The Danger of Saying “Thanks”

In my travels, I have met very few people who understand the concept that there is energy behind our words.

I’ve felt it since I was a young child. I used to think I was crazy and that I just needed to keep my perceptions to myself.

But I have come to realize that I’m not crazy…I’ve been gifted with the ability to “hear” the energy beneath people’s words.

This blog has allowed me to interact with an intuitively gifted cross section of humanity. People who also thought they were crazy or otherwise different.

“Your articles are wonderful. Thank you for writing. They make me feel less odd!”  -Brandy

So thank you, Brandy! I’m grateful for all of the feedback I receive and I want to continue to share more of my insanity with you.

In this article, I will point out the two main energies behind thanking someone: 1) gratitude and 2) guilt.

Learning to detect and understand these energies will have a profound and noticeable positive impact on your life.

By the end of this article you will be armed with knowledge that will…

  • Lead to more peace and emotional freedom in your life
  • Allow you to connect with people on a deeper level
  • Help you to meet new friends and form better relationships
  • Actually increase your financial abundance

Let me begin with an example…

Have you ever noticed that when someone gives a toy or a piece of candy to a child, the parent almost always tells the child to say “thank you” to the person?

Did you ever stop and wonder what that’s all about?

Turns out there’s a deep, psychological reason for this behavior.

You see, we are conditioned at from an early age to say “thank you” whenever someone does something nice for us. As a result, we end up going through life with a perceived obligation to thank people.

On the surface, this sounds perfectly reasonable and can be rationalized as having good manners.

But to me it always seemed like there was something subtly destructive about this tendency. And it wasn’t until recently that I’ve actually been able to put it into words.

When someone offers you something and you have nothing in return, it creates tension. And the way we’ve learned to alleviate this tension is by saying “thank you.”

The problem is that it has become a conditioned response that, when absent, creates a noticeable discomfort in the person, which often leads to guilt if the socially programmed convention is not followed.

What I’ve noticed is that when a parent tells their child to say “thank you,” what they’re actually doing is attempting to lessen their own guilt that they’ve received by proxy.

Put simply, “thank you” has become a standard protocol that has lost its true meaning.

When people don’t engage their social programming, guilt arises…and the focus then becomes on guilt avoidance rather than genuinely offering their gratitude.

And now we get into the most important part of the article:

There are two ways to say “thank you.” One is lack-based and the other is based in abundance.

It’s very simple. Avoidance is a lack-based mentality, whereas giving is an abundance-based mentality.

Ok – why is this important?

It’s important because PRACTICE makes PERFECT.

So if you’re practicing lack-based behavior, then you are developing a lack-based mentality.

When you develop a lack-based mentality, you are actually physically carving new neurological pathways in the brain that then dictate your behavior…which, in turn, dictates your reality.

Research shows again and again that humans are not nearly as “in control” of their behavior as they think they are.

The reason for this is because we practice things to the point where we become so skilled that we don’t even notice we’re engaging in the behavior (or thought patterning) anymore.

This is what’s called “unconscious competence,” and it is the highest degree of mastery when it comes to behavioral expression.

In this case, we’re talking about being competent in a rather destructive behavior and a thinking pattern that is lack-based and is deeply rooted in the experience and expression of guilt.

So if you’re walking around with a lack-based mentality, then you’ll keep creating lack-based opportunities and outcomes for yourself.

This phenomenon shows up in other ways as well.

Take, for example, a situation in which a stranger pays you a compliment.

So many times I notice that people (myself included) automatically and almost instantaneously downplay the compliment.

There are a million examples of this, and I’m sure you can think of plenty instances where people are either unable or unwilling to accept and receive a compliment.

A lot of advice I hear to combat this tendency is to simply say “thank you.” Nothing more needs to be said. Just get into the habit of saying “thanks.”

Which is definitely a step forward…

…but the problem is that it’s too focused on the words alone. It fails to take into consideration the underlying energy associated with saying the word “thanks.”

Because, even though you said the word…did you really allow yourself to take in the compliment? Did you appreciate the compliment? Did you internalize it and let it make you feel good…?

Or did you just assume the person was just trying to be nice, only to then mechanically respond with “thanks?”

In other words, “thanks” is supposed to symbolize the feeling of gratitude and demonstrate genuine appreciation. But were you actually grateful for the compliment…or did you just brush it off?

