For what?

Thank you for...“Thank you.”

It’s polite, grateful, and appreciative. Hopefully, it’s also sincere and warm.

“Thank you.”

It’s nice to hear.

But if “thank you” is all you say, you’re missing several important opportunities.

  1. When someone hears you state the specific thing you’re grateful for, they feel seen, valued, and truly appreciated.
    When they only hear a generic “thank you,” it can feel offhand and unrewarding.
  2. Explicitly thanking them for their effort makes them much more likely to do it again in the future.
    If they’re not sure what they’ve done that you’re thanking them for, they could misunderstand – or even feel under-appreciated.
  3. Stating what you’re thankful for makes you more aware of how good you feel about them and their action.
    Even if it was something they were supposed to do.

Being specific in your thankfulness makes you feel even better, makes them feel even better – and makes them more likely to keep on doing good things for you.

“Thank you” is a good thing to say.

“Thank you for …” is a wonderful thing to say.

And if you’re the recipient of a generic “thank you,” try asking, “For what?” Their answer will teach you about yourself – and about them.