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Gratitude packs a three-fold punch

You already know that hearing someone say ‘thanks’ feels great. And you probably also know that saying thanks feels pretty darn good too.

Did you also know that by saying ‘thanks’, you are motivating the people you thank to help others?

A note on white paper with the words 'thank you' rests on top of a brown envelope.

Gratitude packs a three-fold punch. It’s like adding yeast to your bread – it triples in size, ensuring everyone gets a slice. Everyone is better off – the ‘thanker’, the ‘thankee’ and the broader community.

How saying thank you helps you

  • The thanker feels good saying it. The thankee feels valued hearing it.
  • You will better savour the experience, cope with stress and strengthen social relationships (see the research) and will have increased positive emotions, wellbeing and health (see the research).
  • You are twice as likely to get help from that person next time you ask, compared to if you don’t say ‘thank you’ (A Little Thanks Goes a Long Way, 2010).
  • It encourages you to engage in good deeds to reciprocate the help you have got from others (see the research).

How saying thank you helps everyone else too

Here’s where it gets interesting. Researchers found that by saying ‘thank you’, the helper is not only more likely to help you, they are also more likely to help someone else.

The research involved two groups who were asked to provide feedback on a cover letter. The first group received an email simply acknowledging their feedback. The second group received acknowledgement and a ‘thank you’. Participants then received a request from another person asking for help with their cover letter. The second group were significantly more likely (55%) to assist than the first (25%).

So get to it, folks. To triple your impact, say ‘thanks’ today. Who can you say thank you to? How are you going to do it? Saying thank you is a simple and effective way of making the world a better place.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on when you’ve said or received a ‘thanks’. Who was it to and what was it for? How did you say ‘thank you’? How were you thanked?

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