You get out of your way to help someone you don’t know all that well. It’s not much you’ve given, just a little of your time and money, but it’s enough to show you want to help. You imagine the response would be a simple thanks, some form of gratitude.
You hear nothing back.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, everything you say or do, even when part of your job, is greeted with over-the-top thanks.
A constant string of thanks. An inbox full of thanks.
Which annoys you the most?
I like to err on the side of thanking. I am horrified of having forgotten to thank someone. And I don’t particularly like blanket thanks, yet I use the method from time to time, so as to avoid the over-the-top version.
I recently answered to someone’s post, congratulating them on all they do to help a marginalized group.
The reply to my comment was an immediate invitation to donate to this person’s efforts.
I usually have a certain amount of money set aside for charity (many times it involves family members because as a former teacher used to say, charity starts at home). But, because this person replied with links and additional information, while reiterating how much this group would benefit from every penny, I donated. Not much, but I went to the website and put my credit card number in.
Never heard anything back.
Should I expect to hear back?
I don’t know.
This behavior — this silence — did something to my way of thinking. Whereas I used to actively look for this person’s notices, postings, musings, I no longer feel the urge to do so. I scan the notices, but not in depth. Not anymore.
Sounds small on my part, doesn’t it? Picky.
I didn’t donate to be lauded or with a scheme in mind. Yet, the lack of response affected my thinking.
While writing this, I’m stricken with fear that maybe I forgot to thank someone.
Or maybe I overdid it with my thanks.
There’s got to be a balance between the two. Thank-you notes that don’t read like platitudes with just the right amount of wording. Or maybe it depends on personalities. It could very well be that what I see as over-the-top thanks sounds normal. Or it could be that a thank-you is implied and doesn’t have to be spoken, particularly if the person is extra busy.
Which do you prefer?
photo credit: pixabay/geralt