When thinking of the words thankful and grateful they may sound like they mean the same thing, but if you take a closer look they are in fact very different. Let’s dive in to find out if you are thankful or grateful during the holiday seasons.
We have all been there when holidays roll around we pick up our phones to send a mass text to those in our contacts or we post on social media a cheesy generic line of ” I am thankful to have you in my life” or ” I am grateful to know you.” These seem sweet and loving, but you might be using them in the wrong text.
How I started viewing these 2 words, in short, is that thankful is an internal feeling you feel towards someone or something. Being Grateful is expressing your gratitude towards a person
What it means to be thankful
Merriam-Webster defines thankful as “conscious of benefit received” The main word to focus on is conscious. You are aware of something is going to be given to you. Being aware generates a feeling of excitement, feeling loved, or happiness. You are thankful for that feeling they have given to you.
More often than not we throw out thank you’s and thanks at every corner. Those thanks and thank yous have less meaning now because they have been instilled in us as polite behavior. They have become such an autoresponse they lose their precious value. You are no longer thanking someone for the feeling they give you when you receive something from them.
Remember to be thankful
Take the time to really sit with what was done for you to appreciate its value. When something has a huge impact on you making you feel overwhelmed with excitement, feeling loved, or happiness you really start to remember why you are thankful for someone.
Do any of you remember the movie “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupery? It came out in 2004, if you don’t no big deal. I want to share this quote with you that just sums up what thankful means.
“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.” Every time I throw myself into a tizzy because things aren’t going as expected, or as I projected on my Excel spreadsheet for the year 2020, I have to remind myself that I’m looking with the wrong instruments: I need to go back and tell my heart to get some guts and speak up to my head because it’s starting to listen to my eyes again.”
Meaning that when you start to become greedy and underappreciate those who have taken the time to give something and you do not take what they have given you to heart to truly appreciate what has been done… You need to take a step back and re-evaluate yourself.
What is means to be grateful
Merriam-Webster defines thankful as “appreciative of benefits received” meaning you did not know you were going to receive something, but you appreciate everything the person has done to give this to you.
They have given their time, their money, their love to give this to you because they thought you would love it. You become grateful for all aspects of the gift-giving, not just getting the present. You love the experience wholeheartedly to where it makes a huge impact on your life.
As I said earlier thankful is an internal feeling you feel towards someone or something. Being Grateful is expressing your gratitude towards a person. Thankful is a feeling, while gratitude is an action. It is a cycle that goes hand in hand.
Someone takes the time do to something for you, you appreciate it and are thankful, which in return makes you grateful for that person and their time. Then you want to express your gratitude to them and others in which they also do the same thing. It has this ripple effect of showing how much we mean to one another.
Ways of being grateful
I covered this in a blog post a couple of weeks ago but I will give you a few examples that were on that list. If you want more ways to express gratitude check out the rest of that post.
Send Handwritten Letters – I have started mailing letters and little trinkets back and forth with another blogger I met on Instagram. We both appreciate the handwritten letters or little stickers, keychains, or single tea packets we send each other.
Tip Well For Good Service – Service workers work their butt off. They don’t get paid as much as others do hourly because they get tips… if they get tips.
This one has become very popular over the years
Pay It Forward – This absolutely made our day and wanted to keep the good feeling going.
What type of person are you
I hope I explained this as easily as possible. Being thankful and being grateful are two different things with different means. They are both positive terms, but without intention behind it, it just becomes empty and routine. Find the meaning behind the gift-giving, the compliments, the good tipping.
If there is no intention it is just a waste of time. Expressing gratitude turns a hardwired response into an intentional
action. Every person should know what it feels like to be truly thankful for things that have given and to be grateful for things that have been done. Either for them, others, or strangers!
Looking back on past holidays or even in your everyday life are you truly thankful, the auto-response thanker or are you showing how grateful you are for those in your life?
I, myself am an action type of person. I want to show how grateful I am to those around me. That’s why I have started sending handmade letters to those around me. I love being creative and I love taking my time to create one of a kind letters to those I love. Maybe I should do that with some gift cards this year or some cash for service workers. oooo I think I have an idea.
I hope you guys have a happy, healthy, and safe holiday season this year. Go forth and spread gratitude to those around you and be thankful when someone does it in return!
Until next time, have a great day!