I suffer from the urge to say “No problem” instead of saying “You are welcome.” Same meaning, you say? I beg to differ. There’s something damaging that happens to my psyche when I say, “no problem” after receiving thanks. Whenever I say “no problem,” a little version of me pouts and puts her hands on her hips in disdain. Not that it was a problem or troublesome, but by saying that it was nothing or was no big deal means that I have not accepted that I earned the thanks I have received.
I challenge you (and myself) to say “You are welcome” next time you’re given recognition for something you’ve done, especially in a professional setting. Perhaps there isn’t any real back-bending involved in the task because whatever it is only took you two seconds to do, but that’s because you’re an expert at it! Whoever asked you to do it is really grateful for the help most likely because it would have taken him or her a hundred times longer. Even if the task is as simple as getting a cup of coffee for a colleague or boss, the fact of the matter is that a service was provided and you owe it to yourself to acknowledge the other person’s gratitude and realize you are worthy of the thanks.
“No problem,” “It was nothing,” and “Anytime” discard too much. Those phrases sell the person short and disrespect the relationship. “You’re welcome” acknowledges that you are talented, thoughtful, and deserve to be treated with respect. “No problem” and the like can easily be seen by the other person as an invitation to demand rather than ask for things in the future. The last thing anyone wants is to be demanded of instead of respectfully asked for help because after all, we are the right person for the task and we deserve the thanks when we’ve done the task well.