One of the most frequent complaints I get about my behavior and personality is that I say “Thank You” too often and apologize too quickly, often over trivial or unnecessary things. It is often attributed to where I grew up, but honestly it probably has ten times more to do with the things going on inside my head and the situation of my childhood than the location of my childhood home.
Growing up in a lower middle class family that often struggled to make ends meet “thank you” wasn’t heard all that often. We had little to give to others and often struggled to give to each other. Fighting was frequent, and directly coorolated to the ability to pay bills on time. My behavior as a child was highly regulated, and my thoughts were frequently questioned. Hiding things became the norm as I became desperate to keep things like my journal away from my parents, who would sneak into my room in the middle of the night to look through my things (waking me up to question me if they found anything). As I got older hiding and lying became the norm, and apologizing became a requirement.
When I began making friendships ‘thank you’ and apologies became my first tool in interacting with and maintaining friendships. As I grew older those phrases began to hold a deeper meaning to me. They were no longer a requirement for survival in a family of questionable morals and clouded judgment, but rather a first line of defense in seeking the approval of others. As friendships failed my fears of rejection and abandonment became a crippling cornerstone of my personality. My anxiety shot through the roof with each subsequent severing of a relationship and the frequency of my use of ‘thank you’s and apologies began to soar through the roof.
Now in my early twenties I am beginning to reconcile my mind and bring these phrases back from the brink of loosing their meaning from overuse. That being said, for those close to me the frequency in which I use these phrases with you has a strong coorolation to the respect and love I have for you. While I try to break my habit it will mean the world to me for you to accept that while my words are frequent, they have the same amount of emotion and appreciation behind them every time I use them, and you are never less important because of the frequency in which I tell you how much you mean to me.