Part of being a newly married bride is the task of writing thank you notes to a plethora of people—those in the wedding, those who gave a gift, those who helped plan the wedding, etc. I am currently in the process of writing all of my thank you notes. For the most part, I don’t mind doing so either.
Many individuals I know look forward to and long for a thank note, especially for gifts. Being that words of affirmation is my preferred love language, I totally get it. I love getting letters, thank you notes, cards, you name it. If it has written, personally thought-out words, I will treasure it for years to come.
Nevertheless, the process of writing the thank you cards and my own experiences of receiving love through words, have both equally taught me we live in a society where saying please and thank you is about as foreign as chivalry. Now, sadly, I am one of these people who tends to forget to say thank you. Through my experiences, I may be able to understand why saying thank you is difficult.
Let me set the scene: Almost always, my struggle in saying thank you is alive and active when accepting a compliment. For example, while carrying on a conversation with a coworker or church member, this individual admires my outfit of choice for the day. I reiterate to myself, “Say thank you. Seriously, say thank you.”
One of two outcomes typically occurs: Either, I spend so much time telling myself I need to say thank you that I completely forget to vocalize the exact sentiment. Or, I say thank you. But, not even five minutes later, I am convinced I did not, then begin to feel guilty.
My illustration is important to address and understand. First, let’s start with the basics. Quite frankly, it is utterly disrespectful not to say thank you. It does not matter who you are or where you come from. If someone compliments you, opens the door for you, or offers a helpful hand, say thank you! There should be no second-guessing.
This next statement may not please too many individuals. The only reason why one would even think to second-guess a please or thank you is out of pride. We live in a society where hierarchies thrive and breed off of each other. Millions of people tend to berate someone else simply because they think they are better than the person next to them.
I know this to be true because I have caught myself in this same trap and tug. I have caught myself judging someone else simply because of their appearance or behavior. It’s a prickly thorn Christ is redeeming me from. But that is for another post entirely of its own later on.
Another reason why I usually struggle to say thank you is because I play the victim card. I am guilty for replaying a conversation in my head over and over again, long after it is said and done. Satan has a way of crafting our thoughts to say exactly what we want to hear and believe. Therefore, if I want to think I did not say thank you, and beat myself up because of it for the next 20 minutes, Satan will find a way to make it happen. He will find a way to feed ourselves the lies we know full well are not truth.
Now, I am not at all saying that I am a flawless, imperfect human being. I am nowhere close. I am saying that I cannot sell myself short of who I know I am in Christ. I know a lot of messy qualities about myself, but I also know the great ones, too. I know that I pour into others more than my heart can handle some days. I know I am vulnerable and honest with people. I know I am silly and love to laugh. And I know I say please and thank you.
Even though writing my thank you cards can be monotonous to write some days, I will finish them. Slowly but surely, I will. I know not all brides choose to write thank you notes, but as someone whose love language is words, I get it. Sometimes, saying thank you is hard, but that does not mean we should succumb to society’s standards.
To anyone that I have not said thank you to, especially following a compliment, I am sorry. I was prideful and I was wrong. My heart and mind were not in the right place. Please forgive me. For those that typically forget to say thank you, do not be afraid to go back and say it anyway! I cannot tell you how many times I have done that. Even if I am 99% sure, I said thank you, I go back and say it again, if I have the chance. How I see it, it is better to be unsure and respectfully do so again than it is to be certain I did and hurt someone. Whether the thank you is in the form of a card or verbal dialogue, it goes a long way.