how to express gratitude
it’s easy to toss a #thankful or #grateful into the end of an IG caption; it’s easy to piggyback off or ‘ditto’ someone else’s expression of thanks without us really saying anything ourselves; it’s also easy not to say anything at all.
so, how do we express gratitude? how do we talk about it or, better yet, how do we write about it?
here are some quick tips.
just say it. (or – just write it.)
a lot of time we dance around it or try to build up to it beautifully and artfully when in reality saying ‘thank you for ______” or “i’m really grateful for ________” can mean just as much if not more.
what is it that you’re REALLY grateful for?
yes, we’re grateful for our family and friends, we’re grateful for this meal, we’re grateful for time together; but, seriously – what are you REALLY grateful for? what ABOUT your family? what ABOUT your friends? why THIS meal on THIS day THIS year? why THIS special time together? whatever you think it is you’re grateful for, dig one layer deeper. you’ll find something even more special and unique to share with someone else.
re-frame the story, and thank someone for an action or a choice versus a ‘thing’.
it’s really easy to say, ‘thank you for bringing me coffee this morning’; but what about thanking someone for making that choice? when you re-frame that sentence – that story, really – suddenly thanking someone for coffee actually becomes about thanking someone for remembering you in the frenzy of their morning. and those are two very different things.
use language that’s right for you.
the word ‘gratitude’ comes from the latin word gratus which means ‘pleasing, thankful’, so it makes sense why and how we talk about gratitude today. similar words in sanskrit, old slavonic, and old russian mean ‘to praise’ which means if you’re uncomfortable or awkward using words like ‘grateful’ or ‘thankful’ you can actually praise someone, give them a shout-out, acknowledge them to achieve the same effect, impact, or feeling.
what’s that feeling? warmth.
expressing gratitude, showing appreciation, and acknowledging others should always feel warm not only in your language, word choice, and delivery, but also in how it makes someone else feel. that’s really what it’s about.
and – thank you.