There are several ways to say “You’re welcome.” The most important time to employ one of these options is when someone thanks you for holding the door for them at a convenience store. Because while holding the door at a convenience store brings a tremendous amount of joy, what really sings is the feeling you get when responding to a “thank you.”

Twain said something about forgiveness being the fragrance the violet leaves on the bootheel that’s crushed it, but I think he was just being alliterative. Responding to someone’s “thank you” with a “you’re welcome” that’s tailored to a particular individual? That’s—and I’m not one to exaggerate, ask anyone who knows me—the essence of humanity.

But which should you use? In which scenarios and on whom should you use them? I’m glad I asked, as that smooths out this segue.

“No problem” and “No sweat” work for those people in their 50's and up who, at least in their own eyes, were cool at one point. They probably weren’t, but no matter. They’ll appreciate these responses being within their understanding of what is hip. Anything beyond these two phrases, you’ll lose them.

“All right” goes well with musicians of any gender, binary, sex, or race. Base your delivery on the musician’s presumed genre.

A hearty “Welcome” is acceptable for many, though best proffered to guys who eat a lot but aren’t fat, and delivered the Monday morning after a hometown football team’s win.

“Don’t mention it” is a big risk-reward one. It can be perceived as smart-assy, but the payoff can be tremendous—hip, with a hint of slang. It’s nice to garnish it with a “Ehhh,” but prior to, lest you are north of the border, in which case you assuredly will be responding to a most sincere thank-you. For those who like to live hard.

I want millennials to feel safe, so I’ve found that “Sure thing” puts them at ease.

Don’t hate on non-verbal responses to thank yous. A nod, for instance, can be very effective. First off, it’s a home run if you are holding the door for an appreciative member of the hearing-impaired community. And it’s what Mark Wahlberg would do.

“My pleasure” is a great disarmer of selfish or haughty people, whose thank you is as fake as the metaphorical ermine fur wrapped around their neck, as it not-so-subtly reminds them that this is all about you, the door-holder, not them and their shoddy thank you.

Try “Whyyou’resoverywelcome” when a youngster gives one of those made-in-the-USA thank yous, and add a tip-of-the-fake-cap as a dollop.

Don’t be afraid to have some fun with it. “Ohhh not at all,” for example, if you’re feeling like a dandy. “Enjoy yourself” often makes the thank-youer start before the enjoyment (wink) of realizing how delightful that advice is erupts all over their face.

“Positively” should be reserved for good-looking members of whatever gender, sex, or binary you’re into, and include a proper amount of pheromones. (Alpha males may grunt, an exception that does not apply to any other gender, sex, or binary.)

“Ignorant asshole” is for ignorant assholes who don’t say thank you on days when you’re having a really bad week, which is understandable, because everyone has limits, and maybe you were laid off because work suddenly stopped doing the seniority thing and started first cutting the ones who’ve been at the company for thirty years in an attempt to trim the organization’s benefits expenses, and then this guy just walks right in as if it’s now my job to hold the door for him, and I’m magnanimous, even after the week I’ve had, because the need to hold the door knows not of fiduciary or labor woes, and sure he’s good-looking and young and tall, and he has the world by the balls, which is all the more reason he should give thanks, he should thank people all day long, even for things they didn’t do, because what the fuck, and then he comes at you, and you throw your coffee in his face but of course it was barely warm let alone hot enough to scald because it’s convenience store coffee so what do you expect, and he gets in a few good shots, maybe pulls your jacket over your head so you can’t move your arms, suplexes you over a concrete parking block, shatters your phone. It was a draw.

“You got it” is when I want a cocktail of cool, charm, and confidence, or if I think someone is a fan of Roy Orbison.

“Beautiful day, isn’t it?” goes well with unattractive people, as it balances things out.

Suggested for You