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On thanking and being thanked.

Counselling — admin @ 8:47 pm

Here at Counselling Connections this week there was one of those occasions when we got sidetracked and the most important issue arose outside of the intended setting. As we settled down to our weekly meeting one of our number was recounting details of a positive customer service experience. So impressed had she been with the service she received that she rang the young man’s boss to say thanks. So, rather than have our scheduled meeting we turned the agenda on its head and began with A.O.B . This was the whole issue of thanks and the positivity and feel good factor it can generate.

Of course, being thorough about this meant that we had to look at both the good and bad of the whole issue of thanks. So, what does it mean to say thank you to someone? There can be an inequality to this exchange. What is it that we are thanking them for? It may mean that the other person has done us some kind of good turn and that we owe them something. One kind of thanks can be repayment for some favour done; perhaps even a favour that we didn’t ask for.

So, some forms of thanks can involve an unequal relationship; one in which we thank another for something they have done and where maybe the inequality surrounds the notion of them retaining some hold over us. Such a person may deftly avoid allowing us the opportunity to do them a favour of some sort in return thus retaining whatever upper hand seems to pertain in such a relationship. Maybe this points to a deeper meaning where being able to graciously accept a gift is a gift in itself. Where to receive is the favour in return.

There is something then about being comfortable within the relationship that allows us to receive and to say thanks. This points to a comfort and a trust in the other but more so also some sort of comfort in our own self. This may be down to feeling worthy of whatever gift the other has bestowed on us. It may also be that because of our positive experience we don’t have to worry unduly about repayment or what price the other may try to extract. An open kind of thanks, free of obligation is one borne of the genuine nature of the giving.

Another aspect of thanks or gratitude is nothing more complicated than passing on good will to another. It has a measurable positive effect. This is the kind of experience that we can have in any day to day transaction let alone within our intimate relationships. One really good aspect of this kind of thanks is that it can be consciously begun. Imagine if you pause for a moment as you put your change into your purse or wallet; make eye contact with your sales assistant and say a smiling thank you to them. We would expect that event to have a positive ripple through that person’s day and through them to other people of good will whom they encounter.

There is no doubt that this kind of positive experience has a cumulative effect. One positive experience begets another and a little thanks or complement will enrich both giver and receiver. With all the bad news about; with all the negative discourse about money and weather it is very encouraging to think that we can create some good cheer just by spreading a little good will around. We can give good service and we can acknowledge it with thanks when we receive it. Let us then start the ball rolling by thanking you for reading this week’s post. If you liked it pass it on.

Counselling Connections, Dundalk.

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