Entitlement runs rampant today. Granted, narcissists lead the way with their ridiculously overdeveloped sense of entitlement, but even people who aren’t narcissistic can be too entitled sometimes as well. This can lead to failing to appreciate people in your life, because it can feel like there is no need to show appreciation for something someone is just supposed to do.
Failing to appreciate people in your life can lead to being taken for granted, resentment, anger, depression & ending relationships. Why let this happen when it is so simple to avoid?
Start by showing people you are grateful for the things they do for you. When someone does something for you, no matter how small, thank them. Make that into a habit that you do constantly. I don’t care if the task was something small like passing the salt at dinner. Thank the person who did that! Your husband put gas in your car because he knows you dislike that task? Thank him for thinking of you & saving you that trip to the gas station. Did your best friend call to tell you that your favorite movie comes on TV at 9 tonight? Thank her for remembering that you love that movie & for thinking to let you know about this. People like being thanked for what they do, even for such small things. It makes them feel appreciated & like you don’t take them for granted.
While you’re at it, return the favor to people who bless you by being a blessing to them. Doing thoughtful little gestures for them will make them feel the relationship is balanced, & they aren’t just doing things for you. If you aren’t sure what to do, pay attention to people. If someone mentions wanting to read a new book, buy them the book. If they like coffee, surprise them with a cup of their favorite coffee periodically. If they complain about having too much to do, then offer to help them complete some tasks or at the least accompany them when they run errands.
Tell those in your life often that you love them. Say the words often. Growing up, my wonderful grandparents always ended conversations with, “I love you.” I don’t remember all of the details of our final conversations before they passed on but I can promise you our last words to each other definitely were, “I love you.”
Complement people & do it often. Tell your loved ones how much you admire their intelligence, kind heart, fashion sense.. anything & everything you admire about them! A sincere complement can make even a very bad day better.
Be a cheerleader! When someone you love is struggling, encourage them. Let them know you believe in them & why. And, when they accomplish the thing that was originally a struggle, celebrate with them for a job well done.
In fact, celebrate whatever accomplishments they do that bring them joy no matter how big or small. Tell them you’re proud of them or happy for them or whatever is appropriate in the situation.
Don’t just be there in the good times either. Be there to help them through the tough times. Listen non-judgmentally to them while sharing a pint of ice cream, offer to clean their home or go to the grocery store for them.
Normalize showing love to every person in your life that you love. Normalize making people feel like a priority in your life rather than an afterthought. Normalize checking in just to say hi & see how someone is doing. Normalize talking about your dreams & innermost, private thoughts together knowing there won’t be judgment or criticism. Doing things like this will enrich the relationships in your life immensely & bring both you & the other people in your life great joy.