Debra Swersky
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Opt-in for weekly journal, not blog, posts.

Thank You

’Tis the season for gratitude and thankfulness and merry/happy something. “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” Right? I understand that I am now falling right into the non-evergreen content trap of writing and posting about something very timely (again). A couple of weeks ago was my “mashup of sorts” to recognize the end-of-year, and this week the title is “thank you” (which you’re thinking is because of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.) So, while we’re looking back, please recall that this is a journal and not a blog. This means you’re getting my “musing on a topic” and not my “$0.02 on a subject matter.” 

Recently the phrase “thank you” caught my attention. (There was no reference to Thanksgiving. So perhaps this content can be evergreen after all?) I was listening to Headspace on self-esteem and was challenged to hear a verbal compliment, accept the compliment. And then say “thank you.” While listening, I reflected on that challenge. (Was it actually a challenge?) At times I go through life hearing something complimentary and quickly (as I was told to) say “thank you.” Prior to listening to Headspace, this didn’t feel like a challenge. I was receiving a compliment and thanking the person who was complimenting me for their thoughts - be it on my work, shoes, or intelligence… same phrase, different use.

But then I was asked, “What would it be like if I learned how to receive?”  [blank stare] 

I thought receiving the compliment was what I was doing… no? I heard the compliment and said, “thank you.” Compliment received… and acknowledged! Wrong! Compliment heard, but not received. And acknowledged (fine), but not accepted. “What the heck!?” (as my nephew would say) How do I go about receiving a compliment? 

I’ve since learned to receive the compliment by hearing it, taking a moment, recognizing the compliment, and then saying “thank you.” It’s in the moment that I hear it that I can acknowledge what was said, understand why the person has imparted their thoughts, so that I can fully appreciate what they have to say…

Fortunately, prior to the holiday season kicking into high gear, I had a chance to practice my new “receiving” concept. Apparently, my Onboarding presentation at Employ, Train, and Retain Your Next Rockstar (OOMCZ in A Major) wasn’t terrible. In fact, attendees actually thought that it was good! They thanked me! (They. Thanked! Me?) As I stood there listening to their complimentary feedback I had to remind myself to take in what they’re saying… listen to it… hear it… breathe it in… and then say “thank you.” (For those that attended the event, are reading this, and gave me complimentary feedback ::I’ve sufficiently taken your words in:: thank you.)

Which brings me back to the happy/merry something season. As I head into the end of the year and express and receive gratitude for all of the awesomeness that is life these days, I want to remind myself to take the extra moment when saying and hearing the phrase “thank you.” In my opinion, this phrase should not be tossed around or glossed over. When you say it, you should mean it. And when you mean it, you should feel it. Now I understand the initial question (“What would it be like if I learned how to receive?”), and can safely say, on the flipside: when you hear it, you should receive it. And when you receive it, you should accept it.

Debra Swersky