There is an interesting catch-22 when it comes to gratitude. Recent research out of Stanford University shows great gains in positive outcomes in your brain when you are on the receiving end of praise or thankfulness in others. Paradoxically, trying to invoke that in others for our own reward is not the strategy that will lead to the best outcomes. I know from my interactions with Linda LeClaire, one of the top mental game consultants in the country, she and her husband Dr. Bryce Young work with many professional and college athletes and have influenced over 300 NCAA programs, that people have a fear of arrogance. This can lead to discomfort with giving or receiving praise effectively, gracefully. I like to say that the antidote for arrogance is gratitude. A simple thank you in response to an incoming positivity shields us from taking it in too deeply. Acknowledging the other is a great way to keep ourselves from getting swept up inside ourselves. The interesting effect that can happen, but is not predictable, and certainly does not always happen, is that people whom we have praised and expressed our gratitude may return the favor to us, although more likely they will then pay it forward into their next interactions. So then, we may have a great effect on our community, and the atmosphere around us with a simple act of saying thank you, and specifically naming that which we are thankful for. When you receive that gratitude, accept it well.
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