Is it Rude to Not Say You’re Welcome?

Remembering to say please, thank you, and you’re welcome, at the right time, for the right reasons, is essential to practicing proper etiquette whether at the workplace, school, home, or otherwise.

But, is it rude to not say you’re welcome? If so, how rude is it, and what sort of situations make it right or wrong to use?

Read on below and explore the full and in-depth answers to these questions!

Is it Rude to Not Say You’re Welcome?

Generally speaking, it is the opposite of rude to say you’re welcome. So, that should make not saying you’re welcome automatically rude, right?

It sure would seem so, but, that isn’t always the case, in fact.

Sometimes, not saying you’re welcome is the polite and proper thing to do. 

For example, when you’ve done a favor for someone or given them a gift, and they don’t say thank you.

If you said you’re welcome in either scenario, you’d appear as rude, or likely even ruder, than the person who didn’t have the courtesy to say thank you in the first place.

How Rude Is it?


On the rude meter’s scale of 1 to 10, saying you’re welcome rates 3

We’ve rated saying you’re welcome in the middle of the scale due to the fact that the phrase “you’re welcome” is used in a polite way more often than it is in a disrespectful or offensive manner.

But, from time to time, people can and do find a way to throw a “you’re welcome” out there in the rudest, crudest, and uncalled-for way possible.

For example, when you lend someone a hand, and they don’t say thank you if you said you’re welcome you’d be rude.

That’s because it may be offensive to say you’re welcome when someone hasn’t said thank you. 

So, in these cases, not saying it is the polite thing to do.

That’s why we couldn’t rate saying you’re welcome a mere 3 or 4 on the rude scale.

Why is it Rude?

Not saying thank you is rude if someone says thank you to you, it is not rude when someone does not say thank you and you’d otherwise say you’re welcome back.

In other words, if you automatically say you’re welcome when you think someone should say thank you, chances are you’re being rude. 

Even if your intentions are good, or joking, that doesn’t mean the person you’re talking to will see it that way.

Common Questions

When should I say you’re welcome?

The primary time you should say you’re welcome to someone is when someone first says thank you to you. 

In some cases, when you can see the appreciation in someone’s face (or actions), it may be appropriate to go ahead and say you’re welcome without them verbally saying thank you first.

Is saying you’re welcome presumptuous?

Saying you’re welcome is typically seen as presumptuous only when it is said before someone has the chance to say thank you. 

Further, it is just as rude to say you’re welcome when a person fails to say thank you after some time.

When is saying you’re welcome offensive?

Saying you’re welcome is most often perceived as offensive language when it is said in a malicious manner. 

These hostile you’re welcome’s are quite easy to tell from authentic and gracious you’re welcome’s due to the speaker’s body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions (as well as their timing).