Learning the art of appreciation.
Where do I begin? It’s always a bit tricky when it comes to relationships. It’s not always easy. We all know that.
One of the strangest things that happened when I was in high school is that no matter how inexperienced I was in relationship — even when I had never been in a relationship with a boy at the time — my friends who have been in more than one relationships or were having quite a long period of relationships came to me for advice.
It was like a pilot asking a normal civilian how to fly a plane.
Except weirdly, the plane kinda flew. And then more pilots went to the said civilian.
Okay, to all the pilots who are reading this (fat chance, they’re probably busy flying the planes), please DO NOT ask civilians how to fly a plane. What the hell am I blabbering about? Of course they won’t.
The point is, I’ve been that girl some people go to when they have questions or need relationship advices.
Before I continue, I just want to clarify that I am NOT a qualified relationship expert. I am just here to share with you what I personally practice myself, which I think contributes a lot to my happy relationship.
You can practice this not only with your partner (spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend) but also with everyone you have any kind of relationship with. You can practice this with your family or friends. Because I do too. Here it goes.
Whatever nice things someone does to or for you, doesn’t matter how frequent it is, DON’T GET USED TO IT.
I just realized it recently. It doesn’t matter how many times people do the same nice things for me, I always say thank you like they’ve done it for the very first time.
I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to do just that. I’m not saying that you should pretend or act like you’re super thankful (it might backfire if you’re not sincere because the other person might feel like you’re responding as if he/she has never done a nice thing for you).
What I’m trying to say is that even if your wife has cooked you breakfast for over 20 years, say thank you every day. Even if your husband has fixed the car for you for over 20 years, say thank you every single time. Even if your brother/sister has done the dishes for you for as long as you can remember — even if you also do the dishes– say thank you.
What often happens when people get used to nice gestures is that they start taking it for granted. They take nice things for granted. They take the people who are doing it for granted and worst, they start expecting.
We all know where expectations always lead.
What do you think will happen when the nice gestures stop?
When people get used to the nice gestures others do for them, they start thinking, “This is normal. This is natural. This is how it’s supposed to be.” It breeds entitlement and kicks gratitude to the curb.
I have family members who are very supportive, best friends who are practically like siblings to me and I’ve been with my boyfriend for a little more than a year now. They do nice things for me all the time. Sometimes it’s the same nice gestures, sometimes it’s something new. For each and every nice gesture I receive, I still feel the same amount of gratitude as when they did a nice gesture for me for the very first time.
These people have actually chosen to invest their energy and time to do the nice gestures.
The least we can do is sincerely say a heartfelt thank you.
Some of you might think it’s a bit too much saying thank you for the same thing every single day. In that case, say it every other day! Or even better, show it! I’ve been cooking for my boyfriend for a while now (he cooks too — I’m a lucky lady) and even though it has somewhat turned into a routine kinda thing now, he still hugs me and tells me how much he appreciates my effort.
It’s really not that difficult!
And even better, it’s never too late to start!
So, do you have someone in mind you want to thank for the nice gestures he/she has been doing for you for a while now? What are you waiting for? Go! Hug him/her, give him/her a kiss (or two or 1582) and tell or show him/her how much you appreciate every little thing he/she does for you!
Thank you for reading, wonderful people!