Think about a person in your life that express sincere and honest appreciation for everything you do for him or her. Now think about someone in your life that takes everything you do for granted, never says thank you, and expects you to be at their beckon call. Which person do you enjoy serving more?
I want to share with you a tale of two family members. The first one is my dad, and the second one will simply be known as “Jane.”
When I pick my dad up for a doctor’s appointment, he always lets me know how much he appreciates me and everything that I do to help him. Although he is no longer allowed to drive, he doesn’t complain and go on endless tirades about the unfairness of life. He accepts what is, and expresses his appreciation with his hearty thanks, a smile and a bear hug.
“Jane” is never satisfied. If she is invited over for dinner, she makes a point to look at how the food is prepared and often shares that she “doesn’t like it that way.” If she needs to go to the store, she doesn’t ask, she demands. And she never says, “Thank you” whether at the end of a meal or the end of a full day of errands.
Obviously, the person I love to serve is my dad. Because of his positive reinforcement, I help him with his landscaping, prepare his foods, sort out his medications, take him shopping, pick him up for church and have him over regularly for dinner. Why? Because he’s easy to be with, and he’s grateful for every single act of kindness. I feel good when I help him and I appreciate his acknowledgement of my efforts.
If you’re dealing with a person like my dad, smile, thank heaven and always say, “You’re welcome” when he or she thanks you. Acknowledge the gift of their appreciation. If you have a Jane in your life, look for at least one good thing about them and concentrate on that. Steer clear of your negative thinking, try to imagine what your life would be like if you were like that, and thank goodness that you have choices about who you spend your time with. (Hint: the “dads” of your life are going to get a lot more time!)
PS – if you happen to be a “Jane,” try saying “Thank You” more often. After the initial shock wears off, you’ll see a whole new attitude.