So much is said nowadays about being grateful and it being the answer to so many problems and how it will turn your life around. I overheard a parent the other day, teaching their toddler polite etiquette – you know, say hello, what do you say when someone gives you something? – for use in their later life. I was left wondering what happens between toddler years and becoming adults and how much they still use this in their everyday life at home, at work, in relationships with friends or loved ones. I have also written many blog articles offering tips to people on how to change their lives and step into a different reality. Not very successfully, I might add. I have participated in self-development and conscious raising workshops, only to find a stubborn strain of ungrateful behaviour settled in quite comfortable and showing up as a wolf dressed in sheeps clothing. People may say or pretend that they wish to be grateful, however, as the saying goes, ‘actions speak louder than words’ and I have found both very true when it comes to an attitude and words of gratitude. So this time round, I thought I would write something to serve this permissive behaviour and offer some clear guidelines and suggestions on how to successfully become ungrateful.
- No civilities please
Greeting someone when you meet them, talk to them, text or email them is so totally overated, don’t you think? Being civil, why whatever for? A big no no is using their name. Keep it impersonal. I mean who gives a stuff if the person you are interacting with actually knows that you are interacting with them or not. And whatever you want to make them feel, it is certainly not that you are honouring their presence with a simply hello. Hell no, you certainly don’t want someone else to feel good do you, especially as you don’t yourself. More often than not it’s not a good morning, afternoon, or evening anyway, so let’s just skip the good part, if not the greeting all together. I mean, it’s totally understandable that you feel insecure, grumpy, stressed – and why should you suffer alone ? Just don’t greet people!
- The forbidden question
So, you’ve managed to get a conversation of some kind going – if a text and an email can be considered communication, which in today’s fast paced modern tech and sophisticated social networking world it is of course – and you are totally absorbed in getting your message across and really don’t have time for anything that doesn’t concern you directly.
Whatever you do, remember to NOT ask the forbidden question – ‘how are you?’! And heaven forbid that if by mistake you erroneously do utter these totally insincere three words, just keep moving and don’t even wait for the answer. I mean, it’s not like you really care is it! You know you don’t actually want to hear their reply and even worse still, care about what they say or what’s showing up in their life. I mean really, you are way too busy and self-absorbed to worry about silly little things like that. And if they feel slighted, well that’s their problem not your’s. That’s what you read in a self-help book.
- Only when you want something
To really fit into your role of being ungrateful successfully, be sure to only contact people when you want something from them. Ignore them the rest of the time. And then of course, remember points 1 and 2 above. You aim is to make sure that everybody you come into contact with knows without a doubt that you really don’t give a damn about them, further than they can get you what you want that is. I mean isn’t that what responsibility is about!
- Use texting, email or social media only
To ensure those impersonal boundaries are respected, be sure to use text and/or email as much as possible. Again, keep in mind points 1 through 3. Isn’t the advent of texting and email such a relief. Now you get to be totally impolite, rude, aggressive, threating and abusive, without having to even worry about the recipients reaction, because you don’t have to see them hear them, or hell, even know them! Remember as attention is your most precious commodity, don’t waste it by giving your time to another person. They could misconstrue this and feel good about spending time with you and heaven forbid, good about themselves.
Text, email, social media saves you having to make the effort of physically getting up and interacting with others, so you can still communicate with your loathsome colleagues sitting two desks away, or that horrible next door neighbour that you just cannot bare speaking to, unless as in point 3 you want something from them. And if you have to interact in person with them remember to implement all of the above points. Face to face conversation would require going against points 1 and 2 which would make your efforts to succeed at being ungrateful fail. So don’t do it. That would make you seem happy and grateful, so don’t do it.
- No compliments or only insults
You know how your mother told you if you don’t have something nice to say, then don’t say anything? Well, your mother was wrong! People just don’t like it when you compliment them. Have you noticed, they go all embarrassed. So when something good happens for them, just don’t even mention it. When something bad is happening to them, this is your chance to support them. Tell them how awful things are, what a horrible place the world is, how people are unreliable and of course add a bit of abuse as well, to make them feel good.When someone else achieves something, do not congratulate them. How dare they think they are better than everyone else. I mean, who do they think they are! So they won a prize, published a book, got married, looked really good in their new outfit, had their hair done, got good news, etc. You just can’t congratulate others because that could be mistaken as gratitude.
- Drive aggressively
When you are in your car, drive aggressively! That way you scare others and make it very clear that you are coming and they need to get out the way. And of course, screeching tyres at 3am in the mornings will just show them what a dude you are. Just so it’s clear.
If anyone dares to irritate you on the road, use aggressive language and body language to let them know that they have totally pissed you off. Courteous driving, no way!
- Holding doors or giving way
Now this would be asking too much. You see that person just behind you? It would mean you actually noticing them, then taking seconds out of your totally free day, to wait and hold the door for them. And if they are of the opposite sex, then please be especially rude because they may just think you are hitting on them or supporting their sexist movement.
- Complain about everything
Whatever comes across your attention span, complain about it. Find something wrong with the perfection of the setting or rising sun, the weather, your health, your body, other people, the rich, the poor. There is plenty to complain about and if you actually run out of stuff, you can always complain about not having something to complain about.
If you apply these points above diligently and with passion, or not, you will very quickly become successful in being ungrateful. Success guaranteed.
Well I could go on a bit more, however it is important for you to become expert in these points above first, if you aren’t already. If you consider yourself a spiritual person who is here to show the rest of us how it’s done, then be sure to enforce these so that the whole world gets to know that you are not a doormat and that you can proudly say that you did it your way, without any gratitude at all. After all, you carry the light and it speaks for you. I mean you are so busy working on yourself, right! As for gratitude, well it doesn’t work anyway, so why should you be the one to bother, no one else does right. You’ve got more important things to do! Like being successfully ungrateful!
So if you have gotten this far in reading this article, please know that I am being satire here. I have to mention this, just in case some people take these suggestions to heart and think I am condoning this type of behaviour. Do you recognize people you know? Or Yourself perhaps? Sometimes when we can see the behaviour play itself out and identify it, it becomes possible and easier to change it. By switching all the points above around, gratitude will be present in your daily life, not only for you but for others too. It’s time to put into practice what your parent’s instilled in you in those early years and bring it into our daily lives as we interact with others. I know its there. Buried deep perhaps, but bursting to come out. The Manners of Gratitude.
Honour the people you meet by greeting them and using their name – yes even your family/spouse and those you see every day, otherwise familiarity may breed contempt. Not a state of gratitude. Use the roads and public places with courtesy because people took the time to make this available to you. Compliment or congratulate someone or yourselves for having done something well, whether it is something new or something they do day after day. Never mind if they could receive it or not. It’s about you.
Hello, How Are You?, Please, Thank You, After you, You are welcome – are still powerful tools for gratitude for everything and everyone showing up in your life. They are not merely words when used with consciousness. They become tools and actions for and of transformation. Now it’s up to you to perhaps find all the places and spaces within your heart and your life where you can apply them more or differently. Cause after all, talk really is cheap. Like lack of gratitude. And in the end you do pay, somewhere. Even if it’s in your lack of caring. Gratitude is living the ‘And so it is’ and bringing it into this NOW moment. It’s the present. Use it throughout the day and in all you do. Whether you consider yourself a spiritual person or not, these forms of greeting put the spirit into living. Manners of Gratitude.
Thank you and In Light