Do you know who Seth Godin is? According to his bio online, he’s an author, entrepreneur, and, most importantly, a teacher. He sends a daily email blast with tidbits of knowledge and something I like to call the occasional “attitude adjustment.”
Here’s a recent one of Seths’ emails that really hit home with me, and I wanted to share it with you.
Failing to acknowledge a favor or a courtesy is a triple mistake, and it’s becoming more common. ChatGPT is now promoting the idea that it can write a thank you note for you, and a text is a lot easier than a handwritten note, and yet, the level of ‘thank you’ seems to be falling.
It’s not that people don’t have the time to offer an honest ‘thank you’. It’s that they don’t want to acknowledge the obligation or connection.
Minimizing a favor is an easy way to stay focused on the noise in our own heads, as opposed to realizing that we’re surrounded by other people.
Hustle culture has discovered that ‘asking for a favor’ often triggers a positive response. This effort on the part of the other person happens because the favor-giver is seeking connection. When the recipient minimizes the favor or fails to say thank you, they create distance, not connection.
The fact that an expression of gratitude requires so little effort makes it even more striking.
To pick a tiny example, if someone lets you into the flow of traffic, a small nod or hand wave costs nothing. But sometimes it feels easier to assert that it was yours to take, as opposed to a kind gesture that you received.
Our failure to take a moment to acknowledge the favor also makes it harder for the next person. If connection isn’t on offer, why not be selfish?
Civility fades in the face of entitlement.
The magic of an honest expression of gratitude is that the person saying thank you might benefit from it as much as the recipient.
First of all, allow me to take the opportunity to say Thank You! Thank you for reading my emails, and just being a connection. Even if you’re not going to buy or sell a home, I am glad you’re here. You’re part of my community too. I hope I add some degree of value to your daily life.