Please and Thank You


Dear Dharma,

I know from reading your advice that you are mainly a “relationship” type advice person, but I have an etiquette question that is threatening to spill into my relationships!

Where are you on thank you cards?  Not necessarily a card, but even just an acknowledgement that someone has done something nice for you?  I often send presents to friends and/or their kids at Christmas or for birthdays, and more often than not, never get any feedback at all.

I understand that the “thanks” is not the reason to give someone a gift, or to do a favour, but when did it become ok to not even say thank you at all?  With more and more people’s families being spread out, and in person meetings less common, most gifts I give are sent by mail or electronically, so there’s no chance for a personal thanks.

My friends are split between those saying get over it, thank you cards are so last century, and those saying they are peeved with no acknowledgements too!

I realize that texts and emails are the way people communicate now, fine!  Even a text saying thanks!  To me it is just good manners, what do you think?

Thanks for the Memories

Dear Memories,

Dharma is with you 100%.  And right off the bat, I want to say thank you to you for sending this in.  You’re right; we do get a lot of relationship questions, but are more than happy to answer questions on etiquette and anything else you guys can throw our way!

Indeed, it does seem like thank you cards are from another generation, one where manners were drilled into kids who grew into adults who said, “thank you”.  And then taught their kids to do the same.  So simple, non?  Two little words, nice and easy to pronounce, and they pack such a punch.

Where along the way did this stop being important?  Why did it stop being important?

I’m hoping to see a resurgence in this behaviour, as it seems that maybe, just maybe, this generation of parenting is starting to refocus maybe just a little bit on bringing manners back.  Screw sexy, just give us a good old fashioned thank you, right?

And you’re right, it doesn’t need to be a card… a text, an email, a quick phone call – anything that lets us know you received the gift and are appreciative of the time and effort taken to do something kind for you.

If you can lead by example by acknowledging others when they send you a gift or go out of their way for you, that’s part of the battle, I think.  Putting good manners and kindness out into the world can never be a bad thing… And of course, you can spread the word and send this post to everyone you know just to show you were right…  🙂




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  • Material world says:

    I cut off everyone who did not thank me for Christmas gifts two years in a row… I got tired of finding the perfect gifts, wrapping them, spending money to carefully wrap then post them only to wonder if the recipients liked or even received the parcels. No one could complain, now could they?
    Now I donate the money I would have spent to local charities where I know it will have a profound impact and be appreciated.

    • Dharma says:

      Definitely one way to handle it!

      I don’t think people realize the effect it has when nice things go unacknowledged and seemingly unappreciated. And the sad thing is, it makes nice people not want to do nice things, and really, that’s the last thing we need in the world.

Whether you agree with Dharma or think she missed the mark on this one, leave a Comment!

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