Somewhere along the way, I stopped saying “you’re welcome” when someone would thank me for doing something for them. Instead, I used any number of replies including “no problem,” “sure thing,” “no sweat,” “no worries,” or if texting or other electronic communication, just a simple smiley face or a wink.
The issue with the responses other than the traditional “you’re welcome” is that you’re actually saying to the person that there was a problem that they asked you to do something or that they should have been worrying about approaching you for assistance and you are forgiving them for it. This is not the response I want to be giving. My parents taught me better than to imply needed forgiveness. My parents raised me to say ma’am and sir, please, thank you and no thank you. You’re welcome fits right into this category.
An article I read on Twitter a few months ago spurred this desire to respond more politely and kindly to others. I believe it was this NPR article, but there is no telling when reading articles on Twitter. I love what is said in this column as it explains our happiness to serve another by replying with you’re welcome rather than the other responses. Surely this is something we as Christians know very well — to serve another with great joy.
Until I became self-aware of this habit, I had no idea how deep down the rabbit hole I had gone. I was saying it not only to friends, but to colleagues and worst of all, the customers I serve at work. My job is to help them be successful and by answering their “thank you” with a “no worries” or “no problem,” I’m implying that it is an inconvenience to help them but that they shouldn’t worry about it. False! They are paying for a service and I should reply in-kind.
Now I’m finding pleasure in responding with you’re welcome or you’re very welcome. It feels right and brings me more joy than the other responses. It’s also been encouraging me to find other ways to be more polite to others. Joy and politeness are things we can all use a bit more of.
Thanks for reading!