Lovey’s Life Lessons: Saying Thank You IS Enough

Saying Thank You IS Enough

“I know it is a lot to ask, and I really hate asking, but can you give Max a ride to and from basketball practice tonight?” Grace asked clearly uncomfortable with her request. “I promise I will take your son both ways to the next practice. Bill has a meeting and I have to work on…..”

“It is no big deal, Grace.” I said, cutting her off midsentence. “I would be happy to take Max.”

“Oh thank you, I will repay the favor,” she said clearly making a mental note that she now “owed me.”

I walked away from our conversation feeling sad that Grace felt so uncomfortable asking for help and even worse, that she now felt she had to pay me back. Why couldn’t I just drive Max to be helpful and nice?

I believe we have BIG problem that seems to be chronic amongst many of us ladies. We don’t allow anyone to do things out of the goodness of their heart.  Somewhere along the way we, (nice as we are) decided just saying, “thank you” wasn’t enough.

Just for fun, imagine what it would be like to live in a time when people didn’t feel like they always owed other people for every little thing. A time when people didn’t have to give a thank you card or thank you gift for every occasion, or a favor in return for receiving a favor, or the need to always give an equal, if not better, gift to a person who gave them a gift. Imagine a time when simply saying thank you was more than enough.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love doing nice things for other people and I always say thank you, but I truly believe it has gotten out of control. Here are three types of characters I believe wreak havoc on the simple act of giving and receiving.

The Struggler: This is the person who is truly in need of help but they don’t ask because they know that it will be difficult, if not impossible to reciprocate. This is really sad because they truly would benefit from the help.

The Score Keeper:  This person keeps score of how much they have done vs. what others have done. I see this a lot when it comes to children’s play dates. I often hear moms saying, “You know, I have had Billy over five times and Martha has only had my son over once.”

The Over Re-payer:  This person will not only give a thank you card, but often one or multiple, over the top, thank you gifts too. Often these people truly just love to give gifts, but it usually makes the recipient feel overwhelmed and/or fearful that this will be the start of a never ending cycle of extravagant gift giving.

I am not proud to admit that I have been each one of those characters at different time in my life. But I feel stronger than ever that we have the power to put an end to this problem. Let’s make a pact with our girlfriends, family members and co-workers to keep it simple and agree that is acceptable to just say THANK YOU and have that be good enough.

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