A question arose at the dinner table last night, while eating with family: Is it always necessary to say "you're welcome" after being thanked for something?
My sister contends that in some situations, "no, I didn't request a thank you" and should therefore not feel forced to welcome it. It is the person receiving the service who is responsible for showing his or her appreciation, and the person who provides it should not be obligated to further indicate (many times falsely) that it was a pleasure to do, or at the very least not a bother.
But I believe that every show of thanks or good will merits a response, or some sort of recognition. In the same way that salutes or hellos should be returned. It's basic courtesy.
When I hold the door open for a woman, whether she be a stranger or not, I expect a thank you and I respond in kind when received. But many women take it as their god given right that men should be there, opening doors for them, and so neglect to even acknowledge you as they walk through. I find that reprehensible.
Though there are times and mitigating circumstances in which even thank you's may be summarily swept aside, like when you have two people working together on a car or a craft project that involves a lot of giving and receiving (or handing out "bless you's" after the third or fourth consecutive sneeze), it is my opinion that most actions of giving should be responded to with a thank you, and all thank you's should be replied to accordingly - be it "you're welcome," "sure thing dude," "anytime bro," or "no problem." There needs to be some reply that communicates that the service was done in good faith. No matter how small the actual service was.