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Gratitude: It's more than good manners

Etiquette, manners, and gratitude are intrinsically linked. Etiquette is the fuel that powers relationships and the catalyst for positive human interactions. Good manners are the ways we show consideration for others. Gratitude, however, is more than a social nicety. Practicing gratitude cultivates lasting happiness. It improves mental and physical health and relationships. Let’s talk about ways you can show gratitude beyond saying thank you.


Giving someone your full attention shows respect and appreciation. It is one of the simplest and most effective ways to show that we care. When we are mentally and emotionally present for a conversation, resist the urge to interrupt, and wait for our turn to speak, we let others know they are worth our time and energy.


When it comes to giving compliments, be honest and generous. Give a compliment when you genuinely admire a person's talent, skill, or strength. Stay in the moment and be spontaneous. A compliment that is well-timed and said with sincerity can make someone's day. Compliments about physical appearance will bring a smile but try focusing on a person's qualities.

Write it down

Handwritten notes are still the gold standard of gratitude. In an age of instant communication, a handwritten note is a rarity, which is precisely why it is so special. A text or email is easy to overlook, but a handwritten note is impossible to ignore. The general rule is that if you open your gift in front of the giver and give a verbal thank you, a written thank you isn’t necessary, although why not do both? There are a few occasions when only a handwritten thank you note will do.

  • After receiving a gift, whether it is for a baby shower, holiday, birthday, or other special occasions

  • When someone has done you a favor

  • For business opportunities, a client referral, or making a big sale

  • After a job interview (Pro-tip mail the note within 24 hours)

  • After receiving condolence notes or gifts

  • After you go to a dinner party or are hosted as an overnight guest.


If you receive good service, share your money and praise. A few extra dollars can communicate how much you value the service. Another easy way to show appreciation is by writing positive reviews and comments on social media. Like a local business? Recommend it to your friends!


When it comes to helping people we are grateful for, there are many ways to go about it. Offer to do a chore or run an errand for them. Invite a friend to do something you know they have always wanted to do. Showing appreciation does not have to be a big gesture, simple things can make a big impact.

Practicing gratitude can help to change our perspective and make us more aware of the good in our lives. It can also make us better communicators and listeners. When we give compliments, we not only make the other person feel good, but we also boost our mood and confidence. Write thank you notes, leave positive reviews, tip generously, offer your talents to others, or simply get a coffee for someone. By making gratitude a part of our daily routine, we can start to see the world in a whole new light.


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