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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 May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

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