I’m very lucky: my family and friends frequently tell me that they love me. I’m so glad that I get to hear it while I’m still alive, rather than having to wait for the eulogy at my funeral to be appreciated!
Yet a lot of the time, we don’t say directly to someone that we appreciate having them in our lives. We may tell someone else that we love our friend’s sense of humour, or that our work colleague is really supportive, or that our child’s laughter lifts our spirits, but we don’t often tell them.
I don’t quite understand why we don’t express our appreciation of others. Is it to do with being seen as ‘soppy’ or sentimental, that old cultural story of the ‘stiff upper lip’? Whatever the reason, I believe it’s time we revised the habit of holding back from saying the good things we think about others!
There are good healthy reasons to say what we love and appreciate to people:
- It makes us feel good! It creates a feeling in us that releases the happy hormones into our body.
- It enhances our appreciation of them when we think of what we love and appreciate about someone; we are reminded of why they matter in our lives.
- It is a lovely and simple gift to give. It doesn’t take much effort, yet it makes the other person feel great – we all like to be appreciated.
This came back to mind as I was talking to a friend about Christmas. Sending cards to people you don’t see or speak to very often is a great opportunity to tell them what you love and appreciate about them.
Imagine if every card you received said, ‘And what I love about you is..’ or ‘ Thank you for being… this year’ or just, ‘I’m so glad you’re in my life’. Wouldn’t that make your heart sing?
And of course, it isn’t just something to do at Christmas. It’s a habit to develop further in your everyday life.
Tell people that you appreciated something they did or said – let them know it made a difference.
Remember to actually tell the people you love that you do love them – often we only let them know when they are irritating us!
It’s so easy to get caught up in the busyness and stresses of life and to only be aware of the difficulties and negatives. Let’s put the emphasis in a different place. Let’s fill the world with the warmth of love and appreciation!