Gratitude can be expressed in so many ways. Taking a moment to listen to our friend attentively, help them with their car door or even supporting their plans for better fitness by accompanying them to the gym. All of these small actions can show people that they are important in our lives.
But, one of the most time-honored and effective ways to let people now our feelings and sentiments is to set pen to paper in a handwritten message.
Of course, the inexperienced can spend a lot of time staring at blank paper before the words begin to flow. For this reason, we asked life coach and author Sarah Stewart for her insights on expressing the feelings on paper. Here is her advice for putting together a simple, meaningful and effective note of appreciation.
– There is no right or wrong time
There is a notion flying about that appreciation and sentiment in the form of a thoughtful card is something meant for birthdays, holidays, apologies and “love” day. But, the truth is that greeting cards are as welcome as a chocolate and can be a little more specific in their intent.
“There is no wrong time to let your friends and family know that they are on your mind,” says Sarah Stewart. “So much of traditional communications has been lost in today’s instant communications and this makes receiving a handwritten communication extra special.”
If you have something to say and need a great way to say it, try an attractive greeting card like one of these floral cards. It is a great way to let someone know that they are on your mind or get in touch with a friend you haven’t spoken to in a long while.
Arriving at your card aisle in your favorite store is always fun and it is easy to get pulled in all directions by the large variety of fun and silly options available. After you have looked around the selection, follow Sarah’s advice for making the most suitable choice for your needs.
“You will want to choose the most appropriate selection for the occasion,” Sarah Stewart advises. “This means going for something adorable and childish for a friend but more sophisticated and formal for a business associate.” You can practice some intuition and empathy here. You and your friends may think fat kittens and irreverent cartoons are a blast, but your boss might get the wrong impression.
Another rule that will make you a master card communicator, is to be led by intuition alone. If you see a card that you know your friend will love grab it and hang on to it. The time when this card will be the difference between the doldrums and a brighter day maybe close at hand. Just the fact that you were thinking of them and made a selection is a sign of appreciation.
Make it about the receiver, not yourself
“It can be very easy to begin your message with yourself, “I was just thinking…”, “I wanted to tell you…” or “I am writing this to say…” points out Sarah Stewart. It is best just to get right in to what you are saying. If you are writing a thank you card, begin with that “Your performance was exemplary, thank you!” Or “Thank you for all the Value you bring me!” You never need to go too far beyond what you are trying to say.
Keep it brief
When you look at all the space on the card you may wonder how you are supposed to fill all this, that’s fine you aren’t really supposed to. As a matter of fact, it would be best if you didn’t try to say any more than you actually have to. All you need to say is what the person did that made you so happy or grateful and then how you feel nothing more than that. Here are some tips.
Don’t overthink it
If you aren’t accustomed to this means of communication it can be especially tricky, but you shouldn’t panic. Just the fact that you selected a card you thought they would like, you scribbled out a sentiment and sent it is already a major step in opening a whole new line of communications. From there things will only get easier and smoother.