A few times at work last week I caught myself responding to Thank-Yous with "no worries" or "of course". I am not sure what made me catch myself and start noticing a pattern, but once I did I couldn't help but notice this wasn't a very grateful way to respond.
I have been trying so hard to be grateful and appreciative that I have been dismissing other people's gratitude! Accepting gratitude is not always easy because we assume that if we are being thanked for something that is just part of our jobs, that a thank you is unnecessary. But let me tell you, a thank you is never unnecessary.
And once I started thinking about how I responded to gratitude, it was as if the universe were thinking about it too. In one day I saw two articles/posts on LinkedIn about the response to a thank you. How synchronous (look it up, its a fabulous word)!
The first was an article called "Why You Shouldn't Say 'You're Welcome'". The second was a post by my friend and inspiration when it comes to inspiration, Stephen (you may remember him from this post) that said "Nothing quite feels better than those relationships where the only natural response to 'Thank you!' is, 'No, thank you!'".
The first article talked about how you're welcome has become such a reflex response and how there are better responses that imply expected reciprocity and are about doing favours for one another. Well, Adam Grant, I respectfully disagree. I don't think gratitude is about reciprocity. I think too much of life is about reciprocity but I think gratitude is the opposite. Saying "Thank You" can be an admission that you needed help, or just simply an acknowledgement of another person's kindness, talent, or dedication. It is simple and it is pure, and I think saying "You're Welcome" is a fantastic response.
Which leads me to Stephen's post. I had an old office manager that I used to drive crazy by responding to her thank yous with "no, thank you". But Stephen put this in an entirely different light for me. While I would say it jokingly to my office manager, if there is one thing this reflection on my response to thank yous has taught me it is that I really want to thank the person for thanking me. Thank them for acknowledging me, thank them for appreciating me, and thank them for taking the time out of their day to realize that life is full of reasons and people to be thankful for!
While writing this post I realized that today someone said thank you and instead of the usual response, I answered "My Pleasure!" And it really was. I really was pleased to be able to help, and to be able to cause someone else to be grateful.
So my challenge to you this week is to think about how you respond to thank yous. I think you will find that thinking about your response will make you more grateful and make you notice more thank yous too.