”The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.” —Henry James, psychologist, 1890

Last week I shared with you a positive quote/idea from my father that helped me out in a difficult pinch; this week my mom is on deck…

I hope you were as lucky as I was to have a mom who bugged you a little bit about your manners & taught you to express gratitude when someone did something nice for you.

Intuitively your mom (like my mom) was on to something huge.

A growing body of research detailed in the Journal of Psychological details the importance of saying thank you.  A fellow blogger @ psychologicalscience.org sums up these findings nicely, so I will lift the words directly from his post:

Scientists believe that saying “thank you” sends a message; it changes our self-perceptions. The very act of saying “thank you” reinforces one’s desire for a mutually supportive relationship and increases dependency, which triggers trust and in turn deepens a relationship. In this way, saying “thank you” initiates a spiral of kindness and appreciation in relationships. And what’s more, it’s not complicated.

Yep, your mom was right.  Gary Vaynerchuck (Thank You Economy) was (is) right.  Genuinely saying thanks builds an upward spiral of kindness.  It is not something trite/quaint.  It is not just something that your great grandparents did. Scientists are proving that the act of saying thanks builds/creates/enhances relationships and trust.  It improves your life and the lives of others.

Our self help obsessed, yet chronically depressed culture needs to be reminded of the power of gratitude in all things.  It’s not all about receiving recognition to satisfy our craving for appreciation (see above quote)…it is the act of giving gratitude that brings it all home. Yep, the power of gratitude affects the person giving the thanks well as the one receiving thanks.

People, companies (and their brands) communities, bloggers, husbands & wives…all of us need to remember what Mom told us when we were kids.  Say thanks & give thanks genuinely & generously.