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10 Creative Ways to Say Thank You

10 Creative Ways to Say Thank You

There are 84,600 seconds in a day. How about using one of those seconds to say thank you? Great idea! After all, a thankful heart is the key to finding joy in everyday things. However, simply saying “thank you” can get a bit repetitive and boring.

Here are 10 creative ways to say thank you.

“Before I get out of bed, I am saying thank you. I know how important it is to be thankful.” – Al Jarreau

1. Tell them why you are grateful

You want to express your thanks in a very specific way by mentioning what you appreciated most when you were in need. Maybe it was a shoulder to cry on or a sympathetic ear. Don’t be afraid to express that more fully like the people in the video below. This is so much better than merely saying “thank you.”

2. Make a donation in their name

Maybe you know what charity your friend holds dear. Offering a donation in their name will be really appreciated and will spread a little bit of kindness.

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“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” – John F. Kennedy

3. Gift some learning

Find out what new expertise, languages, or practical skills they would really like to try out. Gift them a course. There are over 30,000 courses on the Udemy site if they are not sure what is available or if they need some ideas. Whether it is coding skills, cookery lessons, or writing an ebook, you can easily find one which suits your budget and their passion.

4. Use more expressive words

You may not have the money or time to invest in a gift or token, but there are lots of creative ways to say “thank you.” Send a text, card, or email, using some of these ideas. They are definitely more creative expressions!

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  • You = awesome. Me = grateful.
  • Move over, Gates, there’s a new philanthropist in town.
  • You’re a lifesaver. Literally.
  • Is there no limit to your awesomeness? Thank you!
  • You are at the top of the kind-o-meter. Enjoy the fame!

5. Send them a selfie

Maybe you are too busy or too far away to express your gratitude in a tangible way. Send them a selfie of you smiling. That’s your gratitude in a pic. Send it by email or on your smartphone. You are smiling and that says it all. You are guaranteed to make your friend smile too!

6. Take action

Show your gratitude by rolling up your sleeves and doing something that is really creative or useful. This might be doing the shopping, preparing a meal, baking a cake, washing the car, mowing the lawn, or doing the dishes. At work, you can run a meeting or take on an extra gig to give your generous colleague a break.

7. Try listening

As a way of saying “thank you,” you can be the shoulder to be cried on and listen to your friend’s sorrows, rants, and frustrations. This can be a more practical way of showing your appreciation and that you really care.

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8. Send an IOU card

Make your own funny card and send an IOU coupon. It can be anything from a dinner in a favourite restaurant or offering to babysit. Writing it down makes it more official and shows you are really sincere in expressing your thanks.

9. Make it go viral

This is a great way to be creative, provided your friend or loved one is really into social media. You want to let the world know how grateful you are. You could always post a story about your friend on your Twitter, or Facebook account. You could also make them a YouTube video.

10. Write a thank you note

Whether your friend is into social media or not, a handwritten note can make a truly sincere impact, as it is now almost a lost art. Taking a pen to paper and writing down how (and why) you feel grateful is a wonderful way of expressing your appreciation. In addition, the presence of a tangible object like a card beats friends and “likes” on Facebook, any day!

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“The language of friendship is not words, but meanings.” – Henry David Thoreau

Featured photo credit: November 13th – Iam grateful, I am happy, I am home! / via flickr.com

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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