This week is Valentine’s Day and the focus for many is on romantic love and finding the perfect token to show someone you care. While thoughtful gestures are indeed important on this day—it is important to remember the little things all year round. Equally important to remember is that all kinds of relationships and love take maintenance and care to keep them healthy and strong.
There are many things you can do to show someone you care that don’t take a lot of money or time. There are many types of words, and small acts and gestures you can make to help those in your life feel valued and respected.
Here are just a few things you can do today and every day to let those you care about know how much they mean to you.
Communicate Someone’s Value to You.
- It is important to tell people that they are important to you. And more than once. “I want you to know you make a difference in my life. Thank you for being you.”
- Start a conversation or a note with, “It’s really amazing how you. . .”
- Make a card or write a note and tell them what you think is special, unique and valuable about them.
Give Generously, Without Any Strings Attached.
- Give your time—to listen, to support, or to just enjoy each other’s company.
- Give them space to work through thoughts and ideas out loud, even if you’re tempted to jump in and fix things.
- Ask them to teach you how to do something they enjoy doing and/or excel at.
- Share your feelings, let others know value their guidance and support.
- Cook a meal or a treat for someone, to show you care and that they’re worth the effort.
Invest in Time Together.
- Ask them to join you in doing something regularly, like joining a bowling league, book club or a weekly exercise class and let them know why it would be way more fun with them there.
- Ask them to share their favorite way to relax on a day off, and then spend the day enjoying the activities together.
*The above list is adapted, in part from “70 Ways to Make Others Feel Special” by Lori Deschene.
The Compassion Project: Let us be the ones who transform our world by allowing compassion to lead our action. Throughout the year, this column will feature the various ways to have compassion for others, for our specific organization, and for yourself.
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