How Could You Show Your Appreciation For Others More?

When it comes to gratitude, there are two main parts. The first is figuring out what you are grateful for, and the second is showing your appreciation. Both are important, albeit in different ways.

There are many benefits to appreciating others. For example, thinking about the positive aspects in your life can make you happier. Rather than focus on your problems, counting all the ways that other people help make your life better makes you think about, well, how your life is better.

Thinking about what you are thankful for, particularly as part of a morning routine, can help set the tone for the day. Rather than, say, being upset about being stuck in rush hour traffic, perhaps you will be grateful for having a car in the first place. That improves your mood, reduces stress, and improves the chances of making you and the people around you happier.

Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss a related question: ‘What makes a tradition?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘What are you optimistic about?’

But there is a second part to appreciation, and that is showing it to others. The benefit in this case is external rather than internal. Expressing your gratitude to someone else is designed to make the other person feel good.

Imagine how you would feel if someone were to approach you, and thank you for some way you played a positive role in their life. Wouldn’t that make you feel good? You could have that same impact on someone else.

If you happen to show your appreciation in a public way, you may also inspire others, beyond those who you are directly thankful for. That someone may think about what they are thankful for, making themselves feel good. And then they may express it to someone else, increasing the amount of happiness in the world.

In America, as we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, it may be helpful to go beyond simply asking what you are thankful for. In addition, think about how to express that gratitude, whether that is at the Thanksgiving table, in a private conversation, through an email, or some other method. How could you show your appreciation for others more?

Related questions: How can we appreciate life more? What are you grateful for? How do you show thanks? What does it mean to be thankful?

2 thoughts on “How Could You Show Your Appreciation For Others More?”

  1. Something I’ve done twice before, years ago, is bought an ice cream cake for an advocacy organization that had just won a hard-fought social change campaign. While I should consider doing this again after Minnesota’s next legislative session is done, it occurs to me that I could do the same for an organization with a campaign that is not yet complete, yet I feel the organization’s staff could use some appreciation for their significant efforts.

    Oh, and if you’re curious, the organizations I recognized before were the Minnesota Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (MN-NAMI) and Outfront Minnesota.

  2. This may seem like a small thing, but it’s huge! I need to pause for a moment when someone says something I disagree with. Then truly listen to them to find out where they’re coming from and respect their right to express their opinion. For me, being a better listener is a way I can show others more appreciation.

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