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How to respond to a "thank you" to avoid credit inflating

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Hi Guys,

opening the thread from the recent discussions.

Quoting myself to start up:

Various possibilities

My take based on what I learned on TPM's forum:

A) when the thanker is recognizing his debt and it's obvious: 

  • "you're welcome" highlights one was giving and increases the social credit imbalance;
  • "my pleasure" is slightly better, but IMO it has an undertone of "you don't need to thank me", which slightly demeans the other person's gratitude (it probably also depends on the tone/context);
  • "glad it was helpful" is slightly better because it focuses on the benefit given and underlies one cares about the other, but still somewhat highlights the imbalance and the giving.

To me best of all is just thanking back, as a form of "phatic" acknowledgment.

As to "it's nothing" or "it's normal", I feel that:

  • "it's normal" is slightly demeaning;
  • "it's nothing" can work, but might have the effect of removing one's credit, ie the opposite effect.

Adding that sometimes IMO it may even be better not to answer than to answer; for example,

  • where one has already thanked the other for something and also made a compliment
  • and the other then responds by thanking back for the compliment

then the "reciprocal thank you" dynamic seems already established, even though the "thanks" may not be directly related to one another.

In other words, the general social balance between two people is maybe more important than the specific balance between the "thanks", maybe with the exception of third parties being present who are not aware of the prior social balance.

But I'm open to changing my mind on this.

Just as an example, if Lucio writes here on the forum:

"Thank you for sharing Bel"

I may thumb up the post but not respond to avoid social scalping. Is that a good way, or is there a better solution?

B) when the credit is being withheld by the thanker, ie the thanker is thanking as a way to manipulate the social balance:

in this case normal rules of politeness may work to reestablish the withheld credit.

James Bond often says "Don't mention it" when the other party has not even thanked him, to reinforce that he was giving.

The same when a person thanks us in lieu of something, eg a client saying "thank you so much for now lawyer" instead of asking how much is it for the assistance.

In this case, assuming one does not want to make him pay, "you're welcome" seems a good response.

How to address public thank you's might be different from how to address private (1-1) thank you's.

I sometimes found myself in situations where a client thanked me very profusely in an email to 4 or 5 people, and I addressed the "thank you" by calling the client - instead of responding to the email - for separate reasons.

I now think that may have been a mistake. In other words, I suppose that the external third party perception of being "credit scalped" may determine the "thanker" to avoid further contact with the "thankee", if the "thankee" does not publicly (instead of privately) rebalance the social balance.

In the past I also found myself responding privately to public thank you's for shyness. In other words I was afraid of making mistakes, and only replied to the sender (who, however, in thanking me had put in copy other people). I now believe that was a mistake on my part.

 

Lucio Buffalmano, John Freeman and 3 other users have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoJohn FreemanKavalierMats GMaverick

Answering my own question here:

I believe that when the thank you’s are in the context of a friendship or close relationship, and are often reciprocal for different things, it can be good to not overtly respond to them, because this subcommunicates:

Of course: we do these things for each other all the time, it’s natural, we’re friends

On the other hand always responding to every single thank you might subcommunicate

I need to make sure you see I am acknowledging your thank you, we’re not so close and I’m afraid you might think bad of me if I don’t

Kavalier has reacted to this post.
Kavalier

Yep, agree with most of what you say, Bel.

As usual, I'd always look at specific examples and situations for the final yes/no, but the general rules you outline seem all solid.

Also, and of course you know this, it's a lot about how you say it.

Generally speaking, between friends, you want to minimize it with tone/body language.

For example, if you say:

It's my pleasure (looking straight at his eyes, loud, with proud body langauge... )

That thread expands your "give" and comes across as manipulative / annoying.

But if you say it:

My pleasure (shaking your heads as if to say "that was nothing", "don't mention it" and "it's what we do between friends), the reason why it worked for me is... (moves on to both provide more value and avoid lingering on the "I've give you frame" and making it more about)

That thread-minimizes and works great.

