In a good personal exchange both sides need to be able to receive gratitude. It’s hard enough for some people to offer gratitude. So it’s critical that when it’s offered the receiver is able to accept it with grace. According to Dr. John Amodeo, about the least graceful way to receive gratitude is with this very common two-word response: “No problem.”
In Psychology Today, Dr. Amodeo points out his disappointment whenever someone says “no problem” to him. Instead of communicating simply that a favor was no inconvenience, “no problem” too often makes the giver of gratitude feel like his/her gratitude “fell flat.” The rote response of “no problem” makes the grateful party feel like their gratitude was “not received in any deep or meaningful way.” Amodeo suggests that next time someone says thanks to you, try responding with something like this: “I appreciate your saying that. Means a lot.” That’s a whole lot better than “no problem.” Your exchange–and your relationship–will be enriched by the extra thoughtfulness.