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Saying Thank You can be hard. It doesn’t have to be. Here are five easy ways to say Thank You.
Call this my post-Thanksgiving reflection on being thankful. Typically, I make a list all November long of all the little blessings in my life. This time, I think there are lots of people that could use a reminder of what gratefulness looks like in their relationships.
We have a village that helps make us who we are and taking a little extra time to show our appreciation can help improve our relationships and ourselves. Saying Thank You never hurt anyone.
My grandma is a classic woman. Raised during the Depression, she has very specific ideas about the way the world should be and what behaviors are deemed polite. A respectable woman would never have brightly colored hair or tattoos. I’m sorry Grandma, I guess I ‘m just not that kind of respectable.
However, some of those ingrained polite philosophies are not lost on me. She sends me Thank You notes for everything. I received a personalized Thank You note for her April birthday gift. I received another thanking me for her Mother’s Day flowers. She sent me Thank You notes for gifts I didn’t give a second thought about after I sent them to her. I love her and care for her and certainly do not require a Thank You note. Every time I receive one though, I think about her upbringing and how meaningful it is that she sends that extra Thank You.
These days, Thank You notes are really only routinely sent out for big events or big gifts. Weddings get the most attention when it comes to Thank You notes. But then, weddings are a big event and usually include big gifts.
When my son, (LCRex), turned eight a few months ago, I helped him write his own Thank You notes to show appreciation for his party guests and the gifts he received. It didn’t take long to do but I think it was an important lesson to share with him about gratitude.
Thank You notes, especially for little things, can show your appreciation for the person more than just what the person can do for you.
How can you show appreciation?
1. Say Thank You
I know this is so silly. You would be surprised how often it gets overlooked and forgotten. Don’t forget those manners Grandma taught us. Say Thank You and mean it.
Sometimes saying “Thank You” isn’t always sufficient appreciation to show the gratitude we have for those that treat us well. This is especially true for those that routinely come to our aid.
2. Make it Easy for Them
Wondering what I mean? I mean, if someone is doing you a favor or performing a job for you without pay, the least you could do is make it easier for them.
In my kitchen, for example, Captain Cupcakeasaurus takes on doing all the dishes for me. To show my appreciation for this unloved chore, I try to make sure to keep the number of dishes low, and I take extra care to soak anything that may be stuck to the pan. This is just an example of common consideration.
When you have a last-minute sitter caring for your children, you can make the job easier in a few ways. You can write out important information about sleep and eating routines, medications and allergies, and any other emergency contact information.
You can also pack a bag for your child if they are being dropped off somewhere else. Anything you would pack in a bag for a road trip would probably be helpful to a sitter. Include a change of clothes, extra diapers or undies, a couple toys, etc. Providing everything they need to care for your child will show that you appreciate their time in caring for them.
When someone offers to help clean your house, you can make their job easier by making your bed and putting dirty clothes in the hamper. When someone offers to watch your pet in their home during your vacation, take the extra time to ensure your pet is flea free and healthy before you go. Again, these are just examples of common considerations.
These are ways that, if done right, can easily show your appreciation. If done wrong, or worse yet not done at all, these are all ways to quickly make a friend feel undervalued. Not only will they be less likely to help you out in the future, they will also no longer want to remain friends. No one likes feeling unappreciated or undervalued.
3. Give Them Breaks
This becomes super important for those relationships that develop sometimes where we find ourselves in a tight spot and rely on the help of others on a consistent basis.
Try to remember help is only considered help if you are the one doing most of the work.
When someone is routinely helping you, there are several ways to show your appreciation. The number one way to say Thank You in a situation like this is to acknowledge their needs. Everyone has a breaking point and something as simple as a break can help show your appreciation.
Extended use of a friend’s services can wear on them. Little things, that under different circumstances would blow over, can start to fester and build into resentment. It is important, for the sake of the friendship, that you acknowledge their needs and provide relief sometimes. Just offering a break lets them know that you care about them and consider their needs.
This is one of the easiest ways to thank the people that take care of you. Some may even call it Tit for Tat. When someone does a service for you, offer to do a service for them in return. Everyone has skills of some sort and even if you feel like you don’t, I’m sure you know someone who does.
I bake. That is my service. I bake cupcakes for all sorts of return services. You picked up my kid from school when I was running late? Here, have some cupcakes! You helped paint the front porch? Here, have some brownies!
A special home cooked dinner can be a great way to show similar appreciation for those you love. They feel appreciated and you get to enjoy a family dinner with them.
5. Gifts and Tips
You tip your waiter and your hairdresser. You tip service people you pay, why wouldn’t you tip someone that you don’t? It can’t hurt to give a little gift or tip to say Thank You to those friends in our life providing unpaid services.Any service someone is providing for you is tip-able. Click To Tweet
Any service someone is providing for you is tip-able.
We are most familiar with the Beer and Pizza tip we give to those that have been roped into helping us move. Really any service deserves the same consideration.
When you have an early meeting and a coworker is covering it for you, bring them coffee! When your friend has spent the afternoon helping you build Ikea furniture, buy them lunch! A gift card for lunch works just as well. It shows you care and appreciate their help.
Saying Thank You doesn’t have to be hard. Many times showing appreciation just takes being considerate. Our friends are willing to take the extra time to help us out, the least we can do is take the extra five minutes to thank them.
I guarantee showing appreciation for the people that help us will improve all of our relationships. Everyone likes to feel appreciated. What better way to make life taste sweeter than by thanking those glorious sweet morsels that help get us here?
How do you show appreciation for the ones you love? Are there any other simple ways we can show consideration? Let me know in the comments below!