Alert
Close

Think you know AARP? What you don't know about us may surprise you. Discover all the 'Real Possibilities'

Contests and
Sweeps

Dream Vacation Sweepstakes

10 weeks. 10 amazing trips. Seize your chance to win!
See official rules. 

Happiness
poll

most popular
articles

Viewed

The No-Excuses Guide to Gratitude

7 roadblocks to saying thank you—and how to get around them

En español | Appreciation, like wisdom, often takes years to acquire. That's why as we age, we are uniquely situated for giving our friends and family a true gift: a clear and genuine expression of our gratitude for things they've done for us and the role they've played in our life.

But sadly, many of us save our expressions of gratitude for eulogies. Mostly because of inexperience, we're not exactly comfortable revealing our true feelings in a one-one-one situation. And so we avoid it — to the detriment of ourselves and others.

Hands Clasping

I believe that it's essential to thank people for the things they have done for us, and the time to do it is now, before it's too late. Here are some other perceived roadblocks on the journey to expressing gratitude — and some suggestions on how to overcome them:

It Doesn't Really Matter: Most people don't give themselves enough credit for who they are and what they mean to others. Your words and your actions do mean a lot to many. See what happens when you take the time to express how much someone means to you. After doing so, it's unlikely you'll still feel it wasn't important.

Everyone Already Knows How I Feel: For the most part, our words and actions over the years probably do convey how we feel about other people. That's a great first step, but it still leaves a lot unsaid, and we all know the unfortunate consequences of leaving things unsaid. Many people aren't aware of the depth and full dimension of your gratitude toward them. In fact, before taking the time to reflect on these contributions, you may not be fully aware yourself.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Discounts & Benefits

Norwegian Cruise Lines

Norwegian Cruise Line offers 5% off on select cruises, plus other special offers.

Tanger Outlets

Members receive a free Tanger Coupon Book including up to 20% discount offers.

Life insurance: you are covered rain or shine

Members can convert their assets into guaranteed income for life with AARP Lifetime Income Program from New York Life.

Member Benefits

Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change. Join Today

Featured
Groups

5 Weeks to a New Life

How do you resolve differences in a relationship — without fighting? Share your tips in our online community and be eligible to win prizes. Discuss

The Reinvention Group

The Reinvention Group

Ask questions, find support and share information about changing gears in your 50+ years. Discuss

coffeeshop

The Coffee Shop

Kick back and enjoy lighthearted conversation among Online Community locals. Discuss