It often happens with me, that when I say “thanks”, I am asked not to be formal. More often than not, I go into an explanation of how saying Thank You is a gesture of appreciation, and less about formality.It always makes me wonder, why so many of us are unable to accept the phrase, as simply as we accept the greeting of good morning or good evening. Is it because culturally we are not expected to?
In fact close family and friends seem to feel tad upset, when one thanks them. The gesture instead of being welcome is almost akin to falsity or just a means of adhering to etiquettes.
While I agree that not everyone says it with a lot of thought, it is not better to say the two simple phrases, than not say anything at all? I mean how rude does it get, not to even acknowledge?
Culturally most Indians shy away from saying Thank You, somehow this gesture of reciprocation is not taught early on. Most who do learn the skill and the importance of it do so only much later in life. And some unfortunately never learn it at all.
Saying Thank You – Is it important?
Are you wondering why it is important at all to say Thank You, especially when it comes to close family and friends? Yes, it is.We take effort to be polite and nice to strangers, but seem to forget them for those who matter most to us? That is convoluted logic, I would say. And why do we at all expect that some one close to us does not deserve the simple gesture of acknowledgement?
In our busy current lives, where time is at a premium it is important to be vocal, otherwise a lot may get lost in translation. Avoid feelings of hurt and resentfulness by this simple courtesy, which is not used too often, especially in the Indian milieu.
Numerous people would scoff and say that saying these golden words is such a meaningless ritual and thus best avoided. Of course one can avoid saying, but when one avoids, one disrespects the effort of the other person.It shows lack of empathy and ingratitude for the effort, no matter how insignificant the gesture may appear to be.
Let me illustrate with an example
Few months back, I had packed the birthday gift for my friend’s child and kept it in the car, as I was scheduled to meet her at a common gathering.Post the party when I told her that I would like to give her the gift and that if she would be kind enough to take the gift, the response instead of a warm Thank You, was surprisingly, “No I will not, stop being so etiquette driven!”.I felt crushed and hurt by the response.
My friend disregarded the thought and care which went behind carrying the gift with me, just so that I could give it to her. Later of course there was a message of thanks sent via the cell phone, but unfortunately it was her first response that stayed with me.
In the case mentioned above, wherein a simple Thank You would have sufficed, an uncalled for reaction just made things not so memorable.
Thank You – How to say this?
Not all of us have the gift of words of saying the correct words of appreciation. What does one do then? No need to fret. The two words simply said, hold enough meaning. There is no need to go verbose.In case the person happens to be in front of you, a smile and the two golden words would suffice. And yes, remember to look into the person’s eyes when you do so. Trust me, the words Thank You, go a long way. Oscar Wilde has very aptly said, “The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.”