It is not secret that in relationships of both an intimate and platonic nature, it’s the small things that keep the boat afloat; it is the small things that make the biggest difference. It is that thank you, holding the door open or even remembering that you really enjoy the sweet from the local grocer that endears to someone in ways that make you smile. Big gestures of grandeur are nice and the effort is always appreciated, but it is the small things that have the most profound effect.
That being said, here are 7 tips and thoughtful gesture to show that care:
1. Compliments go a long way
People have a tendency of saying flattery will get you far, but there is a big difference between acknowledging a wonderful trait someone has and trying to butter them up. Complimenting someone on their work ethic, dedication to a cause or even the way they carry themselves not only shows that you notice things about them, but that you appreciate it. It will bring a smile to their faces and motivate them to do even better. Cliché or not, take the time notice the people around you and in your life, and compliment them for being awesome at what they do or how they do it. Then watch their faces light up.
2. Sharing is truly caring
No, we are not talking about just sharing your lunch now. We are talking about the fact that if you go to the fridge to get something, asking if anybody else would like something at the same time is sweet and caring. Also, it is all good and well to have the last cookie out of the jar, but asking if someone present would like to share it with you, goes a very long way. These simple acts of kindness eliminates any possibility of you being thought of as selfish.
3. Silly notes for a smile
Be it a friend or a lover, who doesn’t like silly notes that elicit a smile? Hiding a note written on a post-it in a book your friend is reading, just to say that you appreciate them in your life is an awesome way to let them know that you care. Drop a note inside your child’s lunch bag, they will roll their eyes and try to pretend they are embarrassed by it, but they will love you more for the thought. A simple smile can go a long way in brightening someone’s day, so don’t miss out on the opportunity. These simple messages can also be great for those who are sick or going through a hard time in their life.
4. Gifts just because
Waiting around for Valentine’s Day, birthdays and Christmas to get the people in your life gifts is clichéd and generic. Whilst days like Mother's Day or other holidays are important, it’s those gifts you give for no reason at random points that say you are really paying attention. You heard your friend's under the weather? Grab them a classic sick day movie from the store. Passing a book store, then get a book for that friend who loves to read. You pass the chocolate isle, get a bar of chocolate for that friend who would devour the whole thing in one sitting. They make the most impact when it’s just because I am thinking of you.
5. A hug a day keeps the doctor away
A hug is an internationally acceptable form of intimacy, and it has been shown to not only uplift the spirits but to also improve the immune system and activate the solar plexus chakra. You would be amazed at how many people are just longing for someone to give them a hug. A hug can lighten any burden, and just hugging someone goes a long way in showing that you are never too busy to stop and pay attention to them for a second.
6. Stepping outside your comfort zone to try something new
Ever had that friend or partner who was never willing to try something new or something you like just because it was not their thing? If you have you will understand just how much that can hurt, and how much it says that they do not care. Everyone has their comfort zones, but stepping out of it to show that you care about the other person enough to try something they like, is one of the smallest yet profound ways to show that you really do care. Who knows, you might just have an adventure out of it all.
This is probably one of the biggest indicators of how much you care about someone. Being willing to stop talking about yourself long enough to listen to what someone else has to say, even if it just another boring detail about their day, says that you care in a silently-loud way. This can be a great "gift" for those like grandparents who already have most things that they need and enjoy sharing stories and catching up. Too many times we are all so busy trying to speak over each other in an effort to be heard, that we do not realize that listening to each other is the best way to do that. Stop talking for a couple minutes and just listen.
The art of showing you care is all about the small acts of kindness and extending small courtesies.