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.