Saying thank you is one of the most powerful tools in your toolbox for a more peaceful life.
Think about the last time someone told you thank you. It doesn’t matter the reason – maybe it was for a gift, a service, or a kind word. How did it make you feel?
It’s so important to let people know you appreciate them, but sometimes just saying the words thank you Doesn’t say enough. Here are some ideas on how to express your thanks in a variety of ways.
Send some snail mail
Who doesn’t love getting a hand written note in the mail? With all the technology around today it’s so easy to rely on quick communications. While there is nothing wrong with using technology, sending a hand written notes shows you took the time to sincerely express your thanks in a very personal way.
It doesn’t have to be long or detailed, In fact, if you are a person of few words, you could always just write a line or two at the bottom of a thank you card. Just make it personal, share your thoughts, and the person who gets to open something besides a bill or a piece of junk mail will absolutely love it.
Buy something unique
What does your friend like that makes them unique? Do they collect anything special? Do they have a favorite coffee shop that sells gift cards? How about chocolates – who doesn’t love chocolates? Buying a gift for someone as a token of your appreciation that is uniquely personal is a great way to show you appreciate the person for who they are. If you don’t know the person well enough to be sure what to get, discreetly ask one of their friends for ideas. Then get to know the person better for next time.
Everyone has to eat
Offer to take your friend to lunch (or any meal) as a thank you. This one gives you double benefits because you get to spend time together as well. Let the person choose the place for an extra perk.
I was taught that bragging is rude and self-serving, but in this case it is not. When you are in a group, take a moment and brag about what made you thankful. Did your friend do something awesome for you? Then share it with people you know. If your friend is there at the time, all the better. Don’t worry, though, because if your friend isn’t there, and you brag well enough they will eventually find out anyway.
Give out coupons
Did you ever make a coupon book for a friend or family member as a gift when you were small? I remember making one for my dad that included fun things like wash the car, give an extra hug before bed, shine his shoes, and a bunch of other things that I knew he would like.
Consider doing that at the adult level for someone as a thank you. Do you know parents who need a night out? How about a coupon to babysit? Other ideas could include stopping to pick up packages, groceries, or dry cleaning. You could offer to run any kind of errand, there really are no limits here.
Is there a movie, show, or concert your friend would like to attend? Do they have a favorite sport? Consider buying them a pair (or two) of tickets as a thank you.
Make a contribution
Think about the things that are important to your friend and make a charitable contribution on their behalf. It doesn’t have to be much – whatever you can do at the time. Another way to make a contribution is to say thank you by supporting events or charity sales. Just let the person know you appreciate them, and thank them while you are there.
Pick up the phone
Call for no other reason to say thank you, and I appreciate you. How many calls do you get asking for something, or from people trying to sell you something? Add to that the calls that are from others sharing unpleasant news, or things that bring your mood down.
By calling just to say thank you, and not asking for anything in return, you let the person know they are valued enough for your time. In my humble opinion, this is almost as good as snail mail.
Make it yourself
Say “thank you” with something you made yourself. Do you do any kind of crafting? Knit a scarf, build a bird house, make a wreath – whatever you like to do. Are you techie? You could make a photo slideshow, or a card to send. When you make it yourself, you are sharing a part of yourself in the gift. What better way to say thank you?
Make it monthly
Consider what happens when you get something every month – it’s a continual reminder. Does your friend have a favorite magazine? Consider a subscription. Do they like fresh fruit? What about a fruit of the monthly package. There are lots of subscription options available. It’s a bit more pricey than other options, but if it is within your means, and you wish to do it, the person will be reminded every month of your gratitude when their gift arrives.
There are always cookies
Who can resist a plate of freshly baked cookies? It doesn’t really matter if you baked them, or if the lovely little bakery down the street did. It’s just a nice way to say thanks. Don’t restrict yourself to just cookies, though. Do you have a specialty item you are known for? Go with that. Just make sure your friend doesn’t have dietary restrictions.
Last, but most certainly not least, always say thank you with a smile. You will most likely get one in return, but if not – that’s okay. Smiles are contagious and it may take a minute to catch.
There are not real limits on the way you can say thank you. The more personalized your thanks, the more memorable your gratitude. You may feel like you are stepping out of your comfort zone a bit, but take the step anyway. It may be the only real gratitude a person gets to experience that day.
Find your purpose – find your joy!
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Did you find a few more ideas of your own? If so, I’d love to hear about them in the comments, and as always please reach out with your thoughts.