I had an a-ha moment last month when I happened upon an article about the words “no problem.” Why would 2 simple words that sound so nice create an a-ha moment?
The article was about how we as a culture receive gratitude – a thank you from someone for something we’ve done. As a culture, we respond with a “no problem” most commonly.
I say “no problem” a lot. Like it’s a “no big deal” kind of response. The intention being to create a response where the receiver doesn’t feel like I was “put out” when I did this favor, gift, gave help, etc.
Here’s where the a-ha moment was:
When we say “no problem” we’re actually dismissing the gratitude. When someone says, “thanks for helping me find that book I was looking for” and we say, “no problem,” we’re not truly receiving the thanks – it’s another way that it falls away or gets dismissed. Like when someone gives us a compliment and we brush it off, like “oh, whatever.”
Now here’s the really great part in how you can turn this into an opportunity to more deeply connect with the person who’s saying thanks:
“Hey – thanks for helping me with finding that book I’ve been looking for.”
“You’re welcome! I’m really happy to help and I know how much you’ve been wanting to read that book.”
That’s a lot more connecting than saying, “no problem.” Don’t you agree?
Here’s another example:
“Thanks for dropping off the kids today for me.”
“You’re welcome. I know you’ve been feeling tired lately and I want to help you find your energy again.”
It tells a lot more than saying, “no problem,” and gives you the chance to truly receive the gratitude.
After reading the article, I practiced doing this. When my mind wanted to say, “no problem,” I stopped mid-sentence and let my heart do the talking. It really made a difference in how I felt with the other person.
Now it’s your turn. After reading this, practice the next time you encounter some gratitude – anything from a simple “thanks for the cookie” to “thanks for your support the last year.” See what your heart wants to say and respond from there.
What if you (and me too) were to take “no problem” out of our vocabulary – what might happen with the relationships we’re in and the desire to be more deeply connected with people?
Let’s experiment – get back to me and let me know what unfolds for you.
Categories: Heart Centered Living