The SPIRIT of BEING: Goa, India 2018

7 Transformational Days Focused on Nourishing Your Mind, Body & Spirit

Why I NEVER Say Please...


... and Why You Shouldn’t Either!

When I was a child I was told to “Mind my P’s & Q’s”. Back then I took it to mean say “Please and Thank You”.

About 20 years ago I stopped saying ‘Please’!

Instead I massively upped my “Thank You’s”.

To me, please often sounds like people are pleading. And it is used in many situations of pleading for something to be granted… “Please don’t do that”, “Please give me one”, etc.

This isn’t an equal exchange, you become the underdog and they are the one’s who can grant your wish. You are giving away your power.

If I’m ordering a coffee from someone I’ve never met as I pass through a city, I am not going to say “Can I have a coffee please?” I don’t think that’s polite. The person entered into a contract to swap their time to serve coffee…

Don’t get me wrong, I am going to be polite!

Super polite, so much so that when I visit the same coffee shop again over 6 months later the person remembers me… and that regularly happens to me, I get an instant smile when I walk back in.

To start with, when I first arrive I say “Hello”. When the person has looked up to see me (often surprised that someone is actually saying hello, rather than ‘Ordering them’ to make a coffee without looking up from their smartphone), I ask them “How are you?” with a smile.

Depending on what they say I may continue with the aim of making them feel good and valued (i.e giving them The Impression of Increase). When I get to the point of asking for a coffee I say, “Can I have an Americano, with cold soy thanks.”

Before they have even done anything I’m thanking them.

Then when they ask for the money, I pay and say something like “Awesome thanks”, before smiling and walking to the other end of the counter to receive my coffee, after of course chatting to the person making it…

I’m going to make the person smile, maybe laugh (it’s actually quite easy) and I’m going to ‘Thank’ them multiple times.

Then when I leave I take the time to say a quick ‘good bye’ as I walk out the door.

Basically interacting with the person as another human being, rather than a robot programmed to serve.

The phrase “Thank you” comes from the word ‘think’ and it originally meant “I will remember what you did for me.”

In fact sometimes I even go into the kitchen of a restaurant to say “Thank You’ before (some would say… and indeed my wife does) overly enthusiastically praising their gustatory genius, the culinary delights that enchant and even bewildered my senses.

I thank, rather than plead…

Yet I do many things to ‘Please’ people, but that’s a different story…

Gratitude is important, being thankful is important and it doesn’t have to involve pleading. Words are powerful things… both consciously and in how they program your unconscious thoughts, emotions and behaviours.

Share Your Stories, Ask Any Questions & Keep the Conversation Going...

18 Comments

  • Louie

    Reply Reply 12th July 2017

    Thanks John, as always you challenge my beliefs and getting me pondering :0

    • John Vincent

      Reply Reply 12th July 2017

      Pondering… what a wonderful word… Thank you for your comment 🙂

  • Maria

    Reply Reply 12th July 2017

    I disagree… saying please shows respect and consideration for the effort the other person put in to help me

    • John Vincent

      Reply Reply 12th July 2017

      Thank you for your comment.

      I agree, it shows respect… so does thank you. If another person puts in effort to help you, they have already done the activity and Thank You is more appropriate… If I am asking a favour of someone, for example in an email, I will end it with ‘Thank you in advance for your assistance in this issue’ rather than ‘please help me’. Try saying both of those sentences and see how different they make you feel.

      Again, thank you for taking the time to adding to the conversation 🙂

  • Lola

    Reply Reply 12th July 2017

    I’m so happy u wrote this, I’ve never been a person that says ‘please’,but always say thank you. Thank you for writing this article.

    • John Vincent

      Reply Reply 12th July 2017

      Hey Lola, thank you for commenting, you’re awesome 🙂

  • Gerald

    Reply Reply 12th July 2017

    Thank for sharing this and each day as I learn to give thanks and be grateful,
    There have been many other blessing have come my way each and every day and thankful to be able to share in this experience

    • John Vincent

      Reply Reply 12th July 2017

      Being thankful for all the good thing in your life is the Best way to start your day… even for all the little things in life that make life wonderful, ‘Gratitude for the taken for granted’ as I call it 🙂

  • Teresa

    Reply Reply 12th July 2017

    THANK YOU, John!
    As always you are amazing in describing the power of words….

    • John Vincent

      Reply Reply 12th July 2017

      Hey Teresa, Thank You 🙂
      Word are magic indeed… glad you enjoyed.

  • John

    Reply Reply 12th July 2017

    Hi John, Excellent content particularly when you are of a certain age and brought up a certain way – I also find I use ‘thanks’ and thank you more and more.
    Quite recently I have started adding ‘Thank you I really appreciate it’ which has brought me the exact same response to that you describe whenever I go back – I have even benefited from free large Black Americano’s even when there isn’t an offer on – being greeted with a ‘sorry about keeping you’ – ‘its on us today’ – which gives me another chance to say ‘thanks’ I really do appreciate it – so in summary it working well for me in the UK.

    Thanks again for the insight – take care and I really do appreciate you sharing the deeper insight to the emotions response – John

    • John Vincent

      Reply Reply 12th July 2017

      Hi John, yep that happens to me too. Free coffees, complimentary drinks in restaurants, etc. Getting good service is simply about being nice, giving the ‘Impression of increase’ to people.Glad it resonated with you.

      Thank you for taking the time to contribute 🙂

  • Teja

    Reply Reply 12th July 2017

    Love your concept, John. Many thanks, you rock, as always.:)

    • John Vincent

      Reply Reply 12th July 2017

      Thank you for your kind words, Teja 🙂

      • Teja

        Reply Reply 13th July 2017

        You’re welcome, John. Stay amazing.:)

  • Alma

    Reply Reply 13th July 2017

    Thank you for your article , although I do say please I say thank you much more. And yes the feeling is much better saying thank you or thanks.

    • John Vincent

      Reply Reply 13th July 2017

      Saying thank you does feel so much better than please… and there are more opportunities to say thank you, before anyone has done anything for you: ‘thank you in advance’ and afterwards… Thanks for commenting Alma 🙂

  • Sherry

    Reply Reply 2nd February 2018

    John,
    Many gratitude’s!
    I have not read your articles, blogs or posts before, but I will be now. What you have said makes sense to me. Thank you for your words of wisdom and enlightenment. Many blessings to you for blessing me to open up new channels of thinking.

* Denotes Required Field