Is it Rude to Say Thank You For Your Understanding?

Saying thank you for your understanding is a pretty common choice of words when someone doesn’t go the way someone planned, among other situations that typically end with someone feeling disappointed.

Especially when it’s our fault that things don’t pan out the way they should, or it’s our responsibility to deal with the issue, saying thank you for your understanding is a go-to move.

But, is it rude? Read on below and explore the truth of the matter.

Is it Rude to Say Thank You For Your Understanding?

Telling someone thank you for your understanding is far from rude most of the time. 

However, there are indeed times that people find a way to use the saying in an off-handed or straight-up rude manner.

For example, if you tell someone thanks for understanding, and you don’t really mean it (often because what the person is “understanding” is that you don’t give a damn), you are without question being rude.

How Rude Is it?


On the rude meter’s scale of 1 to 10, saying thank you for your understanding rates 3

The bottom line is that saying thank you for your understanding isn’t rude when said with honesty and/or humility.

However, we’ve assigned three rudeness points to saying thank you for understanding due to the fact that people also tend to use this particular comment to let people down.

In other words, so long as you actually mean the words, there’s nothing rude about them. But, if you are saying the words in a dismissive manner, you’re likely being rude.

Why isn’t it Rude?

Saying thank you for your understanding is a great way to show someone your appreciation for their willingness or ability to understand something.

So long as you are genuine with your usage of this choice of words, you are not being rude. 

In fact, telling someone thank you for your understanding (for the right reasons) is simply practicing polite and proper etiquette.

Common Questions

How do you thank someone for understanding?

Thanking someone for understanding is as simple as that: saying “thank you for your understanding”. 

Regardless of the negative connotations sometimes related to the phrase, telling someone thank you for their understanding is genuinely the most straightforward way to do so.

What does “appreciate your understanding” mean?

When someone tells another person that they “appreciate their understanding”, more often than not, it’s literally what they mean. 

That said, there are times when folks use the saying and mean the opposite. 

These rude remarks are easily sorted from the legit ones by the look on the person’s face, their body language, and tone of voice, as well as the tone of the conversation.

When to thank someone for understanding?

There is no right or wrong time to thank someone for understanding (aside from when you are doing so just to be smarty pants). 

The most common times to do so are when you’ve let someone down, need to ask a hard favor (or share some deep and personal issues) or assign a difficult task to a co-worker or employee.