The meaning of any, even the simplest phrase can sound different, if you just change the intonation of the one who says it. It would seem that with the word “thank you” everything is clear – it is an expression of gratitude. And meanwhile, perhaps, each of us in certain situations pronounces “thank you” differently, so depending on the emotional and semantic load it is of different nature.
Admiration from the received gift, which one has dreamed of for so long, words of love to his wife, who gave him a long-awaited son, or deep gratitude to the surgeon, who literally put on his feet after a compound fracture, or warm appreciation to friends, who were next to him in the most difficult time. In all such situations, emotions are literally off the scale and tears often come to their eyes. A person at that moment isn’t just an enthusiastic thank you, he is ready to embrace the whole world. His “thank you” is so charged with positive energy, that it is difficult for other people nearby to restrain the feelings that overwhelm them. As a result, there are smiles and a friendly atmosphere all around.
The most natural thing in such cases is to share this enthusiasm and respond to the person with encouraging or supportive phrases, or even simply to say “thank you” to each other. Let’s say: “Dear friends, without you I would surely have given up. Thank you for being there!”
Most often we say “thank you” automatically and don’t put any special meaning in it except gratitude. This is exactly the case when it comes to good manners and upbringing. By the way, ordinary “thank you” in the daily hustle and bustle is practically ignored by many people. The same goes for when gratitude is accompanied by a smile, even a reserved one.
So, in the moments when the cashier hands you a package or a girl holds the door in the subway, a driver is waiting for you, delaying the departure of the bus, you friend has taught you how to gamble at National Casino, or your mother poured the soup, a compliment was paid or you were praised by your boss, saying “thank you” in return, try to smile. This expression of gratitude will make you more sincere, and the mood will improve all, and even help improve personal life. Remember, even the duty words of gratitude, said with a smile, can become for someone a pleasant sign of attention.
There are also times when it’s different. When someone does you a disservice or openly sets you up, or deliberately or accidentally adds to your troubles and problems, or even causes you discomfort with the best intentions – you can say thank you even in such situations. Only it will most likely be expressed with a large dose of sarcasm and a displeased shake of the head. The causticity of the tone will almost always let the other person know how upset, disappointed, angry, or frustrated the person thanking you is. In this situation, even someone who meant no harm is likely to feel awkward, gaffe, guilt, and shame. If the work or friendship, to communicate after this is quite difficult, and the desire to contact in the future sometimes disappears altogether. In the case of people close to them, such “thank yous” usually hurt and spoil their mood.
If you already have time to say snark, try to stop in time to explain what was said in the heat of the moment. Speak sincerely about why you reacted that way, or, for example, how the situation can change now. Like, “John, it’s nice that you complimented my reporting skills in front of the boss, only now I have to work on my day off. It’s a shame because I had completely different plans.”
This was also quite common, but perhaps it could be considered a form of thankfulness. Quite often it happens that we say thank you for something that does not exist. For example, when we ask for a favor or try to get someone’s support. For example, after asking the head of human resources to report the results of a job interview over the phone, it is fine to say thank you. However, if you later add another “thank you” for your time and another – for an interesting conversation, it becomes more like an expression of flattery and subservience, an attempt to show yourself as an extremely pleasant and obsequious person. In other words, such super politeness is a clear desire to be liked. Most often, such behavior only harms, because the number of said “thank you” is unlikely to multiply your professionally important qualities. But the interlocutor can be annoying, and the person himself will feel humiliated.
So try not to abuse the expression of gratitude, all is well in moderation. You can thank the person by the execution of the request, for example: “Thank you for the call” or “I understand you, thank you for the call!” This is really nice to both say and hear.