Its such a simple little phrase that people seem to have forgotten how to use. I hear this complaint often from many people. “They just don’t appreciate me for all that I do.” Its true. When was the last time you thanked someone for doing the smallest thing for you? Go ahead. Think about it. Did you thank Bill for making a fresh pot of coffee so you didn’t have to? What about thanking Sue for holding that door open for you when you were running late and had arms filled with files? Did you thank your lover for turning the fan off so you wouldn’t be cold when you slept? –I didn’t think so.
In my time observing couples (spent many years single) I’ve learned that the 2 seconds it takes to thank someone for doing something for you is such a valuable transaction that people forget how powerful it is. I always try to remember that if I ask someone to do something for me, no matter how small the task, to thank them for doing it afterwards, or even before the task is done.
I’m reminded of a movie I watched with my grandmother. It was called “If A Man Answers“, starring Sandra Dee and Bobby Darin, about a woman who asks her mother for advice on how to get her husband’s attention and get him to help her with things around the house. Her mother, who has been successfully married to her father for decades, tells her about a book on training….dogs. She gives her daughter the book on training dogs and begins to apply the techniques to her husband. It tells her that for every “trick” or “good behavior” her husband does, he should get a reward. This plays out as he is photographing swimsuit models in his living room for a magazine spread when she calls him to the bathroom to help her hang a picture. When he dismisses himself from the models to go help, he hangs the picture for her, he is then rewarded with a playful kiss,… and now enjoying his reward he kisses his wife again and you see the shot pan down to a foot slowly closing the bathroom door. Next scene. *chuckles*
In my life that reward comes as “thank you”, a kiss or hug, but always something to show my appreciation for what my mate has done for me. I have found that this simple gesture of appreciation shown does wonders for a relationship. It makes the person want to do more for you, want to strive to make you happy so they can be rewarded and thus they can be happy.
So next time you think that someone needs to be appreciated, just say “thank you”. Sometimes that is all a person needs…is to know that someone, anyone, appreciates them.