the bills, for feeding the dog, for doing the laundry. People do not generally receive thanks very often, so your spouse may start tuning into you a bit more! If you really want to get advanced, say thank you for sticking with me during that hard time. Thank you for believing in me when I was so depressed. Thank you for not deserting me when I was so very hard to live with. I know I was not appreciative then, but I want you to know it means a lot to me. I know I am a lucky man/woman to have you in my life. Thank you for listening. Thank you for caring. Thank you for praying for me. Thank you for being in my life.
Think about what you would miss if your spouse were gone. Now, tell him/her what you appreciate. I love the sound of your voice. I love the way you smell. When I have had a hard day, a hug from you makes it all better. I love the way you laugh. Really appreciate the people in your life and then practice showing your appreciation.
Just for today, forget about what your spouse is not giving you, and think about all the things you can appreciate about him/her. Then do it again tomorrow. Practice showing your appreciation for a whole month, and hey, my work here may be done!
This is the fourth practice in a series. The other three are: practice listening and understanding, practice speaking with patience, kindness and respect, and practice being cheerful. I commend you on trying these practices. I wish I could hear your comments and experiences with these, but it would be hard to have a place for comments and still protect privacy.