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Raleigh Divorce Attorneys Discuss: Effects of saying thank you

/// 06/16/2010

North Carolina family lawyers of Gailor, Wallis and Hunt present:


Saying thank you may not just be a useful sign of courtesy to teach your children, it may actually positively affect every relationship you have.


North Carolina divorce attorneys of Gailor, Wallis and Hunt reveal a recent study that has found that saying “thank you” to your partner may improve your overall attitude when it comes to your relationship. The simple but often overlooked act of saying words of gratitude not only broadcasts feelings of appreciation towards the person receiving them, but echoes positivity within the person stating them.


Simply stated, by saying you are grateful, you can actually become grateful.


A recent study conducted by Florida State University research associate Nathaniel Lambert found that expressing gratitude boosts a deeper sense of commitment and responsibility, or communal strength, within a relationship. Lambert explains the theory as, “when you express gratitude to someone, you are focusing on the good things that person has done for you…It makes you see them in a more positive light and helps you focus in on their good traits.”


Lambert and several colleagues used three different scenarios to test whether the act of expressing thankfulness was linked to increased feelings of communal strength.


In one study group, 137 college students were surveyed regarding how often they thanked a friend or partner. The results indicated that gratitude was positively linked with the individual’s perception of communal strength.


The students were also interviewed six weeks later, in attempts to see if they experienced an increase in the quality of their relationship since they had become aware of the correlation between verbalizing gratitude and feelings of communal strength. Researchers found the students did report feeling more positive about their relationships.


Lastly, a group of study participants were instructed to go out of their way to express their gratitude to their partners in attempts to discover whether the words would lead to improved feelings towards the relationship. In order to compare the results, the researchers had other volunteers think grateful thoughts, without verbalizing them. A third group in the study was told to focus on positive memories only.


At the end of the trial, all three groups were interviewed on their attitudes towards their relationship. Those who frequently verbalized or transcribed their gratitude saw their relationship as more mutual and cooperative as a result. Those who merely thought about their gratitude did not experience an improvement in attitude.


Scientists conclude that saying “thank you” sends a message to the receiver and the sender at the same time. And not only does the action itself produce an immediate positive effect; expressing gratitude towards someone will often result in the receiver reciprocating the action with similar thoughts.


For example, if one spouse thanks the other for a great dinner, the other will most likely respond with a thank you for the desert.


Lambert described this phenomenon of the effects of expressions of gratitude on relationships by stating, “It can potentially change the trajectory from a negative focus to more of a positive outlook of the relationship.”


And, if these constant feelings of appreciation turn into a marriage proposal, the family law office of Gailor, Wallis & Hunt can help you prepare your pre-marital agreement so that in the case of a divorce, your assets will be protected and the dissolution of marriage, should it occur, can be as non-adversarial as possible.


The highly respected attorneys of Gailor, Wallis and Hunt have dedicated their lives to helping couples plan for, and preserve their marriage and family, but are also dedicated to assisting them obtain a fair and equitable divorce when that is the only alternative. GWH offers knowledge, skill and experience in the many areas of family law that is second to none.


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