“The simple act of saying ‘Thank You’ is a demonstration of gratitude in response to an experience that was meaningful to a customer or citizen”
– Simon Mainwaring
I have noticed an uncool trend these days and I must say I think it is unnecessarily exhausting.
If you are wondering which of the trending ‘trends’ I am talking about, it is this,
Wearing kindness out!
Don’t know what I’m talking about? Let me give you an example with the following conversation;
Miss A: “hey girl! How are you doing?”
Miss B: “ah! Not bad (really! Do you mean you are between ‘good’ and ‘bad’)? I am still shopping around for the ‘Galaxy 3x Fat Attack High-Performance Blender’ (I made that one up because if you want to sell anything these days, it should be something that can annihilate those fatty cells and combust calories. Mmhmm!).
Miss A: you can borrow mine then. I bought it two weeks ago, and I must tell you it is a-ma-zing!
Miss B: “oh really? Are you sure? I don’t need it until tomorrow and I think I can find one by then”.
Miss A: “that’s okay. I can let you borrow it till next Friday as I won’t be needing it until then”.
Miss B: “Really? Are you sure it won’t be any bother?”
Miss A: (beginning to grow grey hairs by now) “Sure! You can have it”.
Miss B: “you are so kind. You are a star!”
And the saga continues….
I have heard conversations like these a thousand times, I have been engaged in these kinds of conversations and to be honest, I have been Miss B a few times (only a few times ok?)
It’s almost become an etiquette of social interaction to ask ‘are you sure?’ about a dozen times when acts of kindness are offered to us. Why do we feel the need to banter back and forth, rather than saying a simple ‘Thank You’, I wonder?
I was at a social gathering quite recently. I suddenly had to leave and was waiting for a lift from Bud. Most of the seats were already taken especially the ones around where I sat. So, when a lady I knew came over and asked if the seat next to mine was vacant I responded ‘no’ but that she could have mine as I was just about leaving.
You would not believe the conversation that followed;
Said Lady: “Hey, is this seat vacant?”, motioning to the seat next to me.
Me: “Hello. No, it isn’t, but you can have mine as I am just away to leave”
Said Lady: “Oh no! I wouldn’t want to take your seat away from you” (girl please! You and what army?)
Me: “It’s okay, I will be leaving in a few…”
Said Lady: (cuts in) “Why are you leaving? Are you okay? Don’t worry about it, I’ll go look somewhere else. There may still be some empty seats around”
Me: (praying to sweet Jesus to let this cup pass me by) “I really do not need this seat in the next….”
Said lady: (cuts in again) “Are you sure? Because…”
Me: (finally exasperated) “you know what, I think you should go find another seat”
Morale of the story…
A simple ‘Thank You’ will suffice for an act of kindness. When it is offered, trying to show excessive consideration of the other person is exhausting and unnecessary.