Insights: When not to say “Thank you” Part 1

This is Part 1 of 2 parts. Part 2 will be posted tomorrow.

If there was anything my mother taught me well was to say “thank you.” She called them “Ps and Qs,” which of course stood for “Please and Thank you (ThanQue!).”  I checked out an etiquette site for reasons why you should say thank you, which seems to cover every reason I could ever think of:

It is important to say thank you because:

  • We recognize that someone had a choice – they didn’t have to send us a gift. We are not entitled to a gift.
  • Saying thank you acknowledges our dependence on others. No man is an island.
  • We should appreciate the act of giving and the time it took to think of the gift, buy it and wrap it.
  • It is important to recognize the time it took, especially because we are a time deprived society.
  • We acknowledge our relationship with the giver. It’s a simple sign of respect.
  • If we do not express gratitude, our relationship might change because we show we don’t care about the other person.
  • People give gifts because they are looking for recognition, respect and affection.
  • If we are not thanked, we worry our gift was meaningless. By demeaning the gift, we demean the giver.
  • By undermining the code of conduct, we belittle the worth of others. What we are saying is: I don’t have to thank you because you mean nothing to me.
  • It is contagious. If you do something nice for someone, they will do something nice for someone else.
  • If we start chipping away at gratitude and common courtesy, life becomes very unpleasant.

My point of including this list is not to teach you to say thank you, but to note when not to say thank you. Note especially bullet #2 and #5. Bullet #2 states that saying thank you shows dependency on the person and #5 shows it is a sign of respect. In many cases these are good reasons to say thank you! In fact, that is normal for most peer situation or for one under authority like a child to a parent, but what about the reverse?

Jesus gave an interesting account in the book of Luke,

[The passage and the rest of the article will be posted tomorrow!]

1 accessed on November 17, 2014.


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