One of the first life lessons little kids are taught is to always say, “thank you.”
When someone does something nice for you, you thank them. It’s a concept that is drummed into our heads starting at the age of about two. But you’ll notice that saying thanks doesn’t come easy. Very rarely does a kid remember to say it – it usually follows a prompt by a parent…now what do you say? And it never gets easier.
Gratitude doesn’t come easily or naturally to most of us; rather, it’s a skill that needs to be honed and crafted. But when you get it down, it can literally change your life. Countless studies have demonstrated that expressing gratitude can vastly increase our physical and emotional well-being.
Gratitude can also have enormous implications for your relationship…and your ability to find love if you aren’t currently in a relationship. When both partners see the good in one another and feel appreciative, the relationship is filled with love, connection, and harmony. When both partners focus on what the other isn’t doing and take each other for granted, the relationship is filled with resentment, frustration, and bitterness.
The truth is, a good relationship starts with you. When you bring positivity and happiness into the relationship, your partner will rise up to match and then your relationship will flourish. I’m not saying the responsibility is on the woman – it goes both ways. But the only person you can control is yourself.
If you want your life and your relationship to improve, you can’t blame circumstances or your partner. Instead, you need to take responsibility and make internal changes that lead to external ones. And the most important lesson is that of giving thanks.
Read on to find out how it’s done and why it’s so important.
Why Is It So Hard?
Life can tear a lot of us down. As the years go by, bitter experiences pile up and our hearts become shrouded with hurt and pain. The more jaded we become, the harder it is to see beyond the darkness and feel thankful for anything. A lot of us become the victims of our own lives and we feel justified in it. We blame our parents, our upbringing, the boy who broke our heart, the bad economy. I’m not saying none of it is valid, but when you dwell on all the bad hands you’ve been dealt, you fuel the fire of anger and resentment and this only makes for an even more miserable experience.
When it comes to relationships, expressing gratitude can be even more challenging because the stakes are so much higher. Romantic relationships can cause many emotions to rise to the surface…some are good and exhilarating, and some are bad and rooted in pain from the past. All of us look at life through a lens that is colored by our own experiences and we form certain expectations as a result. When you measure a guy against this code of expected behavior, he will always fall short and you will always feel disappointed. The reason he’ll fall short is because no one can get it right every single time. He isn’t a mind reader and he has been shaped by a whole different set of experiences.
When you think a guy should do something, and if he doesn’t it means he doesn’t care, then you ignore all the things he does that show he does care and get all riled up because of a few things that you (or rather, your unconscious mind) think a man should do when he loves a woman. You feel hurt and unloved and might start blaming him for “making” you feel a certain way. When you’re in this head space, you will not be able to appreciate anything he does and will silently resent him for not doing more. He can text you back promptly every single time and you will still get upset the one time he takes a little longer to get back to you.