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“Thank You”; Is It Really That Hard To Say?

Posted by on Nov 2, 2013

You know what irks me? When I hold open the door for someone because I was taught courtesy and the person walking through it acts as if I was supposed to do it and doesn’t even acknowledge that I was there. What’s that about? Is it a privilege thing? Or is it just rude?

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I tend to say “thank you” a lot. Probably way too often if my wife has anything to say about it but I always figure that there’s nothing wrong with being policy. Truthfully, I’ve even written about it a couple of times on my business blog over the years, though we’re going back some time. One was called The Lost Art Of Thank You, the other called Gotta Love Thank You’s Both of those are related more to business than personal lives but let’s face it, if you didn’t learn it before you went into business you’re probably not thinking about it at work.

I thank people in restaurants whenever they bring me something, including the bill if I’m paying attention, and if I’m still sitting there when payment is made and they thank me I thank them for the attention they gave me. Even though I’m sincere about it, I find that if I go back to that restaurant and I’m recognized I get extra special service from that point on; nothing wrong with that if you ask me. At one restaurant out of town, a Japanese restaurant, they even give me free samples of things as they try to expand my palate; it’s worked slightly but I’m a tough nut to crack. lol

It’s not just in one’s personal or business life where “thank you” is a good thing. On social media, there’s a lot of opportunities to thank people for something they’ve done for you. I don’t do it on all comments but many a time I thank someone for something they said in the comment before a response. On Twitter I try to remember to thank people who share my posts, and I’m much better at it than I used to be, something else I learned from my buddy Adrienne. Oh, as a sidebar one day this month I’ll be the featured guest writer on her blog and I hope you’ll check it out when it goes live; I’ll probably mention it somewhere around here and I thanked her for asking me and she thanked me for writing it; see how that works? 🙂

If you’re a regular visitor you know I always talk about the need to be social on social media. At the very least one should think about ways of thanking people for something when there’s a personal interaction that could potentially benefit you. Heck, sometimes I thank someone for sharing something that I really like like a motivational quote or intriguing and cool images.

I just don’t think there’s enough courtesy these days, and saying “thank you” has to be one of the easiest things for people to do. But maybe I’m being too sensitive, or maybe my generation has it wrong. What do you think? And I thank you in advance for your comments.

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The society we live in does encourage togetherness. It encourages individuality and many of us are consumed with it. I think it is a combination of entitlement, rudeness, and people being caught up in their problems. I realize that whenever we do something good we affect two people, ourself and the other person. If it is a one thing just just accept the goodness you got from connecting to your goodness. If it happens more than once with the same person, address the person and if the person continues with the same action, either don’t hold the door or hold it if you want.
Aqiyl Aniys recently posted…Bowel Movements – How Often?My Profile

November 2nd, 2013 | 10:18 AM

Aqiyl, it’s just not that easy; the part about not holding open the door that is. We get indoctrinated by most of our behavior as kids, and I’m no different. So I tend to say hello to people who don’t say hello to me any time until I finally learn the lesson that this person cares nothing for me or probably anyone else and then I can push forward. Yet, I’m the guy who holds doors open, who thanks people whether it’s time to thank them or not, and it’s disturbing when there’s no reciprocation all that often. My dad just pushed it off his shoulders, but I’m the guy who chronicles bad behavior as well as good behavior with the hope that those who either do bad will recognize themselves and change and those who do good will feel better because someone recognized them for it. But in my mind if you don’t know someone there’s never an excuse for rude.

November 3rd, 2013 | 2:06 AM

There is a school of behaviour that believes that please and thank you are archaic meaningless expressions in a world of informality. Little kids calling people of their grand parents’ age by their first names is an indication of this kind of informality that has some how crept into the Western world. In the East, deference and proper manners in verbal communication still plays a very important role and having been brought up in that tradition, I find such informality obnoxious. I personally am like you and use thank you and please a great deal and I believe that it has been the backbone of my strong relationships with people.
Rummuser recently posted…In To The Night 2,My Profile

November 2nd, 2013 | 9:19 PM

Thanks for your words Rummuser. I thought about it today as I was at the mall. I said “thank you” to more people than I can remember; I heard “thank you” twice, and I spent over $350 today. Something’s wrong with that dynamic. Won’t make me change my ways or become cynical but it still disturbs me how, as time moves on, the minimalist social graces are going away.

November 3rd, 2013 | 2:08 AM

Don’t let people change your good ways Mitch, because you end up living with the good person you are, while many of those who are not courteous have to live with themselves. Living with a non courteous person is not uplifting to the spirit.
Aqiyl Aniys recently posted…Matt Damon Reads From Howard ZinnMy Profile

November 26th, 2013 | 7:08 PM

Thanks Aqiyl; I don’t think I could change at this point in my life.

November 26th, 2013 | 9:28 PM

Hi Mitch, I’m very much like you, I also like say thank you to anyone. Nothing wrong with it, it’s a good attitude. Both we and the other people would feel happy just listen words of thank you, except for spammers in comment box of some blogs. Thay just say thank you, and left with nothing good 🙁
meisha recently posted…Ideal Protein DietMy Profile

November 3rd, 2013 | 4:48 AM

That’s true Meisha, and with my comment policy those lousy comments don’t stay long. lol

November 3rd, 2013 | 6:41 PM

Hey Mitch,
You came up with a really interesting post mate.
I don’t know if I say Thank you to all the people who help me out or not but I make sure to thank them whenever I can.
Its a small gesture but the other person will love it for sure.
Thanks for such a great post 🙂
Arbaz recently posted…Top 4 Best File Manager Apps for Android DevicesMy Profile

November 3rd, 2013 | 9:44 AM

Thanks Arbaz. I’m sure no one says it all the time; I know I miss my opportunities often. But I try, and that’s really what counts most.

