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Receiving Gratitude

Pulled from the book Happy Together, here are a couple exercises on receiving gratitude (which is not often explored).

Responding to Gratitude

Spend a few minutes considering a time recently someone expressed gratitude to you.

  • How did you respond in the moment?
  • What could you have done  that would have allowed you to accept the gratitude more:
    • Genuinely?
      •  Strongly? (Maybe savoring?)
      •  In a way that would have built the connection with the gratitude giver(s)?

Examining Your Habits

Spend a few minutes self reflecting, asking yourself:

  • How do you typically receive gratitude?
    • Deflection, reciprocation, discounting, or something else?
  • Do different situations lead you to respond in specific ways?
  • How could you:
    • Accept the gratitude
    • Amplify their gratitude
    • Advance their gratitude


  1. Take a moment to take in, accept, and savor a compliment
  2. Express how their complement is meaningful to you
  3. Ask for one more detail of what prompted them to give a compliment

More detailed example:

“Hey babe, I really appreciate how thoughtful you are, planting my favorite kind of mint in your garden”, Cody says.

Allie took a moment to consider how much it meant to her that Cody noticed she took the time to look for and grow a specific kind of mint she remembered made him think of his dear grandmother.

Allie replied, “Thank you for noticing, that’s validating, I’ve been trying to be more supportive or your good memories with your family. When did you see the mint?”

From there  Cody told the story of how he was watching the dogs play in the yard and was training them to stay away from the garden.


Practice with an exercise of appreciation!


Have any thoughts, questions, suggestions, or comments on this article? Broken link? Wondering how to this can be applied, modified, or adapted to your polyamorous, swinging, kink/ BDSM, or otherwise interesting relationship? Feel free to reach out to us here.