Expressing thanks is important because, believe it or not, those people that are SO very important to us don’t always know just how important to us they are.
Have you heard about “love languages”?
Gary Chapman has written a liturgy of books on what he’s penned the 5 love languages. The idea here is that people experience appreciation differently. What makes one person feel great and appreciated might be a hug, while another person just really wants the dishes done or the dog walked. Get the gist?
Chapman further expanded this idea to talk about apprecation and the languages of love, or appreciation, are this:
- Quality time (Playing a game together, going for a walk, seeing a performance)
- Acts of service (Doing the dishes, walking the dog, getting that chore that they’re dreading handled)
- Physical touch (Hugs)
- Words of affirmation (“My host family is the best host family ever.”)
- Gifts (Flowers, getting pizza for the fam, making a picture or writing a poem or letter)
So my suggestion this week isn’t a particular thing to do, but I suggest being thoughtful. I’d recommend thinking about what your family likes and, if you don’t know, asking and telling them what they appreciate because you want them to know they’re appreciated.
I can think of one particular time a host mom said to me, “My student doesn’t say thank you. I don’t know if they appreciate being with us.” I asked the mom what the student does with the family and the mom shared that the student had made the family several different foods to try. I suggested that the student was indeed saying thank you, but not in words and not in a way that the host mom necessarily understood. They were saying it with food.
I am lucky to work with host families and exchange students and I want my families and students to have great relationships. I believe that the bedrock of great relationships is positive regard and that a essential to positive regard is mutual appreciation.
I appreciate our host families and students and hope that they are having an awesome Thankful Friday.