General Question

spendy's avatar

When you do something nice, do you need to be thanked?

Asked by spendy (1446points) April 6th, 2008

I’m referring to your personal needs, not ettiquette. Of course, it is polite to thank people, but how do you feel about being on the receiving end…or not being on the receiving end (of a “Thank You”)?

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48 Answers

babygalll's avatar

Yes, it acknowledges the person. Not matter how little or small. A simple thank you can go a long way.

trainerboy's avatar

No. It is nice to be acknowledged, but if we give conditionally, it is not really giving.
However, in giving, it will come back to us somehow, someway.

mcbealer's avatar

I actually like to do things anonymously if possible. I don’t like being in the spotlight. I love doing random acts of kindness.

El_Cadejo's avatar

No i dont need to be thanked for my deeds, but its always nice to see the person appreciates what you did for them.

RedmannX5's avatar

I always need to be thanked. If I’m not, I think that my good dead has not been acknowledged.

spendy's avatar

Again…speaking strictly about personal needs (or lack of), and in no way related to etiquette. I believe it’s good etiquette, but not personally necessary to receive thanks.

spendy's avatar

@Redmann, so if you did something for someone that you knew helped them and made a difference (big or small), but they didn’t thank you, you’d stop?

El_Cadejo's avatar

no spendywatson its not necessary to be thanked every time but i think after a long time of not being thanked you’ll stop doing those deeds so it is still necessary.

babygalll's avatar

What about when you are constantly doing things for people and they show no emotion what so ever? What if you do all this and they never do anything for you? Still going to go on doing things?

spendy's avatar

If you are truly doing it because you want to help, know it helps and enjoy giving, then it shouldn’t matter. Response or not. If you simply do it to (at some point) be praised and it doesn’t happen, then you have no pay-off and the giving would stop.

babygalll's avatar

I can’t imagine people doing things for me and not responding at all. I always have to acknowledge what was done.

peedub's avatar

No. I try to always thank people but sometimes forget. The worst is when someone reminds you by saying “thank you..(insert that person’s name)”

ebenezer's avatar

I don’t think people do things without a result. But, I think if we do good things anon, we create a possitive image of ourselves to ourselves. Like, if someone tries to bring you down in anyway you can say to yourself, “if they only new”. I think it probablly makes a person more mentally healthy.

ladytmerie's avatar

I liked to be thanked if it is something that I do often for someone. They don’t have to thank me everytime or even with words, a simple hug would do. My reasoning for this is it has happened to me, not being thanked or appreciated for the things I have done for a person. Sure, it feels good to do things for people but if you aren’t appreciated for it how healthy is that? Obviously if you are anonomously helping someone, a formal thank you is not why you did it to begin with, the thanks are in hoping that you made someones day.

cornman's avatar

Try this experiment. Go a whole month without thanking anyone for anything. Note how you feel during this period.
Receiving from others is sometimes a huge challenge and issue for some. I believe we get to expect others to give to us but in return we get to acknowledge their generosity in order to keep the wheels of giving and receiving lubed.

ladytmerie's avatar

@cornman—It makes me feel bad just thinking about not showing appreciation to someone, whether it took 1 minute or an hour I want to keep those wheels lubed!

bluemukaki's avatar

No, the best times when I do things for people (when I get the most out of it), they never even other people doing things for them, because they never stop to notice those things other people have done for them. No doubt I do the same!

Zaxwar91's avatar

OK guys, heres a question that should hit the spot morally. Yes when i do something nice i expect to be thanked, be it when i let someone cut me in the fast lane, or when i get my girlfriend a nice gift, thats when i expect to be compinsated, but then there are other things such as when you help out with the needy, or donate to the poor, or just help someone who needs a little push in the right direction. that when i dont expect to be thanked, and i actually hope that i’m not, because i see it as my right to help those people so as to even out the things that i have and they dont, but thats just me. Then there are people like bluemukaki (when they get the most out of it) LOL

Robby's avatar

It is nice to be acknowledged for doing something nice for someone and vice versa. I don’t think it should be expected though. Other times it’s out of habit from courtesy and respect for others. “Personaly I find it good practice” I don’t do something for someone to expect a thank you back however, If I hold a door open for someone then I might expect a thank you.

squirbel's avatar

I’ve spent most of my life in public service:

- tutoring low-income kids, maths & sciences
– coaching low-income kids in tennis & swimming
– feeding homeless every weekend
– going overseas to help with building schools and giving kids food
– being a role model and motivating kids in those countries on a one-on-one level to always read and believe that they can become something big
– making coffee daily for people here in america
– serving people their food [mexican restaurant]
– giving friends money if they needed it
– buying books for classmates
– so many other little things.

