The Art of Thank You

Clouds, Sky, Lake, Water, Loop, Heart

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.

Tough, eh?

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?

Maybe not.

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?

Success! You're on the list.

photo credit: pixabay/geralt

8 responses to “The Art of Thank You

  1. I have a short supply of money, so I don’t donate money, but if possible I will donate my time or actions. A simple ‘Thank you’ works for me, or the developing of a friendship, something that tells me they appreciate what I do. I definitely am NOT fond of the big “Thank You” events though.

  2. It’s lovely to receive a thank you and to know that the person enjoyed the gift or the action. There’s an African proverb that says something like: If you give a person a goat, let go of the rope. Which I take to mean – let it go. That’s my attitude even if no thanks from the recipient. But I’d be annoyed in this particular situation you describe. I say thank but no thanks – my donations for money are allocated. Interesting post Silvia, thank you.

  3. Hi Silvia … saying ‘thank you’ is so important … and I occasionally donate – as I too don’t have much spare cash. I do appreciate being thanked … and I often do small helpful things for people I come across – helping someone get on the bus, open doors for people, or letting someone go first in a queue if they’ve only got one item. Smile often and be positive … you’re right – take care – Hilary

  4. Interesting thoughts for today, Silvia! I donated recently to a family whom we’ve known for 60+ years who lost everything when a hurricane hit their fishing business. I tacked on a note but never heard back. It would have been nice to have something in return. Makes me reluctant to contribute more.

    • It’s odd that people just ignore such a kind act, Noelle. Unless there are issues that prevent one from responding, I don’t see how this is considered okay. Like you, I’m reluctant now. Thank you for your thoughts on this.

I welcome your thoughts.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s