Why It’s Good to Say Thank You

I can’t think of a better sound than the word “Thank You.” “Please” would be a close second.

They’re two words that I am realizing I don’t use enough, as we are trying to teach my 4-year-old daughter manners.

As much as I had a complicated relationship with my parents, I think they did a good job of teaching me to be polite and I would like to pass that down to my kid.

Recently, Lauren and I have been discussing how to help Betsy say “thank you” when she gets a compliment or a gift, and lately she seemed to be getting plenty of both.

I’m really good about saying thank you to people when they give me a gift, but when they say something nice or give me a compliment, it’s really hard for me to say it. I usually get uncomfortable with the positive attention and try to swat it away like a fly.

Sometimes I will respond with a self-deprecating remark that seems more like a put-down to myself, especially coming after such a juicy compliment.

I’ve been taught over the years that the best way to take a compliment is so say thank you and then shut the fuck up and feel the feelings that follow. The shame, the embarrassment.

I recently heard a very wise woman say that giving compliments is like giving someone a gift, and when we don’t accept the compliment graciously, we are not accepting their the gift. And when we respond from a place of low self-esteem, which is what that is, we are ripping the person off and not letting them experience the joy of giving the compliment.

I know it maybe surprise you, but I like to give, and the best part for me is the thank you. It feels like it comes full circle. And I know how I feel when I don’t get a thank you. It’s as if the gift has not been acknowledged. I know some spiritual people will say that giving is not about being thanked, but I am not there yet.

But there are other benefits of saying thank you, too, that I didn’t even realize until I read Ken Honda’s book, Happy Money: The Japanese Art of Making Peace with Your Money.

In it, Honda says, “When we say ‘thank you’ we release powerful energy into the world. We are instantly present. We realize everything we have is enough. We are enough. We have all that we need. Knowing this and feeling this is the most powerful force in the universe. You can literally achieve anything when you ground yourself in appreciation and gratitude.”

When I read this I was inspired to say thank you even more, because you know that I am all about the cash and prizes. Betsy is too young to understand this, but maybe I can start to teach her that saying thank you is not only nice buy it also makes you feel good, too. And if she can learn this, so can I.

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