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The Power of Thank You

The Power of Thank You

Good manners are so important that even 700 years after England’s first etiquette book came out, The Book of the Civilized Man, folks are still exploring how they affect your relationships and individual well-being.

An Australian study reveals that if you like someone and want to become his or her friend, you should find a good reason to say thank you. That makes it much more likely that your new acquaintance will stay in touch with you. And a Harvard study found that people who were thanked usually looked for new opportunities to be helpful to others—and the goodwill multiplies. Other research has found that friendships and positive social relationships strengthen your immune system, boost optimism and increase longevity.

So make expressions of gratitude part of your everyday routine. It’s good for your health, self-esteem and can even increase your circle of friends. And to get started you can give thanks that you don’t have to follow all the etiquette advice from that ancient English text: “Don’t mount your horse in the hall” and “if you wish to belch, remember to look up to the ceiling” don’t work all that well nowadays.

Medically reviewed in January 2020.

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