Everyone Thanks Differently

To make a difference with our lives we’ll need to give until it hurts.  Sadly, the hurt happens all too often when a recipient doesn’t seem to care, respond, or offer thanks.  It’s painful!

Everyone is thankful at some point in their lives, even your grumpy mother-in-law or former boss.   So why does it seem like some people are never grateful, no matter what we do for them?


People are always thankful to some degree. Maybe not as much as we’d expect or in the way that we’d expect, but they are grateful. It’s human nature.

However, most of us expect people to show gratitude in a familiar way. Otherwise, we feel they aren’t grateful and it hurts our ability to keep on giving.

It’s important to remember that everyone thanks in different ways.

The world is changing, cultures are mixing, and several generations are sharing the workplace.   Thanks can be found in a look, a tone, or a simple smile.  Maybe it’s a text message instead of a phone call or a tweet instead of a card.  It’s more difficult, but we need to be prepared to notice it, understand it, and appreciate it enough to keep on giving.

Sometimes in bad situations thanks may show up as a lack of something.  One less argument.  One less roadblock.  Not everyone writes a note, makes a phone call , or sends a card to someone they’ve had difficulty with in the past.

If we want to be happy with our family, colleagues, or neighbors, we need to be prepared for a different vision of gratitude.

The world is changing.

If you’re giving, watch for gratitude with a wider lens.  Find it and keep moving forward.  If you’re on the receiving end, thank bigger, never leave doubt, take some time.  It’s too important.

What’s your take?

Have a great night,


PS. If you’re looking for someone who is generous, successful and deserving of my thanks, check out Rich Quigley on twitter. He spent 2 hours with me on the phone this weekend sharing insights on one of my newest projects. It was an unbelievable gift from one of the sharpest guys in LA to someone he only knew from the twitter/blogosphere. I’m dedicating this post to him, hoping that I continue to find ways to show gratitude to those who are helping me along the road of life.
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Published by Aaron Biebert

I'm a director, film/video exec producer, leader & 8pm Warrior. I am passionately chasing my goals at all times. I'm listening. Let's talk!

9 comments on “Everyone Thanks Differently”

  1. Ah, but you have to strike a balance. Giving is great, but there’s got to be some reciprocity. There are people who will exploit your generosity. You have to give them a wide berth. Also, you need to clarify that they can’t ‘pick your brains’ indefinitely.

    I agree that you have to look for gratitude with a wider lens. Some thank-yous are getting subtle.

    “Thank bigger, never leave doubt, take some time” is very good advice, but I would advise against making a show of gratitude. Some things work in private that do not go down well in public.

    Allow me to illustrate –
    If I appreciate your blog, I will stick around, engage with your posts, offer polite disagreement when the occasion calls for it, retweet anything I find worthwhile. This is a public ‘thank you.’
    Maybe I’ll even look into one of your causes and accept to further it in my own limited way.

    Anything besides that -anything that gets more personal, like sharing life histories or whatever- will have to go into a thank-you email.

    Hope that made sense.

    1. @Bell, thank you for the insightful and thought provoking comment. I really appreciate it. You made my day.

      Here’s a couple thoughts in response:

      1) Balance is nice, but I think that the most successful people in the world always give more than they get. This creates a permanent imbalance naturally. People may exploit generosity (I know from years as a “nice” landlord), but it’s important to see their gratitude (small though it may be) and move on. I’m advocating for us to see the gratitude where it is, stay uplifted, and make a difference. I definitely don’t believe it is a good idea to throw your “pearls to the pigs.” For long-term success, pick projects/people that you’re passionate about.

      2) Your point is well taken about the “show of gratitude.” Too much, is just too much and no one is comfortable with that. The “Thank Bigger” advice I gave isn’t meant to make things too personal, just to make gratitude easier to see. Sometimes I shoot quick YouTube/Facebook videos to thank people that have made a difference. Do you think it’s over the top? I’d love your advice.


      3) Thank you for taking the time to write such a well constructed comment. I’m looking forward to reading more of your blogs and continuing the discourse.

      I am grateful.


    1. @Stan, I’m glad you liked liked the post. Your support of the “Thank Bigger” quote is much appreciated. I wasn’t sure how people were going to take it. It’s a sensitive topic because so many have felt slighted and demoralized because of the ungrateful. Thanks!

  2. When you mention that the most successful people in the world always give more than they get, I understand. They give what Seth Godin calls “the gift of art” – the one that can’t be sold, replicated or repaid in kind.

    So yes, it makes sense to give a lot more than you get.

    Skill doesn’t come cheap, and you need to make it clear right from the get-go that you need to make a living. Giving when you want to, according to your own terms, that is great. We should seize every opportunity to share our art with the world.

    But you have to know when to say No.
    Once, a metal band wanted to use one of my photos on a CD cover and pay me $20. Then there was this no-name band from Alaska that wanted a picture for a concert poster and said they couldn’t pay me, but I’d get great exposure. Exposure has to be focused, otherwise it has very little value.

    These kinds of attitudes are what I mean by imbalance.

    I’ll have a look at the videos.

  3. Interesting way of putting it. :-)

    Yeah…I was expecting some thank you notes from some people who got some cool free gear from my sponsors (on my outdoor blog) but I only got it after I asked them if they received the gear… I was so disappointed. :-)

    Guess I gotta move on and give more without actually hoping for thanks.

    And thanks for remembering me to be thankful. I don’t wanna be like those who I’m criticizing – I needed to hear this.


  4. Constantin, thanks for sharing that example. That was exactly what I’m talking about. It is hard to keep giving when people don’t seem grateful and I thought it would be good to have this discussion as a group.

    I’m not saying you should give more without expecting gratitude. Rather, I’m saying that the recipients of your free stuff were probably grateful and maybe didn’t show it “correctly”.

    It’s painful no matter what, but I want to encourage you to keep giving. That’s the best way to make an impact with your life.


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