I’m sure everyone has done things like this. But this is the lesson I learned from it all – the world is a thankless place. If I were to expect thanks, I would become despondent and less likely to reach out and be helpful. So to answer your question, I do not depend on thanks. It embarrasses me more often than not. But each time I receive thanks, it is like a gift, and I appreciate it as such.

Expect nothing. Live frugally on surprise!

mzgator's avatar

First of all, when I do something for someone, it is because I wanted to do it. My “thank you” is the feeling I have inside.

Of course I am a staunch believer in good manners. I have taught my daughter to always say thank you, and I am proud to say she does. All people are not taught good manners.

spendy's avatar

@squirbel, I truly appreciate your point of view. You can appreciate a thank you without ever expecting or depending on it. The motive for giving should never be appreciation if your gift is truly coming from the right place.

@mzgator, I am also a firm believer in good manners, etiquette, etc. and see it the same way. Those things are also important. I’m just zeroing in on everyone’s individual need to be/not be appreciated for doing nice things… and I’m curious how many people may have motives for giving and not even realize it (which contradicts the entire purpose, IMO). I also like your wording – “My ‘thank you’ is the feeling I have inside.”

@lady, “Sure, it feels good to do things for people but if you aren’t appreciated for it how healthy is that?” – why would it not be “healthy”? Isn’t it more healthy exercise the gift of giving selflessly, with no need for appreciation, recognition or “payment” of appreciation or thanks…in line with the true meaning of the word “gift”?

trainerboy's avatar

@lady….if you do something for do make somebody’s day. It just may not come back to you from the person you did it for. If you look around though, it will come back. If you feel it must come back from that person, you may miss out on what comes back to you, from wherever it comes.

spendy's avatar

@trainer – you karma lover, you. :)

trainerboy's avatar

@spendy…I learned form the TV show “My Name Is Earl”!!!!
Seriously, it is a universal law that I find to be more and more true!!

RedmannX5's avatar

@spendywatson: no I wouldn’t stop doing the good deed but I might confront them about it and tell them how much a thankyou means to me

steelmarket's avatar

As squirbel knows, sometimes it can be hard to do something for someone when you know that they will not appreciate it. Wanting appreciation is pretty much wired into humans from day one. But, you can develop the ability to give unconditionally. It takes practice to get good at it, just like it takes practice to get good at anything worthwhile. So, don’t feel bad if you have trouble giving without receiving – you can change (or sometimes, be changed).

ladytmerie's avatar

@ steelmarket—I fully agree with and understand what you are saying. In the instances that squirbel describes that is warranted and often times true, it is in the services provided that you can feel good about giving without receiving. What are your feelings on say, a family member that treats you in this same manner? Do you continue to feel good about giving and giving? Am I selfish because even though I don’t want that person to go without but because I can’t even get a small Thank you I tend to feel more bitter than good about the giving.

your feelings on say, recieving and

ladytmerie's avatar

I have a hard time with editing, I could not get the random non-sentence out that follows my paragraph. Sorry, please ignore it.

scamp's avatar

I enjoying helping people. It is rewarding for me in itself, but so much more if I receive a Thank You for it. So I can be happy without a Thank You, but it’s not necessary.

steelmarket's avatar

@ladytmerie – tough situation. Don’t mistake me, I didn’t say that giving means feeling good. Sometimes it does not. But giving can be a choice even though it does not bring a good feeling, or even a feeling of success or closure. This is where giving blends into grace, which is by definition unmerited favor. Now, there are times when giving to a need can be the wrong thing to do. If someone needs a fix, giving them crack is wrong (to use an extreme example). Giving a child everything he/she wants is ultimately destructive. If your giving is supporting a bad situation or behavior, then you may need to refrain or even make it conditional upon improved behavior. Having a giving spirit does not mean that you have to be a sucker (to be blunt).

spendy's avatar

@steelmarket, totally agree. You’re right that giving doesn’t necessarily mean feeling good. Sometimes there are acts of giving that you just know are right, even if you get the lingering feeling that appreciation for what you gave or did may not come.

