When someone doesn't say thank you for a gift?
Accepting the Lack of Thanks
While you may have noticed that thank-you notes for birthday gifts are not the norm they once were (back in the days when kids sent and received mail), the etiquette experts that HuffPost consulted all agreed that saying thanks is one gesture that never goes out of style.
Look for Appreciation Through Actions
Just because someone doesn't say “thank you” doesn't mean they don't appreciate you. Not everyone uses words to express their gratitude.
Another study from 2018, this one from the University of Chicago, noted that people often don't say thank you because they assume the other person already knows they appreciate it, and they feel insecure about effectively expressing their gratitude.
Not saying “thank you” is not only rude, but it also sends people the message that you are not grateful for devoting their time to you. Even if someone feels shy for saying “thank you”, the fact that they don't say it makes them seem rude, although they really aren't.
They may also assume that the recipient would prefer a digital message over a paper one. They don't have the skills or supplies. Millennials may not have learned how to write a proper thank you note in school or at home. They may not know what to say, how to format it, or how to address it.
Gottsman says a thank you gift should always include a heartfelt thank you note. Whether you handwrite a letter or include a gift tag with the recipient's name and a short message, making it personal gives it a special touch.
No matter how thoughtful your attempt, no matter how much time or money you spent, no matter how many people were put out on the narcissist's behalf, the narcissist will not thank you. You're only giving them something they believe they are entitled to.
You can say something along these lines: “We know how busy you are, but it's important to us that you acknowledge our gifts. It doesn't have to be a written thank-you note. We'd be pleased to receive an e-mail, a text message, or a phone call. Do you think you could do that for us?”
For some, the expression of gratitude to a partner is an admission of need that leaves them feeling vulnerable or “one down.” Whether consciously or not, they avoid saying thank you to avoid acknowledging their dependence on their partner.
Why don't men say thank you?
American men, on the other hand, tended to report that gratitude was an undesirable and difficult-to-express emotion (even finding it humiliating in some cases). In fact, over a third of older men from the U.S. (aged 35-50) said they would prefer to conceal gratitude than to openly express it.
Now is not the time to worry so much about declining invitations or hurting other people's feelings. Most people should be understanding, so simply saying “no thank you” or “maybe next time” should be enough to decline an invitation.
It's not just about manners, or being seen to be polite. The capacity to feel and express genuine gratitude is a hallmark of psychological maturity and health. In fact, an inability to say thank you, along with extreme difficulties saying sorry, is considered typical of people with narcissistic personalities.
Showing appreciation builds goodwill. People appreciate being appreciated. Someone who feels appreciation from you is more likely to return the gesture by agreeing to your requests. They want to let you know that they appreciate you, too.
It's generally recommended to send a thank you note within two weeks of receiving a holiday gift. This is a proper time frame for sending thank you notes and cards as holiday gifts.
- Oh, that's so kind/nice of you.
- Oh, you didn't have to do that.
- Wow! What a thoughtful present.
- That's so thoughtful of you. Thank you so much.
- It's lovely / wonderful / fantastic.
- It's something I have always wanted. Thank you!
Narcissists often follow the same pattern in relationships: idealize, devalue, discard.
Narcissistic people appreciate things or qualities that they want. If they don't think you have value, they may shut you down or blatantly disrespect you. The closest you can get to earning their respect is to show them that you're more capable, more skilled, or more valuable than they are.
- Lying about or denying something and refusing to admit the lie even when you show them proof.
- Insisting that an event or behavior you witnessed never happened and that you're remembering it wrong.
- Changing the subject or refusing to listen when confronted about a lie or other gaslighting behavior.
The golden rule of grandparents is simple but crucial – ask before you act. It embodies the importance of open communication and respect within the grandparent-parent relationship. Before making decisions or taking actions regarding your grandchild, always seek the parents' input and permission.
What to do when a child is ungrateful for a gift?
So keep yourself calm, and you can just offer support to your child, offer a hug if that's something helpful to them, a comment like, “I know it's really hard when you expected one thing and you got another”, and you just have some of those words ready for yourself of how you're going to handle it.
Most grandparents feel their gifts are appreciated.
Seventy-six percent of respondents said they never plan on stopping giving gifts to grandchildren, but the ones who did cite an average age of 20 as their planned stopping point.
Talk about the problem with your partner calmly and honestly. Ideally, you can work together towards resolving the issue and figuring out ways your partner can make you feel appreciated. They could be very small actions like kissing you good morning or thanking you for doing the dishes.
Know how to talk to your partner
Use “I” statements to describe how you feel, and give specific examples of behaviors or patterns of behaviors that make you feel as if you are not appreciated. This can give your partner a greater awareness of what you need to stop feeling used and unappreciated.
When we say “thank you” to someone, it can make them feel appreciated and valued, which in turn can increase their own feelings of happiness and positivity. This can create a positive feedback loop, where our expressions of gratitude lead to more positive interactions and outcomes.