How Do You Express Gratitude?

Today is Thanksgiving Day in the U.S., so don’t expect a lengthy post. Nevertheless, wherever you are, if you’re reading this post, I thought today would be a good day to pose the question in the subject line: How do you express gratitude?

The most common question Thanksgiving-related posts ask is “What are you thankful for?” I thought I’d take another approach, so I hope you’ll indulge me for a couple paragraphs.

Being thankful for something or someone is one thing; expressing it is another. I ask about expressing gratitude because all too frequently I encounter people who cannot manage a simple “thank you” when someone helps them out or does them a favor. On rare occasions, I’ve even encountered individuals who almost grit their teeth when someone does them a good turn, as if they’re unhappy to acknowledge the good deed or to be indebted somehow. Mind you, my time with Disney (and very manner-conscious parents) probably drilled politeness into my head a little more than was strictly necessary, but it still taught me the value of recognizing and appreciating when someone helps me.

So when someone helps you get through a sudden rush job–even if they’re busy or not exactly in their job description–or someone provides you with the opportunity to go to an event you like, do you take that behavior as a given? (Hint: you shouldn’t.) Or do you recognize that the other person didn’t have to do you that good turn and take the time to say “Thank you?” It’s a good habit.

Happy Thanksgiving, all!

About Bart Leahy

Freelance Technical Writer, Science Cheerleader Event & Membership Director, and an all-around nice guy. Here to help.
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1 Response to How Do You Express Gratitude?

  1. Pingback: It’s That Time Again… | Heroic Technical Writing: Advice and Insights on the Business of Technical Communication

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