Self-improvement is something we should all aspire to because it is versatile; coming in many different forms, which can then be used in combination to fulfill the ultimate goal of self-improvement. Self-belief is an example of self-improvement, which many people struggle with. A dynamic and demanding society requires a lot from people and fitting into a formidable world can be rather challenging. Nevertheless, self-improvement is the improvement of one’s knowledge, status or character by one’s own efforts and a way of doing so is to simply say “thank you”. This phrase is often used incorrectly and is exceptionally under-appreciated when used with genuine purpose due to it being used erroneously throughout our lives. A positive change can be substantially beneficial to everyone around us—a major reason to adhere to the importance of saying “thank you”.
Let’s go through times in which we should appropriately say “thank you”:
There are many different situations in which responding with a “thank you” would change the outlook and atmosphere of the conversation. A common situation we all face is when we are handling constructive criticism. Receiving constructive feedback often leads to people being defensive or over-sensitive instead of actually interpreting the information given to them and using it to improve. If the feedback is constructive then it is meant to help you. We should be thankful for people who care about us and following it up with a simple “thank you” is already an easy way to improve yourself. Saying “thank you” here implies that you have taken the message on board and it may even build a stronger relationship with the person saying because you both understand that you are trying to help each other improve.
Situation: “You were not your usual self out there. Your finishing was not up to standard.”
Don’t: “Like you did anything. Luck wasn’t on my side today.”
Do: “Thank you for thinking so highly of me. I’ll give it my all next time.”
Inequitable criticism is a form of criticism that is different to constructive feedback/criticism. Usually, the person giving this criticism is seeking an opportunity to hurt you or is waiting for a reaction from you. Those actions alone are unjustifiable and unnecessary. Thanking someone in this situation will significantly reduce the effect of their statements and shows maturity as you are decreasing the magnitude of the problem. There is no need to win every argument. Dealing with inequitable criticism by simply being thoughtful is already a win itself. Additionally, thanking someone in this situation can come with sarcasm and may change the mind of the “offender”. This situation can be similar to when people give you unsolicited advice. Exposing other people’s flaws does not remove yours. We should thank people for contributing to our improvements even if it is unsolicited and annoying at first.
Situation: “The way you’re behaving just shows how much of an idiot you are.”
Don’t: “It’s very ironic that you say that because…”
Do: “Thank you for your kindness. I will try to improve and make an attempt to continuously meet your requirements!”
The trait of being arrogant or egocentric is one that many people dislike and try to avoid at all costs. However, this causes people to then become too humble when receiving compliments, devaluing the nice words. Saying thank you indicates appreciation and that you have acknowledged the compliment. Compliments shouldn’t be awkward; it is a form of expressing yourself and as a receiver, it is nice to have and has to be taken on board with finesse.
Situation: “You look really nice in your jeans!”
Don’t: “Really? They’re nearly worn out.”
Do: “Thank you. I’m glad you like them.” Times of comfort are times in which something has happened. People often do not know what to say but want to show that they are willing to help and comfort the person in need. Arguably the most common response is “Well, at least you…” This is done to allow the person to feel reminiscent and fondly remember the good times. Sadly, there is nothing you can do to get these thoughts off their mind instantly because only time will heal those wounds. Therefore, the best option is to show full support and prove that you are there for that person. You can do that by thanking them for trusting you and continue to be the best version of you.
Situation: Your friend just had a breakup
Don’t: “At least you had lots of good memories.”
Do: “Thank you for sharing such private information. I’m here to support you and offer you my friendship.”
Ultimately, there really isn’t a downside to saying “thank you”. There is no shame in showcasing gratitude (it actually resembles self-improvement), so say “Thank You” this summer!