How often do you say 'Thank You' to a person who helps you? You might be saying it casually, but do you ever say it in writing? Remember the old times when people used to express their feelings by writing a letter? There was an essence attached to it. However, a recent study suggests that writing a Thank you note is good for you and for the recipient as well. It contributes to the emotional health of both the sender and the receiver.
Recently, a research was conducted Amit Kumar at The University of Texas and Nicholas Epley at the University of Chicago in which the volunteers were asked to take part in 3 experiments. The volunteers had to write a Thank You note expressing their gratitude towards people who have been nice to them or helped them in some way or the other. The results showed that the writers of the note had overestimated the level of awkwardness the recipient would feel, and had underestimated the level of surprise and happiness the receiver would feel.
Amit Kumar said, “We looked at what’s correlating with people’s likelihood of expressing gratitude – what drives those choices – and what we found is that predictions or expectations of that awkwardness, that anticipation of how a recipient would feel, those are the things that matter when people are deciding whether to express gratitude or not."
The studies suggest that people avoid writing a note because they face anxiety about what to write and have a fear that their gratitude might be misinterpreted. Kumar says, “It’s more fundamental to how the human mind works and a well-established symmetry about how we evaluate ourselves and other people. When we’re thinking about ourselves, we tend to think about how competent we are, and whether we are going to be articulate in how we’re expressing gratitude.”
He further said that writing a note takes a few minutes but it has a long lasting effect on the minds of both sender and receiver. Both the parties benefit from it. The receiver feels pleased and the sender also feels good to have finally shared his feelings.
How often do you write a thank you to someone? Try it someday !