THANK YOU. Two simple words, less than ten letters, but capable of producing powerful emotions and deep meaning when communicated. This leads to my question- why is “Thank You” such a difficult concept for many people?
It is truly mind boggling to see how many times a day people will miss an opportunity, or moment, to express their thanks for kindnesses or generosity shown to them by others. Ungrateful people are their own worst enemy. Sadly, they learn too late that being unappreciative and ungrateful is a surefire way to get less from people, and life in general.
So why is it so difficult? Are ungrateful people oblivious or stingy? Does showing gratitude cost anything spiritually or burn a calorie? I wonder about this all the time in my own life and when I see it happening to others.
What causes people to be ungrateful? Is it low self worth, or a unhealthy sense of entitlement? Is gratitude taught, or is it a natural occurrence? Does the ability to feel thankful and exhibit appreciation come from a higher sense of maturity, intelligence, or character? Why are some people either unable or unwilling to show gratitude or appreciation?
If a person has a grateful spirit, it comes very naturally. Selfish and self-absorbed people live in a world that revolves around the pursuit of their own happiness and satisfaction. They either haven't been taught proper manners or they are too self-absorbed to exercise them.
Ingratitude surely is one of the most destructive and harmful of all emotions or attitudes. There aren’t many situations that can hurt or anger as much as showing someone a kindness, or doing something thoughtful, with little or no acknowledgement given in return. Feeling hurt and deep frustration is just the tip of the resentment iceberg when being on the receiving end of ingratitude.
Here are some descriptive words which correspond to a lack of gratitude: inconsiderate, unkind, uncaring, selfish, insensitive, tactless, rude, impolite, careless, heedless, reckless, negligent, unthinking, inattentive, foolish, stupid, absent-minded.
1. Not feeling or showing gratitude; ungrateful
2. Not likely to be appreciated
Once an ungrateful person has established a consistent pattern, there are choices to be made. Accepting a person for how they are and losing any expectation of appreciation is certainly a choice one could consider. Another choice would be to communicate feelings of disappointment, and hope that the situation may be remedied. A third option is to keep a distance from the person until such time that they either get the clue and open their eyes, OR lastly, withdraw any further generosity or kindness from them.
Showing and expressing thanks is more than courtesy or good manners. Expressing gratitude towards others for things they have done, or given, or sacrificed, is a defining quality of character. Individuals who consistently lack appreciation, or express thanks, show a weakness of character that is often a lifelong problem. Accepting something from another, without giving an acknowledgement of thankfulness or appreciation, is beyond poor manners.