There are Thanksgiving holidays around the world at various times of the year, and now is the time in Canada! We have all heard how important it is to have appreciation and show gratitude, but I don’t think many of us have discovered the importance of receiving thanks.
There are four distinct ways in which I have noticed that people respond to authentic gifts, compliments or acknowledgements:
1. By ignoring them.
Unfortunately some people have such a poor self-esteem that when they hear a compliment, they pretend they didn’t hear it. And it doesn’t have to be in an audible format. We could ignore the sight of a passing smile, or ignore the warmth of a soft touch.
When I was growing up, I sometimes heard people say “You have beautiful hair,” or “I love the color of your skin.” I never replied because I didn’t believe it back then.
2. By denying them.
This is sometimes a knee-jerk cultural response that is conditioned in some of us. For example, “you look beautiful” is replied with “no I don’t” or when presented with a precious gift, “oh, you shouldn’t have” is exclaimed.
In public transit I notice individuals offering their seats for others (who may have bags, children, etc.) and the offers are declined. Why? A gesture of kindness is just that, and doesn’t have any other meaning attached to it.
3. By reciprocating them.
“You look awesome” is instantly responded with a “You look awesome, too!”. No silence, no feeling, no thought. Was that latter “awesome” really authentic? Perhaps a more common, expected reciprocation is “I love you” with “I love you, too.”
This is not necessarily a bad way for us to respond. Reciprocating a hug with a hug, and a kiss with a kiss, are natural and beautiful ways of us humans being.
4. By welcoming them.
Sometimes it takes effort for a person to step outside their comfort zone and give a compliment. It may require a lot of courage to say “thank you” to someone close or with difficult history. We want to provide an open, patient, and attentive space for people to give their thanks to us.
Without a receiver, there can be no giver. So allow others to give more freely by learning how to receive, welcome, and encourage more good things in your life.
Sharing is the art of giving without attachment, expectation, or recollection. Share these powerful words with the people in your life.
Let’s love the world together...
[)anish /|hmed, blind visionary
7 Ways of Giving: