Whenever someone says thank you, people, in English-speaking countries often respond with my pleasure. They may also use something similar to that to express that it was their pleasure to give assistance or help someone else in some way.
So, you’ll receive my pleasure as a response after saying thank you, whether you’re speaking with a person face to face or communicating with them by using regular digital media.
“My pleasure” accompanies the end of a conversation, so you do not have to respond to it. If you want to respond anyway, a friendly nod or a handshake will suffice.
A Verbal Response Isn’t Required
My pleasure is usually the final statement in a conversation. It ends a conversation that’s centered around someone expressing appreciation for something that was done for them.
As such, it’s not necessary to make another verbal statement after someone has said my pleasure. Instead, the other party usually expects you to take some form of physical activity.
If you’re continuing verbal engagement they expect you to switch to a different topic of conversation.
When You Feel Compelled to Say Something
There are situations where the gift that a person has given you is so meaningful to you, that you feel compelled to say something even after you’ve already said thanks and they’ve said my pleasure.
It is always best to end the conversation at my pleasure. Sometimes, saying thanks, again and again, can make the other person feel slightly uncomfortable. This can cause them to hesitate when they want to help you again in the future.
However, if you really would like to emphasize how much you appreciate their gift, you can say:
“You don’t know how much this means to me.”
“I really appreciate this.”
“This has made a big difference in my life.”
“This means so much to me.”
“You’re very kind and I want you to know that this has made an impact on me.”
Switch the Topic
Saying my pleasure ends the current topic of conversation. So after someone has said my pleasure you can feel free to transition to a different topic.
If you’d like to shift to a different topic of conversation, you could first introduce something that’s related to whatever you are just discussing.
You can introduce a new topic naturally in the following ways:
“So, I heard that the meeting next week will address some of the topics that we were discussing.”
“How are things at the office?”
Saying my pleasure is a bit like handing someone your business card. It’s sometimes a signal that a conversation is coming to an end.
If someone says you’re welcome, and you have nothing else to talk about you can feel free to say goodbye at that point. Assess the other person’s signals carefully.
If they had only stopped in response to you because you wanted to tell them thanks, the conversation doesn’t need to go beyond that at that moment in time.
For example, if you saw a friend walking by and stopped them to tell them thanks for a gift they might have been en route to something important.
You might switch the topic or end the conversation. What you do will depend on the other signals that they’re giving to you. So, if they appear to be in a hurry, you could say:
“See you around.”
“Enjoy your day.”
“Take care of yourself.”
All of these statements are appropriate responses to my pleasure when a conversation has ended and both parties need to be elsewhere. Always use a positive tone that communicates that it would be your delight to talk with the other person again at some point.
In several situations, you could simply wave goodbye after the other person says my pleasure.
For example, if someone has helped you to carry a heavy bag from the supermarket to the bus stop, you would say thank you, they would say my pleasure and then both of you would wave goodbye to each other.
Similarly, if you had just told a neighbor thanks for doing something for you as you were walking by their gate, you would wave goodbye after they say my pleasure. You are already walking by and you don’t need to continue the conversation.
You only stopped to tell them thanks and when they said my pleasure that was the end of the conversation. Waving goodbye is the next step.
Smile and Nod
Sometimes you’ll say thanks to a person but you’ll both still be in the same physical space. So, you won’t be able to wave goodbye or take your leave in another way. In that case, you can smile and nod to indicate that that particular conversation is over.
For example, if you’re in the elevator and a coworker comes in and you tell them thanks for sending an email to you, they would say my pleasure and then you can smile or nod. After that, you could switch to a different topic of conversation.
Fistbump and Walk Away
If you’re communicating with someone who you would normally greet with a fist bump, you can use this type of exchange after my pleasure.
For example, if a friend gives you a new set of gloves and you say thanks after they say my pleasure you could give them a fist bump. At that point, you could walk away or you could start a new activity.
Shake Hands and Leave
Handshakes are used to show respect. You can also use a handshake to show that you’ve approved of a person’s actions.
A handshake can be used to demonstrate your thanks even without words. After a person says my pleasure, a firm handshake conveys your appreciation for what they’ve done. Handshakes are useful in business settings where they’re accepted.
You can also shake hands with friends and even strangers in settings where all parties involved are comfortable doing so. For example, after an interviewee say thanks to an interviewer and the interviewer says my pleasure, both parties can shake hands to end the interview.
Before initiating a handshake as a response to my pleasure, observe the person carefully in order to gauge what they would be comfortable with. If they seem to be hesitant, a firm nod with brief but respectful eye contact might be an appropriate substitute.
Sophie Hammond is a journalist, psychologist, and freelance speechwriter for people in politics and business. She lives on the edge of the Rocky Mountains with her dog and a lifetime supply of books. When she’s not writing, she can be found wandering through nature or journaling at a coffee shop.