To Say, "Thank You!" At Every Given Opportunity.
It is fascinating to me how self-absorbed we have all become in the current climate of our country. People just don't say "Thank You" anymore, and that needs to stop – with us.
My career has been about "words." When someone says something, they use words. But the words are only the surface for their communication. What really matters is WHY those words were chosen by that person. The words you use, or don't use, reveal your character.
Here's an example:
I'm at my coffee cafe, the waiter comes over and refills my coffee cup. I say, "Thank You," he says, "No problem."
What did he just tell me with his words? He told me that he does not fully understand the customer-waiter relationship and he implied by his words that I could well become a "problem." He is there to serve me, to try and get the biggest tip from me as possible, and I'm a big tipper. When he says "No problem," he is telling me he will work me into his routine and that he might not like his job. If he is my server, I am NEVER a problem for him and his correct response to my "Thank You" is, and always should be, "You are welcome." (Chick-fil-A servers take it to the next level in responding, "It is my pleasure.")
So it is with learning to say "Thank You." When someone gives you a gift, opens the door for you, pays for your meal, let's you go first in line, you should always say, "Thank You!" But, more and more, people do not.
It works both ways. When you thank someone, it brings a smile to their face (My #1 2018 Resolution) and builds a kind of instant connection with you two. Who knows what may happen next. When you don't say "Thank You" and the other person thinks they are owed one, it builds a wall between you two.
Here's another personal example:
I recently loaned a very large amount of money to a friend for his business. I did so at 2% interest. I didn't make him sign a loan agreement (I know, not smart) because he was a friend. When I went to his business to deliver the cashiers check, he was busy, so I gave the check to his wife, who quickly hugged me and said "Thank You!" over and over again. That was over 3 months ago and do you know that to this day, my friend has never said, "Thank You." In fact, he has never even acknowledged to me that I gave him the large business loan. Not a word. His wife continues to thank me when we talk.
Was I wrong to expect a "Thank You" from my friend? Of course not. I made him a large loan with no collateral, no signed loan document, and at an interest rate that no bank in the land would have ever approved.
Had he said "Thank You" immediately, it would have brought a smile to my face (#1) and maybe encouraged me to loan him more should he ever need it. It would have deepened our friendship, (which I obviously thought was stronger than it turned out to actually be). However, by not ever thanking me, he has told me that he is not grateful. His silence has built that wall. I have not spoken to him in months, and have no intention of doing so in the future. His words, or lack thereof, revealed his character.
We all have examples like mine. And while there are many times we don't expect a "Thank You" for our actions, there are other times we do deserve one. Let's spend the New Year taking the time to say, "THANK YOU!" at every given opportunity. Who knows what your one "Thank You" will accomplish. Try it today.
(Tomorrow, my number #3 resolution for 2018: Tolerance)