And we bet you're not saying it enough.
When we were young kids, one of the first things we were taught was the two magic phrases: "Please" and "Thank you." This is how you show respect and gratitude to the people you interact with, and it gives you this warm, bubbly feeling to be at the receiving end of it.
In this age self-entitlement and hubris, being shown genuine gratitude is rare to come by. When was the last time you genuinely thanked someone — not out of habit or reflex, but genuine gratitude and appreciation? When was the last time you sent anyone a thank you card or gift because you truly appreciated whatever it is they did for you?
Are "thank you" cards even a thing anymore, or are they just a memory of the past? Like fruit-shaped Trix cereal and NSYNC?
As it turns out, that magic phrase does more than just making the day of another person. It can make them like you more and gain you new friends.
According to Science Daily, the University of New South Wales conducted a study "designed to test a theory proposed... to explain the benefits to individuals and society of the emotion of gratitude." One of the researchers, UNSW pyschologist Dr Lisa Williams, says that those two words provide "a valuable signal that you are someone with whom a high quality relationship could be formed."
The 70 University students involved in the study became mentors to high school students, helping them and offering comments on their university admissions essays. The high school students were given the option to give a thank you card for their mentors.
"The university students who were thanked were more likely to provide their contact details, such as their phone number or email address, for the mentee than those who were not thanked," says the study.
Meanwhile, the high school students who gave the cards were described as having warm personalities by their mentors.
Dr. Williams concludes that the findings "represent the first known evidence that expression of gratitude facilitates the initiation of new relationships among previously unacquainted people."
And you know what else? A study conducted by pyschologists from the University of California and the University of Miami also found something interesting. One group of participants wrote down a few sentences each week with what they were grateful for. The other group wrote down their irritations for the week. This occured for ten weeks.
The researchers found that the first group who wrote down what they were grateful for "were more optimistic and felt better about their lives."
So, don't forget one of those first lessons of our childhood. Say genuine "thank yous" to those around you and be grateful for the wonderful things that happen to you. In turn, you will not only gain new friends, but also live a happier and more positive life.