I really love saying thank you! I love it because it means that someone has done something for me. It means they have taken the time, or thought, or effort to see me and do something for me. So, to be able to use the power of a thank you to acknowledge that action they took is wonderful, in my mind!
I feel a thank you lets the ‘giver’ know that they have been ‘seen’. That they have not been taken for granted or that we perhaps somehow ‘expected’ them to do things for us! It lets them know they have been valued and their contribution appreciated.
Deeper than manners
I know we’re all taught to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ as children and we tend to learn the words off-by-heart and replay them at the necessary moments. And of course, we would always mean it when we say it! These manners are of course important Skills for Life that make our lives better.
But there’s a real joy in feeling the moment of being thanked and giving the thanks. It’s a moment of real human connection and appreciation. It’s deeper than manners and etiquette.
Perhaps I tend to go a bit overboard with my thank you’s. I’ll go out of my way to thank people who don’t expect to be thanked (e.g. because they were just providing a paid service) and sometimes I thank twice: I’ll say thank you verbally if handed a gift, but 99% of the time, also follow up with a written thank you.
I just love the person to know I don’t take their efforts lightly!
(My Mum calls thank you letters her our ‘bread and butter’ letters! A gorgeous concept! And she always writes hers.)
Where it gets a little bit comical is where someone gives me a gift when I have initially done something for them (usually return their lost doggo to their home safely!) Do you thank someone for a thank you?
Is it perhaps about worthiness?
It could be that when we feel the desire to thank someone for a thank you, and feel inadequate if we can’t come across appreciative enough – that there’s a hint of ‘unworthiness’ in our subconscious.
That is something to look out for.
It is important to accept a person’s expression of thanks as a gift, just as we’d accept a compliment as a gift from someone.
We are worthy of their thanks and we are worthy of them having “seen” us, worthy of their kindness. If we feel somehow that we don’t deserve this attention, perhaps we need to look at where that feeling of unworthiness might have come from, and how we can turn it around.
Because of course, we are all worthy. And should rightly feel so!
How to find the words
I also ‘get’ that some people just weren’t blessed with the creativity of what to say and how or when to say it. Some of us talk quite a lot and say “thank you” multiple times! Some of us are quite quiet, reserved, feel we are not eloquent with words, so perhaps struggle with how to express thanks. With the internet these days, though, it’s so very easy to find ideas!
There are some nice ideas in this article: https://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/20-creative-ways-say-thank-you.html and some samples of words to try in this one: https://www.thespruce.com/thoughtful-wording-thank-you-note-1216778
Feel the Joy and the Power of a Thank You
So, as often as there is the opportunity, say thank you. For small things, for big things, for things that people don’t expect to be thanked for. And enjoy the moment that you thank, because you are giving a gift. You are seeing that person. You are filling their ‘worthiness’ tank and contributing them feeling valued. Love it, feel it, mean it.
And furthermore, when someone thanks you – lap it up and cherish it. You have been seen. You have been appreciated. Absorb the thanks bestowed on you, because you’re worth it! The power of a thank you can go a very long way.