Next time someone tells you chivalry is dead, give them a smack. First, for using a tired old cliche, and second, for subscribing to old fashion gender norms. If you haven’t noticed, it’s not just chivalry that’s dead, but people just being nice to each other. That’s dead too. Thank yous, you’re welcomes, and excuse mes have suddenly become something foreign. But it’s alright, because these lowered standards mean you can stand out as a gentleman that much more. So let’s take a look at one of the oldest, and most forgotten of traditions, the thank you letter.
Why Write a Thank You Letter
Because you’d be happy if you got one, wouldn’t you? You’re not writing it to get anything, except the satisfaction that you’re being a decent human being. It’ll make the other person feel appreciated, and give them an excuse to get in touch with you – thanking you for the thank you letter. It also lets people know you’re the kind of person considerate enough of other people’s feelings, to do this kind of thing.
When Should You Write A Thank You Letter?
Anytime you feel like the other person might appreciate it. Anytime you feel like you might have something to thank people for. If you take a girl out to the symphony? Thank you letter. Friend hooks you up with a good job interview? Thank you letter. Have dinner at the in-laws? Thank you letter. Friends who come to your wedding / baby shower? Every one of them gets a thank you letter.
What Should Go Into a Thank You Letter?
How Should It Be Done?
The thank you letter can take many forms. You don’t need to make it some kind of handwritten affair sent on custom stationery. In many cases, that might even be seen as too old fashioned, or unusual. An email does well in 90% of cases. For business, a typed letter with signature can do. And for good friends, you can do pretty much any of the above, or send them an old fashioned letter in the mail, if you like.
Once you get into the swing of things and you get a reputation for being a gentleman, consider investing in some stationary you can use for special occasions. Doesn’t need to be anything fancy, or even monogrammed – just something that looks a bit nicer than the usual printer paper people see everyday.
Remember though, that you set a precedent the first time you do this. Keep a tally in your head of all the things that you feel need thanking, so people don’t feel slighted if you forget someone.