NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County

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I Appreciate You!

I Appreciate You!

Strong families, strong friendships, strong relationships have a great deal of emotion to them.  There is an abundance of positive emotional bonds between the people in the family, friendship or relationship. People in strong families care deeply for each other but telling each other this on a regular basis often doesn’t happen.

 Family members and friends may feel good about each other and may know how important it is to continually express these feelings but we may fail to act on those thoughts and feelings.. Spring is a season of celebrations – graduations, weddings, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and so on.  What better time to start making “I appreciate you!” a regular habit.  We can’t afford to take loved ones for granted and giving sincere thanks builds a positive atmosphere in which bonds of emotional connection are nurtured.

For some reason, many individuals believe that to express appreciation is an act of weakness or an act that will somehow negatively affect the object of one’s praise. “She knows how important she is to me,” is commonly said, along with “and I really don’t need to tell him.” In the case of our children, we sometimes harbor the vague belief that if we were to actually thank them for being who they are and it would create a false sense of pride in their heads.

One study interviewed families and fund that the ratio of positive to negative interchanges in strong families may reach the 10-to-1 or even 20-to-1 level. For every negative interaction, family members have at least 10 positive ones. One study participate said,  “You pay a big price when you verbally attack your loved ones. You hurt them deeply, and they don’t forget quickly. I always feel like I need to pay a bit of penance after attacking them and try very hard to focus on their strengths as much as possible.”

Ways to show appreciation and affection to friends and/family:

 

  • Speak kindly.
  • Take each child out for a treat individually.
  • Share one thing at mealtime you appreciate that each person has done that day.
  • Give each family member a chance to plan an event to do together.
  • Practice saying thank you, even for the little things family members do.
  • Leave sticky notes with positive words in a lunch box, under a pillow, and so forth.
  • Hang out with your kids.
  • Listen to your kids, don’t reprimand them.
  • Take your partner out on a date, like you used to do
  • Keep a “gratitude” journal of how your family and friends enrich your life.
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    Our relationships with others are what enrich our lives. Take time to show the people who make your life better how much you appreciate them and how much they matter.

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