The strongest bridges are built with a small grateful gesture.
Thanksgiving provides a wonderful time to reflect on the many blessings in our lives and form deeper connections with our family and friends. In the spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday, one of the best ways to invest and improve these key relationships is to set aside the time (and energy) to show our gratitude to the ones we love. But what does showing a gracious heart look like? How can we remind those we love that we are grateful for them and appreciate their place in our lives?
With COVID being a constant disruptor throughout 2020, there are many of us who won’t be able to see our families this holiday season. How do we stay connected and show love to those we may not be directly with this year?
We recently came across a very helpful article with lots of practical ways to help show gratitude not only to our loved ones, but also the people who can be challenging to be in relationship with, those who serve you and those who work with you.
Showing Gratitude to those who love you:
- Share a specific example of something they did for you and how it made a difference in your life.
- Do something little but thoughtful for them—like clean up after Thanksgiving dinner, or set up a Thanksgiving dinner over a Zoom meeting!
- If family cannot be with you, send them their favorite desert through DoorDash.
- Look them straight in the eyes and say, “You make the world a better place.”
- Invite them to do something you know they’ve always wanted to do.
Showing Gratitude to those who challenge you:
- Fully listen to what they have to say instead of forming your rebuttal in your head and waiting to speak.
- Thank them for introducing you to a new way to look at things, even if you still don’t agree.
- Use the lesson this person teaches you through your interactions, whether it’s patience, compassion, or courage.
- If they inspired you to push outside your comfort zone, thank them for inspiring you to take a risk, and let them know how it paid off.
- Let them know how you appreciate when they challenge you in a loving, non-confrontational way—and if they don’t do that, be calm and kind when you ask them to do that going forward.
Showing gratitude to those who serve you:
- Give a larger tip than usual.
- If they have a tip jar, include a thoughtful note of appreciation along with your coins or bills.
- Let their superior know they do an outstanding job.
- Offer to get a coffee or sandwich for them, if it’s someone working in or outside your home.
- Praise them in a review on Yelp and/or recommend them to people you know.
Showing gratitude to people those who work with you:
- If you’re running a meeting, keep it short to show them you appreciate and respect their time.
- Ask them about their lives instead of always being all business. This doesn’t mean you need to pry into personal matters; it just means showing an interest in who they are as people.
- Be the calm, light voice in a stressful situation.
- Let their boss know how they’re doing a great job and contributing to the company.
- Offer to lighten their workload in some way if you are able.
These are just a few ways we all can begin to show our gratitude for all the different kinds of people in our lives. Ask yourself, “What can I do today to improve my relational well-being and be more grateful for those in my life?”