Have you ever contacted someone, and the first thing they say in response to you is “Thank You for reaching out to me”?
This phrase will usually be said after the first time you reply to someone. It would be rather odd if you said it every time you talk to somebody.
What does “Thank you for reaching out to me” mean?
The phrase “Thank you for reaching out to me” is a way of saying “thank you for getting in touch with me, I am keen to be able to help you”. It’s usually said in more formal situations and is used to give the impression of politeness and eagerness to help.
Usually, it’s said as a response to someone who wants something or has a question.
In this article, I want to go over when you might hear it, if you need to say it, and what some great alternatives might be.
What does “reaching out” mean?
When you “reach out”, you could be physically extending your arm to grab something out of reach. However, in this context, we mean it in a metaphorical way, rather than a physical one.
When someone says “Thank you for reaching out to me”, they are refering to somebody reaching out to them by trying to talk to them. This could be because you want something from them (be that a physical item, or help), but can also be because they have asked you for help. You appreciate being the kind of person they feel they can talk to.
When will you hear “Thank you for reaching out to me”?
Most of the time, when people say “Thank you for reaching out”, they won’t be in the pub talking to their friends. This phrase is usually only said during formal situations.
One example is during business transactions. A customer might approach someone to ask for advice or purchase a product. The business would say “thank you for reaching out to us” to say they are grateful to have this person as a potential customer.
You could also hear it during emotional times. For example, if you read that someone you went to school with has just lost a loved one, they might say “thank you for reaching out to me” after you’ve given your condolences.
Why do people say “Thank you for reaching out to me”?
In all of the English language, there is not one phrase that we say without reason. There isn’t always a good reason, but there is always a reason.
Manners are the glue that holds society together. Without manners, we are just smart monkeys. By using manners, we are showing that we want to have our place in a civilised society.
When we thank people for reaching out to us, we’re letting them know they’re welcome to talk to us, and we are grateful for the communication.
Alternative ways of saying “Thank you for reaching out to me”
#1 Alternative for trying to make amends.
“Thank You for extending the olive branch”.
When you extend an olive branch to someone, you are letting them know that you might have had some differences in the past, but now, you want to be at peace with them.
This can’t always replace “reaching out” as you won’t be extending an olive branch to people you’ve never fallen out with.
However, it can be a great phrase to use when someone you’ve not had the best history with tries to make amends with you.
In fiction, olive branches are often used as a symbol of peace.
#2 Alternative for more casual situations.
“Thanks for getting in touch.”
This alternative could be excellent for more casual situations. For example, if you run a business that doesn’t deal with serious matters, or someone has asked for help with something trivial.
If you know someone well, you can use more colloquial language than you would otherwise be able to. “Thanks” is a less formal way of saying “Thank You”.
However, if you want to come across as professional, my advice would be to avoid using this phrase as it could make you seem like you don’t take your job too seriously.
#3 Alternative for business talk.
“Good Question” is another great phrase to use in casual situations.
When working in a shop, it can be a quicker way of getting to the point, most people here don’t have time for too many niceties.
It also acts as a compliment as you’re saying “I admire your ability to think of relevant questions”.
Plus, it puts the blame on you, and away from the customer as you’re implying that the question they’ve asked is something you should have already told them.
It can also be ideal outside of work where you just want to come across as someone who is polite but not so polite you need to be an etiquette expert to talk to you.
#4 Alternative Super Formal situations.
On the other end of the formality scale, we have “Thank You for inquiring about us” or “We thank you for your inquiry”.
This phrase is probably the most formal way you could say it. The only type of businesses that would usually say it is lawyers, trading companies, and insurance brokers.
Most of the time, you will just come as across as someone who takes themselves too seriously if you say it.
Criticism of “Thank you for reaching out to me”.
One criticism I’ve seen of “thank you for reaching out” is that it sounds artificial. Most of the time, when people say it, they’re just doing it because they’re getting paid to, or because they want to manipulate what you think of them.
Are people who say “Thank you for reaching out to me” actually thankful?
But here’s the thing. Most of the time, manners are fake. Can you imagine what the world would be like if we were honest 100% of the time?
Whilst “thank you for reaching out” is artificial, most of the manners phases are too. When we apologise, we’re not sorry most of the time. It’s not about what you mean, it’s about what people think you mean.
When you “reach out” to someone, you make the first contact with them, usually with an aim, but it can be to offer something to them, such as someone to talk to.
“Thank you for reaching out to me” is one of the phrases that only exists to make people feel like we care about them more than we actually do. But nonetheless, manners are an essential part of making sure we can live alongside one another. I hope you’ve learnt a thing or two about “thank you for reaching out to me”, and you know when you should use it, and when you should opt for something else.