Rejecting a “Thank you” – a not so humble act.

23 Jul

This article is part of the series “31 blogs in 31 days” during July 2017 on

One thing I notice almost as often as people’s demand for appreciation and validation (especially in the workplace) is people rejecting Thank Yous. This may be a German thing, but countering a “Thank you” with a “Nicht dafür!” (Not for that / Never mind) seems to have become a rather common thing and I have my issues with that.

Of course helping somebody doesn’t mean you have to cut off your own leg or sell your first-born child. Even if it was something relatively small you did, you helped the other person and that had value for them. By rejecting their Thank You, even with something as inconspicuous as “Never mind“, you may think you are being humble, but you are in fact saying “I don’t value your validation of what I did“. Accepting a Thank You is accepting and honouring the other person’s gratitude, their appreciation and validation of your action and it’s also a sign of appreciation and validation towards yourself. If you can’t appreciate your own actions, you may have a hard time seeing somebody offering you sincere appreciation and validation, even if you were craving it. Some people have a hard time saying Thank You, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give yourself a little nod. And let’s be honest, helping somebody can be a great boost. So by giving you a chance to help them, they in fact did you a favour too!

So next time somebody says “Thank you”, simply respond with “You’re welcome” and see what difference that makes. If the other person has an issue with you not offering a “humble rejection”, their thanking wasn’t sincere in the first place. But that doesn’t have to be your problem. If you were expecting more than words as a sign of gratitude, that may be your problem.

More on “Expectations” tomorrow…..

Picture: Stocksnap via Pexels / CC0



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