When it comes to our loved ones, sometimes we have the bad tendency to take them for granted. After all, they’re always around and they’d do anything to make us happy, so it isn’t until we lose them that we really wake up and realize how much they meant to us. Whether it’s your parents, your partner, or your friends, showing the people around us that we care deeply is an essential part of keeping relationships alive and functioning. Instead of constantly using business as an excuse and becoming too self-absorbed to see those around us, it’s time to spread the love and show off our affection.
Fortunately you don’t need much to accomplish this. If you want to express your fondness and show the people you love that you’ll always be there, here are some of the ways you can do it effectively.
All of us carry some sort of a burden on our soul, and there’s nothing better than sharing that burden with a loved one. Having someone listen to you complain and vent your frustrations is priceless, and it’s something you can definitely offer. Bear in mind that when people talk about their troubles, most of the time they’re not looking for a solution from you—they just need someone who will be sympathetic, who won’t judge, and who will let them say everything that’s on their chest. So, sit quietly and hear them out, offer an honest, judgment-free opinion, and they’ll appreciate it. It will show them you empathize and understand them well.
When your friend calls you and tells you they had a bad day, go over and be there for them. Even if you were planning to spend the evening at home watching TV, remember that it would mean a lot to them to simply have someone hold their hand and hug them. Even dropping by for half an hour will show them that you’re willing to take care of them in their time of need, and it will make them feel special that you’ve put effort into coming over.
Gifts are a universally great way to show your affection, but they have to be meaningful if you want to get the right message across. If you want to pick the right present, then choose something based on your loved one’s interests, something that reflects how well you know them. Perhaps they are a huge sports fan and you can look into jersey framing to have their favorite basketball memorabilia framed and put up on the wall. Maybe they’re really into books and you can get them a collection from their favorite author, or maybe they’re a big fan of a certain show and you can get them a poster with all the actors from it. The point is, choose something that you know they’re really into, and you’ll be showing them you pay attention when they talk about the things they love.
Non-material gifts are important too, and they can really convey your affection if done right. For example, do you have a friend who recently became a parent and barely has any time for themselves? Then why not give that friend and their partner one evening off? Tell them you’ll babysit their kids for a few hours, and let them go on a date and relax without a worry in the world. Are your parents working hard and you wish to treat them? Then send them to a spa or a weekend getaway so they could enjoy their life without thinking of chores and obligations all the time. Simple handmade cards, baked goodies, and other similar gifts are also a great, thoughtful idea that is bound to delight anyone who receives them.
If you keep forgetting to give your parents a call, maybe it’s time to make a conscious effort to fit that into your schedule. We always keep running into people and promising we’ll get together for coffee sometimes soon, but unless you make a real plan, it probably won’t happen. Always make time for people who are important to you. If you have a planner where you write down all work-related things and daily chores, why not also use it to set up meetings of phone calls with friends and family? That way you won’t forget about them, and your loved ones will feel happy that you took time from your busy day to dedicate more attention to them.
People want to feel useful and important, and they want to know you appreciate the effort that they put into you. When they do something nice, show them you’ve noticed and that you’re really grateful, and remind them how much they mean to you. Take their advice when they give it, explain to them how their presence helps your life, and make them feel important. It’s really all about noticing the things other people do for you instead of taking them for granted.
In the end, all you need is some thoughtfulness. Remember that people around you are important and that they love you deeply, so show them some affection in turn.