Caring for people is not difficult. We all have special people in our lives that mean the world to us. However, showing that we care doesn’t always come as quickly. Sadly, we may not be showing our loved ones that we care about them as much as we genuinely do.
Fortunately, showing others you care isn’t all that difficult. There are many ways you can let your loved ones know you care without any over-the-top grand gestures or financial investment. We’ve got a few suggestions that will help you ensure that all of your loved ones know for certain that they’re important to you. Read on for our list of 18 ways to show others you care.
1. Remember Special Days
One very effective way to show that you care for a person is to jot down special days on your calendar and acknowledge the dates as they come. When I was a child, I knew an older man that worked with my mom. He somehow made it his business to know the birthdays of those around him and send out cards. I remember people being so surprised and wondering how he knew. Each person always felt very special. I certainly did when I received a card and drawing that he made for me on my birthday.
It was a mystery to me when I was a kid. I wondered if my mom’s kind coworker had some sort of magical calendar and address book so that he could send thoughtful cards out to everyone on their birthdays. Looking back at it now, I understand that he just paid attention. He truly cared about his acquaintances and wanted them to know. Decades later, his example still inspires me. When a friend of mine mentions her child or husband’s birthday, I jot it down on my calendar. Then, when it comes up, I remember to send a card, text or ask my friend if she could use some party-planning help. This small action lets my friends know that I care enough to remember their important days.
If you’ve never been one to keep track of birthdays, it’s not too late to start. Update this year’s calendar. Ask your friends about their birthdays, anniversaries and the like. Then, write it down ― even if it has already passed. Next year, copy down all of these special dates in your new wall calendar and keep it handy. It’s easy and a simple way to show you care.
2. Be There for Special Events
When you’re invited to a graduation party, housewarming event or your neighbor’s kid’s birthday bash, show up. Bring an appropriate, small gift or bouquet of flowers. Even if you can’t stay long, make an effort to stop by for a while. It shows that you care for a person when you’re present for important events.
3. Give Affirmations
When you care for someone, you often notice things that they do well and things that you admire about them. Whenever you think those things, tell them. Affirm your friends by pointing out things that make them special.
Let your loved one know if you’re impressed that he scored a great deal on a used car with his stellar negotiating skills. You can compliment someone on how clean his or her house is the next time you notice the spotless floors. Speak words of affirmation to people you love. It will show them that you care.
4. Text It
In the last couple of decades, texting has become a way of life. We communicate facts, details and grocery lists with our thumbs daily. Use those thumbs to show others you care.
Are you thankful for the friendship you have with your neighbor? If so, send him a text to that effect. Do you have a great relationship with your dad? Why not send him a quick message that lets him know how much he means to you. Short, out of the blue, encouraging and sincere texts can show a person how much you care.
5. Share Your Life
Don’t be such an enigma. Let your loved ones know what makes you tick and some details about your life. There’s no need to bare your soul if you’re more of a private person. Sharing funny details about your first job or the sport you played in high school will help your friends feel closer to you. When you let people into your world, it conveys trust and lets them know that you value them.
6. Send a Card or Letter
There’s never a wrong time to send a good friend a handwritten letter or a silly greeting card just because. Everyone loves to check the mailbox and find an envelope with familiar handwriting on the front. A 50-cent stamp can send a heartfelt message of care to your loved one.
7. Be There for the Hard Times
When people you care for are struggling, they usually need your support and friendship more than ever. Make an effort to be there with outstretched arms and a listening ear. Waiting with a friend outside of a courtroom or bringing him a fresh stack of good magazines while he’s laid up in the hospital shows that you care enough to be there when things get tough.
8. Use the Phone
That’s right, the little phone-shaped icon on the touchscreen still works. It’s always easier to text or send an email, but a phone call is more personal. It also shows your loved ones that you are willing to take time out of your day to focus on talking with them.
9. Struggle Together
I once had a coworker who was trying to quit smoking. She had been a smoker for most of her life, and I knew quitting would be difficult. I decided that I would stand in solidarity with her and give up chocolate and sweets during the first month of her smoking cessation so that I could walk alongside her during her struggle. I decided to do this somewhat flippantly, but she was touched by my willingness to give up something I enjoyed for her. Sometimes, showing that you care can be choosing to walk a difficult path with a friend.
10. Stay Late
If you have a loved one who likes to throw dinner parties and entertain in his or her home, stay late and help tidy things up afterward. Nobody wants to be up until midnight cleaning dishes. Offer to do all the kitchen sweeping or take out the garbage before you leave. It’s a helpful way that you can show you care.
11. Meet Up to Exercise
When you’re willing to wake up before 6 a.m. to meet up with your friend for a brisk hike, it shows you care.
12. Recognize Accomplishments and Share Them
A few years ago, I hand-sewed a little stuffed monster pillow for a friend’s daughter. When my friend got it home, she took a picture of the gift and posted it online with a gushing caption of how adorable it was. When I read her glowing post, I felt cared for and appreciated.
Whenever you have the opportunity, recognize positive things about your friend and share them publicly. If your loved one throws a party, make a toast to his or her generosity and excellent taste in dance music. Sharing a compliment in the presence of others is a sweet way to show that you care.
13. Make a Care Package
When we hear the term “care package,” most of us think about sending goodies to a freshman away at college or a deployed soldier. But you can make thoughtful care packages for all sorts of reasons. Does your aunt have jury duty? Make her a care package with some bagged snacks and celebrity gossip magazines. Do you have a friend who is a first-time, stay-at-home mom? Drop off a basket full of goodies like homemade cookies, a tumbler of coffee and comfortable house slippers.
14. Turn Off Your Phone
This one seems simple, but it’s huge. When you meet up with someone that you care about, make it a point to remove your phone and turn it off. Then, put it away. This little gesture shows your friend not only that you care, but that you’re willing to shut out the rest of the world to focus on him or her and your time together.
15. Send a Song
Recently, I had a friend who was going through an extremely difficult time. I heard a song that seemed to be written just for her. Right away, I searched for it online and sent it in a message to her. She found it so heartwarming that I cared enough about her struggle to send her a song.
16. Follow Up
When a loved one share that he or she is looking for a job, follow up in a few days to see how the search is going. If her dog was sick, text in a couple of days to see if the dog is feeling better. Following up shows that you not only listen but also that you care about the things your friend shares with you.
17. Initiate Plans to Get Together
If you have a loved one who is always planning coffee dates or inviting you for dinner, beat him to the punch next time. Show the person that you care by initiating plans to get together.
18. Bring a Souvenir
Don’t go to Las Vegas without buying a few souvenirs to give to people you love when you get back home. In most tourist towns, you can pick up T-shirts or keychains at very low prices. When your sister knows that you were thinking of her while you were out of town, she’ll know that you care.
Show Them You Care
From children’s teachers and loyal customers to our spouses and best friends from elementary school, there are all sorts of people in our lives that would benefit from knowing we care about them. Take the time to show them with some of the suggestions in this post.