For many, thanking is an almost automatic act of courtesy. Saying thank you when they give us a gift, when they do us a favor or when others do a kind gesture. For everything else, it seems like it is not important to thank. Gratitude, therefore, has been reduced to specific circumstances, fundamentally of a social nature.
Even in these precise situations where thanks are needed, sometimes gratitude does not come from the bottom of the heart. Only in the most extreme cases do we pronounce that “thank you” with total conviction and, after some time, the feeling disappears.
There will be those who think this is right. It is a question of saying “thank you” at the right time and, if possible, returning the favor or attention that they have given us. What else for? Even though it appears normal in today’s world, by acting in this way we actually trivialize gratitude. We forget that it is an extraordinary force that contributes to better mental health and that we often waste.
Thanking is much more than saying “thank you”
Gratitude is a cheerful feeling. Even if the thanks is due to something that was received in a sad moment. In any case, thanking sends us back to a pleasant fact that fills us with satisfaction. In fact, the word “gratitude” comes from “grace” and something “thankful” is defined as something that causes us well-being or complacency.
You thank someone when you are aware that you are receiving more than what you give. For this reason, the feeling of having made a profit immediately arises. Thus, spontaneously, the need arises to give thanks for that “plus” that has been received.
Gratitude therefore implies not only a formula of courtesy, but also an experience of satisfaction, joy and, why not, happiness. Those who are grateful are happy. And happier is those who are aware of the multitude of reasons they have to be grateful.
Why is it difficult for many to give thanks?
There are many people who feel they have nothing to thank others for. They list in detail the occasions in which they needed something and did not receive the help they hoped for or the infinity of situations in which they gave something to others and it was not paid. Their balance between what they give and what they receive always skews against gratitude.
He probably operates a logic in which others are always in debt. We expect more of others than they can give and for this reason we are obviously not satisfied. It is believed that “they could have given more”. So why thank you?
To think so are usually people who are very spoiled or whose ego has been exalted to excess. When there is a high dose of narcissism, what others give or give us life will never be enough. He will always feel that he deserves more and, of course, there will be many other reasons to deny the need to be grateful.
Gratitude has power
Gratitude is something you give to another person, to others, or to something abstract. It belongs to the world of giving, not receiving. However, as mentioned before, the mere fact of being predisposed to give thanks implies a pleasure, a satisfaction, a kind of happiness. In addition, it ennobles the heart.
If it weren’t for the actions of others, we probably wouldn’t even be alive. If we are, it is thanks to the mother who carried us in her womb, who suffered the pains of childbirth to give birth to us and who preserved our lives when we could not yet do it alone. It doesn’t matter if she wasn’t ready to be a mother or if she could have done it better, the simple act of motherhood already implies an offer. It also counts who helped us to be born, to grow, not to die in those vulnerable early years.
From that moment on we had teachers who taught us, playmates, sometimes friends who listened to us, sometimes loves who bet on us, sometimes people who trusted our work. Our days are possible thanks to many people, but sometimes we don’t notice it. We are not able to see the great contribution, rather we focus on what they stop doing.
Living grateful means living very close to happiness. More than a virtue, or a value, it is an attitude towards life. We can only thank if we are humble, if we understand that no one owes us anything nor has the obligation to please us. When we understand this, we take a big step forward.