Yes. It really does!
Many of us perceive ourselves to be grateful people. Often it is because we feel grateful. We think about how thankful we are to others. We may hear someone’s name and immediately feel very warm and thankful for them. Yet, many, many people rarely, if ever express their gratitude. Far too many people rarely say “thank you.”
You ask your sister to pick up a sandwich for you on her way home from work. (She has called asking if you would like anything at fast food place where she is stopping.) She gets home, hands you your sandwich and the first thing you say is, “I told you I didn’t want onions on this sandwich! And where is the mustard!” Not exactly a “thank you.”
So often, it is those closest to us who rarely, if ever, hear a “thank you.”
A young father asks his parents to keep your children for the evening while you and your wife go out to eat. During the evening, your little girl falls off her bike and skins her knee. Your parents explain what happened when you return to pick up the kids. He responds by saying, “I told you that you have to watch her closely!” Yet, they have set aside an entire evening to care for these children. Not exactly a “thank you.”
A friend buys a gift for your child’s birthday. She sends it in the mail. Its not exactly the gift you would have chosen. You never mention the gift to your friend. If someone had mentioned this to you, you might have said, “Of course I appreciate her sending the gift.” Yet, this is not exactly a “thank you.”
- Maybe some may not express their thankfulness because they feel entitled to receive whatever people will give them.
- Maybe some assume that others know they are thankful.
- Perhaps some of us think we are expressing our gratitude much more than we really are.
- Finally, some may say “thank you” but then behave in ways that really don’t reflect any kind of graciousness.
At this point, you might think, “Wait a minute, I tell people ‘thank you.z’ I express my gratitude for whatever someone does for me. Many of us do express our gratitude to customers, co-workers, and the people we interact with everyday. Yet, some of us take for granted our family and our closest friends.
The following questions might be worth some reflection as they pertain to friends and family:
- Do others see me as a thankful person?
- Is there someone in my life who feels taken for granted by me?
- Are there people in my life who are long overdue for a word of gratitude?
- Is there someone who has done a favor, sent a gift, or who has shown kindness who still has never received a heartfelt thank you from me?
Of course, one can simply dismiss this as irrelevant. It could be, however, that regular expressions of thankfulness, as well as simply being thoughtful to friends and family could do wonders for these relationships.