I’ve been trying to figure out why that phrase is so annoying. When someone inquires as to another person’s well-being, why is it necessary to give a positive stroke for being a normal human being? What does “thank you for asking” really mean? Possible translations…
Genuine gratitude. “Nobody ever asks me how I am.”
Shock. “Wow. Normally you’re a self-absorbed jerk. Can’t believe you asked.”
Encouragement. “Please ask me that again sometime.”
One-Upsmanship. “I’m actually a lot nicer than you are, see?”
Warning. “Get comfortable, because I’m about to tell you.”
“Thank you for asking” is one of those techniques they teach in sales training, to give the salesperson control of the conversation with the prospect. Maybe that’s why I don’t like hearing it; it feels controlling, like I’m being worked.
What’s your hot-button phrase?