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Is It Necessary To Say 'Thank You"?

Popularity 13Viewed 14517 times 2013-12-7 08:45 |System category:Life| marriage, husband, telling, divorce, reason

There's a not so humorous story that I heard many years ago that makes a great point.
A man and his wife are in divorce court. They are seeking to divorce and dissolve their marriage. When the wife is questioned as to the reason she wants a divorce, she says, "My husband never tells me that he loves me." Later, when the husband is questioned about never telling his wife that he loves her, he simply says, "I told her that I loved her many years ago when we got married. Nothing's changed."
I realize that saying 'thank you' isn't considered so necessary here in China, but, as a Westerner, it is one positive habit that I will maintain while I'm here. In fact, I've read that if you say 'thank you' here in China that you are likely to be perceived as trying to keep a distance between you and the other person.This is not the case in the West. We see it as positive, polite and very warm when someone expresses their appreciation by saying 'thank you'. I say it to my mother, my sister and my close friends. We say it to each other and we can feel the sincerity, love and warmth behind the words. We love and appreciate each other and we want each one to know.

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


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Reply Report KIyer 2013-12-7 12:28
I can relate so much to China. In India too, yes, thank you is appreciated between strangers and casual acquaintances, but it is seen as something 'formal' and keeps a distance. Saying thank you to someone very close - parents, child, spouse will elicit a shocked and often aggressive challenge. It is the cultural difference. Taking someone for granted without having to say thanks is considered a sign of unconditional love and closeness. By NOT saying thanks is how some Asians exchange feelings of appreciation - wordless looks, actions or tone of voice is used to let people know you appreciate what they did. In fact, if you send a formal wedding invitation card to a close friend or family, they will feel offended. You need to meet and personally invite them.. it is a different protocol, that is all, the feelings are all the same around the world..
Reply Report KIyer 2013-12-7 12:33
however, i think there is a case for people in India saying 'thank you' more often when they are served, especially by strangers and casual friends or employees. Many do not say 'thanks' - thinking - i paid for the service! i dont owe anything more. The west is very good on this. Something I believe Asians can learn from.
Reply Report MichaelM 2013-12-8 05:33
For me, it just feels good to say thank you. Reveals more of who and what you are as a person. I like it and will keep doing it (it's actually habit by now but I still feel the gratitude just as deeply and love to express it)
Reply Report Kevinfly 2013-12-9 16:08
KIyer: however, i think there is a case for people in India saying 'thank you' more often when they are served, especially by strangers and casual friends or ...
I do not like those people who do not say 'thanks' thinking they paid for the service. we should respect people's service and that can not be measured by money, or people will have no difference with robots.
Reply Report voice_cd 2013-12-10 17:21
    YES, we don't get used to say "thank you or I love you" among the intimate relatives or friends in China. it's a cultural characteristic. it's hard to transfer from your topic "thank you" to your "divorce" example, better with  a link to explain it.
Reply Report wingless 2013-12-10 18:38
I think it is just polite to say thank you to show appreciation for whatever is being done for you. I Like it too as it never fails to bring a smile.
Reply Report grace32 2013-12-11 15:23
In my custom, we also dont say THANK YOU, cuz they feel it in their heart and never forget their help. especially we dont say THANK YOU to families, never ever.  cuz families are the most faithful ones in this world. but nowadays we also learn to say THANK YOU, i dont know why, especially those who are educated and knowledgeable ones. From my experience, i couldnt tell it at the first time especially to own families and friends, and i feel it in my heart and made it my inner power to carry on my life.
Reply Report MichaelM 2013-12-12 05:31
voice_cd:      YES, we don't get used to say "thank you or I love you" among the intimate relatives or friends in China. it's a cultural characte ...
The point is, people need to hear your appreciation or your expression of love. Any and every woman would agree with this regardless of culture. As human beings, we need assurance of love and gratitude.
Reply Report wosany 2013-12-13 12:03
In my opinion,this just differ from in culture.
Reply Report stellahe 2013-12-13 13:38
Many years ago, if someone said thank you to me, i felt a little strange especially when my best friends said that to me. But now, after working in a foreign invested company for about ten years, saying thank you is a habbit to me
Reply Report MichaelM 2013-12-13 14:16
stellahe: Many years ago, if someone said thank you to me, i felt a little strange especially when my best friends said that to me. But now, after working in a  ...
Very good. I think it feels good to say thank you.

Thank you!  
Reply Report Tek 2013-12-13 15:38
I'm a korean, korea also has that kind og costom, I agree with MichaelM's point of view, very good !
Reply Report MichaelM 2013-12-13 18:31
Tek: I'm a korean, korea also has that kind og costom, I agree with MichaelM's point of view, very good !
Thank you Tek.

If you haven't already done this, I invite you to vote on the Top Blogger of 2013. I am one of the candidates, MichaelM, but, you should vote on whoever you want. Here is the link to go and vote
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Reply Report MichaelM 2013-12-13 18:32
wingless: I think it is just polite to say thank you to show appreciation for whatever is being done for you. I Like it too as it never fails to bring a smile.
Thank you for your kind comments.

If you haven't already done this, I invite you to vote on the Top Blogger of 2013. I am one of the candidates, MichaelM, but, you should vote on whoever you want. Here is the link to go and vote
http://bbs.chinadaily.com.cn/thread-916420-1-1.html Thank you!
Reply Report jxnkwhl 2013-12-24 19:24
very good opinion
Reply Report jxnkwhl 2013-12-24 19:27
i often say "i love you "to my wife. my wife maybe used to it.hah
Reply Report lingluolaile 2014-1-10 08:36
i think it's just culture different between China and Western, we can also feel sincerity, love and warmth when we do not say 'thank you'. china is a big country and has big population, relations are confused between so many region culture,this is different from western country.
Reply Report lingluolaile 2014-1-10 08:41
voice_cd:      YES, we don't get used to say "thank you or I love you" among the intimate relatives or friends in China. it's a cultural characte ...
i agree with you, 'love' is very different from 'thank you'. i usually say love to my wife but not to the thank you to my friends. it no need to learn some culture from outside countyes, just to some culture
Reply Report 飘散的风 2014-2-17 14:53
i  agree with your  opinion ,and  i often say  thank you ,but some people think it is strange , and  i  insist it.

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MichaelM

Michael is the author of the transformational book, Powerful Attitudes. He is a professional educator, an educational consultant, an author. He lives in Zhengzhou, Henan Province. He enjoys playing guitar and writing poetry. He loves China.

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