I think I’m a bit of a thank you whore.
Well, maybe whore is a harsh word, but I say, “thank you” a lot and I’m wondering why it feels so shallow lately. I should be more selective and authentic in my dispensing of gratitude. It’s possible I have cheapened the phrase.
I instinctively tack it on at the end of emails. There are times I catch myself typing “thank you” and then backing it out because, after reading the content of the email, there’s absolutely no reason for me to be thanking anyone. I say it smiling when I’m handed my tea or someone holds the door. In the past, I’ve said thank you when I was the one doing for another or even when I’ve been given bad news. It’s cursory and polite.
Thank you has become a standard, token response. Sort of like when someone asks, “How are you today?” I always respond with “I’m good,” whether I’m good or not. Actually, I could be pretty miserable and I’m certainly not sharing that with the woman at the carwash, so I just say, “I’m good” and then I follow it up with . . . you guessed it, “thank you.”
So, if “thank you” has become this auto response, if I say it all the time without even thinking or out of obligation, is it the same as being thankful? I suppose I’m grateful that the woman gave me a receipt or that the person in front of me didn’t let the door slam in my face. I’m thankful, but I would say it even if I wasn’t, it’s generic, expected and it doesn’t feel the same as being genuinely thankful.
Thanksgiving is tomorrow. After a little self analysis, I have discovered that when I’m honestly trying to tell someone that I’m thankful for a gesture or deed, I say, “thank you so much” or “I really appreciate this, thank you so much.”
I add the “so,” and in my world, that must make it “for real.”
It’s as if I think people have been drinking my “thank you” for so long they have built up a tolerance, so when I’m serious, when I want to say, “What you’ve done is important and I’m grateful,” I add the “so”. The “so” is that little shot of sincerity.
The other day, I asked someone how he was doing, not because I particularly cared, but because he had asked me and I felt obligated to ask back. His response was, “Eh, I’m getting by.” Nice!
He seems like a no nonsense, non-thank you whore, kind of guy.
My thoughts from the laundry room. Thanks for Waking Me.