People Weigh In On Why Older People Hate When Younger People Say “No Problem” Instead of “You’re Welcome”
If you go to a store and an employee helps you find something that you’re looking for, you might say “thank you.” That would be polite. How the employee responds will probably depend on how old he or she is. An older person will most likely say, “you’re welcome,” but a younger person will most likely say, “no problem.”
Why? Why do we answer differently? More importantly, why do older people think it’s rude if someone of a younger generation says “no problem” instead of “you’re welcome”? It’s completely confusing and definitely shows a huge generation gap.
Twitter user Tom Nichols tweeted, “Dear Every Cashier in America: the proper response to ‘thank you’ is ‘you’re welcome,’ not ‘no problem.’ And *you’re* supposed to thank *me*”
Dear Every Cashier in America: the proper response to “thank you” is “you’re welcome,” not “no problem.” And *you’re* supposed to thank *me*
— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) September 13, 2015
One Twitter user commented that “no problem” is “perfectly friendly” and that there’s nothing wrong with saying “no problem” instead of “you’re welcome.”
@RadioFreeTom “No Problem” is a perfectly friendly response, although perhaps less formal & deferential than what you’re seeking.
— i said ‘oh my’ and uh ‘boo hoo’ (@ThemedSandwich) September 13, 2015
Yet, there’s an even better answer here. The fact that “no problem” is not rude and actually meant to be friendly doesn’t change the fact that many Boomers think it is rude. Why is that?
One response perfectly summed up the misunderstanding between Boomers and Millennials. It points out that the response “no problem” is the exact opposite of rude but also explains why Boomers think it’s rude.
The tweet explained that “for older people the act of helping or assisting someone is seen as a task that is not expected of them, but is them doing extra, so it’s them saying, ‘I accept your thanks because I know I deserve it.”
The tweet went on to explain that young people say “no problem” because they “feel not only that helping or assisting someone is a given and expected but also that it should be stressed that your need for help was no burden to them (even if it was).”
So, it seems that Millennials might actually be more thoughtful by nature than Boomers since a response of “no problem” is basically the same as saying “but of course,” or, “I’m happy to help.” Meanwhile, “you’re welcome” is perhaps more like saying, “It was an inconvenience, and I greatly appreciate you noticing and appreciating what I did for you.”
We can’t help but wonder what Nichols thinks about Chick-fil-A employees saying “my pleasure” instead of “you’re welcome” or “no problem.” Does he think that’s rude as well? Most people seem to find it surprisingly delightful and very friendly.
Regardless of which generation you’re a part of it, it should help to know that if someone responds “no problem” or “you’re welcome,” they probably mean it in the exact same way. Nobody is trying to be rude, so let’s realize it’s just a way of talking that has changed over time.
Do you tend to say “you’re welcome” or “no problem”? Do you find either of these responses rude?