[Survey] Is It Rude to Say “Please and Thank You” at the Same Time?

Is it rude to say please and thank you at the same time? To find out, we conducted a survey.

Most people have no problem with this and if you are in a hurry it may even be the only opportunity to express your courtesy.

Nevertheless, you should know how this formulation is received by other people and how you can cushion the possible negative consequences of it.

Is It Rude to Say “Please and Thank You” at the Same Time?

Our survey of 102 people found that 75% of respondents do not think it is rude to use please and thank you at the same time. However, one in four will still be offended by it, and you should always keep that in mind when using it.

[Survey] Is It Rude to Say "Please and Thank You" at the Same Time?

The majority of respondents thought that it wasn’t rude to say please and thank you at the same time. In fact, in several countries, it’s common for people to do so when necessary.

Since only 25% of respondents thought that it would be rude, their perspective will be addressed briefly in the following subsection.

Why Might It Be Considered Rude to Say Please and Thank You at the Same Time?

People might sometimes think it’s rude to say thank you immediately after making a request because it might appear presumptuous. They may think it’s rude to assume that the other individual will comply with your request.

Conversely, making a request and waiting while a person makes their decision or takes action and then saying thank you after, can make it more likely that they’ll help you in the future.

For example, if you ask someone to purchase bread for you on the way home and you immediately say thank you without giving them a chance to say no, you’ve boxed them into a corner.

It’s ideal to give another person time to think about your request, respond to it, and then you can say thank you. It’s less presumptuous to make requests and then say thanks in that order.

So, usually, you’ll say please when you’re asking for some type of favor. You’ll say thank you after you received that favor. Thank you is used to display gratitude for what you’ve received.

Why People Use Please and Thank You

Some people use please and thank you together in an effort to display courtesy to others. For them, it’s almost become automatic to say these two together.

It’s like saying good morning to someone and following it up with an inquiry about their well-being. As such it doesn’t seem strange to them to use them together.

They may have learned to use these phrases together from others around them. In fact, often when someone sees nothing wrong with using please and thank you together, it’s because other people in their circle do the same and it’s understood that it’s a way of being courteous.

In other words, they never learned to use them separately. They’re not trying to be rude. It’s just their way of displaying good manners.

Courtesy While Hurrying

People sometimes combine the two phrases when they won’t have a chance to say thank you later on.

For example, if someone asks a friend to deliver a package but they make the request via text, they may sometimes use please and thank you because it’s more convenient.

Ideally, they really should use a series of text messages. So, they should ask for help, wait for the other person to respond saying that they can help, and then offer thanks in return to the person who is assisting them.

However, sometimes people don’t do that because they’re rushing. Instead of only saying please in that situation they also add thank you, to indicate that they appreciate the favor that’s being done for them.

Even if you’re rushing, taking the time to show basic manners displays consideration for others. This is important in every setting where people are trying to treat each other with respect and kindness.

Even when you’re using please and thank you together, you can still ensure that your tone clearly communicates that you’re making a request, not a demand.

If you come across as being demanding or presumptuous, you’ll come across as rude.

Don’t Expect Compliance

Saying please and thank you doesn’t mean that someone will comply with your request. In fact, some people may dig in their heels and refuse to do as you’ve asked, just because they think that you’ve assumed they will.

Even if you don’t think it’s rude to say please and thank you at the same time, the person to who you’re speaking might.

It’s important to pay attention to an individual’s body language, facial expression, and other clues that could tell you whether they think combining these two phrases is impolite.

If you feel that you’ve caused offense, make it clear that you’re making a request, not a demand. Ask them plainly whether they will be able to help you and ensure that your tone is one that courteously asks them to take a little of their time to help you.

Be Conscientious in Communication

Many people who use please and thank you together are really trying to display courtesy to others. Giving thanks also let them feel good when it’s done sincerely. [1]

However, since using these phrases together can sometimes be misinterpreted, it may be a good idea to make your request while including please, and then if the person agrees, you can say thank you in response.

The aim of good manners is to build better relationships with other people. You want other people to know that they are respected. This is why when you’re speaking to someone else you use terms that show appreciation for their time and their effort.

While automatically pairing please and thank you show an effort at using good manners, it may not elicit the maximum amount of goodwill from another person.

To make an even better impression, consider using both separately. Take the time to make a request and allow another person to make a choice about whether they’ll give you what you want. Empathy-driven goodwill is essential if you want to succeed.


References:

[1]: https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/giving-thanks-can-make-you-happier

Matt

Matt Vargas is an author and public speaking coach with a degree in sociology and more than ten years of practical experience. Matt is responsible for the empirical surveys at everyday-courtesy.com, is a passionate recreational musician, and blogs here about his experiences in the field of interpersonal communication.

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