As the old song goes, little things mean a lot. Whether you’re looking for a new way to show your appreciation, brighten up someone’s day, or say I love you, it’s the sincerity of the sentiment that counts. Even better? It doesn’t have to cost a lot (or even anything at all)!
The particular act of kindness you choose should be tailored to the recipient. One good way to do this is to decide what their “love language”—meaning way they prefer to receive affection—is. These are: Kind words, gifts, acts of service, spending quality time together, and physical touch. Consider which the person you want to honor would like best and then go for it.
If the person you’re acknowledging would most appreciate hearing all about it, express your thoughts freely! Some ways to do this include:
- Writing a heartfelt message on a greeting card that fits the recipient.
- Saying thank you for the many things you appreciate about this person.
- Giving positive feedback and praise for something they’ve done recently.
- Simply saying I love you—and why!
- Bragging about the person, in front of them.
- Telling the person what you find special, interesting, and unique about them.
- Encouraging them to try something new and different, reminding them of past successes that indicate achievement of the new goal.
- Giving them a sincere compliment.
- Making a social media post about what you appreciate most about this person while they get to sit back and bask in the likes and compliments.
- Sending a funny meme or You Tube video with a cute message about why you thought they’d like it.
Even small, inexpensive gifts are a good way to show someone how much you value them. After all, who doesn’t delight in getting something oh-so-perfect that was chosen especially for them? Some ideas that won’t cost you a bundle are:
- A gift card to their favorite coffee shop or sandwich place.
- A bath bomb, facial mask, scented candle, or soap. Self-care rules!
- A favorite food, like a gourmet chocolate bar, decadent flavored popcorn or tea, bottle of wine, or cheese.
- Personalized stickers of their favorite phrases, quotes, or pet or people photos.
- Cozy socks, gloves, or hat.
- A framed picture of you both.
- A game or puzzle you can do together.
- A book selected with the recipient in mind.
- A graphic tee shirt with just the right message on it.
- A “mix tape” CD of songs that remind you of the person and why.
Everyone loves having unpleasant or time-consuming tasks taken off their plate. So volunteer to help with something you know your recipient would like crossed off their list and your appreciation will come shining through. Here are some ways how:
- Cook them dinner, making sure the menu is tailored to all their favorites.
- Take out the trash, do the laundry, or vacuum the house—without being asked or requiring a thank you.
- Finish their “honey-do” list—any little projects that need fixing around the house, like touching up paint, changing light bulbs, trading out fire alarm batteries, or stopping a leaky faucet.
- Offer up a skill for free, like graphic design, computer tech support, or organizing closets and the kitchen.
- Take them to a doctor or dentist appointment, just so they have company.
- Ask what they most need help with, and then provide it.
- Introduce the person to a valuable personal or business contact.
The best gifts are often experiences and not things. Spending time together makes for awesome new memories and lets you have loads of fun while you’re at it. Take the person you want to honor:
- To do something they love, like mini golfing, bowling, or to play ping-pong or pool.
- Make a picnic, head to a park, and enjoy a nice meal outside.
- Go for a long walk in the neighborhood, window shop in town, or hike the nearest trail.
- Go see some live music, in the genre the recipient likes best. Toast to your friendship when you’re there!
- Go to a lecture, reading, or class about a subject the person is interested in.
- Just hang out and talk, open and honestly. Be vulnerable and share generously of yourself.
Hug It Out
Here’s the easiest way of all to show your love for someone: Give your person a big hug and tell them you love them! Other options (depending on the nature of your relationship) include holding hands, cuddling, a playful nudge, a pat on the back, or a massage.
Making Someone Feel Special Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive
Everyone likes to feel loved and appreciated. So start dropping bombs of kindness everywhere you go. You’ll get just as much happiness from making someone’s day as they do.