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Just say Thank you-and stop there

Updated on October 15, 2015

Just say Thank you!

Such a simple concept, just say "thank you", so you’d think we’d all be good at it but it turns out we aren’t. It’s not that we don’t express gratitude or even say the words “thank you”, it’s the qualifiers that we add next. I used to think it was a woman thing, but I’ve seen men guilty of it too.

It happens when you work to avoid a compliment. There are different levels of this sickness. Yes, it is a sickness and it requires work to get well from it!

Are you guilty? The last time someone told you that piece of clothing was nice did you say “Thank you” or did you explain that you got it on sale or where you bought it or who gave it to you?

What about that new pair of shoes that you DIDN"T NEED but bought anyway? Someone says- those are so cute! No need to spoil the moment by sharing those negative feelings of guilt, or whatever it is that drives your need to qualify. Perhaps it is something more basic like your hair or eyes or just how great you look today. Why not just say Thank you. The person dishing out the compliment deserves the positive feedback as much as you deserved the compliment.

"Your children are so well behaved!" - resist the urge to say "really...are you talking to ME?" or, "Thanks, we're working on it." The worse offenses are when the compliment is on your children, friend, co-worker or employee and you qualify it when it’s said to you. Don’t rob your others of the compliment, by qualifying it. If you do your teaching them to do the same, your teaching them their behavior wasn’t quite worthy of the compliment. You’re teaching the person providing the compliment that it’s not worthwhile to provide them to you.

"Oh it was nothing" or I needed the exercise anyway" - Even when someone else is thanking us for helping them some will qualify and avoid the thanks. . A simple, “well Thank you for letting me” or “I was glad to help” will do wonders for you both.

Need to know why you do this? Some believe we do this as a result of being taught not to show off, or to fulfill a need to be a modest and humble person, some believe it is a lack of confidence. Whatever it is…it’s not adding anything positive to the mix-so don’t do it.

A Challenge for you! Plan your change, spend this week actively saying “THANK YOU”, say it with delight and joy of receiving the compliment and STOP there. It might be hard to do the first time, but you’ll be surprised at what it does for you, your confidence and for the person providing the compliment. If you’re a parent, work harder at doing it so your children will learn to just say Thank you too.


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