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Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Importance of Gratitude in Relationships

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Gratitude is an important part of life and appreciating our good fortune. It indicates that we do not take things for granted but take the time to stop and value what we have. Gratitude is an important part of communicating successfully and building relationships with others. People need to be thanked and appreciated in order to feel good about themselves and their actions. For children, receiving gratitude helps them to feel good about their behaviour. It reinforces good behaviour and is an important component in mutually beneficial relationships.
Let's look at the importance of gratitude:
- It acknowledges in a positive way what someone has done. Whether it be a thoughtful gift, action or word, gratitude recognises the other person's thoughtfulness and acknowledges it. Rewarding good behaviour by being appreciative allows that person to know that they have done something special and that it has been identified as significant. Many people say that it means a lot to them to have their efforts recognised and acknowledged. Being ignored can make a person feel invisible or inconsequential.
- When others feel appreciated they are more likely to want to behave that way again. Children especially, learn from being praised when they have done well. Often child experts will advise parents to ignore bad behaviour and praise the good behaviour. They reinforces a child's desire to receive good, positive attention.
- Good manners are about showing gratitude when someone has done something thoughtful for us. Even if we do not like, need or particularly want the gift or offer, it is important to have good manners and respect and be grateful to the other person. It shows that we value the thought and effort that has gone into their actions.
- Empathy can also feature as part of gratitude. Empathy shows that we have insight into another person's situation and mindset. Seeing things from someone else's point of view enables a better appreciation of their words and actions to occur. We can empathise with their rationale and be respectful and thankful for it, even if things don't work out as intended.
- Encouragement comes from receiving gratitude. Gratitude is often a more effective method of providing motivation and encouragement than money in a work environment. When people realise how important their efforts are, how much their endeavors are valued they will often be prepared to put in extra commitment. Genuine gratitude can be a significant factor in motivating staff. They value being noticed, appreciated and thanked.
- Thank the experience. It is relatively easy to be grateful for sunshine, good health and a happy family life. But bad experiences can over time be seen as a gift. It may seem a little simplistic to be grateful for the bad experiences in life but we learn the most from the tough times, the mistakes, the successes that we had to fight for. Bad relationships ultimately teach us what we don't want from a partner. Mistakes teach us how to do things better. Being grateful for these experiences is the best way to heal them and move on.
Gratitude is an important part of appreciation in life. It shows a graciousness and respect for others, for our good fortune and the experiences and lessons that come our way. Being grateful means that everything that happens to us is seen to have a value. Gratitude demonstrates the wisdom to respect that insight.

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