it’s nothing VS thank you – which one? and why? — COM104

William C. thank you hanane for doing the amazing christmas hat chair. i’m amazed & super satisfied. it’s flawless.
Hanane K. oh come on! it’s nothing.
William C. you should learn to say thank you. aftab taught me this [thank you aftab]
Hanane K.
because people like to be appreciated πŸ™‚
William C.
it’s very important for the person giving you praise. it makes them feel disappointed when you don’t say thank you, and appreciated when you do.
Hanane K. thank you

answering ‘thank you’ to praise in a genuine way, involves intense exchange of emotions, which isn’t an easy thing to do. I believe the best way to get the intensity of these emotions across, is this: share with you a phone call that I got right after the chat conversation above. but let me first share 2 thoughts:

if you think saying thank you to praise is ego, it’s not. it’s gratitude. ego comes with its own egotistical intension. if someone is showing you gratitude, and you’re thinking: ‘yeah i know, you don’t have to tell me, i don’t need you.’ and you say ‘thank you’ with those thoughts, you’re right, that’s ego. while on the other hand, if you really feel the gratitude within you, and whithin the other person, and you say ‘thank you’ from that place; then the other person would feel your gratitude towards him. he deserves it. just say it.

but it’s HARD! it really is. I still can’t get myself to say it in front of live praise most of the time. writing it is easy. it’s also less effective, and still better than not saying it at all. but to be able to say it ‘live’ without sounding egotistical needs you to shed some layers of complexity & defenses, and actually connect with the other person. you need to step out of your comfort zone.

this is the phone conversation:   …a friend calls me to thank me for my notes. she tells me how much notes touched her, and how timely they are at this time in her life. she says beautiful things that i didn’t even dare to believe. and she’s very genuine is her ‘praise’. I can feel her gratitude, and I am grateful of hers’… and i still can’t get myself to say ‘thank you.’ it’s so hard. i pull that extra bit of strength that i have in me, I step out of my comfort zone… and i say it out of pure gratitude: ‘thank you so much’…

instantly, she stops talking. i feel an overwhelming rush of energy within me. a sense of instant ‘lightness’. bliss. something has changed. after a brief silence, she tries to say something. her voice has changed as well. it’s as if there’s something stuck in her throat. whatever I’m feeling, she feels it too. there was no doubt about it. it feels like we have both been elevated to another blissful place. it’s overwhelming. I get a tear of joy in my eye. I could hear her crying as well.

no matter how hard it is, when someone praises you, say thank you. you owe it to the person. you owe it to yourself.

yours, will

twitter: @williamchoukeir

p.s. closely related: can you? (a magical exercise to expand your comfort zone exponentially)



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4 Responses to it’s nothing VS thank you – which one? and why? — COM104

  1. viola' says:

    william 3anjad thank you for sharing all this πŸ™‚ and it reminds me of how much i miss talking to you

  2. Anonymous says:

    <html><head></head><body style="word-wrap: break-word; -webkit-nbsp-mode: space; -webkit-line-break: after-white-space; "><div>thank you viola’ so much. i feel exactly the same.</div><div> <div style="width: 600px; font-size: 12px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px;" class="PosterousEmail"></div></div></body></html>

  3. Sara Sibai says:

    Oh my goodness. I never thought of it this way. I love praising people, it feels amazing to remind people of how wonderful they are and how unique their actions are. But when I’m praised, I go red, and I change the subject instantly. I do this every single time! Even in romantic situations. It drives the other person mad. I just didn’t know how to take it! Thank you for sharing the phone conversation, I genuinely thought I was keeping my ego in check and staying humble, but I was also protecting myself from a very emotional situation that required me to put myself out there, acknowledge what has been said and be grateful that it has been said, and let it make my day, my week, and theirs (the person who said it). Thank you Will.

  4. Anonymous says:

    <div dir="ltr">You're so very welcome Sara. And thank you for your lovely words.<br><br></div>

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