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Mar 01 2010

A Unique Way to Say Thank You

Being an actor, I find myself constantly very thankful to a LOT of people.  There are people to do your hair, make-up, wardrobe, direct you, guide you, book you, drive you, etc.  Here’s how to keep the thank-you’s fresh for yourself or for the people you deal with everyday.
 

The third time I wanted to thank the same person in the same day, I was responding by text and desperately wanted not to say, “Thank you (so much/very much/a ton),” again.  A quick rifling through the dark corners of my brain reminded me of the very old custom of offering blessings to those who helped you.  This method is a little bit easier for typing, so it’s ideal for thanking people via text, email, tweets, and blog comments.  A few examples:

  • May your pen never run out of ink in the middle of a note.
  • May your breath never smell in the face of someone important.
  • May you always have enough light to see the path you tread.
  • May your coffee always be richly flavored and never lukewarm.

Blessings require a little more thought than the average thank.  To jump-start your creativity, think first of these things:

  1. What are you doing right now?  Take stock of where you are and what you’re doing.  Ask yourself what has or could go wrong.  Ask yourself what makes this moment great or pleasing.
  2. What have you done recently?  Sometimes the moment is quite boring.  Backtrack steadily through your day, applying the first step to each situation until you find your interesting moment.
  3. What do you know about the recipient?  If the person you’re thanking is a writer, lawyer, barista, etc., what situations do they regularly encounter?  How can you address their interests?
  4. Do you want humor or sincerity?  Encouraging positive moments in the recipient’s life imparts a deeper sincerity, while hoping that they avoid negative moments can often be humorous.

Your blessings can be as bizarre or as mundane as you wish.  What matters is the intent – and knowing your audience.  Experiment with this idea, and see what reactions you get.  I use these regularly, and I can just about always count on a smile.

What blessings have you come up with?  What other great ideas do you have for thanking people?  Comment and share to keep the discussion going!

Photo credits: Thank you, courtesy of Dons
Wedding Bride Groom, courtesy of smoothdude

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7 comments

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  1. cruitbuck

    >Back in my day of stage performance, and technical direction, one aspect impressed me beyond compare, “Thank you.” It seemed to end every sentence plus perform as an indicator when lighting or audio levels were as expected. “Increase center. Thank you.” From the Dallas Opera Chorus Master or Maestro himself, “Baritones I need a richer sound. Yes! Thank you.” It at times resounded as if blossoms opened all through the wings and beyond the scrim.
    I took that aspect of stage performance into other areas of my life and found that I could generally get what I needed, pleasantly. The other person, be it a clerk, a doctor, a lawyer, a mother, a child, a friend, or a stranger, sharing appreciation and above all gratitude made a memorable moment for both of us. Why is this so?
    The people I know drop their defenses, become comfortable, find it easier to engage in a conversation when extended any common courtesy. Showing gratitude for any service or gift offered my way could be a premeditated olive branch. My grandfather showed gratitude to people by extending his hand and saying, “The name is Guy. I am happy to meet you.” This resulted in hours long conversation with a complete stranger. Perhaps he felt it his duty as a minister to be that forward with people, but never did that seem the case.
    Thank you does have one other dimension that closes the loop, suggesting that I expect nothing in return. It is seldom used but just as meaningful. You are welcome.

  2. nikkitruhan

    >May new and innovative thoughts continue flowing from your mind to your laptop! Well done – and, thank you.

  3. Wade Burch

    >I agree; there is a HUGE difference between saying, "Thank you," and not. It can open many doors and make a long day go much smoother. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Wade Burch

    >You're welcome! May the foam on your cappuccinos always be thick and creamy.

  5. Diana Adams

    >Wade, I did not know you are an actor, very cool! I love this post! I really like your writing. You have the unique gift of being able to make people feel what you are trying to say. Very nice! I have a lot of people to thank in my life too. This post is very inspiring. Thank you for sharing it with me on Twitter! ;) Oh, and I also hope your coffee is never lukewarm. Haha! (I really like that one)

  6. Wade Burch

    >Thank you immensely for the high compliments! Your feedback means a lot to me. I only hope I continue to generate good content =P

  7. Giovanni Maruri

    >I know what u mean, people from the staff are awesome! As a plus I guess you can bring surprises for them once in a while, that way you let them know they are special and they do great. BIG THANKYOU 2 ALL make up, hair, wardrobe, directors, etc!

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