Importance of Saying Thank You

Take a minute and reflect upon how often you say thank you. Do you say thank you only to those you love, those you wish to impress, or those you feel are important? Or do you liberally sprinkle your daily interactions with these two golden words?

Before you answer think about how often have you felt upset or cross when someone else failed to thank you for your help? How often have you thought, “How rude of them! They could have at least said thank you.” Or, “After all that I did, that person did not even bother to say thank you.”

If you feel upset when someone does not thank you, you should understand how the others feel when you don’t do it either.  If you have the feeling of gratitude, go ahead and say it. Nothing should stop you saying those two words: Thank you. If it is ego that’s stopping you from saying so, drop the ego.

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.
— William Arthur Ward

thank-2Thank you is a ubiquitous phrase. But, it has something truly magical about it. It is very important, because it can mean so much, and can make a person feel valued. It shows your appreciation and conveys your gratitude.

But more importantly, thank you is a sign of respect to the person who has helped you or given you something. That is the reason why most of us feel hurt and let down when someone doesn’t thank us. It makes us feel let down, unappreciated, and probably, unloved.

There are three types of people:

  • People for whom expressing appreciation is a natural response. It is almost like a reflex reaction and so the others may see it as an empty ritual. Actually, it is their way of life. They are people who appreciate small things. They are also aware that a bit of kindness can change the day of another person.
  • The second type, unfortunately, are those who have difficulty displaying their gratitude. They remain mute, leaving the contributor feeling confused, perplexed, and under-appreciated.
  • The third type is the most selfish type. For these people, being polite is about putting on the see-how-good-I-am type of act. These people are typically polite to strangers but not with their own family. They act polite but only for some sort of reward or self-gratification. Also, who they will be polite to depend on what they want because they only want something for themselves.

If you search for the phrase “Saying Thank You” you can get many websites on the subject. It is pathetic that websites have to help people learn how to say thanks. This is probably the reason that even when we do get a thank you, it often almost seems like an afterthought. When thank you becomes a thoughtless auto-response, it loses the narrative of gratitude. The feel of appreciation comes from the tone, the body language, the eyes, the handshake, or the embrace. It’s a wholesome package!

Saying thank you is an everyday etiquette and a simple courtesy that takes just a moment. It costs nothing, not even effort. But it is also one of the most important ways in which we interact with others.  What you need to understand is: forgetting or neglecting to say thank you is outright rude. It upsets and annoys people, it also makes you look bad. However important or busy you are, you have to take the effort to thank people, however, small the thing they have done for you.

Remember, a small effort of appreciation and kindness can change the day of another person. For example, assume that you travel to the office in the morning in an auto or a cab. When stepping out say a thank you with a smile and mean it. This small effort makes the driver a little happier and he will be in a better mood than he currently is in. By making someone else feel important and appreciated, you have the power to brighten up someone’s day in the smallest of ways and that person is more likely to pass on that feeling to someone else. The two words have the strength to change a very bad day into a day of joy.

Many people thank for gifts, special favors, and for assistance in times of need. But it is not only these things where thank you matters. We also need to thank you when someone who holds the door for us, when the shopkeeper hands our change in the store when your child hugs you, or your partner cooks a meal for you. There is nothing wrong in making a person who values you, feel valued, loved, and appreciated.

In one of her TED talks, Dr. Laura Trice stresses about the power of saying thank you and reminds us why we should say it—and ask to hear it—more often. Dr. Trice emphasizes two major points:

  • Most of us really want to hear someone thank us for the things that we do, even if it is something that we are supposed to be doing. Being appreciated is one of those things that really motivates us, both at work and in life, so a little goes a long way if you can offer up a genuine thank you when it’s appropriate.
  • In our relationships, it is very important to make it clear when we want to be appreciated. Otherwise, we run the risk of never hearing it because the other people in our lives assume that they don’t need to say it. In other words, if you feel underappreciated, make it clear to the people in your life that you feel that way—anyone who actually cares about you will be more than willing to make sure that’s no longer the case.

In the corporate setup, acknowledging someone’s efforts with thanks is not only expected, but it is also an integral part of building goodwill. Taking an effort to thank employees, coworkers, peers, managers, supervisors, and customers can make a huge impact on a workplace. It is a small gesture that can mean so much. Showing a little gratitude in the office could be the simplest, yet most effective way to:

  • Increase performance
  • Boost morale
  • Increase job satisfaction
  • Promote a healthy culture

Treating co-workers with respect and appreciation is necessary for the workplace. Thanking a peer for his assistance shows appreciation — and will likely motivate him to help you again in the future. If someone takes time from his job to assist you or does an exemplary job, you should also take the time to notify his manager of your appreciation.

Though thank yous are well appreciated, many a time, a thank you mentioned verbally or via email may become routine. While email is easy, take time to send a handwritten thank-you card to your employee, supervisor, or co-worker. Those extra few moments will show you truly value whomever you are thanking in the workplace.

thank-1Since everyone you work with is often on the lookout for some sort recognition—there is really no excuse not to acknowledge the hard work someone put in or the help someone provided. The importance of the words thank you depends on how we feel when saying it and how it is perceived by the recipient.

When you thank someone, it should be a natural, positive, feel-good form of interaction to show you. It should not seem that you are forced to utter those two words. Practice saying thank you. Respond immediately until it becomes a habit.

Saying thank you is a simple task that practically requires no effort  So what are you waiting for? Thank someone today!

THANK YOU for reading this J