You know that warm and fuzzy feeling you get inside when someone sincerely thanks you for something you’ve done for them? You aren’t the only one who feels that way. Imagine how amazing it would feel to know you’ve given someone else that warm and fuzzy feeling because you’ve thanked them. As humans we appreciate being appreciated. Saying 'thank you' openly and honestly can not only make you a happier person, it can make you a healthier and more energetic person. So the next time someone does something for you — big or small — take a moment to thank them.
Method One of Four:
Thanking Made EasyEdit
1Smile and make eye contact. If you’re saying 'thank you' in person, remember to smile and make eye contact with the person whom you’re thanking. These small gestures add a massive amount of sincerity to the 'thank you.'
2Keep it simple. Showing your gratitude to someone else is awesome. Gushing over them and falling all over yourself to say 'thank you' is overdoing it, and could end up embarrassing the person you’re trying to thank. Keep your gratitude simple, to the point and pleasant.
3Be sincere in your thanks. You should be thanking someone because you honestly and sincerely are grateful for something they did. You shouldn’t be thanking someone because you were told to do it, or because you felt it was somehow required. Insincere gratitude is obvious and unappreciated.
- This is especially important for those who work in a retail environment where they may feel obligated to thank customers on a regular basis. If you aren’t actually sincere about the thanks, the customer can tell. Even if it’s your job to thank a customer, you can still make it sincere.
4Write a thank you note or card. There are certain situations that require more than just an in-person ‘thank you,’ such as being treated to dinner, being giving a present, etc. When these situations occur, a written ‘thank you’ is vital. Whomever treated you to this extra-special kindness deserves the same in return, and writing a 'thank you' note or card is the best way to show how much you really do appreciate what they did.
- If you decide to use a card, blank ones work best in these situations. Blank cards allow you to write a brief, but custom, note inside.
- Whatever form your ‘thank you’ note takes, it should specifically mention the reason you’re saying ‘thank you.’
- While emails can obviously be personalized, avoid sending an email in these situations. Emails just aren’t as sincere and well-meaning as an actual note or card.
5Avoid delegation. Do not ask someone else to send someone a ‘thank you’ on your behalf, do it yourself. It isn’t a sincere ‘thank you’ if it isn’t coming from you directly.
- If you’re a really busy person who doesn’t have a lot of extra time, have some custom ‘thank you’ cards made for you and keep them handy. Or buy several boxes of blank cards to keep in your desk.
Method Two of Four:
Planning Your ThanksEdit
1Use a ‘thank you’ template. If you’re struggling with exactly how to say ‘thank you’ to someone, or what to say in a ‘thank you’ card, try using the who, what and when template.
2Make a list of who you need to thank. Start the ‘thank you’ process by making a list of everyone you need to send a ‘thank you’ card to. For example, if it was your birthday and you received several gifts, write a list of everyone you received a gift from (and what they gave you). This list should also include the names of anyone who helped you plan an event (e.g. birthday party).
3Write out what you’re thankful for. There are six basic parts to any personal ‘thank you’ note — the greeting, the expression of thanks, the details, the next time, the restatement, and the regards.
- The Greeting is simple. Start the ‘thank you’ note with the names of the people you are thanking. If it’s a formal ‘thank you’ note, greet them formally (e.g. Dear Mr. Smith), if it’s family or a close friend, greet them informally (e.g. Hey Mom).
- The Expression of Thanks is where you thank whomever for whatever they did. The easiest thing to do is start this part with the words ‘thank you.’ But you can be more creative if you wish (e.g. It made my day when I opened my birthday gift from you).
- The Details is where you get specific. Adding specific details about why you’re thanking the person makes the note much more sincere and personal. You might want to mention the specific gift you received, or what you spent gift money on, etc.
- The Next Time is where you mention something about the next time you’ll see or speak to this person. For example, if you’re sending a ‘thank you’ note to your grandparents and you’re going to see them shortly at Christmas, mention that.
