Most of us don’t say ‘thank you’ enough. We breeze through our days, letting people help us without taking the time to recognize those efforts or reward them. It’s almost as if there is a finite amount of gratitude and recognition we can give, and we want to eek it out over time. As if by thanking people liberally we demean its value.
Well obviously that’s not the case. If someone helps you, even in a small way, implicitly or explicitly they will expect that activity to be acknowledged. In not doing so, we send the signal that we don’t care, are too important or simply impolite. Next time, we’re less likely to get the help we need.
Not recognizing efforts properly, also makes a withdrawal from our relationship with that person. For friends, family members and co-workers, this is a petty impoliteness which won’t go unrecognized. But even for passing acquaintances, such as a waiter in a restaurant or a taxi driver taking us downtown, it’s amazing what simple recognition can do. There are many roles where gratitude is sadly lacking, so your politeness stands out a mile.
Of course, in thanking someone, you’ll normally get the reply ‘You’re welcome.’ And you are, so enjoy it.