Don't step on your "thanks"

She totally stepped on my “congratulations”! I recently sent a colleague a big “thumbs up” for a huge accomplishment she had made, and instead of simply saying, “thanks”, homegirl stepped all over my congratulations like it was peanut shells on a bar floor. Like: she stomped on it, smothered it…and her reaction left me feeling like I never even said thanks in the first place.

How did she do it? Quite simply by replying, “Oh it was nothing. I’m actually embarrassed that you noticed.”

Say what?! Embarassed? It was nothing? Okay, bye. I walked away shaking my head and thinking, “Nevermind”.

The main reason we push “thank yous” and “congratulations” away is that, sometimes, attention can be hard to accept. Shining in the spotlight can feel awkward and over-the-top. So, we shirk off any attention we receive and instead of saying, “thank you”, we push back to keep all eyes off of us. I get that. We’re not all trying to be Beyonce on center stage. (Well, at least not every day.)

Despite that feeling, it’s important to recognize praise when we receive it. Not only for the mood boost it can give us, but also because it’s important to recognize praise from others. When someone takes the time to reach out to you and say “congratulations, “thank you” or some other form of a “thumbs up”, it is our responsibility to recognize their effort and simply say “thank you.”

Say thank you…that’s it. You don’t have to say much more beyond that. Be sure you’re words are heartfelt, though. And – if you like – give some appreciation in return. It takes only seconds to say, “I appreciate you taking the time to say that. It means a lot to me,” but the payoff in building a stronger relationship with that person is BIG.

Believe that most people – if not everyone in your life – want to see you do well. They want to praise and congratulate you. When they do, give a heartfelt “thank you” and return the kindness with a little appreciation of your own.