Appreciating honesty is easy when it’s in agreement with your intention and expectations, but it’s not as easy when it’s not.
For example, if you give someone a nice gift, maybe one you spent some money on or took time to create, and they tell you honestly that they don’t like it, you will probably feel disappointed.
You gave them the gift with the intention of giving them something they would love, use, and appreciate.
There’s a disappointment in learning that they don’t like it. But what you can appreciate is their honesty. Tell them you appreciate their honesty to encourage it again in the future. It’s hard to be honest when you know it’s going to disappoint someone, but people do value honesty more than half-hearted approval.
Plus, if they tell you, you won’t get them or make for them more of the same, but instead will be given the opportunity to make or get them something they do love; the purpose of the gift giving in the first place.
We’re often told as children to pretend we love any gift or else we are ungrateful and that’s such a bad lesson to give to a child. If you ask anyone what they most want in a relationship, honesty is 99% their first answer. Honesty is easy when it’s in agreement, but it’s equally important when it’s not.
A semi-exception to this may be that your 99 year old great-grandma spent 6 months knitting you a sweater and gosh it’s hideous, but you really would break her heart if you told her how hideous it is. But instead of appreciation for the actual item, you can feel genuine appreciation for the fact that she, every day for 6 months, with arthritic fingers thought of you and created the horrible thing stitch by stitch with you and your happiness in mind.
Maybe you’ll never wear it (except when you go visit her), but every time you see it, you can know it is proof that you are loved and considered by a very special person. With those things in mind, you can honestly say, “I love it.”
Appreciation is many things, most of which have the opportunity to occur every single day of your life.
From the book, "Happiness in Your Life - Book Five: Appreciation," by Doe Zantamata
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