Many people seem to have adopted the expression “Not a problem” in place of “You’re welcome.” For example, if I thank someone in email, by phone, or in person for doing a favor for me, the response is often “Not a problem.”
I am guessing you too have read or heard “Not a problem” or “No problem.” You may be wondering what my problem with it is.
The problem with “Not a problem” is its negative parts: not and problem. When it comes to tone, two negatives do not multiply to create a positive. “Not a problem” has, at best, a neutral feeling.
Contrast “Not a problem” with these phrases in response to “Thank you”:
- You are welcome.
- You are very welcome.
- My pleasure.
- Our pleasure.
- It’s a pleasure.
- Happy to help.
- I am always happy to help.
- We are happy to serve you.
- We aim to please.
- I am glad you like it.
- Sure thing!
- Thank you!
- Thank you for shopping [dining, staying] here.
The examples range from formal (“We are happy to serve you”) to casual (“Enjoy!). What they have in common is positive language: welcome, pleasure, happy, please, glad, sure, like, enjoy, thank you.
Those positive words create a positive feeling between the writer and reader, or the speaker and the listener.
Are you ready to warm up the tone of your communication by replacing “Not a problem” with a positive phrase? Or have you always stayed positive? I look forward to your comments.