In my experience, people almost always say “thanks” purely in an effort to conform to social normative behavior. It’s very rare that I can detect true and authentic gratitude in their voice.

Mark my words, comrade. This is a destructive habit that can keep you stuck in ways that you can’t even see.

Every time you shrug off a compliment, you are secretly telling yourself, “I’m not worth it.”

Every time you mechanically say “thanks,” you are engaging in a guilt-avoidance patterning that signals to yourself on a subconscious level that you don’t actually deserve what was offered to you.

Imagine, for just a few moments, how this behavior might affect your life.

You’re constantly practicing and rehearsing the belief that you don’t deserve gifts or compliments.

If you don’t deserve gifts from people, what about gifts from the universe?

If you feel too guilty to accept and receive even a compliment, how might that be affecting your own self-love?

If you’re constantly rehearsing lack-based behavior, what makes you think you’re going to be able to accept opportunities that lead to other forms of abundance?

When people give something to you, think of it as a gift. If you can train yourself to be genuinely grateful for the gift, you are not only doing yourself a favor but you’re doing the other person a favor as well.

Come on…you know how good it feels to give gifts. There’s no need to feel guilty. You’re actually doing the other person a favor by graciously accepting their gift.

Almost always, the best way to reciprocate is simply by offering your genuine gratitude for the gesture.

This is an abundance-based mentality that will allow you to connect with people on a deeper level. You’ll start to attract higher quality and more meaningful relationships in your life.

And best of all, you will free yourself from the common burdens of guilt, shame, unworthiness, and undeservingness.

You will therefore have more peace.

Peace changes the world.

Guilt keeps the world stuck.

The good news is that all you have to do is be aware of your feelings and then consciously choose to feel something else…something better.

When you catch yourself feeling guilty when someone gives you something, choose instead to accept the gift. Allow yourself to really take in the compliment.

This will actually change your emotional state from ‘guilty’ to ‘grateful.’ And gratitude has a magical effect that seems to change reality in mysterious ways.

But don’t take my word for it. Practice makes perfect…so give it a shot.

Listen, I can’t even begin to tell you all of the ways that guilt has been holding me back. And one of the biggest ways I’ve been hiding it is with the words, “thank you.”

Innocent on the surface. Treacherous below.

And for the record, I’m not saying that you should stop thanking people. Just make sure that when you do, you’re doing it out of love, not guilt.

Practice transmuting your guilt into gratitude for just one month and then let me how your life has changed.




  1. Brandy said:

    Beautifully written and an interesting concept. I am currently practicing gratitude and an abundant mindset. Not saying that I am an expert, or even particularly diligent in my daily practice; however, since I’ve started the change in my life has been positive and constant.

    I will put sincere energy into all my thank yous from now on! As well as absorbing any compliments, instead of brushing them aside.

    Again, a sincere thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. I look forward to your next post!

    March 27, 2017
    • D/C Russ said:

      Cool Brandy. A sincere thanks for the nice words!

      March 27, 2017
  2. Urvashi said:


    I did not get the below:

    “It’s very simple. Avoidance is a lack-based mentality, whereas giving is an abundance-based mentality.”

    Avoidance of what? Maybe I missed the point somewhere.

    April 3, 2017
    • D/C Russ said:

      Don’t avoid things. When you avoid, your energy is contracting…not expanding. Avoidance is a lack based mentality and is rooted in fear. Does that make more sense?

      April 3, 2017
      • Urvashi said:

        How did you validate that the energy is contracting on avoidance?

        April 5, 2017
        • D/C Russ said:

          It can go either way. You have to feel it for yourself. The tendency for avoiding things is usually due to fear of lack or not having enough. It is the way of the world. A good example is evolution. Evolution, based on natural selection, is the competition for limited resources, like food. So you could argue that it’s based in lack. But you can also make the argument that creatures are evolving “towards” rather than “away” which means that it’s based on abundance. This is what’s tricky about the things I teach — they are so personal and subjective that my role is merely to make people aware of the energy so that they can feel the difference and make a decision for themselves. Everything seems to be a paradox when you examine it closely. Don’t look to my words as truth, but rather seek your own truth behind my words.

          April 5, 2017
  3. Urvashi said:

    Thank you. I always look forward to read your insights. They help me work at a micro level within. It means getting down right to the basics.

    Once again loads of love.

    April 5, 2017

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