Our hearts can hold three basic attitudes toward others: displeasure, indifference, and gratitude. These shape how we communicate with one another, and especially how others perceive us.
Displeased communicators tire us with complaints and criticisms. Their hearts say to others, “You don’t live up to my standards” and “I’m better than you are.” We generally avoid such people unless we’re likewise discontented persons. Negative people attract one another. Grumblers gather to commiserate.
Indifferent communicators wear us out with apathy and inertia. Their hearts say to others, “Whatever.” It’s hard to get to know such people well because they don’t work at developing close relationships. They live superficially.
Grateful communicators welcome us into their lives, encourage us, and direct us toward affirming relationships. Their warm hearts say to others, “You are a gift. I care about you.” We naturally want to care about them in return.
Grateful communicators in every medium speak appreciatively. They avoid language that reflects ingratitude or indifference, such as “whatever,” “who cares,” and “so what.” Instead, they look for opportunities to compliment others and to remind them how much they are valued, even for the “little things.”
Often one or two words of genuine gratitude will make another person’s day. “Thanks for your kind words.” “I appreciate the way you listen to me.” “Your encouragement means a lot to me.” Even a simple text message of thanks can bless the recipient.