Is it Rude To Not Say Thank You?

People do little things for us all the time; answer questions, hold the door open, prepare a meal for us, and the list goes on and on.

Most of the time, we respond with a “thank you” or other words that show our appreciation. 

But, is it rude to not say thank you at times? And if so, when? Read on below and discover the full answer!

Is it Rude to Not Say Thank You?

It isn’t rude to not say thank you, necessarily. What is rude is when someone does something nice for you or helps you with a significant task, and you don’t say thank you.

Otherwise, whether you say thank you or not for trivial matters is up to you.

How Rude Is it?

Not saying thank you rates 9 out of 10 on the rude meter. We’ve rated not saying thank you based on a situation in which someone does something genuinely nice or helpful.

If you don’t say thank you, you are being rude (even if absentmindedly)

Why is it Rude?

It is rude to not say thank you to someone that has helped you out, done you a favor, said something nice or beneficial to you, or something similar.

Put yourself in the other person’s shoes; if you did something nice or helpful for someone, would you accept a thank you?

Other Options to Do Instead

It can be very tempting to not say thank you at certain times, for whatever reasons.

But, there are usually better alternatives that are more polite and don’t leave us feeling guilty or regretful later on.

Rather than not saying thank you, or anything at all, there are a few other options to do instead:

  • Make eye contact and nod and smile
  • Shake hands or pat them on the back
  • Say something else to them like “I appreciate it”
  • Tell you “you shouldn’t have”
  • Let them know they are a “life saver”

Common Questions

When is it rude to not say thanks?

It is rude to not tell someone thank you when they have genuinely helped you out, done someone beneficial for you or offered you genuine caring advice or compliments. It is also to not say thank you when someone gives you money or presents.

How else do you say thank you?

Instead of saying “thank you”, which often sounds much less enthusiastic and appreciative than we really are, try saying what you actually feel. For example, you might say “OMG, this makes me happy AF! You are the BEST!” when you get a gift that you love or a really helpful favor from someone.

When is it ok to not say thank you?

It is more than ok to not say thank you at any time because you are not a robot. You can always tell someone thank you later, or show them your appreciation some other way. That said, traditionally, it is polite and proper to thank those who have gifted you something or done you a favor, in real-time.