Who do you thank more often? Strangers, acquaintances, friends, or family? And who out of that group do you most often criticize?
Be mindful of the gratitude paradox.
Increased familiarity leads to increased comfort which makes it easier to share displeasure. Less familiarity leads us to mind our manners and therefore demonstrate gratitude. Many of us are programmed to thank a stranger for holding a door. We do not have the same programming to thank those closest to us for much more significant acts. Put simply, many of us show more gratitude towards strangers than those closest to us.
Bring gratitude to those less familiar and to those most familiar – your closest friends and family. Understand who they are, how they prefer to receive gratitude (verbal, written, physical, etc.) and take every opportunity you can to show them gratitude.
80% of feedback tends to be negative, yet research has proven positive feedback is far more effective.
Think of people that are closest and most important to you. Skip the next opportunity for criticism. Be mindful for the next opportunity to show gratitude.
Take a moment today write a card, give a hug, cook a meal, buy them a small gift…or simply say thank you.
And please continue to thank strangers for holding the door for you.