November 3rd, 2013 | 6:41 PM

Interesting post, Mitch 🙂

I think it all depends upon the situation and the people we are dealing with. If I am helping out a friend, then I don’t need a thank you from him/her – because I helped him/her out of our relationship, not out of courtesy. Saying thank you there gives less meaning to the relationship itself (that’s what I think). Same goes for online relationships, although I tend to send thank you tweets/notes to my online friends. Once we have an understanding (a working relationship), I believe we don’t need to thank each other.

Another thing that comes to my mind is social responsibility – we are not doing enough to help our species. A lot of people still suffer, without satisfying their basic needs (on the other hand, we also have a lot of people who have more than they ever need, and yet they aren’t willing to share, or they just forget to share). I am not doing enough to help my species; I believe I could do more, and hopefully I will be able to 🙂

Hope you had a wonderful weekend, Mitch!

November 3rd, 2013 | 6:04 PM

Hi Jeevan,

Does there need to be a reason for someone to say “thank you”? True, you may feel that if you’re friends with someone it’s not necessary but does that mean if your friend helps you out of a tense situation that they don’t deserve thanks just because they’re your friends?

Right now for instance I’ve been out of my house less than an hour and I’ve already thanked 5 people, one of them a friend of mine for driving me to the airport. Seemed the courteous thing to do. 🙂

November 4th, 2013 | 12:05 PM

I know right? Sometimes people feel so entitled that they don’t know how to show gratitude.
Christopher James recently posted…The top 3 get reviewsMy Profile

November 7th, 2013 | 5:35 AM

Happens way more often these days than it should Christopher.

November 8th, 2013 | 1:10 AM

Yes, what’s the point of leaving a big smell by not being polite to people? Whether it’s personal or business like I always try to be polite and positive to people. I am very much like you, Mitch!
Martin recently posted…Importance of Graphic Design for a websiteMy Profile

November 7th, 2013 | 8:54 AM

One can go a long way in a positive direction by working on polite right Martin? 🙂

November 8th, 2013 | 1:11 AM

Hey Mitch,

I’ve written about this subject myself, appreciating those that say thank you. Everyone wants to hear that and be appreciated. Don’t they realize how much more wonderful our world might be if people actually took the time to say thank you a little more.

I’m rather annoying about that as well and people tell me I shouldn’t say it all the time. My response to that is you say it when you want to and I’ll say it when I want to. Let’s see who’s lives are more enriched from it. I bet I’ll win! 😉

Thank you for mentioning me here Mitch and I’m excited about your guest post this month that will go live on the 18th by the way folks. I’ll be spreading it everywhere too so hope everyone will stop by and check out Mitch’s excellence! 😉

Thanks again Mitch for this post and the mention. See, now that was just too easy.

Adrienne recently posted…Jon Morrow Told Me It Is Okay To StealMy Profile

November 7th, 2013 | 5:28 PM

Adrienne, you’re a great example for so many good things, which explains why I mention you so often around here. If we could only get you out of Texas where some of your politicians are trying to ruin the country… lol

November 8th, 2013 | 1:13 AM

There’s nothing better than when two polite people get together. You’re right: it takes very little effort, and the benefits are immeasurable.

Thank you, Mitch, for another thoughtful post.
bronxboy55 recently posted…Careering Out of ControlMy Profile

November 8th, 2013 | 9:23 AM

That was nice Charles; thank you for that! lol

November 12th, 2013 | 9:46 PM

Courtesy is something terribly underused these days, cannot believe the lack of common etiquette by most people, really despicable if you ask me.

November 13th, 2013 | 8:53 AM

I’d agree for the most part. It’s a terrible thing when we’re surprised that someone acted in a courteous manner towards us without hoping to get paid for it lol

November 14th, 2013 | 12:39 AM

Hi Mitch, I agree people are forgetting the importance of politeness in their day to day lives. I mean a ‘thank you’ is just a simple word, what can be the harm in thanking someone who has done something for you? I guess people today find it cool to be devoid of politeness and manners.

November 14th, 2013 | 4:54 AM

James, these days people just don’t think about it as much; we’re more into “it’s all about me” than anything else. That’s too bad, but I’m ready to be a one man band in this regard if I must.

November 19th, 2013 | 12:45 AM

Hello Mr. Mitch
I just came from Ms. Adrienne’s blog where you were a guest blogger.
Now I am here getting familiar with your blog.

In regards to saying Thank you, I think it is important to say because it shows the person you appreciate them. It is an attitude of being grateful.
My opinion is no matter who the other person is,I intentionally say thank you. It should come from the heart.

Thank you for sharing about the lost art of saying Thank you

November 19th, 2013 | 12:29 AM

I thank you for stopping by Gladys. Yes, it’s about appreciation for someone doing things for us without our asking for it, because it’s even more important to do when you do ask for help & you get it. And it’s so simple and takes little time to do.

November 19th, 2013 | 12:47 AM
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