My whole family is excitedly sitting in the airport, eating a quick bite for breakfast before getting ready to board our flight to Providenciales, Turks & Caicos (indeed, we are spoiled!) And my little 5-year-old nephew, promptly and instinctively after taking the first bite out of his cinnamon bun, still chewing, gave a big thumbs up to our server. He does this a lot, and it always makes me smile.
One tiny thumb, one massive meaning.
In that small gesture he was saying thank you, this is delicious, and I appreciate you.
Call me a geek, but I’m the kind of person who takes the time to fill out comment cards and surveys, leave reviews, and offer positive feedback whether to a sales associate at a store, or a server looking after me at a restaurant.
I like building rapport with those I meet, work with, and look after me. I really try to make a conscious effort to ask someone’s name, and express my appreciation to those who cross my path.
This one time leaving my local Longos supermarket, after having gone to the customer service desk in order to write a positive comment after the excellent help I had just received from one of their young grocers (Jake I believe his name was) I was stopped by a gentleman in the parking lot:
“Had a poor experience, did you?” Clearly having witnessed me writing away at the customer service desk a few moments earlier.
“Actually, no! I had an extremely positive one!”
He looked at me funny, appearing surprised by my reply.
“People seem to have no problem taking the time to complain, but rarely take the time to express appreciation,” I added.
He paused for a brief moment and then said, “you’re right.”
Sadly, it’s true.
We’re far too quick to share our negative experiences and complaints… whether it be due to poor customer service, cold food, or when the quality of something does not quite meet our expectations. And yet when an experience or service goes above and beyond our expectations, we’re not as fast, or as likely, to share our positive feedback.
The following three words are extremely powerful, and we could use them a lot more often than perhaps we do now. (And no, they are not ‘I love you!’ – although of course you can always be sending and expressing more love out there…)
So what are they?
I APPRECIATE YOU.
Just like my nephew’s thumb gesture, this short phrase says a lot. Thank you, I see you, I am grateful for you, and you matter.
And you do matter.
We all do.
And we need to express it more often. (You have to admit, when someone else tells you they appreciate you, it feels pretty good, right?!?)
Appreciation is different than gratitude.
In my opinion, it goes deeper.
You can express gratitude, but appreciation somehow makes it more personal. And when you take the time and make the effort to get specific, the deeper it goes.
‘I appreciate you’ are indeed three powerful words.
I dare you to use them more – whether spoken or in good ol’ fashioned hand-written cards – to mean them more, to show them more.
And just like love, celebration and joy – the more you express it, the more you experience it, and the more it grows.
I appreciate YOU!
I appreciate you for trusting me, for inspiring me, for being in my life.
I appreciate you simply for being you.
So what are you appreciating in this moment? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
Have a FAB week!