What You’re Really Saying When You Say Thank You
Saying thank you is an extremely important part of culture in America, as well as culture in most other parts of the world. Those who fail to express gratitude are often viewed as rude, inconsiderate, or ungrateful. And while thanks should often be given, it is important to think about what saying ‘thank you’ really means to you.
The History of Thank You
‘Thank’ derives from the word ‘think’, implying that a person who says thank you is stating that they will think about what has been done for them and remember it. In other languages, the message is much clearer: merci means merci, and obrigado means obliged; in these languages, debt when giving thanks is implied.
When you say thank you to someone today, you are probably not saying that you think that you are in their debt, or that they have power over you as a result of the thing they did. While taking this approach to thanks in every situation would be excessive, start thinking more about what others do for you and how that affects your life. Also begin thinking about what you can do to give back to these people.
How do your words affect you and others?
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