gratitude letter

The focus this week is on family, friendships, and romantic relationships. First, read three chapters in the textbook: Chapter 5 – The “F” Word: Families, Chapter 6 – Beyond Your Buddy List: Real Friendships, and Chapter 7 – Crazy in Love: Relationships and Mental Health.

In Chapter 5, Szabo and Hall write, “There are a lot of homes where the parents may care, but yet they don’t know how to talk about feelings” (p. 140). I think it’s fair to say that the word “parents” could easily be substituted with the words “ family members.” There are many family members – fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, grandfathers, grandmothers, uncles, aunts, cousins – who truly care about each other, but don’t know how to talk about feelings. Just communicating with family members about general day-to-day stuff can sometimes be a struggle. It’s no wonder we find communicating with family members about emotions a bridge too daunting to cross. Talking about our own emotions and listening to how others feel takes time, energy, and the willingness to put ourselves on the line. Fear, anxiety, anger, embarrassment, pride, not knowing the right words to say… all of these things get in the way of us communicating and connecting with family members.

Expressing gratitude is a powerful way to enhance relationships and open lines of communication. Dr. Seligman, one of the founders of the field of positive psychology, recommends writing gratitude letters as a way to enrich the life of the person conveying the appreciation, as well as the life of the recipient.

For the assignment this week, write a 500-word minimum gratitude letter to someone in your family and post it on your Group Blog. In your gratitude letter, focus on virtues and character strengths you admire about this family member. (25 points)

Following are links to a few websites that discuss the benefits and healing power of optimism and gratitude:

I am from China, Thank you.

The text book is “behind happy faces” by Ross Szabo

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