Two of the manners that your grandma used to scold you about can actually help you bring more love into your life.
If you hear your resident bullshit alarm going off in your head, don’t worry. This isn’t self-helpy fluff talk–it’s a matter of understanding the weight of your words, and choosing to make the most of the power of your language.
Me, I was the type of kid who always questioned what he was told by the adults in charge. Even something simple and like remembering “Please” and “Thank you” made me say, “Why? What’s really going on when I say these things?”
Perhaps there’s no wonder why I became a professional communicator these years later.
As a writer who spends his days immersed in language and the power of the words we choose and share, I’ve grown to understand that simple manners are not, in fact, just something adults use to keep their kids in line.
Simple manners represent a slice of the communicative power that we always possess as human beings.
Manners are mindfulness in action–the cognizance of the weight of our words. Politeness is using our language to reap what we sow–all from ordinary exchanges in our everyday lives. Through something as simple as choosing to say “Thank you,” and “You’re welcome,” we consciously tap a source of love that’s so ordinary, we often overlook it.
Simple words carry profound weight.
And in the course of conversations–sharing stories, simple exchanges and everyday interactions–we can use our language to literally accrue a deeper pool of love and gratitude from the men and women who kindly share it with us.
The next time you feel particularly isolated from people, or too stuck in your head, or just like you’re having a shitty day, I want you to try something. Make a personal practice of these two manners below.
See just how simple it is to make use of words in ways that pull love, gratitude and kindness into your life, by sharing it and actively receiving it.
Manner #1) Remember to say thank you.
Gratitude can’t be overstated. And yet, whether in email or in person, it can be all too easy to forget to say “thank you.” We often fall into a trap of assuming that the other person knows that we’re grateful.
As a writer, I’ve learned that the most important part of being a great communicator is understanding and relating to the one with whom you’re communicating.
Neglecting to say “thank you” might be an innocent enough mistake or just a matter of forgetting to say it from time to time, but it can usually indicate that you’re neglecting to fully empathize with what the other person has done for you. An innocent mistake is one thing, but after a while, such neglect might be interpreted as a matter of you being inconsiderate or unappreciative.
Recognize the effort with verbalized gratitude.
Make a practice of saying “thank you” with sincerity as a way of extending love, compassion and consideration to the other person–as well as gratitude, itself.
Every time that you focus your attention and awareness upon the efforts of this person who has gone to some length to aid, assist, help, serve or give to you, you’re flexing your compassion muscle.
Saying “Thank you” isn’t just a matter of politeness–it’s a means by which you nurture your own empathy, connection and relatability to others. These emotions make up the very fabric of your humanity.
No matter how small the gesture or favor or compliment, remember to say thank you.
Manner #2) Say “You’re Welcome” instead of “No problem,” “Sure,” or “Don’t mention it.”
How about when someone thanks you?
Whether in writing or verbally, I implore you: reciprocate the gratitude being shown to you with, “You’re welcome.”
“Thank you,” as we discussed above, isn’t just a showing of politeness. Thank you is a gesture of gratitude and showing of appreciation that is extended like a gift in honor of the efforts of this person.
Just as much, you owe it the person who is thanking you to show acceptance for the gift that he or she is offering. With a simple and easy “You’re welcome,” you are receiving the gift and honoring that person, the giver.
It’s common today to quip back with a short and easy, “No problem,” “Sure,” or “Don’t mention it,” “Yeah alright,” or “No worries.” Is it wrong to say of those? Of course not.
But part of me believes that these replies are ways that we subconsciously deflect and dismiss the love being shown to us. They’re ways that we brush off the thanks being offered–in turn, we stop ourselves from receiving the love and appreciation being shown to us.
Too many of us spend our days deflecting the love, kindness, and simple pleasures of life that are always around us. “You’re welcome” is one small way that you can help break your shell and receive more of what you deserve.
Make it a personal practice to choose to say “You’re welcome” as a way of honoring the gratitude being shown to you–and, just as much, to practice receiving the love and consideration that is offered to you, so that you’re more capable of receiving kindness from others.
Saying “Thank you” and “You’re welcome” aren’t just your grandma’s lessons in politeness.
Every instance in which you thank another, you express your connection to him or her. You are seeing someone–and in a world where we are far too likely to be caught with our faces in laptops and iPhones instead of making eye contact with others, it is truly a gift to be seen, appreciated and thought of.
Every time you say “You’re welcome,” you receive the gift of being seen. You acknowledge it, and accept it.
When you state “You’re welcome,” you honor the loop of gratitude that’s been extended to you and in doing so, you’re actually intently practicing an important but overlooked aspect of love: receiving.
You’re not just saying “You’re welcome,” you’re deepening your capacity to accept love and receive good things.
“Thank you” and “You’re welcome” are two simple ways to use your simple words to practice love and to feel more worthy of what you want, need and desire in this life.
Your words carry weight, my friend.
“Thank you” and “You’re welcome,” simple as they are, carry profundity within them. These powerful little phrases carry the capacity to show others that you care. They offer someone gratitude and love. They are ties that bind us to one another.
Maybe they’ll be appreciated as such–maybe they’ll only be understood to be polite manners.
But you always retain the choice and the power to use your words however you will. Trust in the unseen bonds of love that our words carry to do what they will. In the end, crafting a legacy of love is cut by leaving a quiet, subtle, even overlooked wake of kindness, gestures and consideration from your path.
Thank you for reading.