IMO, it’s kind of like taking your kids for their booster shots – responsibility factor aside, you run the big risk of not getting a smile and tons of appreciation but you also can’t debate that it’s the right thing to do and will definitely benefit them (much the same way giving often works).

Sometimes all you have is the satisfaction of knowing you did a good thing, and that should always be enough.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Another thing to add. I’m a server at applebees and i got to tell you even though it is my job to serve these people having them tell me thank you after i get them something like a drink napkin or whatever makes the day go by much smoother and makes you more willing to help them and get things for them. Otherwise your just sitting there cursing the asshole who didnt have the common courtesy to say thanks.

spendy's avatar

@batman, in that setting I believe common courtesy is a must and I’ve been in your position (literally) and it does make the day run smoother. You are 100% correct. But you’re also not doing them “favors”. You’re doing your job (what you’re paid to do) and customer service is expected and compensated for by the paycheck you receive, unless you work for free. :)

El_Cadejo's avatar

@spendy i pretty much do work for free. I get paid 2.13 an hour but after taxes my checks are always voided ^_^
And yes i do realize it is part of my job but like you said common courtesy is a must.

rowenaz's avatar

I held the door open for a woman carrying a baby in a car seat. My arms were full, but still I waited at the door and held it wide. She went through and didn’t even GLANCE at me. Like I was her doorperson? This was a first for me, but after she went through, I said loudly, “You’re Welcome!” as if I had heard her say thank you. It was a friendly reminder that manners really do count, and I feel our society is a better place when people have manners.

When I give my students gifts, even if they are a little sticker for good behavior, I now expect a thank you. I wanted to give something, albeit a small token, and they should still say thank you.

steelmarket's avatar

The “random acts of kindness” phrase should be rewritten as “random acts of thankless kindness”. Doesn’t have quite the ring to it, but would be more accurate.

spendy's avatar

@batman, i totally agree with you. And, much like you, I appreciate it when someone uses their manners. I don’t need the thank yous, but it sure helps me feel better. I wouldn’t stop doing nice things without them though. Also, sounds like you’d better be looking for another job!!! :D I can sympathize….I’m an ex-Olive Garden employee.

scamp's avatar

@uberbatman have you ever seen the movie Waiting?

El_Cadejo's avatar

@spendy nah i dont really need another job. for what its worth i love my job, i just have to deal with assholes now and again.

@scamp yes i have and all i can say is i felt very sad about my life after watching it. Every single one of those scenarios played out in that movie i have experienced. Both as a server and as a cook. The whole scene about cursing like crazy about customers and then walking up to them with a big ol smile on your face is dead on.

scamp's avatar

I have been a server in the past, and what you just described is the reason why I swore I would never do it again. I made a vow to myself that I would scrub toilets before waiting tables again. It really is a thankless job a lot of the time. I hate that no matter how bad you feel or how rude the customer is, you have to smile like little Suzy Sunshine ) or Sammy in your case) and say thanks for the shit sir, may I have some more? But I guess it makes me a good customer, because I am always very polite to my servers, and I tip really well. I’m in Jersey too, so maybe one day I will have the pleasure of having you wait on me. If it ever happens, I will make sure to thank you for all you do.

El_Cadejo's avatar

hahah thatd be awesome to run into you at work ^_^. I know its been said before but i think everyone should work in a restaurant at least once in their life. It seems many people dont understand what the job is like. Whenever i go out i always say please and thank you and am sure to leave a nice tip. Im even at the point where i feel bad asking for my meals modified because i know how much of a pain it can be on the cooks.

scamp's avatar

I know what you mean. Just last night we went to a diner and I ordered Apple Crumb cake. the waitress brought me Apple crumb pie. I didn’t say a word. I just ate it and thanked her for it! I even clean up the table when I finish eating so it’s easier for the busboy.

If I ever get the chance to come to your Applebee’s you’ll know me because I will be the one asking if there is jellyfish on the appetizer menu. Ha ha!!

RedmannX5's avatar

@scamp: i used to be a bus boy and believe me, it was very appreciated when people would stack up their plates and such before leaving. It always made my job a lot easier, especially because I was the only bus boy at a restaurant with 60+ tables!

OnceCalledFelix's avatar

I don’t need it but I love it

scamp's avatar

@RedmannX5 That’s just why I do that. I remember what it’s like to be swamped and have no help.

LouisianaGirl's avatar

yes because I want people to know that I did it!

JellyB's avatar

No, i don’t have a personal need for it, i just consider it really rude not to be thanked when it is obviously due.

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