I like to communicate with people especially outside of social media and I fear the art of communication, the old fashioned way, by writing letters, is a long time dead these days, but that doesn’t stop me from doing it. However I am going to be far more selective in future as to who I send cards, letters and gifts to as I feel this gestures of appreciation, good will and out of care and love are no longer wanted either.
How do I know this? By the lack of response to the physical presence of something turning up through the post that takes, time, care, planning and costs adiitional to the actual gift/card in terms of the time already spent. Compared to the response people will give to a Happy Birthday message left on Facebook, that takes no thought, no planning, no time and of which Facebook will remind you several times a day.
Sending a card through the post or ordering flowers or ensuring a gift arrives in advance has become an accepted thing for me to do. It will just be there, it’s something I always do. But I get absolutely nothing back from it in most cases. It could be said ‘one doesn’t give to receive’ and that is indeed the case, but when I’ve tracked an item at extra cost, received notification it’s been delivered, then wait 3-4 days before I finally contact the person and say ‘hi, did the xxx appear?’I get ‘oh yes it did’
However over those 3-4 days the people who have sent the Facebook messages ‘happy birthday’ have received a ‘like’ or a ❤️ in response. And I’ve had NOTHING/ZERO/ZILCH.
I have no idea why people do this. Maybe it’s because people genuinely don’t see why they should say thank you, they know you’ve tracked the item, therefore you know it’s arrived. Maybe they feel it’s a right, an entitlement, maybe it’s because they’re just so busy they don’t have time in their day to pick up their phone and say ‘hey Suzanne, thanks for the flowers/card/gift that arrived this morning/yesterday. It was really kind of you, the flowers are beautiful’ . Maybe they feel if they do that they’ll be expected to do the same back? I don’t know because when I ask them in several messages that I can see they’ve read, they finally answer with ‘yes, it did arrive’
My feedback suggests, me spending money is expected, me sending cards and arranging gifts to arrive on time is just what I do and there’s absolutely no need to acknowledge receipt or heaven forbid actually say thank you. So from now on, it’s just not happenening.
If you’ve got a good enough excuse why you can’t say thanks, let alone send me a card for my birthday or even send a message in Facebook at the beginning of the day rather than at the end when you realize ‘shit, I best send a message’ then it obviously doesn’t matter to you that much and therefore it doesn’t matter to me either. So I’ll just save myself the stress, the upset and the money and just not bother from now on.
It’s not about my expectations of a gift in exchange, it’s about politeness and good manners and more importantly when you live 1000’s ofmiles away it’s about keeping the avenues of communication open. A two way exchange, a response, not just a thank you or showing gratitude.