Offering Gratitude: Ways to Say Thank You

When someone goes out of his or her way to help or support you, how do you choose to express your gratitude? Saying thank you is one of the most meaningful ways to express your appreciation for a kind word or deed. How do you express that gratitude toward others?

A 2018 research study published in the journal Psychological Science noted that individuals who undervalue the impact that their notes of gratitude can have on their intended recipients could actually be held back from expressing their gratitude more often. In this study, those expressing their thanks significantly undervalued how surprised their recipients would be about receiving it and underestimated the positive feelings these individuals would feel. More often than not, expressing gratitude is still the best way to go. Learn more about the occasions that deserve a thank-you note and how you can express your gratitude to others.

Say Thank You After Receiving a Gift

When you receive a gift from someone, do you automatically think about sending a thank-you note in response? According to etiquette expert Diane Gottsman, “A good rule of thumb is when you receive a gift or someone extends (the gift of) a gesture that is above and beyond the call of duty, a thank you for their thoughtfulness is always an appropriate effort.”

When you’re acknowledging the receipt of a gift, sincerity is essential. Vague thank-you card sayings and canned thank-you responses won’t be authentic in the eyes of your recipient. When creating your response, you need to let the individual know why you appreciate the gift you received. By sending a heartfelt thank-you note, you communicate to your recipient the intrinsic value of the gift that you’ve been given.

Express Gratitude Following a Job Interview

You’ve just walked out of the office doors of a job interview at a company you’d like to work for. Now, what do you do? Show the person who interviewed you that you value the time he or she spent with you. A thank-you note not only reiterates your appreciation, but it also gives you the opportunity to express the belief that you are the right person for the job and helps you stand out from among other job seekers. A survey by Accountemps reveals that only about 24% of human resources (HR) managers receive thank-you notes from job applicants.

When you’re creating a professional thank-you note, keep its content short but personal. Busy hiring managers usually don’t have time to read a multi-page letter. However, a professional thank-you card that succinctly states your appreciation for the interview opportunity, calls out something memorable about the interview and communicates your continued interest in the position is apt to be more well-received.

Show Appreciation for an Invitation to a Celebration or Event

Have you attended a fundraising event recently or been an invited guest to a special family celebration? These occasions also call for acknowledgment with a thank-you note. First, your host or hostess needs to know that you, as a guest, appreciated the invitation to attend. Your thank-you message acknowledges the level of work involved in making the event happen and expresses that you had an enjoyable time in the company of other guests.

While you can find stationery with preprinted thank you card sayings, consider taking some time to make your thank-you message feel personal and sincere. Conclude with a statement about making time to see the person again or reciprocate the thoughtfulness by inviting the individual to attend an upcoming event that you’re planning.

Acknowledge the Value of Your Professional Relationship Building

Like a follow-up thank-you note after a job interview, a thank-you note sent to a contact can help foster and strengthen an ongoing professional business relationship. For example, perhaps a mentor or someone who works within your industry took the time to offer career development advice to you. Acknowledging the value of this professional relationship with a thank-you card is a gesture that will speak volumes about you.

Consider the following opportunities when sending a professional thank-you note is appropriate:

  • You’re touching base with a new contact you met at a business conference.
  • You’re welcoming a new client with whom you’re doing business.
  • You’re conveying gratitude to the long-standing clients who continue to support your business.

When you write your thank-you note, be sure to include specific details of the interactions you’ve had with your intended recipients. Adding these specifics communicates your attentiveness to the individual and shows you value the relationship. Your thank-you message should be sincere and demonstrate that what you’re thanking the person for means a lot to you.

Create Your Own Random Act of Kindness

Who doesn’t appreciate receiving a random act of kindness on a day when nothing seems to be going right? If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of a random act of kindness, you know what an impact it can make. Expressing your gratitude to someone who took time to do something kind for you can amplify that kindness.

However, you don’t need to limit yourself to acknowledging only random acts of kindness. Think about expressing your gratitude for something that someone does for you each day. Maybe it’s an employer, a friend, a family member, or a neighbor. You don’t have to wait for a special occasion to send a thank-you card saying you appreciate someone who has and continues to affect your life in a positive way. Take the time to write a thank-you note today.

Gift salesman John Israel has dedicated a part of his life to writing five thank-you cards per day, every day. His mission, according to Israel, is to “elevate the level of gratitude on the planet by 1%.” Perhaps you can’t repay people exactly for what they do for you, but you can spend time reflecting and thanking them for their generous actions. Expressing gratitude to the people in our lives makes a positive impact on their lives. In doing so, we all can do our part to elevate the level of gratitude on the planet.