5 Ways to Show “thank you”, not say it

February 12, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Yes it’s cliche, but sometimes saying “thank you” is not enough. We all have people who have touched our lives and helped shape who we are along our journeys. I always look for ways to build upon relationships by showing how important someone is to me; taking the time to do something a little “more”. It doesn’t have to cost money, it just requires thoughtfulness. Taking the time to do something meaningful speaks far more than a simple “thank you”. Below are 5 ways I’ve shown people how much I appreciate them. Some cost and some didn’t, but they were all wildly received.

1. Write someone a story. It doesn’t have to be long, it just has to be targeted to them. Many times we forget to tell people all of the little things we remember and how they’ve made us feel. Post the story online. Public display of affection shows love and commitment in ANY relationship – not just romantic ones.

2. Artwork – this doesn’t have to be expensive. There’s a great artist named Brian Andreas and on his site – storypeople – he has thousands of framed prints that have ‘mini’ quotes / stories that speak to all different types of people. A great one that I’ve sent to people that inspire me is here – the quote story is “Don’t you hear it? she asked & I shook my head no & then she started to dance & suddenly there was music everywhere & it went on for a very long time & when I finally found words all I could say was thank you.”

3. Research something you know the person is interested in and get them something that is rare and they do not have. Example: My old boss was a golfer and talked about Bobby Jones as the best golfer of all time. After a day he had been particularly patient with me, I found a ticket autographed by him on ebay. I bought it and gave it to him. He was floored. He had only mentioned it a couple times, but showed him how much I was listening and how much I cared.

4. Books – instead of just sending someone a book; send them YOUR book – with your notes and thoughts in it.

5. Music – make someone a playlist. Again – show them that you listen to them. If they love TED videos – add a TED podcast and 3-4 different songs.

I could keep listing, but the unfortunate reality is many people “don’t believe in” gifts. Or perhaps they believe in them on birthdays and holidays only. I assure you, if you want to show true, thoughtful appreciation for someone – review the list above and act on it. If you don’t have anyone in your life you want to thank in such a way, it’s time to start building some more meaningful relationships.

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  1. February 13, 2011 at 8:08 am

    A personal touch is very important. Good post, great reminder.

  2. February 14, 2011 at 9:32 am

    Jamie, these are all fantastic ideas and nobody does this. But my issue is that people fail to say a real “thank you” and show their appreciation in even the most basic ways. I spend a fair amount of time helping people make connections to jobs and provide other resources and it amazes me how few times they follow up to let me know if they made contact and how it’s going. As a connector, all I really want is a nice thank you and a regular update.

    So tip for job seekers: sincere and prompt thank you’s and regular follow-up when someone has led you to a contact are the really important things!

  3. February 14, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    Good ideas. I find these days a mailed hand-written note does wonders since it is not as common any more. Although I have see the value of taking the time to put thought on nice paper, stamp it and mail is coming back.
    Most Mondays I write gratitude notes thanking people for doing great things in the community. There are many good people out there!

    • February 14, 2011 at 2:53 pm

      I agree, David. It’s Valentine’s Day and as “cheesy” as this sounds, I was thrilled to get hand written cards from a few close friends / family that don’t live near me. To your point, it showed they had made the ‘extra effort’ as opposed to just sending an email.

  1. February 13, 2011 at 2:41 am

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