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10 Things Highly Grateful People Don’t Do

10 Things Highly Grateful People Don’t Do

Being grateful is not only essential to making others in your life feel important but it helps you feel important as well. When we show our gratitude, we are recognizing those things that make us happy, no matter how small they may seem.

“Everyday, think as you wake up, ‘Today I am fortunate to have woken up, I am alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others, to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings, I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others, I am going to benefit others as much as I can.’ ” – the Dalai Lama

People who are grateful do many things to show that they are, from writing down the little things for which they are grateful to telling the people in their life that they appreciate them.

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They don’t do these things:

1. They don’t assume their life will always be good.

People who are very grateful for what they have know that things could go awry at anytime. They know that despite their best efforts, sometimes life throws us curveballs and we could still lose our job — or our home. No matter what, people who are grateful for what they have, assume that sometimes bad things will happen. They are grateful for what they have anyway.

2. They don’t expect to get something in return.

People who are highly grateful do things for others because they want to. Not because they expect to get something in return. Do something nice for someone you love — or even a perfect stranger. Get them a cup of coffee, write them a short note, smile. You never know how your little act of kindness might find its way into someone else’s heart.

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3. They don’t avoid thinking about death.

People who are highly grateful understand that death and loss linger at the doorstep. While they don’t dwell on it, they don’t avoid thinking about it either. Remembering that at any moment a loved one could be taken from you helps you appreciate the here and now.

4. They don’t get impatient.

It’s easy to get impatient, even when people are doing something for us — like serving us lunch or we are waiting in line. Try to remember that even though it may be their job, these people are serving us. Be grateful for that. Service jobs are some of the hardest they are and highly grateful people recognize that. They don’t get upset if the waitress mixes up their order and they don’t start sighing heavily in a long line. Relax and show your gratitude once you get your lunch or get to the front of the line.

5. They don’t frown.

Well, maybe they do once in a while, but not often. Highly grateful people make an effort to smile at others no matter where they are. If you’re in the library, the store or your own living room, highly grateful people recognize that frowning and looking sour isn’t pleasant for anyone. Smile. It will make you and the people you meet feel better.

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6. They don’t miss an opportunity to say “thanks!”

This may seem obvious, but highly grateful people say “thank you.” A lot. It’s important to let people know that you appreciate the work they do — whether they are your employees, your kids, your spouse or people on the street. Sometimes a simple, genuine thank you can make the day of another person who might feel like they are going on with their work unnoticed and unappreciated.

7. They don’t neglect themselves.

Sometimes the only person who can adequately thank you for a job well done is you. People who are highly grateful don’t miss the chance to boost themselves up with a little gratitude as well. Take some time to write down a few good things about yourself or take yourself out for a special day. Go to a museum you like, get an ice cream cone — whatever you like, do it just for you.

8. They don’t get easily upset.

People who are highly grateful try to remain calm and light, even in a stressful situation. When you are highly grateful for what you have, you recognize that even big issues at work or home are really not that big in the grand scheme of things. Remember that while this might be a “catastrophe” at work — is it really? If no one is hurt and no one is getting fired, then try to remain calm and rectify the situation without getting everyone upset over it.

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9. They don’t avoid social media.

But they do use it mindfully. People who are highly grateful use social media in the same way they talk to people at work or in their home. They try to be a positive force and not tear others down just because it’s the Internet. According to the New York Times, good news spreads faster on the Internet than bad news. Highly grateful people recognize this and use their social media accounts for good.

10. They don’t underestimate the value of little things.

A kind word. A small flower. A baby’s smile. Even the smallest things mean a lot to a highly grateful person. This can be crucial on a bad day — or when things are not going your way. A simple compliment or a good laugh can make anyone’s day — even in the midst of something not pleasant, like a hospital visit or a tedious job assignment.

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Michelle Kennedy Hogan

Michelle is an explorer, editor, author of 15 books, and mom of eight.

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

How to Say No When You Say Yes Too Often

How to Say No When You Say Yes Too Often

Do you say yes so often that you realize you aren’t really happy about this, wondering how to say no to people?

For years, I was a serial people pleaser. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

It took a long while but I learned the art of saying no. Saying ‘no’ meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. I started to manage my time more around my own needs and interests. When that happened, I became a lot happier. And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

The Importance of Saying No

When you learn the art of saying ‘no,’ you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey considered one of the most successful women in the world confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything. It was only when she realized that after years of struggling with saying no, I finally got to this question: “What do I want?”

Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

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Warren Buffett views no as essential to his success. He said,

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

When I made ‘no’ a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say ‘no.’

From an early age, we are conditioned to say ‘yes.’ We said yes probably hundreds of time in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work. We said yes get a promotion. We said yes to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

We say yes because it feels better to help someone. We say yes because it can seem like the right thing to do. We say yes because we think that is key to success. And we say yes because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist like the boss.

And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves. At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we feel guilty we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

The message no matter where we turn is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

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How to Say No Without Feeling Guilty

Deciding to add the word ‘no’ to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say ‘no’ but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of ‘no’ that you could finally create more time for things you care about. But let’s be honest, using the word ‘no’ doesn’t come easily for many people.

The 3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time especially you haven’t done it much in the past will feel awkward.

2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

Remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it, who else knows about all of the demands on your time? No one. Only you are at the center of all of these requests. are the only one that understands what time you really have.

3. Saying ‘No’ Means Saying ‘Yes’ to Something That Matters

When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

6 Ways to Start Saying No

Incorporating that little word ‘no’ into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

One of the biggest challenges to saying ‘no’ is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no reflect poorly on you?

Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because FOMO even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

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Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better.

3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say ‘No’

Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say ‘yes’ because we worry about how others will respond or the consequences of saying no or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose respect from others. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

Keep in mind that saying ‘no’ can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way. You might disappoint someone initially but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to.

4. When the Request Comes In, Sit on It

Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time, or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say ‘no.’ There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

5. Communicate Your ‘No’ with Transparency and Kindness

When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

A clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

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6. Consider How to Use a Modified ‘No’

If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” giving you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

Final Thoughts

Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

Use the request as a fresh request to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself. If you are the one placing the demand on yourself, try to evaluate the demand as if it were coming from somewhere else.

Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project but not by working all weekend. Or, tell someone in your family you can’t loan them money again because they never paid you back the last time. You’ll find yourself much happier.

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Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

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