Mar 30, 2011

You're Welcome.


A few of us in the office have a challenge going on. We have challenged each other to say, "You're welcome."  It's not a very difficult sentence but it gets left out of many conversations when someone says, Thank you."

Let me go at this a different way. The appropriate response to "thank you" is "you're welcome." Answering with "yeah"; "no problem"; "no biggie"; or worst of all a follow-up "thank you" is not an appropriate response to a thank you.

"You're welcome."

"It's my pleasure."

"I'm happy to be of assistance."

All of those statements are acceptable. Yet, why is it we have such a hard time saying one of those? Instead we answer a thank you with, "Thank you." Even media personalities whose job it is to report news on a daily basis consistently answer a thank you with, "Thank you."

Is it because our heritage teaches us that we should humble ourselves? Civility is certainly an act of humility. Saying a thank you is an act of appreciation and honorable submission . But, "You're welcome" smacks of arrogance. It implies a sense of haughtiness and robs us of a chance to show how humble we are.

Of course there are worse things than answering a thank you with, "Thank you." We could say nothing at all. There are people out there who believe that courtesy is a sign of weakness. The absence of civility is crushing our society. It leads to a lack of trust, and in an atmosphere of mistrust it's more difficult to move forward in reconciling our differences.

I just got off the telephone and wanted to add this to the post. In receiving a heartfelt thank you I responded, "Yup." How impersonal. The abruptness of my response borders on rudeness.

I'm at a loss and would appreciate some thoughtful comments. Why is it so hard to say, You're Welcome?