A little anecdote to begin with:
Yesterday, I cycled through the city center once again. Usually this is not only a pleasant exercise but also causes some stress, because in the big city it demands an enormous focus from me to get from A to B without suffering or causing any damage.
A short interaction solved this tension yesterday. It was as simple as it was moving. I had stopped at a bus stop to wait for the passengers getting on and off a bus. Of course this is part of the highway code. But apparently my adherence to them was extraordinary enough for one of the boarding passengers to take a second to smile and thank me.
Even if it was only a short moment, it created a positive connection, which immediately relaxed me and noticeably lifted my mood.
In the article on the topic (Un-)happiness I have reported on how gratitude can have a significant influence on the feeling of happiness, even for small or seemingly normal moments. Today, I would like to plead for this to also be expressed in relationships.
This does not mean that you should now frantically think about who you should be grateful to. Here, too, the key to effectiveness lies in authenticity. But if you are grateful to someone for something, have the courage to say it. You may be surprised at the effect that a few simple, sincere words of gratitude have in everyday relationships. Even if it is just the cyclist at the bus stop - it creates a culture of mutual recognition and appreciation.