In the past, we have talked about whether people who are to help us should do so the way we want them to, or if maybe they should be able to administer help the way they imagine it. It definitely is a delicate matter. Beggars cannot be choosers, but at the same time, if one offers to help, they should focus on the person that are helping instead of themselves.
Today, I want to discuss what we should do after someone helps us. Or how we should expect to be treated after we help someone. Ideally, whenever you help someone, you should do so out of the goodness of your heart, without expecting anything in return. If you are a person who likes to help, you should try and get used to that idea of it having to be a potentially thankless venture. However, that does not mean that those whom you help are excused from being decent human beings.
If someone helps you, make sure to take a moment and appreciate them.
By “appreciate” I do not mean saying: “‘Ppreciate chu.” While the sentiment is sweet, I see it as a bit of a cop-out. “I said I appreciated them, so they should feel happy and validated. My job here is done.” No, that is not how things work. Not only does it show a complete lack of creativity, but it also diminishes the meaning of the phrase “I appreciate.”
Saying “Thank you” is still the first line you should utter after someone helps you. But what happens next is a bit trickier to figure out. My advice: “Do not mess it up.” It seems to be a difficult one for some. Why? Often times, we do not realize how much time/effort administering help took. Our time perception is skewed when it is others that do something and not us. Only because the other person made it look effortless, it does not mean they did not have to jump through hoops to achieve it. In fact, you should appreciate such people so much more if they did things quickly and efficiently. Unfortunately, most people appreciate people who whine and complain about how difficult things are and how long it takes more than those that help with a smile on their face. Why is that?
Imagine coming home to a home-cooked meal. Do you thank the cook after you finish eating? Do you tell them how much you enjoyed it? How much it means to you to not have to cook after you get back from work? Or do you come in and complain that you have to wait a minute while the dinner is being served? Do you scoff and not eat it because it is not your favorite food? Maybe you even think, or worse – say, that the dinner preparation only took throwing things in the pot/pan and made itself in just a few minutes? Constant help can get overshadowed sometimes. You get used to someone doing something. You do not take the time to appreciate and value it. Instead, you start to expect things to happen.
During the next few days, focus on realizing those “little” things others do for you on a daily basis.
Think about what you would have to do to get it done yourself. Then, think of what THEY have to do to get this done for you. If you are not sure, try and observe their actions or even ask them: “How would your day be different if you did not have to do that?”
We often think something took no time or effort at all because we completely isolate that particular action. Cooking dinner might not take that long at all. But we forget to appreciate the fact that that person had to structure their day around going to the store to pick up the ingredients for our meal. They had to come up with the idea of what to cook. Once at the store, they had to make sure to grab all the necessary items, not forget any crucial ones, and not spend too much money on it. Oh, you came straight home after work? Would you look at that? Once groceries are done, one has to prep the meal. There is a bunch of chopping, slicing, dicing, and spicing. One wrong move and it could all go to hell. Then, it is a matter of keeping things at the right heat point and making sure the kitchen does not explode. Oh, you want to watch TV while you eat dinner? Too bad that is not always possible when cooking (unless you have a TV in the kitchen). There are more intricacies involved. I just wanted to give you the general overview to ponder.
Yes, I have been personally wounded recently. It was at work. I have been working on this project for months. Even though it was not in my usual scope of duties, I chose to “help out.” Often times, I felt pressure put on me as if it was a priority. For them, it was, but for me, it was not. Having sharp organizational skills and being as efficient as I am, I was able to move things around, or speed other things up, just so I could get back to that project. To turn another phase in. Yes, some things suffered. A non-essential task was occasionally skipped because I had “more important” work to do. Every time I submitted another part of the project, I was met with a stunned look of: “Already?” Yes, already. Now, are we done? I want to get back to my usual thing. No, me being done with those parts promptly meant that they could go back and change their minds and have me undo things. That often messed with my head. Unnecessary work is such a waste of time.
A couple of days ago, I was asked to stay longer because of the due date. I had plans outside of work. I could have said “no,” but I wanted to “just be done with it already,” so I stayed. I was unable to contain myself when the author of the project actually huffed and puffed when they found out that more work needed to be done. Why did it enrage me? It did because I was the one doing the actual work. Not them. And I was expected to be cool, calm, and collected. Once I expressed my frustrations, I was met with anger. Appreciation was what I hoped for. That is not what I received.
This project took so much energy out of me. It made me not want to write outside of work. It kept me from working on my WIP (work in progress). The next day, I received an apology… for getting frustrated, after which I was told that the project was not over. I was told that since all my other work seemed to have been completed on time, and I showed no signs of being overwhelmed, things must have been smooth sailing. Appreciation at its finest.
Just because someone made things look effortless does not mean that they were.
Appreciate such people for not giving you a headache and more work instead of sucking them dry.
If you are struggling to find ways to express your appreciation and gratitude towards others, check out these 50 ways to express gratitude for the people in your life.
Do you say: “I appreciate you”? If so, do you really appreciate them? How long does this appreciation last?
How do you show appreciation for others?
Is appreciation easy to get right?
Do you feel appreciated by others?
How would you like others to show appreciation towards you?
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