Talia Levy

September 2, 2023

saying thank you & i'm sorry

I try to be specific in my “thank you’s” and “I’m sorry’s” as much as possible. Doing so, makes the other person feel important and paid attention to, and my words become more powerful.

An “I’m sorry” or a “thank you” can be genuine, yes. But it can also sound very generic. It sounds more easily faked and as if less thought were put into it. Think about how much nicer it is to receive an “I’m sorry for etc. etc.”, as opposed to just a simple “I’m sorry”.

Apologizing in specifics better shows that the person isn’t saying it just to say it, because they can state specifically what they’re sorry for.

Generic: “I’m sorry.”

Specific: “I’m sorry for showing up late to your birthday party.”

Bonus: Add that you understand how it could have hurt their feelings/been not preferable. “I’m sorry for showing up late to your birthday party. I understand how you would have felt as if I didn’t care.”

When it comes to showing gratitude, I almost don’t want to write generic thank you cards anymore because I’ve experienced how powerful it is to write what specifically I’m thankful for, as it comes to someone or something they did. I feel like it clicks more in the person’s mind as they’re reading it, and they’re probably more likely to keep the card. It becomes more meaningful to them.

Generic written thank you’s are basically glorified store-bought cards. Which again, are a nice gesture, but don’t feel as personal.

Generic: “Thank you.”

Specific: “Thank you for cooking dinner.”

Bonus: Add that you appreciate/recognize the time or effort it took for them to do said thing. It’s somewhat implied in a thank you and is like an extension of one, but can be nice to state separately sometimes, for added recognition. “Thank you for cooking dinner. I appreciate the time you spend every day making sure we eat healthily.”

(And all of this information goes for voicing your appreciation too, not just written cards.)

When you get a thank you for something in specific, it feels very special. The more detailed, the nicer it can sound. Because it’s like wow you really noticed/remembered that I did that?

It feels like you’re truly paying attention to that person and are grateful for the things they do; it shows why they’re important in your life. Making people feel important is a wonderful thing, so thanking in specifics definitely has that valuable effect.

About Talia Levy

i write about relationships, self-help, & other random reflections i have. new posts every sunday.