Happy Thanksgetting

I used to feel ashamed whenever I got the urge to take back a good deed. But I've since decided that people should show gratitude for kindness and it's not wrong to seek their appreciation. If you've shown kindness, you are "owed" gratitude -as far as I'm concerned. After all, the definition of a "good deal" is when both parties in a transaction get what they want.

Lest you think your "giving" has no ulterior motive beyond pure one-way kindness, consider this: How did you feel the last time you didn't get a wave from a driver you allowed to pull in front of you? I rest my case.

I'm here to help you get and maximize the thanks you deserve for your kindness. What follows are some creatable situations that will yield you a good quantity of sure-fire gratitude. Practice them. You'll soon be able to bathe in the buzz of an "appreciation shower" whenever you wish.

1. Let someone check out ahead of you in the grocery store. Pick a shopper with more items in their cart than yours. As their groceries are being bagged, feign a cell phone conversation in which you apologize for being late. Your generosity will surely be rewarded with smothering praise for your sacrifice. The price for this tactic is a mere bit of time.

2. If you crave some intense praise for the goodness of you, find a friend that has overlooked your birthday. Consider sending that person an extravagant gift with a card that says something to the effect of "You're always in my thoughts at this time of year", and then wait for your investment to payoff. You won't have to wait long. Although not cheap, this tactic can generate a healthy return of guilt-gratitude (not to mention an apology and an even better gift to you).

3. It can be difficult to pull gratitude from a child. But for an easily obtained "thank you," simply compliment a child that is with his or her parents. Nine out of ten times a parent will insist that the child say "thank you." And you deserve it. Your cleverness earned it.

4. Suppose an elderly woman at the local market asks you for help to reach some cake mix on a high shelf. Is it so wrong to enhance her gratefulness by letting out an unnecessary groan of strain as you reach up high for her? Upon seeing your exertion on her behalf she'll feel more special. Who's the worse if she gets her mix and you get a more emphatic "Thank you! What a nice youngster you are!" Once again, you've earned it.

5. Meter feeding can result in the most overt show of public gratitude. Find a car parked at meter (an expired one is best but not necessary). When any potential driver approaches the car, feed the meter a nickel (a quarter shouldn't be necessary). Turn to leave and the driver will certainly call out to you. Feign surprise with a "Who me?" attitude to enhance the nobleness of your act. You'll be shown a bigger smile than you ever thought five cents could buy. No doubt you'll be featured in a story later told to the driver's amazed family.

Beware of those that would discourage you from using these tactics. Such people will try to judge you -saying that giving for the purpose of getting is morally hollow. They'll say you should be selfless. And, ironically, they'll hope you'll thank them for their advice.

Who doesn't want to receive appreciation for a kind act? And what is wrong with creating gratitude and intensifying it? I say go get all the thanks and praise you can -whether contrived or not. What would be the worst thing that could happen if kind acts began to flow from everyone -for whatever reason?

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