Use Appreciations to Better Your Relationships
I opened my inbox recently and amongst the mostly commercial emails, I found a communication from a friend of mine. It was an appreciation.
“You took the time out to listen to what was going on with me and I wanted you to know how much I appreciate that…You are always so positive…I went to sleep last night knowing that I wasn’t alone and I was able to calm my mind down. Thank you.”
As you can imagine, it felt really good to read and take in that appreciation. But it wasn’t only this email that felt good. Her appreciation brought me back to the memory of our connected conversation…and that felt really good. And then I had another moment of appreciating my friend for taking the time to send me this note. And again, that felt good. A triple whammy!
What I’ve come to learn is that heartfelt and sincerely expressed appreciations are a gift to the receiver. So what makes for an appreciated appreciation?
Take a minute and feel the difference between these two statements:
1) You are so nice, thank you!
2) When you take the time to sit and listen to my problems, I really feel loved, thank you!
I don’t know about you, but I definitely prefer the second one. The specificity of it makes the appreciation feel more authentic. And when your appreciations are tailored specifically to the person you are appreciating, it not only feels great to them, it also helps your friend or lover understand what they are doing well that works for you.
The best appreciations:
- Include something specific that you are appreciating about someone else
- Are heartfelt and sincere
- Tell your loved ones how their actions impacted you
Appreciations Communicate More Than “Thanks”
Appreciations are, at their best, a form of love and deeper communication. A clear and specific appreciation builds intimacy – it lifts someone else up while simultaneously revealing something about you.
For example, if I turn to my partner and I say, “thanks for washing the dishes, honey” – that’s a great start. It appreciates him for a specific chore he’s contributed to our household. But if I can take it one step further, and let him know how it felt to me, I’m building love between us. So instead I might say, “Honey, when you washed the dishes last night, I felt completely supported and cared about. I love how you step in and make sure things get done. I love partnering with you. Thank you.”
Appreciations that combine specificity + impact = better, happier relationships. Try it out!
About the author: Susan Chettle Rutherford has served on the HAI workshop team since 2009. She is also a writer and Certified Professional Co-Active Coach who is absolutely passionate about helping people manifest lives of joy, love, abundance and fulfillment. Since she can remember, Susan has been committed to personal growth, and her biggest joy is being a facilitator of transformation in others. These days Susan is also on the Marketing team for HAI Global, helping them spread their message of love around the world.
About the editor: Kate Gillispie is the Marketing Director for the Human Awareness Institute and co-host of May I Have This Dance, a podcast about love, intimacy, and sexuality. Find the podcast by searching for ‘May I Have This Dance‘ on iTunes, Google Podcasts, or wherever else you find your podcasts. You can also join our active community on Facebook.