The Lost Art of "Thank You"

Modern Manners Guys discusses the importance of remembering to say "Thank you."

Richie Frieman
2-minute read


Whatever happened to saying, "Thank you"?

Yes, as a manners expert, these two little words are a big deal in my world, so I'm always frustrated when people forget to use them. In fact, you don't even have to say it to me in English! Mix it up. I don't care what language it's in; English, French, Spanish, Teenager...just be sure you do.

Now, I'm not trying to be a stick in the mud and insisting that you have to say "Thank you" for every little action of kindness but...well...wait, never mind I am saying exactly that! Saying "Thank you" is the fundamental basis for manners and etiquette and anything short of that shows that you don't care for someone else's generosity or time. They didn't have to hold that elevator door, but they did. They didn't have to pick up that pen you dropped, but they did. They didn’t have to share their snacks with you, but they did. Anything less than a sincere "Thank You" is simply rude. 

Take this morning, I said "Bless you" to a colleague who sneezed in the office next to mine. I heard her and she could surely hear me. I'm not a religious person and am certainly wasn’t really blessing her, but in American culture it's proper to say “Bless you” or “Gazoontite” when someone sneezes. And as well, it's proper to say "Thank you" in return. But did she? No, she did not.  And I tell you, I could not stop thinking about it all morning. Or when I held the door open for someone today at Starbucks and they didn't say "Thank you." Why? How hard is that? Not even a half grin or a head nod. Nada. Nothing. Which led to this tip.

Don’t get me wrong, my life will go on if you don't say "Thank you" to me. But common courtesy is a part of our everyday existence and if we let "Thank you" go by the wayside, we'll turn into an episode of Jersey Shore with our morals going down the drain sooner than Snookie’s career. Plus as a parent, it sets a bad example for your kids. My kids always say "Thank you" even when it can sometimes come out as a whine, and I have to remind them to do it. It's even funnier when they call adults out on forgetting to say "Thank you."

"Daddy, that man didn't say 'Thank You'!" I love that! Even if I get a bad look from the impolite stranger. Fine by me.

Manners Family: 1
Random Rude Stranger: 0

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