One of the universal principles that has applied to everything we do as humans is the principle of moderation. Moderation is key, so we might have heard a countless times but has it ever occurred to you how it applies to how we say thank you?
The act of saying ‘thank you’ is a show of gratitude and appreciation for something someone has done to you. It is an important act that everyone must seek to develop. When you give genuine thanks to someone who has done something great, you indirectly tell them to keep on doing so.
Saying “thank you” after you have received a favour should nor be a request, it should be a fixed requirement that cannot be negotiated even when the receiver does not seem to care or if they are making it clear they don’t want no more “thank you” for what they have done.
But sometimes, as great as this virtue may be, it can easily get way overboard. And while you may not mean it so, exceeding the safe limits of saying “thank you” can begin to bring in some negative meanings that you never anticipated.
As far as gratitude is concerned, there are generally three categories of people in the world;
Those who seriously show the need to be appreciated for the good they have done
Those who don’t show that they need to be appreciated but need it deep within
Those who don’t care if you thank them or not.
None of these cases invalidates the supreme need to say thank you to someone who has done you a great favour. However, for people in category one above, they would constantly want you to show sincere gratitude as many times as possible as long as they keep doing you a favour. Those in category three might soon start getting tired of you telling them “thank you” a million times.
For every favour you receive, it is expected to say thanks but the manner with which you do so can easily construe a negative meaning if not done rightly.
Saying thank you without meaning it – maybe your eyes are turned away, or with your face frowned.
Saying thank you to the point the receiver begins to think you want to pay for the good deed with your thanks.
Everyone with their own threshold for when saying thank you is enough. You must show your sincere appreciation while keeping in mind the limits beyond which saying thank you becomes burdensome to the receiver.
5 Ways Saying Thank You May Mean Differently
Another concept of saying the word “thank you” that you need to be aware of is knowing the scenarios when saying thank you might mean differently from what it literarily mean. Let’s jump right into it.
No, thank you.
“…but thank you anyways”.
Good morning, thank you; good midmorning, good afternoon, thank you *100
Oh, thank you so much. Did you see my new request?
I am away now, I will come to thank you later. Thanks though.
You see these five scenarios? They mean differently than the conventional “thank you, I appreciate” kind of thing. Care to know what I think about them?
1. No, thank you
This is already common parlance, I presume. Hearing someone say “no, thank you” shows that they are politely refusing your offer. You should honour it that way instead of thinking they are actually telling you thank you.
Common areas where this may play out include gift offers to a friend you have not gotten quite close with; offering assistance to a lady you are interested in; and so on. It could be simple courtesy that demands that initially insist on doing it anyways and if they assert to their decision of saying no, you should honourably smile away with your offer
2. “…but thank you anyways”.
The “but” statements almost always depict two opposite sides – the good part and the bad one, and this word must be used with caution either in business, in your relationships or in this case, when saying thank you.
Since the two sides of the statement joined by the word “but” are opposite, it therefore mean that whatever you have said before the “…but thank you anyways” will not be a pleasant hearing to the receiver of your “thank you” greeting.
3. Good morning, thank you; good mid-morning, good afternoon, thank you *100
Some people are so good at saying “thank you” that you could literarily drown in the ocean of their thanksgiving. Even for someone who craves for gratitude for survival, turning “thank you” into some early morning, midday, noon, afternoon, every second greetings can effortlessly become burdensome.
4. Oh, thank you so much. Did you see my new request?
Did you just shamelessly ask for more, dear Oliver Twist? Inasmuch as someone would want to help you as much as they could, you should try not to be a burden to them. If you make helping you an obligation to them, they will soon tire off from doing you any favours. If you want to render your thanks, do so with a genuine heart that what they did for you is enough by itself even if it were the first and going to be the last.
5. I am away now, I will come to thank you later. Thanks though.
Giving any form of excuse to someone who helped you is not only derogatory, it is a sheer display of ingratitude. It sends the message to them that you do not need their favours any longer. It’s fine if you truly think you might not need their favour any more but if that is not the case, try not to ignorantly mix excuses within your “thank you’s”.
Common Thank You Misinterpretations in Relationships
I want to take this topic a step further to the scenario of boyfriend/girlfriend or marital relationships. Whether you realize it or not, “thank you’s” in these kind of relationships carries a different weight than when it was said elsewhere. What are some ways you should not thank your spouse for a gift or favour they did for you.
1. I don’t know how to say thank you
When you say “I don’t know how to say thank you” in most other settings, it means you are overwhelmingly grateful for the favour you received. The person who did you the favour feels how much you appreciate them for the kind gesture but this does not mean the same way if you were saying that to your boyfriend or husband after he has done you a good favour.
Don’t tell him you don’t know how to say thank you; of course, you do! If you are a lady just getting to meet a guy you are interested in and he offers you a gift as a sign that he likes you, telling him “you don’t know how to say thank you” will only echo in his brain as “you are not interested in him”. I am a guy so I know this well enough. Check out hero instincts to understand why.
2. I don’t deserve it
This is a killer move; yes, if you want to gradually terminate your relationship with your significant other. Most uninterested ladies or those who are begin to lose interests in the relationship stop feeling deserving of any favour you do to them. The converse is true when a lady loves you and has given her full self to you. She feels deserving of your favours and she also accept that you deserve her and any good that comes from her as well.
In a relationship you are interested in keeping, accept every good deed as though you deserve it, appreciate as though you were never entitled but do either of these to the point when the doer feels threatened to stop.
3. How can I ever pay you back?
If you have it at the back of your mind to pay back the good you received from your significant other, it can easily displease your spouse who did you the favour. Instead of taking out ten days to thank him for buying you a wristwatch, thank him once from your heart without making him think you are attempting to pay back with your “thank you”. “Thank you” is not currency and even if anything could pay for them, he is doing the favours because he loves you; not because he want you to pay anything.
Any of these, when done by either party in the relationship can evoke some form of undesired response. If you notice that your guy is gradually withdrawing from you, or that your lady is becoming indifferent the relationship with you, you should try to find out what the problem is. It could be because you have handled your appreciations in a way that may mean that you are not interested in them. Quickly make amends and save your relationship from problems.
If you determine that they are sincerely not interested in you, take it easy and move ahead. You can’t force anyone to love you the way you want them to; or if you aren’t interested in them anymore, do well to discuss it with them about the way forward.
As great as “saying thank you” can be, it can be often be misinterpreted or otherwise rightly interpreted to mean, “please, I no longer want your kind gestures”. Understanding this will help you avoid the trap of unintentionally pushing away someone you are meant to keep.
There is still no hard fast rule to know who is genuinely interested or who is not merely by analysing their “thank you’s”. Saying “thank you” properly is normal courtesy – anyone can do it rightly. And anyone can pretentiously do it right to get your attention and more of your favours. In every relationship case, look out for other signs before you jump to a conclusion that they are interested or not.
I am a medical doctor, a seasoned writer and passionate blogger. Thanks to many years of trials, failure, and near successes. I am the founder of Knowseeker and our content are geared towards enlightening and making you a better and happier audience.