October 01, 2018
Thank you is the current conventional expression of gratitude. When someone offers us their seat on a bus, we might acknowledge their generosity with a thank you. When we ask a friend to help us with some information, we say thank you for their assistance and to acknowledge we have received the information they provided us.
Thank you and its use or lack of use have been top-of-mind for me lately. I believe thank you is a very important phrase and I'll outline why below. I've also been wondering why it feels like use of the phrase thank you is declining and considering whether the way we're communicating on social media is influencing the change.
But first, where does the phrase thank you come from?
The phrase thank you derives originally from the word think. In this early form, it meant I will remember what you did for me. From there it progressed to a more favourable thought or feeling which could be paraphrased to "for what you have done for me, I think on you favourably." In some instances, thank you has indicated a debt owed. For example, in Portuguese Obrigado means "much obliged" and can be interpreted as "I am in your debt."
The habit of saying thank you is fairly new and first began to take hold during the commercial revolution of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. During this time the middle classes began using the phrase regularly until it became the social norm. And so, its development arose from a philosophy, a set of assumptions of what humans are and what they owe each other, and has now become so deeply ingrained into our culture that perhaps we are not even aware of the rationale behind its use and why it's important.
Reviewing the literature, it appears that thank you is important to people in many different ways. Thank you is an appreciation of a person choosing to take a certain action versus having to be told to take an action. It is an acknowledgement of our free-will, an appreciation of our freedom of choice.
Saying thank you has been proven to build social relationships and trust. This premise is based on the find-remind-and-bind theory of gratitude, proposed by US psychologist Sarah Algoe, from the University of North Carolina. According to this theory, thanks prompts:
Saying thank you allows people to feel appreciated and loved. Have you noticed how you feel when someone genuinely thanks you and you are able to accept that thank you fully? It's a great feeling for the giver of the thank you and the receiver too.
Being appreciated is one of the things that motivates us. When we are thanked for doing something we feel good, and because we've been rewarded for our action it's more likely that we'll act the same way again in the future.
Saying thank you allows us to feel genuine gratitude and to pass that gratitude on to another. It is a recognition of our common humanity. You are sharing a little bit of your heart with another person and so that person receives a gift from you.
Saying thank you can change someone's life. Just like a simple smile can make someone's day, a thank you can have a similar positive impact. By saying thank you and meaning it, you could turn someone's bad day into a good one, and who knows how things will go from there.
While saying thank you is something we are taught from childhood and a phrase we may think we are using frequently, it turns out that human beings say thank you far less often than we might think.
A new study of everyday language use around the world has found that, in informal settings, people almost always complied with requests for an object, service or help. For their efforts, they received expressions of gratitude only rarely — in about one of 20 occasions.
While this might seem like a damning verdict on human nature or evidence of a global pandemic of rudeness. There is another perspective considered by the study; that this finding indicates that our basic stance is one of reciprocity, that when we ask people to help us, their default is that they will. However, the author of the study also indicates that saying thank you is important and something we should continue to teach our children.
So it seems we are saying thank you less than we think we are, something to consider. And, because thank you is an important phrase to use for many reasons including that it makes people feel good and strengthens our social connections, I would like to propose that you commit to saying thank you a little more often.
Let me get the ball rolling, thank you for taking the time to read this article.
Comments will be approved before showing up.
September 04, 2018
August 07, 2018
Procrastination can be defined as follows, "to voluntarily delay an intended course of action despite expecting to be worse off for the delay." It doesn't sound too good, so why do we do it?
July 15, 2018
Feeling overwhelmed? Do you have trouble sleeping? Are you feeling increasingly depressed? Could you be suffering from burnout? We all experience stress, but sometimes stress can leave us physically and emotionally drained. It can be difficult to regain a sense of balance in our lives.Inside Fresh Start – A Guide to Eliminating Unhealthy Stress you’ll discover:• What stress is so that you can understand whether you’re affected. • The difference between stress and burnout, so that you know which of these you’re dealing with. • The many sources of stress, the key triggers, and how to halt stress in its tracks. • Different coping strategies, so that you can see how your current coping strategies might be modified for better results• In the moment stress reduction strategies, so that you can lower your stress levels today. • And much, much more!There are answers. Discover how to manage unhealthy stress and start feeling more calm and peaceful. Let Sarah O’Flaherty guide you to a healthier, happier life. Sarah O’Flaherty assists people in improving their job/life satisfaction and working through career transitions. Currently training as a clinical psychologist, Sarah leverages the latest research and techniques for managing unhealthy stress to help her clients emerge from the chaos of stress and find balance and greater peace in their lives. In Fresh Start, Sarah teaches you about stress in any easy to understand format, with the hope of releasing you from damaging stress once and for all. Fresh Start will help you to transition away from stress while maintaining your relationships, your job, your home, and your sanity. Fresh Start is packed with straightforward, honest, and practical advice that can be your wake-up call to a new start in life. If you like easy reads that tell it to you straight, then you’ll love having Sarah on your team.Buy A Fresh Start to help you return to calm and balanced living!
Click here to purchase.
Sign up to my newsletter for free books, updates, book release details and more.