Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

Lessons from a Recovering Doormat


Small Thank You’s, Big Rewards

You know it’s proper to say thank you when someone does you a favor or goes out of their way for you. That’s a basic bit of etiquette that’s logical and usually automatic. But I realize that I’ve also made it a habit to thank everyone who does anything for me, even if they have to. It’s totally unnecessary to thank the cashier who hands you your purchase or the doorman who gives you a package or the guy who pours the coffee you ordered at a takeout cart.

Saying thank you when you don’t have to makes the person feel good, and also makes you feel good.

Just today, my doorman put a package that arrived for me in the elevator so I wouldn’t have to waste time coming down for it. The doormen in my building do that for everyone. It’s part of their job and it doesn’t take much effort to put it in the elevator and push my floor number. When I went out hours later, I remembered to thank him for doing it. He’d already forgotten it. But, he gave me a big smile when I expressed appreciation. That good energy rubbed off on me as I smiled back and left my building feeling good.

I thank everyone in my building for anything they do directly for me, even though it’s their job. And I get lots of support from them when I need something. I know it’s because of it. Recently we got a new doorman. As I left, I overheard the employee who was training him say that I’m his favorite tenant. Well over 100 people live in my building so that’s a big compliment. It made me feel good to hear that.

Showing basic courtesy and appreciation for people because you WANT to, not HAVE to, makes both the recipient and you feel good.

I’ve made it a lifestyle to say thanks for everything. I don’t do it to score points like I did when I was a DoorMat. Now I do it because I’m a Nice Girl on Top and like doing nice things for others. Saying thank you is such a miniscule thing that takes no real effort, especially when you’re in the habit of saying it like I am. I broke my old negative habits, like putting myself down, and replaced them with new ones that feel good to me and others, like saying thanks.

People prefer to deal with folks who have a courteous attitude and show appreciation.

When I give a cheery thank you at the counter of a store or to a service person, I usually get a big smile. This had been on my mind this week since I went to the supermarket and the cashier was unresponsive. When I get my purchase or change at a store, I automatically say thank you and give a cheery “Have a nice day.” Most cashiers say something nice back, and we both feel good. But this one cashier is clueless. When I had her last week and said what I usually do, she just looked down and said nothing. She did nothing wrong but I could feel that she didn’t have a good self-image.

People who don’t feel good about themselves sometimes can’t receive kind words.

So yesterday I had her again and it was the same scenario. She handed me my change and I said ?Thanks, have a great day!” and she went blank. I felt sorry for her but she illustrated for me the difference between getting a cheery comment and getting dull silence. I’d rather give the cheery energy. Next time I’m in the store I’ll probably avoid this cashier if I can. Most of the others are cheerful back. They appreciate what I say to them, as I’m appreciative of what they say to me.

Try to get into the habit of saying thanks in any situation you can. It can brighten the person’s mood, and brighten yours too when they respond nicely. And if they don’t, know they probably have issues that keep them closed up or unable to receive kindness. You can still give it! Sometimes it eventually gets through. Living as a nice person feels great when you’re not being a people pleaser. Thanking others is good for you too!

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