Since I was a young girl my parents always emphasized the importance of writing thank you notes. As a little girl it was something I did because I was told to, but as I got older I understood the positive effects of showing gratitude. It is very easy to make assumptions that someone knows you are grateful or appreciate their contribution, gift, kind gesture, or additional hard work. Everyone becomes so caught up in the busy world, in media, TV, stresses, gossip, work or projects, and just the ongoing struggle of limited time and resources, that they overlook this simple yet mighty gesture. In my opinion, “thank you” might be two small words but their impact is greater than we can measure. What can’t be forgotten is how much easier and enjoyable life is with good deeds and hard work, and the role that showing appreciation and gratitude plays in people continuing to work together as teams and the importance of continued acts of kindness for the livelihood of the human spirit.
Thank you’s are an important piece for continuing to build relationships and for connecting with others. I read a great quote this morning, “the happiest relationships are built not just on trust and love but on politeness, mutual courtesy, and gratitude.” LOVE IT! I wish we could hand this quote out on cards everywhere we go. Can you imagine how much more enjoyable life would be if everyone showed this type of courtesy and gratitude? I don’t know about you but I would be much more inclined to give of myself, even to people I don’t care for that much, if people shared their appreciation with me.
To elaborate more on the importance of a thank you I’ll share a short story. I helped host an all girl’s bullying prevention event (Finding Kind, I encourage you to check it out) the past two years and an interesting tool was taught to combat bullying among school aged kids-writing thank you notes. That’s an “ahah” moment isn’t it. Teaching the importance of thank you notes and showing appreciation as a way to connect with others, showing value and worth, and hopefully, creating relationships built on understanding to prevent violence. As someone who writes thank you’s regularly, I have to admit there is a small selfishness that comes with the act because of how good I feel communicating to someone what difference they have made in my life, and sharing positivity. I think that using this communication as a way to bring people together, and combat misunderstandings and potential bullying, is a paradigm shift for our society to consider. In case you need more reasons to start communicating thanks more, please see below for a list of 10 reasons a thank you note is important. I challenge you to write one thank you note a week to a classmate, coworker, peer, family friend, family member or significant other, and see what change it brings to your life.
Why “thank you’s” are important:
1. appreciation is a big motivator in relationships
2. can change someone’s day and becomes a ripple effect
3. people like to help others who value them (thanking someone communicates this)
4. it is contagious!
5. if we don’t thank someone for something above and beyond that they have done, they might not do something special again because they didn’t feel valued
6. you never know how someone is feeling, a “thank you” could be the one small act that makes their day better
7. a “thank you” is a connector and brings people together
8. it feels good to express thanks
9. it can clear up any misunderstandings
10. showing sincere appreciation has lasting effects