Receiving Gratitude

On Monday we talked about 5 ways to thank others. Today, we’re going discuss something most people find a little harder: allowing others to thank you.

Accepting gratitude is a bit like accepting a compliment. Most people feel a little self-doubt underneath the pleasure, as if believing they don’t quite deserve it. That’s why people say, “Oh, it was nothing,” when if it really was nothing, they probably wouldn’t be receiving a thank-you.

It’s okay to feel you deserve thanks. If you did good work or a kind deed, stand up and take your appreciation! My trick to receiving gratitude is to keep it simple. Just say, “You’re welcome,” give yourself a mental high-five, and then go back to your day.

For some people, this takes practice. If you’re naturally self-depracating or self-conscious, it may be hard for you to receive the gratitude without trying to block it or send it back to the other person. (“Oh, no thanks necessary, you’d do the same for me.”) But allowing yourself to feel another person’s gratitude is important for personal growth. It’s a small step toward taking pride in your actions and feeling confident in your ability to affect change.

So the next time someone says thank you, don’t push it away. Smile, and say “You’re welcome.”

And then pass the gratitude along.

This post is part of a mini-series on gratitude. You can find previous posts here:

Three Steps To Greater Gratitude Mindfulness

How Being Grateful For What You Have Can Give You More

Gratitude Book #1: Anne of Green Gables

5 Ways To Say “Thank You


2 Responses to “Receiving Gratitude”

  1. Ana says:

    The advice to simply say “thank you” when someone compliments (or thanks) you is one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received as a teen/young adult. Its amazing how many people hem and haw and downplay, trying to be modest, but inadvertently throwing someone’s gift back in their face.

  2. Leanne Sowul says:

    Ana, yes, I believe that too. I hate saying “I love your shirt!” and having them say, “Oh this? I got it on sale,” or something else that reflects disappointment in what I’m complimenting.


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