The Lost Art of a Thank You

Thank You Big Cookie Cake

A sincere thank you is one of the most powerful ways to make someone feel valued, recognized, and appreciated. The irony is that sharing your thanks usually takes very little time, but has an enormous impact on others. And in my opinion, it’s something of a habit to be in. The more you offer thanks, the more you’ll be aware of feeling thankful. Most of us in our busy lives have a lot of good intentions to offer our thanks to others, but get sidetracked with all the little things that fill our days. Here are some tips to help you reclaim the lost art of a thank you:

  • Make it easier by having supplies on hand, like thank you cards and stamps. I always have a couple of packages of thank you cards, one in my desk and one in my purse. I can write one out as soon as I think of it. (HINT: I try to choose cards that are more gender-neutral so I can send them to anyone.)
  • One of my favorite places to pick up thank you cards is in the dollar section of craft stores. There is always a nice variety.
  • If you don’t have a card on hand, utilize technology and send a quick text while you’re thinking of it. Even if you plan to send a hand-written note later, type a quick text and say thank you now.
  • While I prefer an actual hand-written note, apps like ThankYouPro allow you to write and send a professional thank you note from your smartphone or tablet, either by email or regular mail (for a fee). Very convenient!
  • Having a hard time knowing what to write? Check out this smart advice to get you started.
  • Another great way to offer thanks is with a phone call. Thinking about the great party your friend threw last weekend? Pick up the phone and call to tell her. Mention some of the details you noticed. She’ll appreciate it, I promise.
  • If a service professional goes the extra mile for you, an email or phone call to his or her superior could make a big impact.
  • For birthday parties, showers, weddings, and other occasions that garner a lot of gifts, be sure to keep a good record. If you are the guest of honor, ask a trusted friend to take detailed notes so that nothing is forgotten. Don’t rely on your memory on such occasions; there’s too much going on!
  • Get your kids in the habit of thanking others. Coach them as they write their own notes to thank teachers, friends, or family. If they are writing several, help them come up with a template to keep from getting overwhelmed.
  • When a thank you gift is in order, when someone has really gone above and beyond, take time to think about what they might truly enjoy. Some of my favorite thank you gifts are movie tickets (easy to tuck into a card), fresh flowers, and, of course, a little box of cookies (my favorite).

One last thing—it’s never too late to send your thanks. There is no statute of limitations, so if you’re feeling embarrassed that you forgot to send a card thanking Grandma for the thoughtful Christmas gift five months ago, do something about it! Write a card now and you’ll both end up feeling great!

Do you have any other tips? Share them in the comments section. Oh, and thanks!

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