Ok, time’s up. I hope you were able to find plenty of opportunities to express gratitude to all of the kind people in your life.
Now let’s take this a step further.
Think of someone in your life – a friend, family member, coworker, neighbour, or acquaintance – who really irritates you. This works better if it’s someone you see fairly regularly. (If you genuinely cannot think of anyone the rest of us will be happy to loan you one of ours. 😉 )
Once you have someone in mind, keep an eye on them. They will almost certainly once again do something that really pisses you off.
This is a good thing. Keep watching.
What are you looking for?
Something praise-worthy. Everyone has one of these moments sooner or later.
When you find it, thank them using as specific terms as possible. Don’t just say, “thanks.” Say something more like, “I really appreciated it when you ____. It means a lot to me when others do that. Thank you.”
Keep watching them. When it happens again, thank them again.
What I don’t expect you to do:
- Like them.
- Spend more time with them.
- Feel like a bad person for finding X and Y so annoying.
All you need to do is genuinely thank them when they do something you appreciate. (It would be interesting to hear what their reactions are for those willing to share that sort of thing in public, though.)
I’m off to take my own advice. This is a much easier thing to preach than to practice, after all!