Failing to express gratitude: the most basic form of bad manners.
As a kid your Mom probably drilled this into your head by prompting you to respond on cue when she said: "What do you say?"
Whether you said it with sincere feeling or simply out of obligation your vocalization of these two words was the beginning of an all important lesson-it is good to say "Thank You."
These two words are currency for the soul.
Spouses, children, co-workers, supervisors, associates, neighbors and the person at the checkout counter all desire to be acknowledged for their contributions. You can't pay everyone what they are worth-but you can build up credit in their accounts in far greater amounts than what you could pay them monetarily by simply saying; "thank you."
These two words won't cost you anything to say--if they go unsaid they may cost you everything.
Pausing to express your gratitude shows that you are aware that they could be doing something else with their energy or time, that they are a valuable part of your team, family or organization and that you would miss what they bring to the table if they were gone or decided not to contribute.
Saying "thank you" is also a great response to those offering unsolicited advice, constructive comments or correction. Admittedly, my first response is to debate, debunk or dismiss but by saying thanks I can quickly end the conversation and begin weighing what they've brought to my attention. In the end, I won't learn less from what they've communicated. I may gain in my measure of self-awareness, I may gain insight into their perceptions/feelings or realize that they are having a bad day. By thanking them, I've kept the door open and my stock goes up in their minds-simply because they feel valued by my receiving something they have brought my way.
Try your own "thank you" experiment this week by communicating these two important words-I'd love to hear about your experiences.