I would probably need more hands if I was going to try and count how many times an adult has reminded me to say “please.”
They would look at me, scrunching up their brow like they were trying to connect the two, and mouth under their breath “Say please.” The older I got, forgetting this one common rule became like giving someone a door ding: I knew I did something offensive, but it was small enough that hopefully no one noticed.
But if you dinged up everybody’s car doors, eventually that would start to reflect on you (and the door of your own car). So, you try to be more careful. Set up a routine. Every time someone gives you something – “Thank you.” Every time you ask for something – “Please.”
But the more I use these words, the more I realize how robotic they sound. It’s almost like being polite has been programmed into us, so much so that we don’t even register what we’re saying anymore. And not only that, but there’s a sizable gap between being polite and being sincere.
I mean, regardless of my happiness with whatever this person did, I say “please” and “thank you” (that’s what being polite means, right?). But when I actually feel like someone really tried to do what I needed, or maybe seemed genuine themselves, I make the effort to seem sincere.
To do that, it’s really all about the timbre of the voice and the wrinkle of the eye-corners. A genuine “thank you so much” for me tends to have that sparkly-eyed optimism that says You did a wonderful job. Thank you for making my day.
I think people respond to that kind of “thank you.” It’s easy to get stuck in the polite rut where you just rattle off whatever necessary statement is cued. And despite the best of polite intentions, these scripted words don’t really help anyone feel more appreciated. So today when I got my hair cut, I tried to really mean my “thank you.” That time, I hope she noticed.
(Also, this is an attempt to create the most sincere “thank you” that ever was. Today I hit 100 followers. I cannot tell you how blessed I feel to have this many people interested in what I have to say after only a couple short months. The purpose of this blog is to share life with everyone, and I’m glad that I have the opportunity to reach out to people and share my passion and, loosely, wisdom. I hope you all enjoy what I have to say and stick with me for the next 100. Thank you so much.)