Monday, January 11, 2016

To Say, "You're Welcome!"



The words "you're welcome" have by and large been replaced in our ultra-casual social atmosphere. In response to "thank you," we often hear "not a problem," "no worries," or "don't mention it." What's the difference?  Does it matter that we're not saying "you're welcome" anymore?

Yes, yes it does.  Consider what is lost in this subtle replacement of words.  What is missing?  "You" is missing.  And as a result, the message is altered tremendously.  Saying "no problem," turns the focus from the other person to ourselves, leaving the subtle implication that there might be times when we'd consider it a problem.  Replies like "no worries" can leave a person feeling like they had just apologized instead of offering sincere appreciation.  Saying "no problem" and "no worries" leaves the thanker feeling like their appreciation has been sidestepped.  It is the verbal equivalent of returning a thank you note unopened.

On the other hand, responses such as "you're very welcome," or "it's my pleasure," spoken genuinely, give the other person the satisfaction of having his or her thanks warmly accepted.

Principle: In response to "Thank you," a lady says, "You're welcome!"

Photo: Glamis Castle Roses by David Austen found on Pinterest

4 comments:

  1. Thank you Dear Nancy for this post. I'd never really understood the distinction between "You're welcome" and terms like "no worries". I personally don't respond to thanks with "no problem" but do use "you're welcome" but I think only because it's my generation's practice. Now thanks to you, I understand the difference. I've so much to learn! Thank you for your work. (It is so cute when our 2 year old granddaughter replies "you're welcome" to our thanks - and we know where she learnt that response.) :)

    If I may ask, how do you know these principles of good manners?

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    1. Dear Linda, you are so welcome! I was blessed with a beautiful mama who was every inch a lady. I believe I learned more from watching her live life than anything, but I also had the wonderful opportunity to attend The American School of Protocol and continue to search out books on the topic of gentle behavior (especially from previous generations who really knew!) I appreciate so much your interest and encouraging words. <3

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  2. Thank you for this post, Nancy. I hadn't ever really thought about the distinction between those phrases before. From now on, I'll be sure to say "you're welcome." :)

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    1. You're very welcome, Laura Jeanne! Thank you for taking the time to let me know.

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