Well, once again the calendar has turned page and “tis the season”, or so we all say. Although, when I step back and look at people’s behaviors and actions lately, I often wonder, tis the season for what? That is probably my cynical side, possibly in overdrive since it’s been rainy and gray this past week. With Thanksgiving behind us and outdoor activities curtailed due to the weather, I’ve been thinking more lately about how we use “thanks” and “thank you”. Growing up, we all learned the polite words, “please, sorry and thank you” as basic curtesy when we wanted or received something or made a mistake. And who hasn’t heard a disappointed parent ask their child “Did you say thank you?”, when the child forgot in their excitement for whatever treat they received?
I wonder if our parents did too good of a job instilling these automatic responses into our daily interactions. How often do we sign off on an email with “thanks” when we asked for and received nothing? What exactly are we thanking them for? How crazy is that? And have you noticed we do the same in conversations? Even if we did ask for or receive something, we say “thanks”, but do we really mean it and are we truly appreciative? Or are we simply saying what we were taught to, without emotion or thought behind it?
Lately, I’ve found myself using the word more thoughtfully, stating what I am thankful for simply to convey that I am truly appreciative and not just saying thanks as a throwaway comment. Thanking someone should be a show of gratitude with meaning behind it. Studies have shown that showing and receiving gratitude benefits both parties. Often, a simple and heartfelt show of gratitude can really make someone’s day. Conversely, failure to convey gratitude to someone who made the extra effort or helped you can negatively affect a relationship quickly. So, what is the balance between the automatic “thanks” and one that truly shows appreciation? I think its thoughtfulness with how we use the term, and how we chose to build on it to tell someone what we are thanking them for.
So, in the holiday spirit, I would like to thank you all for supporting J2 and for faithfully and patiently “listening” to my weekly ramblings. We would not be anything without our team members, customers, colleagues and supporters.
“Say thank you. Say it often, and say it with meaning.” – Marne Levine