Sunday, 15 November 2015

Now what have we done?

I should know about gratitude....I've been consciously practicing it for more than three years, in a serious way. If someone does something for you, it is the right thing to do, whether they have bought you a present, unblocked a drain or dropped something at the dry cleaner on their way past.  Well brought up folks say thanks.

Image result for bottle of  wine for a gift
(image from lordsgifts.co.uk)

Appreciation is another side of the same coin.  It is ever so slightly different. These days, I am sick to death of people gushing on the tv and saying, "Thank you SO much!" all the time. It feels as if they think that just saying "Thanks" is meaningless and so they have to quantify it in some way.

So the chap next door risked life and limb to go up on the roof, and we took him and his son their wee gift tonight.  Awkward does not even begin to describe the scene. "Well, that was a stupid thing to do!" was the opening comment from the son when I said we had just popped round to say "Thank you!" and then the dad went on about, "We didn't do it for that" and they dug themselves deeper and deeper into it, until I just gave the son the bottle of wine, expressed our gratitude once more, and left them to their splutterings.

What a contrast between them and the computer chappie, who just said, "Oooh! I like that, thanks," and popped it in the fridge.

There's all kinds of reasons for their awkwardness - perhaps!  Perhaps they don't get thanked very often, perhaps they don't do things for other folk that much to get thanked, I don't know.  It may even be a man-thing - like man-flu?

There's another little point here but it is a serious one - we widows do not want pity.  We are strong women, we have been through all sorts, and so we can cope with disasters of all kinds, because we have already been through the major disaster, and we are still here.  We don't want people to be on our team because they feel sorry for us, and we do expect to be able to thank our team when we are supported.

Lesson for today - be gracious when someone thanks you, because it makes the person saying it feel pretty rubbish if you are not......but we'll keep putting their bins out for them when necessary :)

11 comments:

Frugal in Bucks said...

Ooh, that's was awkward, how strange. Don't you worry about it, you did a nice thing and if they can't accept a thank you in return, well that's their look out. I'm in the computer chaps camp. You can turn up here any day with wine and chocs and you'll be dragged in the door!
What's the saying? Nowt as queer as folk.

X

Nearly Martha said...

I don't think that is uncommon. Sometimes I don't do kind things because I am a bit afraid of how they will be received. Being kind is a brave thing sometimes.

Morgan said...

Hi FIB - Hope you are well! Good to hear from you, and thanks for the feedback - I'll be round one of these days [though Bucks is a bit out of my usual area and I have no idea where you live] but I shall raise a glass in your direction if I get hold of some sloe gin at Christmas...

Hey, Nearly Martha - lovely to have you visiting again! Thanks for your comment too. I wouldn't have been comfortable not saying thanks for the help, so I guess it is up to us to come to terms with the reaction and just get a grip of the fact that some folk get awkward being thanked. But I'll keep thanking them, and they'll get used to us eventually - practice makes perfect and all that. But then I have read your comment again, and wonder whether you mean that the chap was being brave in doing something for us......I don't know! I asked for a recommendation for someone to do the roof, I didn't ask him to do it - he offered. Men confuse me at times! Whatever, t'is good to see you again xx

Mimi said...

How very odd! I think part of being 'adult' is accepting thanks in the same way as accepting a compliment. Some people never learn to do either with grace. Clearly they felt the heroes for helping you, and found it confronting that you felt the need to thank them more tangibly. People have all kinds of motivation for doing nice things, and it may sound strange, but maybe they felt you'd diminished their good deed by rewarding them. You did the right thing. So did they. Don't let it worry you. Humans really are confusing sometimes, aren't they! Mimi xxx

Lynn said...

I think this happens a lot~ a bit like when you pay someone a compliment which they can't accept graciously and try to talk you out of it!

Dc said...

When we first came to this village, people used to jump when I wished them good morning. I carried on and eventually got a response. Nowadays quite a few people say it to me and I say it back even though I don't know them.

Wanda said...

It's not just me then? I've had the same reaction when I've thanked someone with a gift. I put it down to it being a new experience for them and entirely beyond their comfort zone. But it doesn't stop me doing it :-)
And it IS a man thing in a way - they can blurt out some pretty stupid things when they are embarrassed - sorry guys, but you do! :-)

SusanM said...

Sometimes, people feel awkward accepting a thank you gift, but I would feel more awkward not saying thank you in some way. I have jokingly pointed out to people in the past that if they don't accept the gift, then I wouldn't feel comfortable asking them for help again.

Wean said...

You must have felt uncomfortable. I don 't think you can excuse people because they don't know how to behave or accept a gift graciously, after all, they're all grown up aren't they ? manners cost nothing.
I always offer a little something if a favour has been done for me, not to do so seems lacking in manners and taking the 'helper' for granted.

Morgan said...

I do excuse people, Wean, because I had to learn how to accept compliments and thanks too, so I remember being that awkward. I was just a lot younger and was surprised to come across it in someone of the older chap's age. I don't know a lot about their background, so I don't know why they behaved as they did. I have certainly seen good manners in both of them, and it will not change our neighborliness towards them. Grace and peace are for all, even if they need to learn how to accept a bottle of plonk!

Terra said...

You did the right thing, and if they were embarrassed by your thanks and gift, that is ok too. We are all learning and growing, and they probably really liked your thanks after they thought about it.