We know that gratitude makes our lives feel safer and happier through repaying the acts of kindness with expressions of gratitude to key workers, colleagues and employees; but what about our home life?
Gratitude in the relationships we have with our partners and family members is often taken for granted, they are with us constantly and we are always being kind to each other but we forget to say thank you, There is a plethora of relationship advice out there, but the starting point should always be gratitude!
Expressing gratitude in our personal relationships strengthens our relationship and makes our partner feel valued. We can do this by highlighting the costs, in time, energy and effort in helping us and responding to our needs.
For example, if your spouse helped you prepare for a job interview, you should highlight the costs ("Thank you for helping me despite your bad headache") and responsiveness ("I was anxious and really needed your support, so thank you for helping me")?
Gratitude enhances our perception of a relationship, as it helps us to look at it more objectively. In a relationship people are often reluctant to express their gratitude because they just assume the gratitude is already known. The positive effects of Gratitude are undervalued, we might worry about the recipient of the gratitude will feel awkward. It's just like saying 'I love you', it's often not said enough because we presume our partner already knows, but reaffirmations are important to keep the relationship fresh and alive!
There is much more to be learned about the role of gratitude in social life. Studies have shown that gratitude is more than just repaying benefits, it's not just payback for acts of kindness; it is about building relationships.
Gratitude may initiate a relationship-building cycle between recipient and benefactor.Without it becoming a repetitive game of gratitude ping pong, it can start chains of gratitude and increase communal strength.
So if we want build relationships and strengthen existing ones, let's make sure we continue to practise gratitude for our partner's investment in acts of kindness in their response to our needs. Let's reinforce our love through the power of gratitude.