From a young age, our parents have told us to always be polite and to always remember our please’s and thank you’s. But just like every other thing our parents say (sorry, guys) we tend to brush it off and go our own way. However, as we get older, we soon start to realize the importance of one simple word – thank you. This one word can improve the lives of others, help them out, and make your own life better. You can thank us later, quite literally…
When you’re running late
If you’re like us and just love to be punctual, there’s nothing worse than being late. You let yourself down, you let your team down and your boss down – but there is a way to make this situation even better, even though it may seem pretty weird. Saying thank you to your boss when you’re running late to work isn’t the first thing that would come into your head, and your initial reaction would normally be to apologize for being late.
However, this phrase makes the whole situation about YOU. And of course, it is not. It is about your boss and the effect you’ve had on his workplace and workforce. So, instead of saying sorry, say ‘thank you for your patience’ or ‘thank you for waiting.’ This will both enhance your respect and positive attitude, as well as your boss’s.
When you’re receiving a compliment
It may seem pretty obvious to thank someone when they compliment you, but so many forget these general rules of courtesy – although not always on purpose. When receiving a compliment, many of us are too shy or humble to acknowledge it the way it should, and we can devalue the person’s comment with a shake of the head, completely ignoring it or contesting it.
However, this doesn’t allow you to acknowledge that the person who said this compliment was, in fact, doing a nice thing, and making the moment even better. So instead of worrying whether you will come across arrogant, thank the person for their kind words.
When you’re receiving feedback
Whenever we receive feedback from someone – whether good or bad – we normally take it in completely the wrong way (come on, you know you do). Instead of being flattered, or taking the feedback and working on your mistakes, we normally get defensive because many of us are so headstrong and cannot see our wrong (or right) doings. However, most of the time, these people are giving us feedback to improve our lives, not dampen them. Therefore, it is only right to say, ‘thank you for your feedback,’ ‘thank you for believing in me’ or ‘thank you for your honest opinion.’
When you’re comforting someone
When someone is upset and coming to you for guidance or comfort, it can be so easy to say that you’re ‘sorry’ for their loss, or that you’re ‘sorry’ this thing has happened to them. However, ‘sorry’ is always linked towards negative actions, and in a time of distress, a person does not need confirmation that what has happened to them is negative.
It can be hard to know what to say to make the person feel better, as it is different for each person – but the best thing you can do is to let the person know that you are there for them and that they can trust you with their information and their emotions. To enhance this, say, ‘thank you for sharing this with me. I know this is a difficult time for you, but I am here for you.’
When you’re receiving unfair criticism
Being faced with criticism is often incredibly disheartening, and you can often wonder why someone would want to put you down or be mean. Really, this person is trying to help you, but their speech has backfired.
Instead of stressing about how vindictive or hateful their criticism is, you need to pull yourself up and be the bigger person to say thank you to them and move on from the situation at hand. This will make you feel better than stewing on their words. In this situation, say ‘thank you for sharing your opinion on this matter, I shall try to improve my work next time.’
When someone gives you advice you don’t really need
Let’s be honest; people just love to give their two cents on matters that don’t concern them. Many human beings are in a constant state of competition and hate to see other people doing well, and so do everything they can to bring people down – which includes giving them advice people really don’t need. Say, for example, you’re doing well in the gym and catching up with the most athletic and strongest person there. As they are used to being the alpha, they will want to share their own opinions on your own technique to prove that they know more. Instead of being rude and saying what you probably would like to say (and we have to admit, sometimes this does slip out) thank them for their advice, and continue going about your day, in your own way.
When you’re not sure if you need to thank someone
The truth of the matter is this: when in doubt, say thank you. When it comes to thanking someone, there is literally nothing that could go wrong – because it is only a positive message. Rather than being unsure and walking away from a situation where you haven’t thanked someone (which would have been the wrong option) say thank you just to be sure. This will not only make you feel good about the situation, but it will also show that you are considerate, kind and thankful.
There really is no limit to how many times you can say thank you to someone. Show them your appreciation, show them your love, show them your kindness, and show them that they mean a lot to you. Thank you.