Failing to Express Gratitude

Gregg Krech is a leading expert on Japanese psychology and the author of Naikan: Gratitude, Grace and the Japanese Art of Self-Reflection.

In the book, Krech shares a list of 11 reasons why we fail to express gratitude:

  1. Misdirected attention – Just failing to notice what is given.
  2. Lack of Reflection – Not taking a moment.
  3. Others must “know” how grateful I am – Don’t take for granted, especially with those close to you
  4. Procrastination – Don’t wait.
  5. Forgetting – Don’t let the moment pass.
  6. Laziness – Make the effort.
  7. Entitlement – No matter the circumstance, others help.
  8. People were doing their job – You still benefit, say thank you.
  9. It’s wasn’t much trouble – Receiving any gift is justification enough.
  10. Later trouble or difficulty – The benefit exists separate from anything else that comes.
  11. An unknown giver – Honor the gift even if you don’t know the source.

A list like this helps us see many things that get in the way of being thankful.


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