If you grew up like me, saying ‘thank you’ was pretty much a required response for nearly everything. You needed to utter those words as permission to leave the dinner table, or you were coaxed into writing notes to your aunts and uncles upon receiving a gift, or your teacher required you to say thank you when a classmate offered you their pencils.
Thankfully, you and I most probably moved beyond the rote thank you to realize that being grateful is good for well-being, relationships and an outlook on the day ahead.
In addition to making someone feel good and using your manners, studies show that saying thank you has a snowball effect. Watch what happens when you thank someone for shoveling snow in front of your house, there’s a good chance they’ll do it again. When you thank a child for a drawing they make for you, you’re sure to get another one. Unbeknownst to you, these individuals – upon receiving your ‘thank you’ – will probably do something for someone else, because they feel so good about the value you gave them with your ‘thank you.’
A few years ago, I started greeting my grandchildren with a bag of nuts and two taffies whenever I would drive them someplace in the car. Their shouts of ‘thank you’ were so over the top, that I vowed to keep up the practice. The next time I saw them, before I had a chance to give them their goodies, they had a ‘surprise’ for me. It’s now our routine, they get bags filled with goodies and I get an assortment of rubber bands, pictures and sticky notes. The snowball effect is in place.
If you’re wondering whether this works, think about the last time someone thanked you for something you did for them. How did that make you feel?
It’s pretty awesome when you feel so valued about what you offered or did, that you choose to do it again…and again.
Which side of ‘thank you’ are you on today?
You’ve got this.