On the subject of Saying Thank You!
I have noticed recently how horrible I feel when somebody doesn’t show me gratitude! Since I realise there are often many things distracting us, I usually wouldn’t take it to heart, but there are times when a little word of “Thanks” is sorely missing. I know we can all have a bad day, and all of us make mistakes from time to time, but I always feel a little reflective when the end of year is approaching, and I start to think of ways to do better next year! This one is going on the list!
I am sure that there have been times when I myself have failed to say appropriate thanks and unintentionally caused offence, but I really hope not. And as a parent, of course I am in a wonderful position to learn from my realisation and develop the practice in my children.
I know for a fact that I have on occasion allowed my children to “get away” with a failure to say “Thank You.” This is awkward to admit, but the pressure on that moment is immense, and with very young, shy children, and I have tried to take the stress away from them. Trying to absorb their embarrassment!
Now that they are a little older (although still pretty young at 4 and 6), they are usually able to get the words out at the appropriate moment, and all adults within hearing distance can breathe a sigh of relief!
So what has sparked this little rant you might ask, if it wasn’t children forgetting their manners?! Well it was a conversation with a school teacher that got me thinking. After a lot of consideration, I offered to help in the class at a specific time of the week.
While my offer was met with a smile, and reply that “yes parent help is always needed” the teacher did not actually utter the words “thank you.” I came away feeling a sense that I should still be doing more to help, and did not have a rush of pleasure that you might normally experience when doing something for others.
Afterwards, I realised that it was the lack of thanks that caused me to feel so disheartened. As though, my offer was too insignificant to require any gratitude. In this instance, I completely understand that a school teacher has a great deal to cope with in the morning and I won’t hold it against her, especially as any help is obviously much needed!
It has got me thinking about people skills in general, and so I am on a mission to focus more on showing gratitude especially in this Season of Good Will!
I have started to notice that a person’s manners, or lack of in some cases, make such a big impression. I have a friend who has this wonderful ability to make people feel warm and welcomed. She smiles, and shows interest and seems put her own personal worries aside if she has any. This has inspired me to follow her example.
There are etiquettes for some things, but many modern day social situations do not come with a rule book as in the old days! It is not always straight-forward and we don’t always know the best way to handle situations. People’s opinions seem to differ hugely about what is, and isn’t, the best way to conduct group text conversations for example. But I think it is simplest to use your own gut instinct as some people do actually quite enjoy being critical of others! It is inevitable that we can’t please everyone all of the time, but at least it can’t hurt to simply remain polite!?
I think that we can easily become a little bit complacent, and it is so easy to blame our busy lives, and then send a belated message of thanks or an apology. So I am all set, to think about what I say and do a little bit more, to use my manners rather than hiding behind an excuse, and to be a little bit more like the friendly friend, after all if you smile at someone, they will almost always give you a smile back!