How to Write a Letter of Gratitude (Tips & Examples)

It's always a good idea to be grateful.

Image with illustration of a gratitude letter with a heart and a pen next to it

Writing a heartfelt letter of gratitude is one of the most genuine and beautiful ways to tell someone you value them. A lot of times we think that we don't really need to express what we feel. It can be out of embarrassment, fear that they won't respond well, assumptions that they already know, our personality, and many other reasons.

But think about it, has then ever been a time when you received a sweet handwritten letter and thought, "Wow, that was so unnecessary..."? I'm betting that there hasn't. Everyone likes being appreciated for what they did. We can't guess what someone feels, they have to tell or show us. A letter is one of the most memorable ways to do it.

When we express gratitude, we double its impact. All of a sudden, it's not just one person who feels elated and blessed, the other person does too. Gratitude, appreciation, empathy, honesty, and show of care form real connections.

We all crave these connections and it's nerve-wracking to open up our hearts to someone else because they may or may not respond how we wish them to. But it's worth it. Yes, there will be times when people will leave you disappointed but there will also be times when they will be exactly how you wanted. We have to take chances and some of those chances will lead to beautiful, long-lasting, fulfilling relationships.

So, today you're not only learning how to write gratitude letters, but also an important skill for creating and maintaining genuine relationships. The people who are meant for you will appreciate it more than you could know. So, let's do it!

How to Write Gratitude Letters

Here are a few tips on how to write gratitude letters that the receiver will cherish. A lot of it is simple but looked over, so take these as reminders about how to write the most honest letter you can:

1. Tell your story

What I've experienced as I'm considering or even when I'm writing a letter or a message is that a lot of insecurity comes up. What if they don't appreciate it? What if they think I'm too much? I don't want to tell them what they really mean to me.

To overcome this, I now think - Why am I so concerned about their response? This is my story. This is how I feel. They've been a good person in my life and I want to appreciate them for it. Plain and simple. Why am I holding myself back? I'll do what I should do and is in my control. That's what matters.

Writing a letter is about you expressing your thankfulness to someone who has been kind to you. It's not about any expectations. It's time to give, so let's give wholeheartedly.

2. Make it personal

Instead of writing a letter that could be for anyone, make it special, make it just about this one person. Mention what you like about them, talk about your experiences with specificity, and mention their name, it just feels good.

I always get a tingle in my chest when someone says my name as they compliment me or say anything nice. It really makes a difference to me. It makes it more direct and feels more honest.

As you write the letter, think about the particular of the receiver's personality and your relationship with them. Think about the pivotal moments, what you share with this person that you do with no one else, what makes them unique, why you like them, what you've learned from them, the times that they've helped you, and everything that you appreciate about them.

3. Don't worry about your writing skills

Too many of us fret about writing impressively but (in this context) vocabulary and correct grammar pales in front of honesty and vulnerability. You don't have to write poetically or use cool phrases or think about your handwriting or compare yourself with anyone. It doesn't matter! This is not an exam.

The letters and messages I remember most fondly are the ones that were simple, honest, direct, and pure. Write as much as is coming out of you and a little more.

When a kid writes a letter to us, we don't care about the handwriting or their vocabulary, we care that they like us and want to do this for us. This doesn't change much when we grow up. We still care about emotions and effort, not about nitpicking commas and spellings.

So, pick up your pens or phone or laptop, and start writing that letter of gratitude you came here for. It is a beautiful gesture and I am sure you will feel good after you write it.

To help you more, here are a few examples of gratitude letters that can help you get started:

Examples of Gratitude Letters

Example 1

Letter for a friend or family member who has supported you during tough times.

My darling brother Devashish,

I wanted to take this moment to express a little part of the immense gratitude I have for you. Although we aren't real siblings, you are the truest brother I could have wished for. I remember all our calls discussing the shows and movies we watched. It was more than just teenagers chatting, it was what kept me going despite all the stuff at home.

You have been there for me every time and you never make it seem tough. I don't know how you do it and I worry that it troubles you... I want you to know that it's okay to tell me when it gets too much because I know it is.

I got really lucky, you know. You are the perfect friend. You are so funny, so relaxed, such a great listener, and have the most calming presence. I always cherish any amount of time we get to spend together. You are a blessing to me, truly...

I eagerly await the day we can meet again and watch more of the movies you recommend. I've discovered such great work because of you. You're simply the best! Thank you for everything you do for me. I always feel so lucky that I have you in my life. Take care, brother. I am here for you.

Love and big hugs,

Example 2

Letter for a colleague or team member expressing gratitude for their collaboration and teamwork.

To the genius Paul,

I want to take this moment and a few minutes of your time to express my heartfelt gratitude for the incredible person you are. It is such a joy and an honor to work alongside you, learn from you, and bring our dreams to life.

You are one of the most driven, kind, hard-working, and fun people I've met. You make work joyful and seem like play. I feel really lucky that I could get this chance to be here with you.

Thank you so much for the immense love, dedication, care, time, and effort you put into everything you do. You are an inspiration to me and I hope you know how appreciated you are. You truly are a gift to the team and we could never be as good without you.

Keep shining and illuminating our lives, Paul. You're a true star!

The greatest of well wishes,

And, that's it! I hope these examples helped you. This is how I write letters and I encourage you to write the way that is true to you. Let your personality shine! There is no one right way to do it.

Wishing you the best in your letter-writing escapade!

Continue Reading: How to Say Thank You Meaningfully

Aarushi Tewari

Aarushi Tewari

The writer and affirmations speaker at Gratitude, Aarushi believes that one of the most effective ways of feeling inner peace is by being grateful and having a loving self-relationship.

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