Often, when someone thanks me, I find myself saying “Don’t mention it” or “No need to thank me”. Yet when someone doesn’t thank me for a favour, I feel like I’m being taken advantage of.
It’s a funny thing that I feel like a thank-you is unnecessary only after someone has said it. Maybe it’s because as long as the person appreciates the favour, that’s all that matters.
It’s similar to the way Pat once offered to let me stay with him and Jen if I ever find myself without a job and a house. I’d probably never take him up on the offer because I never want to be a burden anyone. At the same time, he knows this and doesn’t expect me to take him up on it, but he offered anyway because he knows I wouldn’t take it for granted, and would still be happy to take me in if the situation warranted it.
Perhaps such acts become more of an acknowledgment than a practical gesture. As long as I know that someone is appreciative and recognizes a favour, that’s all that matters. But really, isn’t that what a thank you is — an acknowledgment through thanks? At the same time, without a thank you, how would we know that someone is appreciative?
It’s like the act itself is simultaneously necessary and unnecessary.