By Samantha Boardman published
Many people keep gratitude to themselves. They feel it but don’t express it. Like you, they assume the other person already knows how much he or she is appreciated or worry about finding the right words to say. I have a patient who was so concerned about writing the perfect thank you note that she often ended up not writing one at all.
Putting pen to paper or sending a thank you email may seem unnecessary or feel uncomfortable, but research tells a different story. According to the recent study “Undervaluing Gratitude,” by researchers at the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago, we systematically underestimate the positive impact of expressing gratitude and overestimate how awkward an expression of gratitude might make someone else feel. Misunderstanding the consequences of saying thanks keeps us from engaging in a simple action that would make us and someone else a little happier. The conclusion of the study is crystal clear: Every time we don’t express gratitude, we are missing an opportunity to give others and ourselves a boost.
Expressing and experiencing gratitude in everyday life is one of the most reliable ways to improve your own well-being and the well-being of someone else. Author Gladys B. Stern famously said, “Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.” Say it. Write it. Express it somehow. Just don’t keep it to yourself.
This story originally appeared in the March 2019 issue of Marie Claire.
MORE FROM SAMANTHA BOARDMAN
The 74 Best Gifts for Dogs, Dog Owners, and Dog Lovers In 2021
You're not a regular dog mom, you're a cool dog mom.
By Jenny Hollander • Published
Fine Line Treatments That Work
The products and pointers you need to make an impact.
By Chelsea Hall • Published
The 23 Best Winter Dresses You Can Get on Amazon
Your next great outfit is just a click away.
By Taylor Ayers • Published
71 Fun Date Ideas for 2021
Skip the old "dinner and a movie" for something original.
By Katherine J Igoe • Published
The 26 Hottest Porn Websites for Women on the Internet
All the best websites, right this way.
By Kayleigh Roberts • Published
COVID Forced My Polyamorous Marriage to Become Monogamous
For Melanie LaForce, pandemic-induced social distancing guidelines meant she could no longer see men outside of her marriage. But monogamy didn't just change her relationship with her husband—it changed her relationship with herself.
By Melanie LaForce • Published
How the pandemic has mutated our most personal disunions.
By Gretchen Voss • Published
16 At-Home Date Ideas When You're Stuck Indoors
Staying in doesn't have to be boring.
By Katherine J Igoe • Published
Long Distance Relationship Gift Ideas for Couples Who've Made It This Far
Alexa, play "A Thousand Miles."
By Jaimie Potters • Published
15 Couples on How 2020 Rocked Their Relationship
Couples confessed to Marie Claire how this year's many multi-stressors tested the limits of their love.
By Sherry Amatenstein, LCSW • Published
I Escaped My Abuser. He Found Me Through My Computer.
After more than a year of abuse at the hands of her then-fiancé, Jaél de Pardo, eight months pregnant, fled the apartment they shared. She was living in secret...until he tracked her.
By Megan DiTrolio • Published