Whether it’s a friend, partner, or family member, showing appreciation is very important. Taking the time to remind your loved ones that they matter is a great way to make sure you’re building and maintaining good relationships.
It’s also just a lovely thing to do for someone you care about!
How can you go about it? Well, you just have to…
Put In The Hours
Take the time to really appreciate those around you.
This might be physically putting the time in to meet up with them regularly.
It might be setting a reminder on your phone every week or so to call your parents.
It might also mean being really patient when a loved one is going through a hard time – even if this means sitting with them and letting them say the same thing over and over.
Make sure the people who matter know that you value having them in your life, and that you’re not afraid to prioritize them over other things.
It can be really upsetting when someone you care about is ‘too busy’ to see you, and it can make you feel underappreciated and rejected.
Remember those feelings and do your best to avoid making those you care about feel that way! If something happens and you do end up making someone feel like that, do your best to make amends and reassure them that you really do care.
Lend An Ear And Listen
Sometimes just listening is enough. If someone you love is going through a hard time, try to just be there for them – it will make a huge difference to how they’re feeling.
Call them and tell them that you’re free to listen if they want to cry or rant. Visit them regularly if they live nearby and let them pour out all their worries to you.
If they’re not going through a hard time, listen anyway! Actively taking a role in a loved one’s life is a great way to show you care, and listening to whatever is happening with them is an important part of that.
Dish Out The Compliments
This is a tricky one because you don’t want to go overboard, but giving your loved ones genuine compliments is a great way to make them feel special.
It needn’t be every day, but it’s always lovely when someone notices you’ve made an effort or had a haircut.
Try to give them that warm fuzzy feeling that you get when someone really pays attention and appreciates something you’ve done.
Make sure you keep it real, however – if someone compliments you too much, it starts to feel like they don’t really mean it.
Make sure you’re being honest and not just saying something for the sake of it (people will see through that straight away!). You don’t want them to think you’re being fake.
Show An Interest
This works alongside listening to what’s going on, but takes it to a whole other level. By reacting to what you’re being told, you’re showing that you’re interested and that you care.
Someone actively taking an interest in what you’re up to makes you feel really special, and having someone to share your news with always makes you feel loved and cared for.
Ask about their latest hobby, or a club they’ve joined, or about their job. Ask about the ‘bad’ stuff too – they’ll need someone to talk to about it, and it’s a way of showing that you’re there for them.
Some people hold back from talking about the ‘negative’ things because they’re worried it’ll push others away. By showing that you’re interested in every aspect of their life, they’ll know how important they are to you.
Spending time with people you care about is a great base, but it’s easy to go the extra step and follow it up.
The small things make a huge difference, so start taking note of what’s coming up in your loved ones’ lives.
Set a reminder in your calendar for the day before your friend’s first day at their new job – knowing that you care enough to remember and then text them to wish them good luck will make them feel valued.
Sending a message after meeting up with a loved one is another really lovely way to show how much you care. Is there a nicer feeling than walking home after a coffee with a friend and getting a message that says “It was great to see you, let’s do it again soon!”?
Anyone can make an effort for a few days or a couple of weeks. Truly loving someone means being consistent, so try to keep your friendship or relationship as stable as possible.
Being a good friend or partner isn’t just about listening, although that is important – it’s about being reliable.
One of the best ways to show someone you love them is by being a strong presence in their life. Knowing that they can turn to you at literally any point will make them feel cherished and appreciated.
Put It Into Action
Sometimes, a gesture can go a really long way in terms of showing someone how important they are to you.
Thoughtful gifts are a fantastic way to make someone feel special. Don’t worry, you don’t need to break the bank for this one!
By listening to what your loved ones say and making a note of important things (such as their favorite sweets or the fact that they recently lost their phone charger), you can surprise them with something they either really need or that will just cheer them up.
Have you ever had a takeaway or supermarket delivery turn up at your house unexpectedly? If you haven’t, we can assure you that it is one of the best feelings!
Surprise one of your loved ones by ordering food to be delivered to their home. If they’ve just posted on their Facebook that they’re miserable and home alone, get on your phone and order a pizza to their house.
(Subtly check that they’re still home by messaging to ask what they’re up to – you definitely don’t want any pizza going to waste…)
Not all gifts have to cost money, of course. A great way to make someone feel appreciated is by taking the time to make something by hand.
Think about what you’re really good at and treat your loved one to a handmade card, home-baked cookies, or a scarf you knitted for them.
Knowing that you put your own heart and soul into a gift for them will let that special someone know just how much you love and value them.
Mix tapes might have gone slightly out of fashion, but creating a chillout playlist for someone who’s going through a difficult time shows compassion as well as support.
Take the time to go the extra mile and make someone feel really special.
Lucy is a travel and wellness writer currently based in Gili Air, a tiny Indonesian island. After over a year of traveling, she’s settled in paradise and spends her days wandering around barefoot, practicing yoga and exploring new ways to work on her wellbeing.