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I have this job in the US for years now. I come from a different country and a different culture where people don't frequently say thank you at workplace. Over the past few years, my boss would thank me for all the hard work I've done once in a while. In the beginning, I thought he was just trying to be polite and respectful as I'm from a different culture, which is good and I'm grateful for all that. But as time has gone by, I've been working for him for years now, he still does that from time to time, which makes me feel like that he does not think of me as his own kind, and seeing him never do that to other American co-workers makes me even more uptight about the situation because it feels like that I'm being edged out. I'm worried.

Sometimes, I even feel frustrated because of this. Is the relationship between me and my boss abnormal? I just want to be treated equally just like the rest of my co-workers. Or am I really overreacting here?

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    Usually thanking and otherwise recognizing people’s contributions is appreciated. – Jon Custer Aug 31 '18 at 21:10
  • Does this happen noticeable to others? Are you sure he doesn't thank others too, without you noticing? – puck Sep 1 '18 at 6:24
  • Have you considered asking him why he thanks you more frequently than the other co-workers? – Adonalsium Sep 4 '18 at 12:46
  • Not American, so this might be a cultural faux pas in your situation: but during my first evaluation at my current company I told my direct superior that I was fed up with him praising me for what I consider to just be my job. It helped, he doesn't thank me anymore for every little thing. So have you tried the direct approach already? – DonFusili Sep 10 '18 at 14:54
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"which makes me feel like that he does not think of me as his own kind, and seeing him never do that to other American co-workers makes me even more uptight about the situation because it feels like that I'm being edged out. I'm worried."

These kinds of feelings are normal. Most everybody worries from time to time about whether we are doing a good enough job or not. I believe the term Imposter Syndrome was coined to describe this feeling.

Based on the information you have provided, I don't think you have any legitimate cause for concern. When feelings like this come up, try to remind yourself that you do good work and your work is valued by your boss. This is why he is thanking you. The other feelings come from insecurities that are very normal, but should not be indulged.

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    Absolutely true. To add to this, managers are often told in training to verbally appreciate their employees, so you'll encounter this often. – Katie Sep 1 '18 at 0:21
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I don't see an issue here at first glance.

He simply could be genuinely impressed by your work or your progress. It could be his way of praising people that he finds are excelling at their job.

Now, this is highly speculative (your impression of his interactions with you are vital to understand if this is the case) but he might see you as a potential friend or more and doesn't feel it would be appropriate to act upon it or didn't find a good way to approach you.

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Its fairly normal in America to thank someone for doing their job. Its considered polite, and meant to make sure you know your contribution is valued and appreciated. This isn't a sign that he views you as an outsider, its a sign of respect. And while you haven't seen it, its highly likely that he does the same to your coworkers.

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I think you're overreacting.

You don't indicate your country of origin, but your boss may be under the impression that your culture is more formal, and so he's going out of his way to adapt his style of communication to what he thinks you grew up with. This is what managers are supposed to do!

Not to mention that working with someone who's not from the US may have made him uncomfortable, and so his response is to revert to more formal manners.

Unless you have some concrete evidence that you're being edged out - like not getting good work assignments, emails being ignored, being snubbed in meetings - then I think this "thank you" tic that he has can be ignored.

Short version: it's not you, it's him.

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