Grateful vs Thankful: Difference and Comparison

Gratitude is a sense of feeling of being thankful or grateful. It is expressed when someone is really happy towards the efforts made by someone for them.

Both the term is used synonymously while expressing their feelings or actions. They have a deep and positive impact on the other person.

Key Takeaways

  1. Grateful refers to feeling or showing an appreciation for something received or done, while thankful refers to feeling or expressing gratitude for something received.
  2. Grateful is used to express deep appreciation, while thankful is used to describe more general gratitude.
  3. Grateful is directed towards a person, while thankful can be directed towards someone or a situation.

Grateful vs Thankful

Grateful is a feeling of appreciation or thanks for benefits received related to external factors or other people. Thankful, while similar in meaning, is a more general feeling of being grateful or relieved and can refer to both external factors and internal states of being.

Grateful vs Thankful
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Grateful is when we share how someone has been kind and helpful towards us. Someone grateful will always show their appreciation for the action of gratitude.

Someone who practices the feeling of gratitude is eventually related to a lot of happiness and pleasure in a feeling of giving and receiving kindness.

Thankful is a feeling when we appreciate nothing unpleasant or dangerous thing happens. It is a feeling of being polite and grateful for their helpful nature and being kind.

In our moral etiquettes, people are taught the sense of being polite and thankful for everything they have received from others.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonGratefulThankful
Verbal It is a feeling of appreciation towards something.It is a sense of relief towards any ungrateful event.
Expression It expresses the feeling of gratitude beyond the words.It is a part of gratitude.
Emotions It has a great in-depth sentiment.It does not have the same in-depth sense of sentiment. 
Feeling AppreciationAction
Culture It is expressed with a gift or any token.It is expressed in the language of culture.

What is Grateful?

When a person is felt grateful towards something, they share their gratitude through admiration or by any generous action. This happens when anyone is being helped with any problem or receives a gift or any token.

That is why gratefulness is considered an act of appreciation towards the other person. 

The act of gratitude can be followed by verbally thanking the person or exchanging gifts in return. As it goes beyond the words, it thus involves mindful actions, signs admiring the part they did, etc.

The feeling of this act gave you immense pleasure and pleased you because of the kind gestures of giving and taking.

Different ways to express Gratefulness are –

  1. Any grateful person can express their feeling by giving away real or any concrete things to show their appreciation.
  2. They can be expressed in journals.
  3. Someone can use any public platform to show their feelings. This can be done at any birthday event, wedding ceremony, social event, award function, etc. They are the right platforms to express the true feelings related to a person or an institution.  
  4. It is now a source of a “paid forward” campaign. People used to favor others in response to any kind act that happened to them to other people in return. It motivates many other people, and thus the act of gratitude grows wide and wider.
grateful

What is Thankful?

When a person feels pleased or relieved by something about any ungrateful or mishappening does not occur, then the feeling is said to be of thankful.

Being thankful for something is an automatic response to our body or etiquette we have been born into since early childhood. 

Thankfulness is an action towards something that has not happened. It is not always necessary that someone has to be thanked for their deed with a gift. It involves verbal communication

Ways to express thankful are –

  1. A thankful person expresses his/her gratitude by just saying “thank you” after any kindness or helpfulness. Any act of kindness or help follows with a gesture by saying a “thank you.
  2. The words can be expressed by giving the person a card or a written note. We can express why the card was sent in the card or note. Those words are the feelings of gratitude towards the person. 
  3. It can also be a generous act of favor in return formally. A formal thankful speech can be performed for a wedding celebration, birthday party, awards, dinner party, etc. 
thankful

Main Differences Between Grateful and Thankful

  1. Grateful is considered a feeling of appreciation towards something, whereas Thankful is a sense of feeling of thankfulness or relief towards an ungrateful event that hasn’t occurred.
  2. Grateful helps convey the feelings of being obliged towards something beyond a person’s words, while Thankful is considered a part of gratitude someone has. 
  3. Grateful is a feeling of very deep sentiment, while Thankful is not that deep sentiment to be considered enough.
  4. Grateful is the sense of feeling towards someone after any kind or generous act, whereas being Thankful is not contemplated as a feeling but is sought to be activated after any ungrateful event or mishappening. 
  5. If someone is Grateful, they can express it by giving a gift or token of love, etc., whereas being Thankful can be expressed by expressing their words of action through actions or verbally.
Difference Between Grateful and Thankful

References

  1. https://psycnet.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037%2Fcou0000107
  2. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2019-20160-020

Last Updated : 20 June, 2023

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