The Difference Between Being Appreciative And Being Grateful

Similar but not synonymous

Photo by author

This one came up as a writing prompt recently, and it seemed to resonate deep inside, so I figured, sure, I’ll take a shot.

I have these two friends, Randy and Theresa, who I meet every Saturday for brunch at the restaurant around the corner. We’ve known each other for years.

For two Saturdays in a row late last year, they had to miss brunch because Randy was on a business trip to Malaysia. The Saturday after that they were back. Randy and Theresa had a bag.

Photo by author

“That’s for you,” Randy said, pushing the bag across the table. It contained an assortment of Malaysian chocolates (see image at top) — milk chocolate curry, dark chocolate chili, dark chocolate ginger, and white chocolate with black sesame seeds, chocolate covered almonds and raspberry chocolate squares. There was also a selection of homemade cookies Theresa had made — sugar cookies, frosted cookies, and chocolate drop cookies. It was all so good.

I appreciated the assortment of chocolate. I do have a sweet tooth and had plenty to enjoy over the next month, and I even gave a couple of the bars to friends who were curious about what chocolate from Malaysia tasted like.

I was grateful that while my friend was 8,000 miles from home, conducting important business for his company, he remembered me and thought enough of me to pick up a gift. He didn’t have to do that, but he wanted to.

I appreciated the cookies. I like all kinds of different cookies and spent the next week happily munching away. I may have told a couple of other friends I had chocolate and given some away, but I didn’t mention the cookies to anyone. I wanted them all to myself!

I was grateful that my friend thought enough of me to whip up a batch of not just one kind of cookie, but several different kinds. She didn’t have to do that, but she wanted to because she thought a lot of me.

It’s one thing to be up to your eyeballs in sugary goodness… it’s quite another to be blessed with wonderful, generous friends. That’s the difference between appreciative and grateful to me.

How do you interpret the difference between appreciative and grateful? Sound off in the comments, and if you want to read more from me, sign up for my email list and get links to more stories like this one.

Written by

Beliefs | Intuition | Dreams | Journaling | Connector | Inspirer | Former College Teacher | Twitter: @paulryburn

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store