It takes seconds to do, but so few people actually follow through with it. Why has saying these two words become so difficult? Or rather than being difficult, has it become a forgotten component of common courtesy? We all feel its annoying to be robbed of a thank you, regardless of the severity of the transgression. It could be as minuscule as someone you hold the door for casually passing by you without a peep, as if you were expected to be their personal doorman. In contrast, it could be as major as you paying for a large meal or bar tab, without the slightest acknowledgment that you’ve made such a generous gesture.
Are people actually too busy, or self-interested, to take three seconds out of their day to say “thank you”? Even Kramer understood the importance of this mandatory rule of etiquette.
“Good manners are the glue of society” – Cosmo KramerThe “thank you” expresses an acknowledgment of goodwill and in turn, keeps that door open for future acts of generosity. The moment you forget to thank someone, you shut that door and create lots of bad feelings between you and that person. Make no mistake about it; the “thank you” is required to maintain a warm relationship with your benefactor. The forgotten thank you sends one of several negative messages, including:
- I am not appreciative of your gesture
- Your gesture was not enjoyable or important
- I’ve forgotten your kind act
- I am entitled to your money (or favors)
- You owe me things
- I don’t respect your time, money, or resources
- I am spoiled
Every time you fail to give a proper “thank you”, you are conveying these undesirable traits about yourself. In today’s digital world, you have multiple means of communicating your gratefulness, not limited to:
- phone call
- text or Whatsapp
- Facebook wall post
- Facebook message
- DM on any social platform
- snail mail letter or note
- messenger service
- video message
- in person
Those are ten ways to express gratitude, some of which require all of three seconds of your time. If you can sit on the toilet scrolling through Instagram, or lay in bed swiping left and right on dating apps, you can certainly find time to cultivate your personal relationships and show that you are not an entitled, selfish jackass. Take a moment to say “thank you”. You’ll be glad you did.
-Your Big Bro