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The importance of saying thank you

thank you card
(Source: Tribune News Service)

Remember when your mother wouldn’t let you have something until you said the magic words “please” and “thank you”? Turns out, those magic words still hold power today.

Sometimes we get so caught up in our lives and trying to get what we want that we forget to appreciate the people who helped us along the way. Saying thank you still has magical qualities. There can be remarkable outcomes when you tell another person that you appreciate their effort, gift, work or time.

Whether it’s personal or professional, expressing gratitude is important. Whenever someone gives you their undivided attention or does something for your benefit, they should be thanked. In doing so, you are showing them a small courtesy by recognizing their efforts.

People like to feel appreciated. Positive responses help people to feel recognized and valued. If you show someone you are aware and grateful of their efforts they are far more likely to help you again.

There are simple things to recognize people for, like when someone holds open a door or lets you into a line of traffic. Then there are more involved things to be thankful for, like a job interview or a letter of recommendation. Regardless of the complexity, all of these situations merit a thank you.

A thank you should be sincere. If you really think about what you are grateful for, your thanks are more likely to be received as genuine and heartfelt. Your show of appreciation should also be timely. Relaying your gratitude in a quick and timely manner will give greater sincerity to your words. However, the old saying “better late than never” definitely applies to displays of thankfulness.

If it is for something simple, it takes only a moment to show your gratitude. Pause what you are doing, look the person in the eye and tell them what you are thanking them for.

If you are saying thanks for something more large scale, a bit more effort should be put in. Your first choice should be a handwritten note because it is more personal. If that’s not possible, an email or a phone call is a good alternative. Whatever platform you use, your message should be specific and define exactly what you are grateful for.

It’s deceptively simple, but saying thank you helps you retain good relationships and connections. Mom was right. That truly is magical.

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