Now here’s something I know a lot of us think very little about.
How much we do and don’t say “Thank You”.
We all know the basics — if you want to show gratitude for something someone may have done to you or for you, you say, “Thank You”.
But how many of us are really applying that as and when it’s required?
I love asking the question, “At this very stage in your life, what do you know for sure?”. Everytime I interview a candidate for a job I always ask this question.
In my mid-20s, my own answer to this question was, “Thank you goes a long way.”
Sometimes the circumstances to apply those two words are not that obvious, but if you can recognize the moment and you apply it correctly, the result and outcome could be quite desirable.
I was quite pleased when I came across an article by James Clear that discussed the situations in which a “Thank You” could make your life better. I will admit, sometimes saying “Thank You” can slip my mind too, but it wasn’t just that. There were things on the list that weren’t an obvious “Thank You” moment for me.
And that got me thinking.
How much happier could we be if we apply some of these to our lives? Could it make us look at a situation through a different lens, and thus, experience a different outcome from what we would have originally imagined?
And could that be something better than what we could have originally imagined?
I think so.
Because some of these situations that James references are situations that one might say, usually make most of us feel frustrated, anxious or uncomfortable.
It got me thinking and so I put it into practice and what I found was quite amazing.
I learned to be more patient, more tolerant, more compassionate, less judgemental. I also learned more self love and appreciation, more confidence, more humility.
Then I realised that I had to start seeing situations from a different lens in order to easily “spot” these “Thank You” moments. But then, as a result of practising the tips below, I learned to automatically see things from a different lens from the start, hence my Thank Yous became the natural thing to do as I genuinely felt that gratitude in that moment.
It became such a gratifying result in return.
I applied it to my personal life and I applied it at work too. My relationships were transforming, and as a result, brought great results to any task at hand. There was value in all types of interactions.
Of course there are days when that’s not so easy to do. But then of course, that’s exactly when we should be applying it!
We won’t be able to know if we’ve truly learned something until we can apply it to see if it works.
So enjoy the list below, and see if you have the same experience. I’m pretty sure it will end up making you feel great and you could find your relationships become more joyful, and your experiences to be more positive.
I’ve listed his seven situations and also his examples for when to use it. To read the full article, go here.
SITUATION 1: When You’re Receiving A Compliment
Why: By deflecting a praise of a genuine compliment, you don’t acknowledge the person who was nice enough to say something. Saying “Thank You” fully acknowledges the person who made the compliment and allows you to enjoy the moment as well.
Example: “Your dress looks great.”
Instead of: “Oh, this old thing? I’ve had it for years.”
Try saying: “Thank you. I’m glad you like it.”
Example: “You killed your presentation today!”
Instead of: “Did I? I felt so nervous out there. I’m glad it looked alright.”
Try saying: “Thank you. I’m happy it went well.”
Read more on The Magic In Compliments.
SITUATION 2: When You’re Running Late
Why: Saying “Sorry I’m late” makes the situation about you. Sorry, I’m late. Saying “Thank You” acknowledges the sacrifice the other person made by waiting. Thank you for waiting.
Example: You walk in the door 14 minutes late.
Instead of: “So sorry I’m late. Traffic was insane out there.”
Try saying: “Thank you for your patience.”
SITUATION 3: When You’re Comforting Someone
Why: Most of us feel awkward when someone comes to us with bad news. What’s important is not whether or not you know what to say — all you really need is to be present and thank them for trusting you.
Example: Your co-worker’s mother passed away recently.
Instead of: “At least you have a lot of fond memories to hold onto.”
Try saying: “Thank you for sharing that. I know this is a hard time for you.”
Example: Your brother lost his job.
Instead of: “At least you have your health.”
Try saying: “Thank you for sharing this. I’m here to support you.”
Example: Your friend’s pet just died.
Instead of: “At least they had a long and happy life.”
Try saying: “Thank you for sharing that. I’m here for you.”
SITUATION 4: When You’re Receiving Helpful Feedback
Why: Most feedback can be very helpful, but most of the time we don’t see it that way. The standard reaction is to get defensive. The correct response is to say “Thank You” and use the information to improve.
Example: “This work isn’t good enough. I thought you would do better.”
Instead of: “You don’t understand. Here’s what really happened.”
Try saying: “Thank you for expecting more of me.”
Example: “I bought your product last week and it already broke. I am not happy with this experience.”
Instead of: “How did you use it?” We made it very clear in our terms and conditions that the product is not designed to work in certain conditions.”
Try saying: “Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Please know we are committed to becoming better. Can you share more details about the issue?”
SITUATION 5: When Someone Gives You Unfair Criticism
Why: When someone criticizes you the best approach is to say thank you and move on. It neutralizes the power of their statements. If it’s not a big deal to you, then it can’t grow into a larger argument. Releasing the need to win every argument is a sign of maturity.
Example: “Your statement is the dumbest thing I’ve read all week.”
Instead of: “You’re an idiot. Let me tell you why…”
Try saying: “Thank you for the feedback. I still have a lot to learn.”
SITUATION 6: When Someone Gives You Unsolicited Advice
Everybody has an opinion on something. And sometimes, while they think they’re being helpful, they don’t realise that their unsolicited advice can be annoying. But there is no need for any unnecessary or defensive response — pointing out other’s flaws doesn’t remove your own. Thank people for raising your self-awareness, even if it was unsolicited.
Example: “You know, you should really keep your hips back when you do that exercise.”
Instead of: “Oh really? Do you have a video of yourself doing it so I can see it done correctly?”
Try saying: “Thank you for the help.”
SITUATION 7: When You’re Not Sure If You Should Thank Someone
When in doubt, always say “Thank you”. There is no downside.
Moral of the story? Show more gratitude. Say “Thank You” more often — it could really make a difference.
Liked this article? You might also want to check out Why You Should Get Your Gratitude On. NOW.