“You do say thank you an awful lot,” one of my best friends joked the other night. While I’ve been working on trying to stop being the one apologizing too much, I didn’t notice my transformation into the girl who thanks too much.
My initial reaction was to get defensive, but then I started thinking about it on my drive home. What’s wrong with thanking too much? We live in an age where we’re rushing through humanity, showing recognition only with a double-click, or on dedicated days to jump on the trending hashtags.
I know, I sound a little grouchy but I’m part of the problem.
I’m fully aware of my contribution to this culture of instant gratification, which is why I don’t mind being accused of thanking “too much.”
Is there such a thing? Does it take anything away from my day to show gratitude for the little actions of people around me?
During my first job as a cashier, I had to smile and say thank you to every customer. I would’ve done it anyway, but it was my obligation as part of our social contract at that moment. I had to say “thank you” to a customer who had just screamed at me while trying to return a stained shirt. I had to say “thank you” at the end of a transaction to a customer who had made low-key sexually inappropriate comments.
When I say “thank you” to the server refilling my water at the restaurant, it doesn’t take anything away from my experience. But it could make a small difference in his/her day.
I’ll thank you for holding the door; I say “thank you” out loud when someone lets me merge in traffic, I signal “thank you” to the car coming the opposite direction on a narrow street. I’ll say “thank you” not because I feel like I have to but because I like showing appreciation in every way possible.
We live in a thankless society. Look at online reviews – most of them are complaints because we don’t instinctively think to leave a review after a positive experience.
We don’t think about showing gratitude as often as we should.
So, sure, I say “thank you” too often and maybe that even makes me a little annoying. Does that mean I’ll thank you out of obligation if you don’t deserve it? Probably not.
But it doesn’t hurt any of us to make more of a conscious effort to show gratitude in small ways throughout our days.
So, as you think about your 2017 and get ready for 2018, plan on sprinkling a few more “thank yous” to your daily interactions.
I promise it’ll make a difference.
And as always, thank you for reading.