The Problem with “No Problem”

Have you noticed that fewer and fewer people say “You’re Welcome” when responding to “Thank You?”  The new response has become “No Problem.”  Think about what that really means.  “No Problem” infers that there could have been a problem.  I don’t know about you, but when someone thanks me the very last thing I want to infer is that I was put out in any way. 

The recipient of our gestures of kindness should see our freely given pleasure to help.   “No Problem” has become a slang response and while innocent does imply that our kindness was not 100% given whether we meant it that way or not.  Society has learned to accept this new response, but does that make it right?  My opinion is no. 

When someone thanks us for our kindness, the most respectful response is to reassure the recipient that our gesture was our complete pleasure.  Dictionary.com defines “welcome” as gladly receiving or acceptance with pleasure and without obligation for the courtesy received.  While Wiktionary.com does state that “no problem” means no thanks or apology is necessary, I argue that one should never respond to thank you with a phrase that is synonymous with no apology necessary. 

“Thank you” is an expression of gratitude; therefore, your response should communicate your complete pleasure in the gesture. 

The next time someone thanks you for an act or word of kindness, make sure this person knows of your complete happiness and pleasure of the courtesy.   Say “You’re Welcome.” 

 

 

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4 thoughts on “The Problem with “No Problem”

  1. James Franks

    This is my favorite pet peeve. Being in the hospitality industry, it kills me to hear one of my associates say “no problem”. Now I hear it everywhere and it makes me bristle every time. “It’s my pleasure” is always my preferred response. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
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