I'm not going to be addressing whether or not you NEED to send a thank you card. Really, you’re free to do whatever you choose. I will simply give you a couple reasons why you should. AND as a special bonus I will even give you a tip on how to enjoy writing them.
The thank you card may bring up memories of your mom repeatedly telling you to write them after your graduation. And yes, the obligatory thank you card (especially if you have to send 200 after a wedding) can seem a bit daunting when you have a million other things to do. But with a slight adjustment in how you think about the thank you note, I think you’ll be rushing to your desk to grab a pen. Well, you may not be rushing to your desk, but you might at least entertain the idea the next time someone does something for you.
Five Reasons to Send a Thank You Card
Receiving mail, rather than bills, is a pleasant surprise
Have you ever thought, “I wish my mailbox wasn’t filled with hand written notes telling me how great I am?” Probably not. First, because you’ve never had the problem of an abundance of thank you cards. And second, because most people like to be thanked. Third, people like to feel as if they are receiving mail from another human rather than an automated computer system.
It’s good to practice gratitude
Sending a thank you note in the mail is a fairly small act in the grand scheme of things. But it gets you in the rhythm of giving thanks and cultivating a thankful attitude. There are numerous studies to show the positive benefits gratitude has on your life. So the next time you are feeling stressed, take a moment to think about the things you are thankful for. And while you're thinking about it, you might as well whip out that pen and send someone a note to let them know you’re thankful for them.
It takes the focus away from you
This is closely related to the point above. In our society today, and I’m sure past societies were like this as well, people are naturally self focused. We become used to,expect, or think we deserve people doing things for us. Sitting down and writing a thank you card to say why you are thankful for someone or something changes your mindset from entitlement to gratitude.
Everyone likes to be appreciated
When someone tells you thanks, you feel valued. I know if I’m trying to help someone out and it feels like they don’t really want my help, I don’t feel like I’m making any valuable contribution to the situation. Or if you invite someone over and it doesn’t seem like they really want to come, but they squeeze it in just to check it off their list of things they should be doing, your not going to bother inviting them again. But oh how that feeling would change if they stopped and thanked you for your help or the invitation. Which brings us to our next point.
Sending a thank you card encourages others to continue being helpful
Studies have been done to look into whether or not saying thank you effects whether or not people will complete a task. And guess what!? People are more likely to continue to help others if they feel appreciated! So don’t stop that helpful and friendly act with you. Say thanks, send a note, and encourage others to continue being helpful and thoughtful to those around them.
There are only so many ways to say, “Thanks for those towels” without sounding weird. “I’ll think of you every time I’m drying off?” Um, no. Rather, think of a memory you have with the person that will make them smile. Don’t have a specific memory in mind? Try something like this:
Just because you’re sending a thank you note for a specific gift doesn’t mean you can’t throw in a few extra points of gratitude in there! And I for one enjoy looking back and thinking of memories with people. But then again, I’m one of the most nostalgic people on the planet.
But wait! You don’t have to stop there. Did someone unexpectedly show up at your home, bring you tea, and lift your spirits? Write them a thank you note telling them! Do you love a particular restaurant? Write them a note telling them how great they are and how thankful you are that they exist. I had a friend do this once and they LITERALLY framed the note and hung it in the office because they never receive nice and encouraging mail from customers, only complaints.
So, maybe thank you cards aren’t always necessary. Most likely the receiver will toss it in the trash after reading it and not frame it. And I’m not here to make you feel guilty if you never send a thank you card again in your life. Maybe just remember to say thanks in the moment. But I for one would rather have a mailbox full of thank you cards over bills any day. So the next time someone does something for you, take 3 minutes to sit down and say, “Hey thanks. I appreciate that you were thinking of me.”
Let's be a more grateful bunch of people, shall we?
I'd love to know what you are thankful for. Hop over to the comments section and let me know!