‘Sorry’ and ‘Thank You’

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A friend of mine never forgets to boast of his extensive vocabulary.  He used to say, if words were money, He would be a millionaire. But I would call him poor, since, despite having a good vocabulary, he would never use the words ‘Sorry’ and ‘Thank you’.

Friendship and the definitions of friendship have evolved with time. .

Some of my friends remark that I sometimes behave very formal when I’m with them. And they come to that conclusion because I keep saying ‘Sorry’ and ‘Thank You’. I tell them that I value my friendship and I take care to see to it that I don’t take anything for granted at any point and I’m just making it known to them as well. I take extra care even in small things because I want to make sure I’m not hurting anyone inadvertently. Since its always small things done in haste that makes a lot of difference and leads to a lot of misunderstandings. I’d rather be cautious than to be at loggerheads for some trivial, insignificant stuff. That extra bit of caution they say is formal, I’m Sorry. I can’t help it.

I seriously do not comprehend the logic behind people saying “No Sorry or Thank you among friends”. Ok, So who else are you going to say it to? Your Enemies? Seriously? It is understandable that in friendship, the small things that may instigate bigger spats can always be overlooked. Hence friends do not like or rather prefer it, if their friends refrain from saying sorry or thank you. But my question is, they are our friends, Next to our family, or even on par with our family, Shouldn’t we treat them better? Don’t they deserve a thank you for all that they’ve been doing? Don’t they deserve a word of Sorry for all the times we irritated them? Or are we taking them for granted?

For a minute, let’s just get back to the basics. Two questions. Why Sorry? Why Thank You?

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People say Sorry when they are deeply disturbed with something which should have never happened in the first place. Well generally that’s what people do. We say sorry when we feel we’ve hurt someone or caused them pain without intending to. We say sorry because we get scared that our actions might have hurt the sentiments of our friend and we apologize for having caused them pain. It might be just one word, but it conveys a lot of thoughts.

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We Thank others either for taking their time off to tell us something or do us a favour. We say Thank you, because we appreciate the efforts of someone takes for us and as a token of our appreciation we thank them. We say “Thank you “because we value their time and presence. We say Thank you because despite their numerous commitments they always manage to find time for us, and it is just a simple way of letting them know that we value that and not take it for granted.

Now back again to our friends. Why shouldn’t we let them know that we’re happy they are spending time with us? Why shouldn’t we let them know how we feel after that bitter spat? Why is this considered formal? After all they are the ones who are an integral part of our lives. They are the ones who would always stand by us. They are the ones who would never think twice to come to our rescue. When you say Sorry to a stranger for stepping on their foot and When you say “Thank You” to a stranger for picking up our bags, why shouldn’t we say Sorry and Thank you to those who mean a lot to us? Is it that big a deal?

What good would it do, if you knew a thousand meaningless words, and you do not know the value of two words uttered earnestly by a sincere soul?

43 thoughts on “‘Sorry’ and ‘Thank You’

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  1. When you say friends are at par with family..do you thank your parents ? do you say sorry ? no right.. cause true relationships go beyond these two words… friends or family dont help us and expect a thanks… it is not something they deserve as well…cause they deserve something more.. and true friends know it when someone is sorry or grateful to them by their mannerisms..
    i personally feel saying thank you or sorry is just basic etiquette… with close people its all about mannerisms


  2. yeah when we promptly say sorry/thank you to absolute strangers, saying them to friends is no big deal. wonder why your friends consider it as 'formal'. if anything, it shows your goode intent and manners. while it is true that not always and not every one of our friends and not at every occasion we 'need' to say it, sometimes we feel it in our heart so much that and because no other words seem to convey the feelings as well as they do that at that point in time these 2 words say it all

    good post Ashwini on a good topic 🙂


  3. Friends will find it awkward if they hear the words Thank You or Sorry from us because they don't expect us to say Thanks when they help us or say Sorry when we have hurt them, inadvertently or not. They already know it, so hearing those words from us might make them a bit awkward. They already know that we care for them no matter what. And that's what makes a friendship strong. 🙂 A really good post Ashwini. 🙂


