Over-Thanking: Can you say thank you too much?


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Is it possible to be an over-thanker? It’s important to express your gratitude, but my friend was worried about coming on too strong with a thank you text PLUS a handwritten note.

My friend, Loren, sent me a message the other day and asked:

What a sweet question, Loren.

Send a quick text or email ASAP

In today’s instant gratitude society, it’s smart to think that people want to know as soon as possible that you received their gift. And I’m not pointing fingers, myself included. If I send you flowers for your birthday, I want to know they ACTUALLY made it to you on your birthday!

So yes, I think a quick text or email that day is important.

Follow up with a handwritten note

But I also think a quick text is just that… a quick text. To really show your gratitude, you should follow up with a handwritten thank you note in the next couple days. Now, I say a couple days but, like I teach the kids in my etiquette classes, my #1 rule of thank you notes is to send them as soon as possible BUT better late than never. So even if it’s been a week or month or three months, if you remember it, send it!

Thanking servers

Loren also mentioned, at restaurants, she thanks servers every single time she interacts with them. Is THIS too much thanking?

I say no. These people are literally running back and forth to the kitchen, serving you food, and then going back to the kitchen to get your ranch. While you get to sit and enjoy your meal. And yes, I know it’s their job but it’s also your job to be kind. Thanking a server each time they serve you is not over thanking. It’s very kind.

Now, I’m not talking a full on eye contact, thank you so much, every time they refill your tea. A quick nod or verbal “thanks” is good. Just remember to do your sincere, eye contact at your final thank you at the end of the meal.

Is it possible to be an over-thanker?

So, if expressing your thanks is a good thing.  Is it possible to be an over-thanker? Is there a line you cross when it could become annoying or over the top?

Of course, there’s always an extreme that you want to avoid. I would thank someone, at most in two methods: in person and a note or a text and a note. If you send a text, an email, a phone call, and a note…. folks may start worrying about ya.

So, Loren, thank you for the question. I love your kind heart and I love that you recognized a text message thank you wasn’t quite enough to show appreciation for your gift.

If you have any etiquette questions, DM me on Instagram or message me on Facebook. I’d love to help you come up with an answer!

[ASK SYDNEY], Etiquette


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