Kavalier, Mats G and 2 other users have reacted to this post.
KavalierMats GBelMaverick
Community, new content and Charisma University moved here.
Quote from Bel on May 29, 2023, 10:32 am

 

How to address public thank you's might be different from how to address private (1-1) thank you's.

I sometimes found myself in situations where a client thanked me very profusely in an email to 4 or 5 people, and I addressed the "thank you" by calling the client - instead of responding to the email - for separate reasons.

I now think that may have been a mistake. In other words, I suppose that the external third party perception of being "credit scalped" may determine the "thanker" to avoid further contact with the "thankee", if the "thankee" does not publicly (instead of privately) rebalance the social balance.

In the past I also found myself responding privately to public thank you's for shyness. In other words I was afraid of making mistakes, and only replied to the sender (who, however, in thanking me had put in copy other people). I now believe that was a mistake on my part.

 

Agree, generally better to answer the thanker.

Not answering can come across as snubbing, and potentially even make him lose status/power with the audience.

P.S.:
Moving this to "social life" as it's slightly more about emotional intelligence than strictly about power (albeit of course everything overlaps)

Kavalier and Bel have reacted to this post.
KavalierBel
Community, new content and Charisma University moved here.
Quote from Bel on May 29, 2023, 10:32 am

Hi Guys,

opening the thread from the recent discussions.

Quoting myself to start up:

Various possibilities

My take based on what I learned on TPM's forum:

A) when the thanker is recognizing his debt and it's obvious: 

  • "you're welcome" highlights one was giving and increases the social credit imbalance;
  • "my pleasure" is slightly better, but IMO it has an undertone of "you don't need to thank me", which slightly demeans the other person's gratitude (it probably also depends on the tone/context);
  • "glad it was helpful" is slightly better because it focuses on the benefit given and underlies one cares about the other, but still somewhat highlights the imbalance and the giving.

To me best of all is just thanking back, as a form of "phatic" acknowledgment.

As to "it's nothing" or "it's normal", I feel that:

  • "it's normal" is slightly demeaning;
  • "it's nothing" can work, but might have the effect of removing one's credit, ie the opposite effect.

Adding that sometimes IMO it may even be better not to answer than to answer; for example,

  • where one has already thanked the other for something and also made a compliment
  • and the other then responds by thanking back for the compliment

then the "reciprocal thank you" dynamic seems already established, even though the "thanks" may not be directly related to one another.

In other words, the general social balance between two people is maybe more important than the specific balance between the "thanks", maybe with the exception of third parties being present who are not aware of the prior social balance.

But I'm open to changing my mind on this.

Just as an example, if Lucio writes here on the forum:

"Thank you for sharing Bel"

I may thumb up the post but not respond to avoid social scalping. Is that a good way, or is there a better solution?

B) when the credit is being withheld by the thanker, ie the thanker is thanking as a way to manipulate the social balance:

in this case normal rules of politeness may work to reestablish the withheld credit.

James Bond often says "Don't mention it" when the other party has not even thanked him, to reinforce that he was giving.

The same when a person thanks us in lieu of something, eg a client saying "thank you so much for now lawyer" instead of asking how much is it for the assistance.

In this case, assuming one does not want to make him pay, "you're welcome" seems a good response.

How to address public thank you's might be different from how to address private (1-1) thank you's.

I sometimes found myself in situations where a client thanked me very profusely in an email to 4 or 5 people, and I addressed the "thank you" by calling the client - instead of responding to the email - for separate reasons.

I now think that may have been a mistake. In other words, I suppose that the external third party perception of being "credit scalped" may determine the "thanker" to avoid further contact with the "thankee", if the "thankee" does not publicly (instead of privately) rebalance the social balance.

In the past I also found myself responding privately to public thank you's for shyness. In other words I was afraid of making mistakes, and only replied to the sender (who, however, in thanking me had put in copy other people). I now believe that was a mistake on my part.

