Gratitude: Personal And Interpersonal
  • The year gone by has made practising gratitude popular, promoting it as an instrument to enhance one’s personal wellbeing.
  • Gratitude is a complex and interpersonal emotion that feels incomplete by itself and has to have an addressee, a specific person other than oneself.
  • Being thankful for your own health, luck, good looks is a positive and beneficial action but is a feeling that can be described as appreciation and is generally personal.

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True gratitude is a communal emotion, not a wellness practice | Psyche Ideas

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The 18th-century American preacher Jonathan Edwards defined gratitude as a natural affection felt toward another person who has benefited us.

Gratitude is generally interpersonal and can induce positive feelings even toward our foes.

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Positive psychologists have credited gratitude (both personal and interpersonal) with:

  1. Improving our emotional wellbeing.
  2. Promoting prosocial behaviour.
  3. Helping us regulate our emotions.
  4. Relieving symptoms of asthma.

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  • In 56 CE, the Stoic philosopher Seneca wrote a comprehensive book on gratitude, called On Benefits.
  • The gifted philosopher treats the feeling of gratitude as a virtue that one needs to cultivate and implement socially.
  • In his book, gratitude is defined as a glue that holds society together and makes it thrive.
  • More than just acting out and reciprocating the benefits received, it is crucial to actually feel the gratitude from within.

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  • A gift has certain psychological aspects attached to it, making it more than just a simple transaction.
  • A gift binds the recipient to the giver, and is seen as a burden. The word ‘grateful’ can also be translated in the Hebrew language to ‘A prisoner of thankfulness’.
  • A gift can also have a flavour of humiliation, like when a captive person or a hostage is provided with a cup of tea.

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