Drafted By: Mheyah Bailey
I have recently been re-inspired by witnessing the power of APPRECIATION and reminded in a big way by an amazing couple I have met, the value and importance of APPRECIATION and how much LOVE really is an action word. I have been living in the UK for the last 2 years and I have noticed the subtleties in the differences between Canadian and English communication styles, which has nothing to do with the differences in our accents, but more to do with the differences in our culture. It is so interesting that we can be so different considering we speak the same language. I have found myself being acutely aware of what I say and how I say it and listening to people here with a new level of awareness. I will however leave this rather large topic for another newsletter, but instead focus today on a universal human commonality that is just as important here in the UK or Canada or anywhere.
I was beautifully reminded by this young couple of how very, very, VERY important APPRECIATION is to the well being of ourselves individually, and how much expressing APPRECIATION positively impacts the happiness, fulfillment and security of relationships. Everyday I am privileged to witness love and honoured to support people in their fears around the perceived loss of love, and all the complications that being in relationship brings to us. I teach couples how to get to the heart of the matter so they can create more connection, work collaboratively and remember why they chose each other in the first place. I welcome the challenges so people can learn more about themselves, each other, what they need and value and how to improve their communication so they can learn to celebrate differences, help them learn not to take things personally and make their relationships more positive, connected and full of love.
At the heart of this is that we all need to feel APPRECIATED, HEARD, ACKNOWLEDGED , RECOGNIZED and WITNESSED for all that makes us SPECIAL & UNIQUE, for the things we do everyday and the contributions we make in large and small ways personally, professionally or globally. It doesn’t matter how you contribute or what you do or what motivates you. Whether it is cooking a meal so your family can eat, getting up that one extra time at night with the baby so your partner can have some valuable sleep, going out everyday to work to support the family, speaking at the UN on some new important policy that will impact the safety of the world, running the government, building houses, setting broken bones, creating art, designing technology. We are all motivated to do the things we do, by many diverse personal needs and values whether it is love, commitment, responsibility, money, creativity or intellect and so many other motivators, some positive and some not so much. I imagine that you understand to some degree that we all get a sense of personal fulfillment in one way or another from making those choices to do what we do, as we all have hopes, values, needs and dreams and our actions are in service of fulfilling those. However, what I witnessed the other day was how important it is to be APPRECIATED by those around us and especially from those we love and care about.
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“Nothing is done in this world without hope” MLK jr
In my experience in life, personally and professionally, it seems to be such an important ingredient to feel APPRECIATED and to have HOPE of that eventuality, which to most of us equates to feeling LOVED. I witnessed a couple I am privileged to be coaching, such a compelling understanding of the importance of feeling APPRECIATED. I am convinced that one of the main reasons relationships break down is because of this lack of feeling APPRECIATED. Whether it is a couple, family, friend or professional relationship. Our level of satisfaction and fulfillment will undoubtedly suffer because of a lack of appreciation. The majority of people who look outside their relationships, look for new jobs or a change in circumstances, generally are looking for appreciation, understanding and a connection for which they feel is lacking in their current relationships or situations.
Dr. John Gottman from his Love Lab research, says that our interactions with others needs to be a ratio of 6 positive engagements to one negative, and if the balance is off there will be a definite decline in the quality and satisfaction in the relationship.
It really doesn’t take a lot to show APPRECIATION which is a close cousin to good old fashioned manners. Psychology teaches us that people are motivated to contribute to the greater good and feeling appreciated and valued for what we contribute is the currency for feeling fulfillment and happiness. It doesn’t mean that we need to have appreciation to contribute, it just means that it can be more fulfilling and meaningful and ensure our continued interest in contributing if we do. OK I admit it, I am not Mother Theresa and I really value knowing I made a difference in someone’s life. I am far more motivated by APPRECIATION than money. So, judge me if you will but I think APPRECIATION is a very important human need and I think we can all forget to show our appreciation for others and fall into the trap of taking our relationships for granted. So if LOVE is an ACTION word, APPRECIATION is the currency for fulfillment, and we need to keep the balance of a 6 to 1 ratio of positive to negative, then how are you going to show your appreciation to others today.
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Here are some suggestions.
- Notice and acknowledge a job completed
- Say thank you to someone for the difference they make in your life, even the little things, because the little things are really important.
- (I think I may not have thanked my husband for bringing me tea in bed every morning)
- Doing the APPRECIATION exercise. Three things I really appreciate about you today is……….and this works great with your children (or employees) and helps build their confidence, self esteem and their trust in their value to their community or family in the case of ones children
- Do something for someone without expectation of anything in return
- Give positive feedback ie: Wow the dinner is amazing. Thank you for making it for us or thank you for ensuring those emails got out or….
- Send a card to thank someone for something you really value they do or did for you
- Hug people you care about, hug people just because…..
- Say I love you and WHY you love them, not just the 3 words but add what it is about them that you value, admire and respect.
- Call, text or email just because you want to positively connect
- Notice all the jobs that get done and mention that you noticed
- Leave a note of appreciation for someone to find. It’s called A NICE NOTE!
- Use reflective listening so others know you really heard them
- Try this process for acknowledgement. When you do……….I really feel………because it meets my needs and values for……..In your own words of course 🙂
- I hope you have enjoyed this newsletter and would love to hear back how showing APPRECIATION impacted your day?
- I deeply appreciate your time and letting me share some thoughts with you and thank you to the couple that inspired this article. You know who you are
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