On saying thank you!

Did you have a chance to listen to last week’s podcast on GIFT-GIVING yet? If not, I encourage you to do so – especially in this season of giving. Are YOU a good gift-giver? Whether we are conscious of it or not, the gifts we give symbolically communicate things about ourselves, about the receiver, and our relationship with the receiver. This podcast will provide you with helpful gift-giving frameworks and advice.

In this email newsletter, we focus on a related topic: SAYING THANK YOUOf course we say “thank you” for the gifts we receive, RIGHT?!?  And research shows that there are many benefits of articulating our gratitude…

WHY We Should Say Thank You

Research demonstrates many positive effects of articulating gratitude, including signalling manners, creating new friendships,  improving our relationships and improving our well-being.

Formally expressing gratitude signals good manners. Perhaps more importantly, forgoing a thank you may signal a lack of manners!

Research shows that people who say ‘thank you’ are seen as having a ‘warmer’ personality.  

Research shows that expressing gratitude helps us form and maintain relationships. In one study, 68% of research subjects who received a thank you note then chose to leave one in return, highlighting the interest in developing a new relationship.  The Find-Remind-and-Bind Theory of Gratitude by Professor Sara Algoe  summarizes how communicating gratitude:

  • starts new friendships (FINDS)
  • orients people to existing social relationships (REMINDS)
  • promotes existing relationships (BINDS)

How to say THANK YOU


We have many options to say thank you, each with its own benefits:

?A verbal thank you

Face-to-face communication is virtually free in terms of time and cost.  It also provides the opportunity for your emotion to be more transparently conveyed.

?  A thank you email or text

Emails or texts are fast and easy, but still purposeful and generally appreciated by the receiver. Two points about thank you emails and texts:

  • Thank you emails and texts are becoming more common.  In fact, according to “Swiftkey”, the most common one-word sentence typed into keyboards is “thanks.”  Two words? “Thank you” !!! (Curious about three words? “I love you”  ❤️ YES!)
  • If you’re unsure whether a written note is necessary, then just write a written note!  It is also very little cost and effort.  Have you ever noticed how SMALL “thank you” notes are?

A hand-written thank you note

A hand-written note is slightly more time consuming and costly, but has a few notable benefits:

  • the effort signals genuine appreciation
  • the tangible note serves as a physical reminder of your relationship…

?A thank you gift 

When we need to express gratitude in a more significant way, a thank you gift may be more appropriate.  The thank you gift is likely the most expensive way to express thanks, but it probably also has the most lasting effect.

One piece of advice here, given the “giving-receiving-reciprocating” cycle that we learned about in last week’s podcast: make sure the receiver knows you do not expect a thank you for the thank you!


Two weeks ago I had the privilege of hearing Neil Pasricha onstage, then meeting him face-to face. In his twenties, Neil got divorced, lost his house, then lost his best friend to suicide. Instead of spiralling, Neil turned to gratitude and AWESOME things.  He started writing “http://1000awesomethings.com/“ then he wrote THE BOOK OF AWESOME , then a TedTalk, then recently he published YOU ARE AWESOME.

Yes, I took notes!  Amongst other things, Neil recommends that:

IRL always beats virtual communication!

Neil also talked about the significance of developing resilience. This reminded me of Tosca Reno’s advice that she shared with us, not to mention the podcast episode on self-talk!

One strategy that Neil shared for developing resilience is to establish a morning ritual of writing in a journal.  He recommends writing 3 things:

  1. “I will let go of…” (forced confession)
  2. “I am GRATEFUL for…” (be specific)
  3. “I will focus on…” (priority)

I recommend this book to you.  It is an easy but fulfilling read!
It might also be a great GIFT!

That’s it for this week! THANK YOU for subscribing to this email newsletter.  Please email me anytime with feedback or ideas.   I would also be very grateful if you would encourage your friends to sign up for this weekly email newsletter by going to the Talk About Talk website. Don’t forget that for a limited time current and new subscribers receive helpful communication insights, every week, PLUS a free, printable summary of the “5 Simple Steps to Improve your Communication Skills- ABCDE”!


TALK soon,

Dr. Andrea Wojnicki
Chief Talker & Communication Coach

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