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.