Doesn't anyone say "Thank You" anymore?

I hand delivered holiday gifts to some former coworkers of mine. They thanked me and told me that I "shouldn't have bothered" and I replied that it was my pleasure. There were four people who were absent the day I stopped by, so I left the gifts on their desks. So far, none of them have called me or emailed me to say thanks for the gift. I know Christmas is about giving and not receiving anything in return, not even thanks. I understand that and it is not about material things. But since I bent over backwards to give those gifts, I was expecting a thanks. Should I wait to see what happens or should I let it go? --ana2

Question:

Dear ana2,

I, too, am disappointed by rudeness. It's a shame people don't properly thank others for their consideration, but often they don't. The issue here is you feeling badly about the situation. I'd like to share something with you that helps me. I call it my "purity of intent." If I am disappointed by others non-reactions, I ask myself, "Okay, Mary -- why did you give them that gift? To show how nice you are? To express gratitude for their support during the year? For the pleasure of it? So they'd like you? To get something back? Answering these questions helps me to understand where my gift-giving motivation came from. When my purity of intent is off (the why I did something), I am often disappointed and hurt by someone not saying thank you. However, when my purity of intent is clear (in other words, when I don't want or expect anything or any reaction from the other person), I never am!

The truth is that people rarely react the way we want them to or think they should. (Just as we don't toward them!) Give freely, simply because you want to and their reactions won't matter in the least.

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