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  • Writer's pictureThe Peer Support Team

"Please and Thank You"

I like it when people say "please" and "thank you" to me - I feel appreciated and acknowledged.

There's so many ways that I receive and give simple acts of generosity in my daily interactions with others. When I'm paying attention I notice they're happening consistently between people.

.... and I believe it meets our need for connection.

It feels good to remember to notice those occasions by giving and receiving a "thank you" or a "yes please". It warms my heart and acknowledges the other person.

Maybe it's old fashioned to have this need as a social habit? I know when I say 'thank you' to the Supermarket cashier, or to someone who offers me their seat on the train they look faintly surprised and pleased. I love receiving their smile of recognition of kindness - a connection is made, the day feels brighter.

I know when I offer someone a cup of tea and they say "yes please" I feel more inclined to make the tea!

I think that valuing someone by noticing their contribution to my life makes the world feel like a better place. Appreciating something or somebody is such a win-win feeling, it blesses the giver and the receiver.

Maybe it's time to re-introduce the "please and thank you" habit that my Mum was so insistent that we all learnt as children?

By the time I was five I knew I had to pay attention to the interactions that in her eyes required these acknowledgments. I knew I could expect a forceful reminder if I forgot!! It has taken me a long time to take these injunctions out of the "good manners" drawer where I sometimes felt begrudging and put them into a way of being where I "get" that it's important to accept gracefully any acts of generosity and support that are offered to me.

I'm beginning to realise it's how love gets shared around! It's worth noticing because it adds meaning and value to even the most casual exchanges of life.

So maybe it's worth doing some 'field studies' by paying attention to all the times when "please and thank you" will enrich a connection? Experiment with really acknowledging the other person and see what difference it makes to the enjoyment of daily life.

Gilli Gladman

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