Re-posted From: http://kindcommunication.org/2012/12/02/appreciation/
Have you ever given a gift to someone, and they respond with a simple “Thanks”. When you heard that “thanks”, how did you feel? Did you feel warm and delighted at seeing your gift contribute to the overall happiness of another person? I wager you didn’t. And while we certainly don’t just give gifts to receive appreciation, it does still feel great and meets our own needs to be seen and appreciated when someone really takes a minute and connects with us over our gift. ”Oh my gosh, thank you so much for this. As I saw what it was, I felt so warm and close to you, it really shows me how much you care for me.”
When we learn about Nonviolent Communication, we often work with conflicts. And that makes sense, after all it is during conflicts that we need the most help in avoiding the fight-flight-freeze reaction. But speaking in feelings and need language can be used for all sorts of contexts. And one of the most joyful ways of using NVC is in expressing gratitude.
When we show someone gratitude for something they’ve given us or done for us, it can be an opportunity to celebrate met needs, and to meet the other person’s needs for being seen and appreciated. And the best way we can do that is by sharing our honest feelings at receiving the gift, and what needs it fulfills within us. ”Thank you so much for this present. When I saw it, my heart leapt with joy. It really shows me how much you care about me, listen to me, and I know I’ll find this blender really useful in the kitchen.” This helps our listener get really clear and direct information about what I appreciate about their gift. And it helps draw you both closer to one another.
Of course, we don’t want to be dishonest. So if upon receiving a gift or service we don’t feel particularly grateful, using feelings and need language can be helpful in really expressing what is being unmet within us. But since the person is giving us a gift or a service, it’d probably be compassionate of us to start off with some empathy. ”Thanks, I really appreciate that you devoted the time, effort, and money to getting me this. But unfortunately this toaster for my wedding really leaves me feeling sad because I’m needing more celebration and fun not practicality.”
So I encourage you to use the feelings and needs language we practice using in conflicts all the time, for all sorts of things. And especially consider using it to show your gratitude and appreciation. I think you’ll find that it brings you closer to your loved ones, getting into even deeper connection with them, this holiday season.
KindCommunication.org is a project by a close friend of Wiki World Order, Alex Leach. WWO fully supports the study, practice, and teaching of non-violent communication as one of the core solutions which already exists.