Friday, February 25, 2011

Thanks. A Lot.

I have a question. When’s the last time someone did something nice for you, and how did you show your thanks?

I’m not talking about when someone—ya know—gives you a Valentine, or tells you your purple hair looks cool (although, these things should also be appreciated). No. What I mean is, has someone gone above and beyond, out of their way, bent over backward (and a zillion other clichéd phrases) to do something you may or may not have recognized as a service at the time? And did you recognize it as a service or did you pass it over as being something that person owed to you? An opportunity for them to grow (a process you yourself facilitated)?

Or did you thank them? And if you did, was it sincere or did it have a qualifier attached?

Here’s an example: “Thank you so much for canceling your weekend plans to help me move, but I wish you hadn’t handled that box so roughly—it’s your fault my vase was broken.”

Or this: “Thanks for staying behind and watching my kids while I did something fun, but I wish you hadn’t fed them cotton candy and bubble gum for dinner.”

One more: “Thank you for the considerable amount of trouble you went through to be here for me, but I wish someone else had come instead—they would have done things differently.”

In situations that don’t turn out the way we hoped, is it possible to just be grateful for the people who show up for us?

In my experience, people don’t usually do nice things so others will thank them, but maybe that’s a good reason why we should. And if I’m going to offer my thanks to someone, I hope I’m smart enough to keep any and all “buts” to myself. Because really, a thank you with a but attached, isn’t really thanks at all. Is it?

Do you agree? Disagree? Think I’m nuts? Sick of me publicly spilling my guts about everything that comes to mind? Feel free to say so in your comments.

11 comments:

Christine Fonseca said...

I like your authenticity - so don't change. Ad yes, I thank people all the time - no qualifiers attached :D But I am specific with my praise (being a psych, I know it means more that way ;) )

WindyA said...

I once read a poem about how we treat strangers better than we treat those we know and love. How we say excuse me when we bump into a stranger, but when it's someone dear to us, we just tell them to move. That sort of thing. That being said, I think your post is a great reminder that we need to appreciate who we have in our lives, no strings attached. Being a part of someone's life is a choice and they think you're important enough to choose, so people should be thankful. Period.

Carolyn V said...

I'm learning to be grateful for things (people) even when things don't go the way I would like. =)

Shari said...

As Dr. Phil says, whenever you say but you are cancelling out anything you said previously. So, in other words you didn't really mean thank you. You meant, I wish someone else would have come.

Angie said...

No. I don't like thank yous with a but on the end. (That sounds weird.) Better to just be grateful.

Lindsay N. Currie said...

LOL "spilling my guts". I just stumbled across your blog as I was making my blog rounds and I like your voice and the fact that you're putting something so genuine out for discussion. New follower:)

Jemi Fraser said...

Don't change!!!

I don't think we take the time to thank everyone as often and as sincerely as we should. It means so much too. Thanks for the reminder.

Chantele Sedgwick said...

I remember when I had left my kids with a relative while I went to my grandma's funeral a few years ago. When I got back, I thanked said person and they said "Oh, your welcome. But your kids did this, this, this, and this wrong today. But they were okay I guess."
Nice.
Anyhoo. I think it's very important to thank people and mean it. And when someone does thank you, say your welcome and keep your mouth shut! LOL :)
Thanks for the post! Don't change! I like your guy spilling! :)

Rachelle said...

Good question. Today my hubby led the 4-ring circus so I could have an afternoon nap. I was so thankful I wanted to cry when he woke me up a full 2 hours later. Definitely thankful with no strings attached! :)

Alice said...

I agree, we need to say thank you more often and more sincerely. And Chantelle's comment brings up the point that when others do say thank you to us, we need to accept it graciously, and not tack our own "buts" on!

L.T. Elliot said...

I try to say thank you often. I also try to avoid the "but" in I'm sorry. (I'm sorry but...) <--Very bad.