Mark Goulston M.D., F.A.P.A.

Just Listen

Stuff Your Turkey with Giving Thanks

Give a "Power Thank You" for Thanksgiving

Posted Nov 22, 2010

Why settle for giving a “thank you” when you can give a POWER THANK YOU*?

Make giving thanks the center piece of your Thanksgiving by having each person give a Power Thank You. It has 3 parts:

Part 1: Thank someone for something specific that they did for you (it can also be something they refrained from doing that would have hurt you).

Part 2: Acknowledge the effort it took for them to do it (by saying something like: “I know you didn’t have to do —-” or “I know you went out of your way to do —-”).

Part 3: State the difference it personally made to you.

For example:

1. I want to thank the 65,000+ readers at Psychology Today that have read and shared my post, "The 10 Habits of Happy Couples."

2. I know how much information from the internet comes across your screen and how annoying much of it can be and the fact that you took the time to read the post and pass it on took some effort on your part.

3. The fact that so many of you have read my post(s) and shared them spurs me on and puts a spring in my step, because it means that I am being of useful service to you.  And being of service is what I about.

BTW “Giving thanks can make you healthier, happier” according to a USA Today article by Kim Painter.

One of the reasons for that is that you can’t be angry and thankful at the same time.

Anger is a reaction to feeling something is missing, something has gone wrong and you are wounded. Anger comes from a need to retaliate or out of fear of something or someone attacking/hurting you again to attack them to keep them from doing it (think wounded animal and war in Iraq after 9/11).

Thankfulness comes from a feeling of wholeness, that nothing is missing, that there is no one you need to retaliate against. In fact, if you are not a dyed-in-the-wool taker, thankfulness crosses over into wanting to show gratitude by giving to others.

I’d love to hear from you if you try a Power Thank You for Thanksgiving.

Also if you want to make a break through in your relationships check out: "Change Your Thinking Forever in 8 Minutes"

Warm regards and thanks to you all,


* adapted from "Chapter 23: The Power Thank You and Power Apology," "Just Listen" Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone (AMACOM, $24.95)