  4. You know I remember a scene vaguely from a Tamil movie, starring Sneha & Srikanth, I think Parthiban Kanavu?, something happens – I think Srikanth accidentally dashes against Sneha or something of that sort- and he says sorry. For that she replies something on the lines of , “purushan pondattikulla sorryla ethuku” or similar. And I still don't understand tht!! So if you bang into your spouse by mistake or hurt them, one needn't say sorry or wht!!? Don't get it!


  5. I agree that relationships go beyond just words. But the Problem is, not every time can one understand the other's mannerisms and what they're trying to convey. It's always better to speak it out. Opinions Differ. Thank you 🙂


  6. Thank you Sujatha 🙂
    Yes. That was exactly my point as well. Agreed that at certain situations, it is more than understood, shouldn't we make ourselves clear in the other situations, to avoid silly cold wars?


  7. Exactly Anne. I dont get the logic behind No Sorry and No Thank you. You are just conveying your thoughts and feelings in a simple language. Mannerisms might confuse others, words don't. At least these words don't!


  8. agree with u ashwini..arre yaar..each one has their own nature..i may like to talk and talk but my wife may like to be quiet and quiet..it is perfectly ok to accept people as they r, right? good post boss


  9. No matter what kind of relationship we maintain with others, I think we must know how to express a sorry and a thank you. Because its the word sorry that repairs any kind of broken relationship if said right on time and by saying the word – thank you – we let others know how much their help or favour meant to us.



  10. A very thoughtful post. You raised so many important points here. Why not express our gratitude or apologies to those so close to us? I totally agree with you. Taking things or persons for granted sometimes leads to disappointment. We may think that it is not necessary but the other person might have expected us to say it though he may not tell us so. And expressing such small things might make us even more special with our friends. 🙂 Beautifully written.


  11. Rightly Said. Being too egoistic, would never help maintain or bind relations. We should know when to say these magic words and let others know. THere is no point keeping everything to heart, without expressing them.


  12. Thank you Raj 🙂
    You know I was also thinking on the same lines. One might not expect to say Sorry and Thank you all the time, but the other person might, and those expectations when not fulfilled would definitely bring disappointments.
    Thank you 🙂


  13. nice thoughts Ashwini..it's just the common perception hyped around that sorry and thank-you are formal words reserved for people to be treated formally..with friends there's a different of thank-you and sorry..true friends must express sorri-ness and thankfulness but not by these words only!!


  14. if i will go with the rang de basanti type friendship i need not to say anything then…

    but for our friends in real life i think sometimes its good to show their values in our life..

    nice one..


  15. Thank you Rohit. Yes, I agree with hype going around these words. And yes, you raised a very valid point, Sorry and Thank you must be expressed, not just by these words. Very True 🙂


  16. So true we do forget to thank friends sometimes coz maybe we take them for granted, such a nice thought n post.

    BTW You've been tagged, check my blog 🙂 I really do hope you'll carry it forward 🙂


  17. Surprised to a see that utterance of words like 'sorry' & 'thank you' seem too formal to some people . on my part , I never miss saying these too words, when I should and they are so sweet to hear too !
    Nice post !


  18. Sometimes being too generous with sorry's and thank you's will make us look like a crook. And with close ones, we take them for granted. Like family. Rarely do we thank our mother for the good food, the effort she puts in for us everyday.
    But yes, a timely thank you and sorry will really turn the table for us. 🙂 Good post Ashwini.


  19. Haah, to be honest, even am one of the bunch who hates being very formal by thanks and sorries with best friends. But I agree with Sahana, a timely thank you and a sorry will help in taking the bond to the next level.

    And your question made me to think. “If we are not saying sorry and thanks to our friends, then are we going to say to our enemies?”
    Perception differs. I might change after reading this post! 🙂


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