- The Restatement is where you wrap up your ‘thank you’ note with another message of thanks. You can write another sentence (e.g. Thank you again for your generosity, I’m so very much looking forward to college and this money is going to help significantly) or you can simply say ‘thank you’ one more time.
- The Regards is similar to the greeting except this time you’re signing your name. Depending on who the thanks is for you may want to be more formal (e.g. Sincerely) or less formal (e.g. With love).
4Plan when you send your thanks. You should send most ‘thank you’ cards and notes within a month of the event, but sending them sooner is definitely better. If you fall behind you can always start your ‘thank you’ note with an apology for taking longer than anticipated.
- If you’re sending ’thank you’ cards for a large event with lots of attendees, plan to spend a certain amount of time every day writing ’thank you’ notes until they’re all done.
Method Three of Four:
Perfecting Your MannersEdit
1Be aware of ‘thank you’ etiquette. Different occasions and events call for different types of ‘thank you’ etiquette. While there’s no rule that says you must follow these guidelines, they have become tradition. It is typical to send a ‘thank you’ note or card for the following reasons:
- Receiving any type of gift, including money. The gift may be for your birthday, anniversary, graduation, house warming, holiday, etc.
- Attending a dinner party or special occasion (i.e. Thanksgiving) at someone else’s house.
2Send wedding ‘thank you’ cards within 3 months. It is customary to send a handwritten 'thank you' card to anyone who has done one of the following things for your wedding. It is also customary to send the card within 3 months of the event, although it is much easier to keep yourself up-to-date if you send cards when you receive gifts instead of waiting until after the wedding is over.
- Someone who has sent you a gift for your engagement, wedding shower or wedding, including money.
- Someone who was a member of your wedding party (e.g. bridesmaid, maid of honour, flower girl, etc.).
- Someone who hosted a party of some kind in your honour (e.g. wedding shower, engagement party, etc.).
- Someone who helped you plan or execute your wedding, including the vendors and suppliers who made your wedding a success (e.g. baker, flower arranger, decorator, chef, etc.).
- Anyone who went out of their way to help you while you were preparing and planning your wedding (e.g. the neighbour who mowed your lawn, etc.).
3Write a ‘thank you’ note for an interview immediately. If you have been interviewed for a job, internship, or volunteer position, you should send a ‘thank you’ note or card to the interviewer as soon as possible after the interview is finished.
- Make sure you personalize the card or note to be specific about the job for which you were interviewed, and even mention something specific from the interview.
- Ensure that you’ve spelled everyone’s name properly. There would be nothing worse than sending a ‘thank you’ note after an interview and spelling the interviewer’s name wrong.
- Use formal greetings in your ‘thank you’ note unless the interviewer introduced themselves by their first name and insisted you call them that.
- In the case of interview ‘thank you’ notes, it is not uncommon to send a personal email rather than an actual card or letter. Logistically this might be the better option if physically getting a card or a note to the interviewer is difficult or might take too long.
4Create a personal ‘thank you’ to the donors of a bursary, grant or scholarship. Receiving any type of financial assistance in university or college is awesome. Many of the scholarships and bursaries provided to students come from donations. Whether donated from an individual, family, estate or organization, sending a ‘thank you’ note for providing you with the funds is a great way to show your appreciation.
- If the scholarship or bursary was awarded via your school, the department who choose the recipients should be able to assist you in obtaining a mailing address for where to send the ‘thank you’ note.
- Since these are not people you know personally, keep the ‘thank you’ letter formal and elegant, rather than casual.
- Before sending the letter make sure you check (and double-check) that there are no spelling or grammar errors. You may even want someone else to read it over for you in case you’ve missed something.
- ‘Thank you’ notes like this are best sent via formal business letter on nice paper, as opposed to a handwritten note or card.
Method Four of Four:
1Understand what gratitude is. Gratitude is a little different from a simple ‘thank you.’ Gratitude is about being thankful and polite, but it’s also about being courteous, generous, and appreciative. It’s about being concerned for people other than yourself. Expressing our gratitude towards others can help influence a situation positively and even change the behaviour of others.
