Growing in Appreciation

Each of us have unique relationship needs—the distinct way that we feel cared for and loved in relationships. In this article, we will learn how to give and receive appreciation.

Appreciation means that someone recognizes your accomplishment or effort—especially noticing the things you have done—and shares their thanks. Appreciation is often given through certificates, medals, or trophies.

It sounds like, "You did a terrific job! Thank you for working hard and pitching in with the project. You played a great game last night!"

The opposite of appreciation is: Criticism

SPECIAL NOTE: This month we celebrate Mother's Day! Be sure to share your gratitude with your mom, and while you are sharing appreciation, express your gratefulness to teachers, graduates, and all other important relationships.
Here's how to grow in APPRECIATION

To become more appreciative, we need to know the unique aspects of appreciation, and then we must demonstrate it!

Becoming more appreciative includes five unique aspects.
  1. Communicating gratitude for another's contributions and efforts through appropriate, private and public affirmation
  2. Conveying appreciation for what another person does right more than concern for what they don't do, or wrongs they do
  3. Going out of your way to thank people for their acts of service, even when you have not directly benefited from their actions
  4. Taking note of special times in people's lives when they should be commended
  5. Writing notes to thank others for what they do for you

Suggestions for practicing appreciation might include some of these . . .
  • Personal relationships:
    • Take the next minute to send a private email or text or share words like these with that special someone in person.

      "Thank you for taking the initiative to love me so well. You consistently _____, and I appreciate how you _____!"

    • Ask your partner about their accomplishments and then celebrate with them.

      "I'd really like to know…What do you consider to be one of the most important accomplishments of your life?"

  • Your relationship with your mom:
    • During a one-on-one conversation say something like:

      "I have been very impressed lately, by the way you _____."
    • Or share the following affirmation publicly in the presence of other family members:

      "Mom, I know you have worked really hard to _____ and I appreciate that because _____."

  • Business relationships:
    • Say these words to one person at work this week:

      "I've noticed some of your strengths on the job. You seem to be especially good at _____."

  • Parent-child relationships:
    • Becoming more appreciative will mean sharing thanks for what your child does more often than pointing out what they've done wrong, or failed to accomplish. Say something along the lines of:

      "You are a rock star when it comes to _____. I don't want you to think I haven't noticed!"

    • Give these words with a thumbs up (consider taking a photo of your hand giving a thumbs up and text it along with the following words):

      "I have noticed how you've done your best to _____. Thank you SO much for _____."

  • In any relationship:
    • Take initiative to give someone a thank you gift and share these words:

      "I appreciate what you do for others. I'm especially impressed by the way you _____."
Gratitude empowers GIVING!

We are motivated to give to others when we experience gratitude for how we have received.

Reflect on a person in your life who frequently exhibits appreciation.
Who is the most appreciative person you know? Is there a family member, colleague, fellow employee, or previous mentor who often express gratitude for the accomplishments of others?

One of the most appreciative people I know is _____.

I see this attribute in them when _____.

I am grateful to know them because _____.

Now plan to communicate your gratitude to this person. Call, write, text, or visit this person and share your appreciation and gratitude with them.

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