Modernization has ushered in an era of individualism to a degree that we have never seen before. More and more of us live seemingly in a box of our own little world where interaction has been reduced to virtual communication or none at all.
While there are definitely many social implications of living in this manner, one of the biggest impacts it has is on the quality of relationships that we build with our friends, family, and colleagues. More often than not we neglect the simple things that have the potential to enhance our personal connections with the people that should matter in our lives.
And out of all the things that we should never overlook is expressing our gratitude. It may come in many forms--maybe through simple thank you messages. The important thing is that you actually get to express it. And there are certainly many reasons why you should do it.
Famous American motivational writer William Arthur Ward once wrote that “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” There is certainly a lot of truth in what he says because an honest gesture of thanks always has a strong, positive, and lasting effect on the person in the receiving end. Every single individual, no matter how cynical or apathetic they may seem, will find joy and validation in knowing that they have the ability to help another person. Your expression of gratitude can become an immediate happy pill for the individual you are thanking.
But the gift of your thanks does not end there. Chances are, with you communicating your appreciation for someone or something that someone did, you may have begun a positive chain of events. Because of the surge of positive emotions that your “thank you” has given your recipient, he or she may just feel the urge to pass it on to another, and that other person may do the same. Everyone seems to be familiar with the concept of “Paying it forward” and it applies here too; its catalyst being the thank you messages you have given.
Aside from that, we have to come to terms with the fact that gratitude is an emotion that must be expressed for it to be meaningful. If we become selfish and keep it to ourselves it becomes insignificant as nobody experiences the positivity it can bring. It has no effect on anyone or anything. We allow its potential significance to die out.
So, whenever that sense of appreciation hits you, go forward and say it. Pick up that phone and give the person who helped you a call. Send an email highlighting how that person’s actions have assisted you. Take out that pen and piece of paper and write out thank you messages. Your gratitude and the fact that you’re taking a little time and effort to get it across is an unexpected and refreshing change from the unappreciative nature of the majority and will truly be a gift to whomever you give it to.