If you took up and participated in this 5-part gratitude challenge, you might have felt a bit neglected yourself. Showing gratitude to those who deserve it might have made you wonder whether your loved ones appreciate what you do for them. Do you get the thanks you deserve? If not, feel free to ask for it.
In the first weekly challenge, we took snapshots of things that deserved our gratitude. Part 2 reminded us to show gratefulness to those who served us. In part 3, I challenged you to put stop signs in your busy life, to make time to show gratitude. Last week’s challenge was to write eulogies for loved ones while they are still alive — and give it to them. This week, the final challenge is to make sure you get the thanks you deserve.
Why accept the scraps of thanks that come your way?
Why is it easy to insist on material things the way we like it, but then we hesitate to demand the gratitude we want? When you buy a pair of shoes, would you accept a too small or too big size? Imagine ordering a medium-rare steak in a restaurant. Would you keep quiet if the server brings you a rare or a medium, or even a well-done steak? I don’t think so!
So why is it so difficult to demand deserved gratitude? Do you just accept the scraps of thanks that come your way? You shouldn’t. Many people avoid asking for it because it makes them feel vulnerable. Essentially, they fear that exposing their needs might allow others to abuse those needs. Not realizing that there is an equal chance of them meeting those needs.
Do your loved ones take you for granted?
Look around, and you will see that you are one of many who feel neglected in the gratitude department. For example, a married man who longs for his wife to say thanks for providing for her and their children over the past 25 years. It is not uncommon for people to accept things for granted. You could be there for your family every day, but only when you do something out of the ordinary for them will you get that desired thank you.
Insist on getting the thanks you deserve
How about raising their eyebrows? Arrange a weekly meeting with your spouse — and children if possible — to sit down and allow them to say thanks for what you do for them from day to day. Don’t hold back and accept scraps of gratitude; remind them of the things they missed. Nevertheless, after two or three such meetings, I bet they will no longer take your love and care for granted. However, don’t forget to also thank them for what they do for you.
This is my final gratitude challenge. For me, it helped me to stop taking things for granted. Recognizing my need to receive gratitude has made me even more grateful for what others do for me. Most importantly, not holding back but showing my gratitude to those who deserve it.