Be grateful for everyone you encounter. They say that being grateful is one of the easiest ways to cause happiness. So, its easy to draw up a list of good people in your life that you are grateful for. Your family, your friends, you pets, the coworkers you like. It can grow to be a decent sized list to go over mentally daily and be thankful for. It is important for you to show them your gratitude as well, simply by thanking them out loud increases the affirmation and reminds them the effect they have on your life. This, in turn, would likely increase the bond between you and these people and lead to you being even more grateful.
All of that makes sense, and definitely should be done. I like to dig deeper into the “being grateful causes happiness” concept though. I think we should take it to the next level and literally be grateful for everyone we encounter. Strangers that are nice should be added to the list. We are often caught up in the flow and speed of the day that we do not notice the things that people do. We should slow down and take the time to notice and appreciate all the things that are said or done by people we do not even know.
Now, I would also like to add to the list the people we encounter that we do not like, that do bad things, that just simply add some friction to our lives. That coworker that everyone hates, be grateful for. That driver that cut you off on the highway, be grateful for. That rude person in the store, be grateful for them too. I know it doesn’t sound logical, but I am completely grateful for all of those types out there. It goes back to a previous post I have made. We can take lessons from these people. We see how they act and it helps keep us in check about how we are acting. Their presence slows us down a bit and because of their contradiction to the good things, it helps us appreciate the good and positive people in our lives. If everything and everyone was pleasant, it would lesson the value we place on the good things and people in our lives. So I am grateful for that coworker that everyone hates, because they can help me appreciate the ones that I enjoy. The rude drivers or people in the store help make the nice ones stand out so much more. Not to mention, it simply feels better to be grateful for them rather than wasting energy on complaining about them.
So, seriously, take the time and be grateful for everyone you encounter.