 

Hi Bel,

There was a video about this on Youtube  by Charisma on Command, I don't remember the title of the video, and in that he suggests using "Happy to Help" to respond to people who thank you.

Them: Thank You

Me: Happy to Help ( If required I would follow it up with, don't mention it)

I have used it fairly often, and feels like a good response since it also acknowledges that you helped them, but it doesn't thread expand on the giving. I feel it's a neat reply.

Happy to hear any thoughts about this.

Mav

Bel has reacted to this post.
Bel
Thank you Lucio,
I feel this is especially helpful for me going forward:
Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on May 29, 2023, 12:08 pm
Quote from Bel on May 29, 2023, 10:32 am

How to address public thank you's might be different from how to address private (1-1) thank you's.

Agree, generally better to answer the thanker.

Not answering can come across as snubbing, and potentially even make him lose status/power with the audience.

OFF TOPIC

I made the mistake here, and I think it's not a coincidence that the palace manager never contacted me again and I lost the further work.

I wonder if sending an acknowledgement email now, after three months, may be helpful.

I'm inching towards sending something like this for all to see:

Dear Manager,

Many thanks, even if belated, for your very kind words.

I remain at your disposal for anything and send you my kindest regards.

Bel

OFF TOPIC

Quote from Maverick on May 29, 2023, 7:08 pm

There was a video about this on Youtube  by Charisma on Command, I don't remember the title of the video, and in that he suggests using "Happy to Help" to respond to people who thank you.

Them: Thank You

Me: Happy to Help ( If required I would follow it up with, don't mention it)

I have used it fairly often, and feels like a good response since it also acknowledges that you helped them, but it doesn't thread expand on the giving. I feel it's a neat reply.

Happy to hear any thoughts about this.

Mav

It's good.

Of course, it's also situational and, as per above, also depends a lot on how you say it.

I am convening more and more toward's Bel approach though: a thank you back as in "thank you for acknowledging" is probably the best general go-to answer.

P.S.:
I heard the Charisma on Command guys also say to add:

I know you would do the same for me

Which is a major power move and comes across as a potentially sneaky way of positioning your future ask.

Of course, there may be situation where it's fair, but generally NOT in good friendships and relationships.

 

Quote from Bel on May 29, 2023, 9:46 pm

OFF TOPIC

I made the mistake here, and I think it's not a coincidence that the palace manager never contacted me again and I lost the further work.

I wonder if sending an acknowledgement email now, after three months, may be helpful.

I'm inching towards sending something like this for all to see:

Dear Manager,

Many thanks, even if belated, for your very kind words.

I remain at your disposal for anything and send you my kindest regards.

Bel

OFF TOPIC

Send now an email saying:

Sorry, I thought I had replied this, but now realized I missed it.

Anyway, thank you very much for the kind words and...

Then when you meet him in person, mention it very quickly with an attitude of "just want to get that out of the way" and then move on to whatever new topic.

That's what I would say to a newbie.

However, I think you're now at a level Bel where you can apply most general concepts to your specific situation better than I could from the outside, without all the details and knowledge of past interactions.

Bel and Maverick have reacted to this post.
BelMaverick
Community, new content and Charisma University moved here.

Thank you Lucio,

I'll do as you say. I'll open a separate thread as to the "sorry for the delay", which I'm interested in since it's something I don't yet understand.

Hello everyone,

I have not found the time yet to read this awesome thread in detail. Definitely will and will comment (along with everyday power move: awesome thread). Thanks to Bel, I now have a better working framework about thanking people though.

In the reflection about thanking back I'm wondering: do you think writing in a thread on the forum to thank back: "thank you for your participation" would be a power move or not? I personally think so. I think it does have an undertone of one person above the other below.

Happy to know your thoughts about this formulation.

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano

I think yr instinct is spot on John.

To me it has too much tone of 'boss power'  and is too generic.

Fails the principle of make appreciation very warm (if same level) and/or very specific.

Contrast to:

"Hey John thanks for kicking in.  Some great points that I never would have thought of"

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