Sincere gratitude and humble appreciation is a signature mark of a true lady. Probably one of the most unattractive qualities a woman can exude is entitlement. It can be very easy to offend or upset someone who has helped you achieve your goals and that will eventually be detrimental to your reputation.
People remember you based on how you make them feel. Even if you think you have covered your bases by saying, “thanks for everything!” that isn’t going to cut it for most people who gave their resources, expertise or time, even if you didn’t ask them to.
You may have the best intentions and truly believe that you are thankful and thanking people properly. But I have encountered too many people who have felt under-appreciated by someone who believed they showed their appreciation. It doesn’t matter what thank-you niceties you think you checked off the list, a person’s feelings is the truth for them and that’s what matters. Perception is reality, so I want to protect you from unintentionally offending others.
1. Gratitude is a posture of the heart. The most effective thankful people are those who really feel thankful in their hearts for what someone did for them. A great way to do this is to put yourself in their shoes, picture every step they went through, every call they made, every minute they sacrificed to improve your life or help make a dream come true for you. You may say to yourself, “wow most people get paid to do what he/she is doing for me, but this person is doing it for free. I wouldn’t have the patience to do what they’re doing.” Then you realize that person and their generosity is adding invaluable value to your life that you are unable to pay for.
Another practice to start feeling more grateful in your heart is to start a “gift list.” I have a journal specifically dedicated to my gift list and every morning and night, I add to it. Most of the gifts are seemingly tiny, unnoticeable things that actually mean a whole lot when you take the time to notice them. An example of my list is this:
1. The hot coffee in my cinderella mug
2. My clean silvery, blue sheets that are soft as clouds
3. The breeze on my face from our fan
When you keep a list like this, you become more intentional about noticing tiny, small things that make you comfortable or happy. This leads to an increase in appreciation and gratitude.
Once you start feeling thankfulness in your heart, then you can genuinely and sincerely express thankfulness to others. Here are effective points to remember when you say thank you:
1. In a thank you text or thank you note: Be specific and detailed. Say thank you for each and every thing they did for you. Acknowledge that you understand the time, sacrifice and love they poured into you and that you do not take it for granted. Never say, “thanks for everything!” That feels dismissive and thoughtless.
2. In person: Look them in the eyes, even take their hand and express how you couldn’t have done what you’re doing without them. Explain how it made you feel to have their help and describe the value it added to you.
3. Public honor: My favorite way to thank some one is publicly. It could be a surprise post on social media with a picture of the two of you sharing with everyone what that person did for you, how they made you feel and how much you appreciate them. If you are in a group of people, like a banquet, gala or dinner, publicly honoring every person or group of people who made that night possible is an absolute must.
At my rehearsal luncheon for my wedding, I individually honored each of my parents, bridesmaids and wedding planner for all the time and money they spent and for the special people they were to me because I wanted everyone to know how awesome they were too.
General thank you’s or one-liners are not sufficient and do not reflect the amount of appreciation someone deserves. Remember, this isn’t about people needing to be recognized, this is about the posture of your heart. No one has to do anything for you, so be exceedingly, overwhelmingly grateful when someone kindly does.
If this message inspired you, be an inspiration by sharing with others.