This article is inspired by Sandra Lee’s 30 Days of Love and Appreciation. Since it is the start of 2011, it is best to start well. One way of doing so, is to make sure we express our appreciation and love for our loved ones. There is no need to wait for a special day or occasion to show your love. Instead, we should seize every chance we have to do so while we still can and here are some reasons why.
Reasons to Express Love and Appreciation
1. Loved Ones Are Not Mind Readers
It is hard to guess what is on a person’s mind. Since this is the case, we should not expect our loved ones to be mind readers. If we do not tell them that we appreciate them, how will they know what we feel? If we do not show our love through our care and concern, how will they be able to feel it? We may take pains to maintain our relationships with our boss, colleagues and customers. How much more so should we make the effort to do so with our family and friends?
2. The Perils of Taking Loved Ones For Granted
It is hard to win hearts and minds when we take people for granted. Over time, this will only lead to resentment and dislike. This is even more serious when it comes to our loved ones. Our family and friends do not owe us anything. They do things for us because they care. If we take this care for granted and treat them shabbily, it can only lead to problems in our relationships. How does taking someone for granted come about? It is simply because we fail to acknowledge what they do for us. We fail to affirm that their efforts mean a lot to us. We fail to show through our actions that we care.
3. The Illusion of Time
It may seem as if we have all the time in the world when it comes to showing love and appreciation. But only the wise and the old know that endless time is an illusion. No one knows when death will separate us from our family and friends forever. No one knows how many special occasions we have left to share with our loved ones. How much must we leave unsaid or undone when it comes to the people that matter? Should we not make the effort to express our love while we still have the chance to do so? Should we not treasure each moment as if it were our last? Should we not do all we can so that we live a life with little regrets?
4. Relationships Need Nurturing and Effort
Do you make an effort to maintain your relationships with your boss, colleagues, business partners and customers? Why do you do so? If you make the effort to maintain these important relationships, should you not do the same for your personal relationships? Should we not make an even greater effort when it comes to our bonds with our loved ones? Any relationship needs care, concern and effort. It needs nurturing to grow strong and healthy. If we want to forge strong bonds with people, we need to make an effort to do so. This is especially so when it comes to our loved ones. Simply put, the more they matter, the more effort we must invest.
5. Words Are Good, But Actions Are Better
Words of love and affirmation are good, but we should not forget to follow them up with actions. I am sure we have all experienced being let down by empty words before. This can shake our trust in an instant. Done repeatedly and we will not rely on that person for anything no matter what they say. Unfulfilled promises are disappointing. It reflects badly on a person. Sweet nothings are nothing without consistent action to back them up. Words are nothing if we are not willing to act on what we say. Unless we express our love and appreciation through word and deed, we will only end up alienating our family and friends.
Benefits of Expressing Love and Appreciation
1. Strengthen Bonds
When you take the time and effort to show that you care, it does wonders for your relationships. Whether it is what you say, the little things you do or just spending quality time, it will give you joy to nurture the relationships that matter. After all, our relationships define our lives. What are we without our family and friends to share our joys and sorrows?
2. Dependable Support Group
The more we affirm and acknowledge the people that matter, the likelier they are to be there for us in our hour of need. The sincere and trustworthy family and friends that you have will surely watch your back. They will multiply your joy and happiness while reducing your sorrows and burdens. With these people by your side, you can manage life with confidence.
3. Pre-empts Problems
Every relationship has its unique problems. The more they matter, the greater the problems we might have to deal with. I do not know about you, but where possible, I like to pre-empt problems. If showing my appreciation for my loved ones can help me to avoid problems that come with not doing so, I am all for it. I cannot anticipate every problem, but as far as I can, I try to avoid the needless ones.
4. Creativity and Fun
Springing pleasant surprises for family and friends from time to time is fun. It forces you to think of novel ideas to do so. Most people spring surprises when there is a special occasion like a birthday. But I think we can do it anytime to express our appreciation. The time and effort you put into a surprise is likely to move the recipient and affirm the special bonds you have in this life. More importantly, everyone involved will enjoy the fun.
Showing your love does not mean doing some grandiose gesture like shouting it from the top of Mount Everest. The simple and little things consistently done mean more than large over the top gestures. It is also more practical as well. What is important is that we express our love according to the wishes of our loved ones. There is little point doing things for them that they dislike and do not appreciate.
Can you think of any other reasons to show love and appreciation? Are there any other benefits of doing so? Do share your thoughts and comments below.