Saying thank you is a bit of a lost art


say thank youOne of my pet peeves is how often people forget to say thank you. I know we’ve all been there. Maybe you sent a quick email to answer a question, did a favor in the real world, held a door open for someone, or any number of things. After all is said and done, the person goes their merry way and we’re left wondering why there wasn’t any acknowledgment. It’s not that people should bow down and pay homage, but a simple little ‘thank you’ can go a long way. Honestly, it doesn’t take long to type or say the words but oftentimes it goes unsaid.

It happens online and in the real world. We just aren’t as polite and respectful as we once were. So, when I went to listen to Peter Shankman, founder of Help A Reporter Out, speak at SXSW, and heard him talk about this very same thing, I loved that he was calling us all out about it. It may seem like a little thing, but it’s not really.

The bulk of Peter’s talk was about how smart self-promoters aren’t out there spamming people with the all too common “I’m great I’m wonderful, I can save your life” type talk. Instead, they’re willing to help others, and as a result they become the type of person who’s looked at as a resource – an expert in their particular field. They respect people enough to understand the 24/7 sales pitch is a real turn off.

Peter also talked about saying ‘thank you.’ It’s all part of being respectful and having manners. It doesn’t take much energy to type out ‘thank you’ and hit the reply button. And it takes even less time to say thank you. So why don’t we do it? Laziness? Disrespect? Too absorbed in watching the world revolve around us? I’m not entirely sure, but we sure as heck don’t do it enough.

With this in mind, I thought I’d try a little experiment – I set up a Facebook page where you can say thank you. You may want to thank your first grade teacher for opening up the world of reading to you. Or maybe you want to thank the guy who let you squeeze into traffic this morning. It doesn’t really matter, just go thank somebody! My hope is that it’ll spark something in each of us and remind us just how important those two little words are, and we’ll all start showing our gratitude a little more often. If we do it enough it’ll become a habit, and what a great habit saying ‘thank you’ could be for all of us.

Now please,  go say ‘Thank You.’

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1 Comment

  1. Sue Rostvold

    Great idea Therese!

    I went to SXSW Interactive this year and Gary Vaynerchuk’s entire talk was based on this premise. A simple and sincere “Thank you” and “You’re welcome” go a long way. Seems pretty basic, but I think we could all do better in the manners department.


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