Chelsea here, and I want to talk to you about appreciation.
When we think about giving appreciation, we typically associate it with a special occasion – such as Mother or Father’s Day, ‘Employee Appreciation Day’, a birthday, wedding, or even death.
There is also this idea that someone needs to do something ‘big’ or outstanding in order to receive our appreciation. ‘Hero’ stories come to mind.
And I am glad that we do share our appreciation more or less freely on these occasions (such as your partner’s birthday, or to the woman who saved your dog).
In many of our families and cultures, we’ve been conditioned to ‘save’ expressing our appreciation for special moments, thereby minimizing the appreciation we share every day.
What does this lead to? Well, I’d argue, a lot of people feeling underappreciated and undervalued a lot of the time. Does this sound familiar?
- Do you wish you heard, ‘thank you’ or ‘I appreciate you’ more from the people in your life?
- Do you have a hard time expressing appreciation for someone, even when the appreciation feels very strong?
- Do you feel undervalued, underappreciated or wonder if people appreciate you?
The other day I was in the hallway of my apartment building when I noticed that the floor was wet beneath me. As I walked downstairs, I encountered the man who was washing the floor.
‘Careful’ he said, surely with a smile, as I walked by. But I was too busy walking past him with my head down, trying to stay out of his way and avoid slipping on the wet floor, to notice.
Later, from out my window, I watched an elderly man sweep the leaves from the sidewalk in front of his house across the street. I felt a warm sensation in my chest looking at him. I recognized that I appreciate him for what he’s doing.
Then I remembered the man from the stairwell from earlier that day; I also appreciated him for cleaning the floors of my building. Thanks to him doing that, my shoes stay clean, I personally don’t have to clean the floor, and the apartment building looks nice.
And I wondered, if I appreciate him for what he did, why did I virtually ignore him, that moment when we came in contact?
Now in November 2020 in the middle of ongoing coronavirus lockdowns, the contact we have with other people is limited. There are only so many moments we have together. All this got me thinking:
Why not cherish the moments we have together by expressing our appreciation? No matter how big or small?
Share your Appreciation Day
You might have heard us at Honesty Europe recommend having a ‘Ask for what you want’ or ‘Shoulds-free’ day. So now I am proposing, that we all try this out as an experiment: a ‘Share your Appreciation Day’.
When you go to the grocery store – share your appreciation with the person stocking the shelf of your favorite products, or the woman behind the counter, who comes to work nearly every day despite the current pandemic.
When you see a neighbor, take a moment to appreciate them for their smile, their dog, or the way they seem to always say hello.
What would happen if for one day, you shared your appreciations freely, moment-to-moment?
Is there one thing you can appreciate about each person you come in contact with?
- The morning garbage man
- Your boss in your afternoon meeting
- Your child’s kindergarten teacher
- Your partner
- A friend or family member who calls to check in on you
👉 Try this out: try to notice and express your appreciations as soon as they come up all day long for one day. Say….
“I appreciate you for…” and then mention a specific thing they said or did.
Such as, “I appreciate you for the look on your face right now” or “I appreciate you for going to the store for me.”
Pay attention to what happens inside you as you notice and share your appreciation. What are the physical sensations?
You might also want to watch and see (or ask) what happens in the other person upon hearing your appreciation.
Try this out and let us know how it goes for you! And remember that you have permission to share your appreciations any time, all the time, every day for the rest of your life.✌️
I appreciate you for reading this far!