Why do we say thank you?

We say ‘thank you’ to show gratitude, appreciation and to acknowledge what the other person did.

Thank you is a common phrase that is used practically everyday by people, or rather should be used everyday. The primary reason for saying thank you is to express gratitude. This could be for a variety of reasons, such as when someone has done you a favor, has gotten something for you, held the door open for you, given you a gift, done something for you, helped you in some manner, etc. Even if it was the other person’s job or responsibility, it is still good to thank them for what they did, no matter how small or insignificant.

The root cause for saying something is basically for the same one reason: everyone likes to be appreciated. Imagine if you did something for someone, even if it was as trivial as fetching something for your parent or sibling, will you be more likely to do that again if you are appreciated for you efforts or when nobody acknowledges what you did, just because you should have done it in the first place?

We say ‘thank you’ to acknowledge what the other person did, to show our gratitude, to appreciate their efforts; saying ‘thank you’ is a simple sign of respect. By not saying ‘thank you’ we are basically implying that your time and effort are not worth it, or that what you did was meaningless, or obligatory, or that you should do this for me. By not saying thank you, we are belittling them, their worth, and their efforts; all for two small words.

Some people think that saying thank you is a matter of pride, that by saying thank you they are saying that you are better than me, or that you did me a favor. However, that is not the case, saying thank you is just good manners. It is just a way of acknowledging what the other person did and thanking them for their effort.

Many people also see saying thank you as a remnant of our past generation, claiming that there is no time in our fast paced lives for saying thank you, however, the act of actually saying ‘thank you’ takes only a second, or two at most. At one time, people used to write thank you letters, thank you notes, call people to say thank you, and what not, which actually took time and effort to do. However, just saying thank you to someone, or at most firing off a text thanking someone takes not more than a couple of seconds, which anyone can easily do.

‘Thank you’ are two little words that have so much context and can actually make someone’s day. They have so much implication. They show appreciation, gratitude, and are just a way to show someone that they matter and are not taken for granted. Imagine a person standing all day at a counter, counting change, packing or bagging things. Sure, it is their job, but wouldn’t it be nice if once in a while somebody appreciated what they did, after all they do allow people to get their daily necessary items, such as grocery. So, if someone said thank you and noticed the amount of work and effort they put in to do their job, would it make their day; wouldn’t it make them realize that they didn’t waste their hours and perhaps their life at a thankless job; and wouldn’t it make them want to work harder, all for two little words that take not one second to say.

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