If there is a more irritating, sycophantic and pointless phrase in the whole of Christendom I don’t have a clue what it is, but I can tell you what is numero uno on my ‘shit list of stock phrases’: “Thank you for sharing.”
I loathe and detest those four words in that combination with teeth-gnashing passion.
Now, not for the first time, I am going to upset some people, but I make no apologies for doing so: people who use that phrase so glibly do so because they are either too lazy to think of anything more original to say OR do not have the mental acuity to provide a more useful and insightful response to what they have read. It has become a convenient catch-all phrase for the sake of saying something rather than saying nothing.
Personally if it was a choice between nothing and that godawful phrase, I’ll take nothing every time.
Why am I so vehemently against four apparently innocuous words?
I trained as a counsellor some twenty years ago and I must have heard that phrase at least THREE TIMES very goddamn week of my training. Spread across two years that amounts to a whole heap of patronising platitudes! Bear in mind that a lot of times when that phrase was used folks were baring their souls to the group and divulging often deep-held personal and private information about theirselves. To have that trust effectively ‘brushed off’ with an insincere platitude like “thank you for sharing” is insulting in the extreme.
It means absolutely NOTHING! Really, why say something so sodding pointless (I am working very hard here to not pepper this article with expletives…), so patently useless and unhelpful; so damn patronising and insincere? That’s the key: insincerity. It’s a phrase just for the sake of saying something. There is no warmth or helpfulness or insight in those words. It’s just a nothing, throwaway phrase and it gets right under my skin.
Nowadays when I see it applied to work – my own or others’ – it makes my blood boil. As when I and my fellow counselling trainees were in training and revealing ourselves, someone has poured their heart and soul into the work they present to the site. To have it so casually – and cruelly – dismissed with a nothing phrase like ‘thank you for sharing’ is ill-mannered and rude in the extreme. It is the ultimate insult.
Please do not do it.
In fact, if you really cannot think of anything more interesting and constructive to say or comment, please say nothing at all. Really, it is much better that way and you won’t be accused of laziness or intellectual turpitude.