2Write in a gratitude journal. The first step to expressing gratitude towards others is being able to understand what you are truly grateful for. Writing down the things you’re grateful for in a journal is a great way to help yourself understand how you feel about yourself and others. Writing in the journal can take as little as a few minutes a day to list the 3 things you’re grateful about at that moment.
- You can use the idea of a gratitude journal to help kids develop a better understanding of gratitude and being grateful. Help them write 3 things they’re grateful for every night before bed. If they’re too young to write, have them draw a picture of the things they’re grateful for.
3Express gratitude at least 5 times a day. Challenge yourself to express some form of gratitude 5 times every day. Your gratitude should be expressed towards everyone, not just your family members and close friends. If you think about it, there are a lot of people who help you out every day that probably almost never hear words of gratitude, like bus drivers, receptionists, telemarketers, people who hold the door open, people who give up their seat on the bus, cleaners, etc.
- When expressing this gratitude, remember to use the person’s name (if you know it), what you’re grateful for and why you’re grateful for it. For example, “Thanks for holding the elevator Sue, I was concerned I’d be late for my meeting, now I’m going to be right on time!"
- If there’s a practical reason why you can’t express your gratitude in person, express it in your head or write it down.
4Looks for new ways to show your gratitude. Gratitude doesn’t only have to be shown the typical way (e.g. saying thank you), it can be much more. Every now and again look for a new way to express your gratitude for someone by doing something you haven’t done before, or haven’t done in a long time.
- For example: making dinner one night when you notice your partner is exhausted; taking care of your kids one night so your partner can go out with friends; volunteering to be the designated driver; offering to host the family Christmas party one year, etc.
5Teach your children to be grateful. You probably have memories of your mom or dad reminding your to tell someone ‘thank you’ when they gave you a treat or a candy when you were little. Being thankful or grateful isn’t always the first thing on a kid’s mind, but it’s important for them to learn. The following four step method can work great to teach your kids about gratitude:
- Tell you kids about gratitude, what it means and why it’s important. Use your own words and give examples.
- Demonstrate your gratitude skills for your kids. You can do this as an exercise or in ‘real life.’
- Help your kids practice giving gratitude to someone else. If you have more than one kid, have them each give examples and provide feedback to each other.
- Don’t stop encouraging your kids to be grateful. Give them positive reinforcement when they’ve done a good job.
6Avoid showing gratitude only to those who are nice to you. As hard as it may be to do, you need to also show gratitude towards people who might upset you or drive you a little crazy. Remember to be patient when doing this, and avoid sounding like you’re being sarcastic.
- People who drive you up the wall might have completely different perspectives on some things. While you may not agree or like those perspectives, they’re still valid opinions. Be grateful for the fact that they’ve shared these opinions with you and you’ve learned to look at a situation from a different perspective.
- Even if these people drive you crazy, there’s probably still something about them that you admire. They may be annoying, but maybe they’re always punctual or really organized. Focus on these positive aspects when talking to these people.
- Consider the fact that dealing with this annoying person is actually teaching you some new skills. Be grateful that you’re learning to be patient and calm in frustrating situations.
7Recognize that gratitude comes with benefits. Being grateful and being able to express gratitude can really have an amazing effect on you and those around you. Gratitude is linked to happiness — those who are happier tend to be more grateful. Having someone be grateful towards you can make you feel great. Thinking about what you’re grateful for helps you focus on the positive things in your life, not the negative.
- Spending time writing down what you’re grateful for right before bed can help you sleep better. Not only do you spend the last few moments before you go to sleep thinking about positive things, but you’re able to get your thoughts out of your head and down on paper.
- Being grateful tends to make you more empathetic. This may be because grateful people focus on positive emotions instead of negative ones, so they don’t get as upset when someone is mean to them.
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MB"I've written many thank you notes over the years, and taught my child to do the same. Yet I still always seemed to be stumped about what to say, because each and every one is unique and personal to me. However, this article helped me to break it down better."..." more
A"Opening and closing of thank you to different people, be sure to mention the reason you are thanking the person or group of people."..." more
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