Sometimes during our busy lives of comparison and working toward our ultimate goals, we forget how blessed we truly are. So, today I have a few ideas on how you can show your family and friends how grateful you are for them.
Tip 1: Always Say Thank-You
This one may seem like common sense, but we often get so used to our friends and family doing nice things for us, that we forget to say thank-you. And although your friends/family may disregard your lack of verbal appreciation, or not even notice, if it becomes a habit to not verbalize your gratitude for their efforts, they may come to see you as ungrateful.
Sometimes it's just nice to hear "thank you", even when they haven't done anything for you in that moment. Thanking your loved ones for just being around can be extremely uplifting - it shows them that you value their company.
Tip 2: Spend Quality Time Together
Taking the time to plan, and actually go through with plans, can mean a lot more than you think. Sometimes when we make plans with our loved ones, we may get caught up on the day of the alleged plans, and decide to cancel. It may not seem like much if you don't do it often, but eventually those cancelled plans will pile up and you'll just end up missing a lot of valuable time together.
Quality time can include watching your favorite shows/movies, going to your favorite restaurant, talking on the phone, or whatever your favorite things to do are! One thing to note about "quality time" is that it's more about quality, not quantity. This means finding a balance of how much time to spend together - one of you may be extroverted and want to spend a lot of time with the other, but if your loved one is introverted, they may want to spend much less time together. This is why it's important to find the sweet spot in time allotments, so that neither party is over/underwhelmed.
Tip 3: Acts of Kindness
Knowing someone's love language doesn't just apply to dating - in order to treat your family and friends the way they will appreciate it most, you have to actually learn how they want to be treated! Learning takes trial, error, and lots of time. For example, I know that my sister would appreciate me cleaning our home, my mom would appreciate a delicious meal, and my dad would appreciate a fun gift.
One trick to speed up the process of learning what acts of kindness your loved one would appreciate most, is seeing what they gift you - or would have liked to gift you. For example, I often buy my family fun new gadgets, or any form of technology, because that's what peeks my interest the most. This may seem selfish, but usually we just can't help it!
Tip 4: Practice Forgiveness
Forgiveness is something that we all have to wrestle with - it's just a part of being human. Making the effort to forgive, even when you haven't received an apology, will help you so much in the long run. When you hold grudges, you are ultimately hurt the most, so I encourage you to practice forgiveness everyday.
Although sometimes it may take longer than other times, your loved ones will appreciate the effort you've put in to forgiving them when they apologize. Forgiveness shows that you value the relationship and that you aren't willing to destroy it in the name of arrogance.
On another note, if your relationship is truly unable to be repaired, I still encourage you to forgive the other party, for your own sake.
Tip 5: Appreciate Them for Who They Are
...not who you think they should be. We can all appreciate our parents just because they're our parents and they raised us - but the actual challenge is appreciating their flaws and all! One of the foundations of life that social media tries to hide every day, is that no one is perfect. "There are no perfect relationships, because there are no perfect people"*. Accepting this fact sooner rather than later, will help you forgive and accept people much easier in life!
Appreciating your family through their good and bad days will show them that you're in it for the long haul - you value the relationship and you're willing to put the effort in to make it stronger.
This week, I challenge you to implement these tips into your daily life and to see how your relationships flourish.
How will you be showing your loved ones that you appreciate them?
Until next time,
"Grace is what love looks like when it meets imperfection"
*Sun Valley Pastor Chad Moore