We all just want to be liked. Whether it’s on Instagram or in actual real life.
And, according to a new study, it’s not always the grand gestures that get you noticed. In fact, just going out of your way to say ‘thank you’ now and again can massively influence someone’s opinion of you.
A recent study by the University of New South Wales found that going out of your way to say ‘thank you’ makes people see you as a warmer person and want to be your friend.
For the small study, students were paired with older mentors on a project. Afterwards, half the students sent ‘thank you’ notes to their mentors.
Those who wrote to express their gratitude were seen as having greater ‘interpersonal warmth’ than those who didn’t. Plus, their mentors were more likely to exchange contact information with them.
Not only will giving thanks make people think better of you, but it can also make you happier.
Previous research published in the Psychological Science journal found that not only is expression of gratitude positively linked with relationship satisfaction, but that ‘people who express gratitude also benefit from doing so’.
For this study, participants were asked, over a three week period, to either actively express gratitude to a friend, to simply think about reasons they were grateful to their friend, or to simply continue as the would usually.
Where participants had been asked to express gratitude, they tended to view the relationship more positively afterwards and reported feeling more secure in the relationship.
However, this benefit did not occur when participants simply thought about being grateful.
In other words, just thinking about says thanks isn’t enough – you have to say it. Or, even better, write it on a [post]card. And, chances are, not only will people like you more, you’ll feel better for it.
Turns out, mum was right. Good manners really do go a long way.