Like most people, when I was young, my parents taught me to use my manners. “What’s the magic word? Say please, thank you and excuse me,” they’d remind me. I hated hearing those reminders–who needs those words anyway? But as usual, my parents were right (it’s getting easier and easier to admit as it happens more and more often).
Because my parents raised me right, I’ve always been pretty good at using manners. I think I’m a pretty courteous person (unless I don’t like you, then there’s no telling). I hold doors for people, I say please, I say thank you, I say excuse me, I let others go before me, and blah blah blah (this isn’t about how awesome I am…though it could be).
One of the most effective (and easy) “magic” phrases to use is “thank you.” There are infinite situations that call for a thank you. Here are just some of them:
Someone goes above and beyond to help you.
Someone gives you a gift.
Someone provides you with important information.
Someone covers your ass because you made a mistake.
Someone compliments you.
Someone saves you from that stupid monster that lives under the bridge on the north side of town (thanks Eric!)
Someone writes an awesome blog that makes you laugh.
Though I joke, I really do think thank yous are important. E-mail thank yous are meh, verbal thank yous are great, and hand-written thank yous are all the rage. Whenever I get a gift, I send a hand-written thank you (mostly because I’m scared that if I don’t, I’ll never get any gifts again). I say thank you constantly at work, and I say it constantly in my personal life. And every single one is sincere (except the sarcastic ones when someone actually hurts/annoys me and I say thank you with a hint of attitude…this happens rarely?).
Saying thank you has become habit for me (again, probably because of my parents). I use it as my e-mail sign off, I say it when I leave people’s offices/desks at work, and I say it in public when people yield to me or hold the door.
A sincere thank you can go a long way for people. I have actually saved almost every thank you I’ve ever gotten. Not that I could located them all right now (they’re probably buried in a box in my parents’ basement), but I kept them. I also have a folder in every e-mail account called “thank yous.” E-mails where people sincerely thank me or give me positive feedback on something go in this folder. I rarely go back to it, but it’s nice to know it’s there if I need a pick me up.
Do you use thank you enough? Do you think people over-use it? Do you appreciate when others use it? Comment with your feedback (I’ll likely thank you…if it’s positive, of course).
And as always, THANK YOU for reading.