Unconscious Gratitude?

Globally we are having more conversations around unconscious bias and contemplating where we may have personal or professional blind spots – individually AND collectively. We all have them. It takes effort to look within ourselves and do something about it.  Change is seldom easy – or uncomplicated. And yet – change is constant. The variable is personal to our awareness, beliefs and our tendency to try to make sense out of what is.


Unconscious bias can be defined as “social stereotypes about certain groups of people that individuals form outside their own conscious awareness. Everyone holds unconscious beliefs about various social and identity groups, and these biases stem from one’s tendency to organize social worlds by categorizing.” *

It’s quite possible that we also have an Unconscious Gratitude. We may be beneficiary of people who do what they do, but we get accustomed to it and forget it’s a gift. Sometimes we don’t recognize the gift until it’s gone or changing. (There are a LOT of songs about this very tendency).  It seems that the busier we are, the more we expect and the less we, collectively, express gratitude or appreciation to the people who deserve it most. On a daily, it’s a conversation that is happening around us. We can hear it if we listen – carefully.

There are people we depend on that feel undervalued, unappreciated or taken for granted. Ironically – it’s often the people we trust and appreciate the most who feel this way. We, somehow, think our trust is or should be translated as a thank you. Unfortunately, on the other end it often feels like becoming invisible or more work with little ROI. Ironically, when we discuss appreciation patterns with people the response is that they “don’t want to indulge them”, “they know I appreciate them”, or “I don’t want to thank them for just doing their job”. Why not? If we don’t thank the people we trust and rely on, why should they keep giving?

Unconscious Gratitude – may be defined as our lack of awareness or outward expression to acknowledge what we have and/or are being given. . . even if it’s “supposed to be” that way.

Is it possible you have Unconscious Gratitude? Are you willing to look and learn from it?