Show Someone You Appreciate Them

Even when you care deeply about someone, it can be difficult to show those feelings. There are many ways to reach out to loved ones and show your appreciation. Speaking to them kindly, giving them your full attention, and acting kindly toward them will go a long way to show your appreciation for them.


Communicating Compassionately

  1. Find many ways to say that you care. Saying, “I love you,” is a common expression of appreciation and caring. There are plenty of other ways to express appreciation that are more direct and specific. This is important because everyone expresses and accepts love and compassion in different ways. The more ways you communicate your appreciation, the better chance that the person will see it as genuine. Some examples include:[1]
    • ”I enjoy spending time with you.”
    • ”I really appreciate all that you do for me.”
    • ”You are one of my best friends.”
  2. Confide in the other person. Showing someone your appreciation for them sometimes comes in the form of trusting them. Be open with the other person and tell them things that you wouldn’t tell just anyone. Allow them to be close to you, and they will know that you appreciate them.[1]
    • For example, you might tell someone that you really appreciate a story from your childhood that you typically keep private.
  3. Be empathetic. The people you appreciate should also be able to confide in you. Make an effort to show that you care about their life and strive to make a genuine emotional connection. Never ridicule or make fun of someone that opens up to you emotionally, as this can cause them feel embarrassed and close back up. Showing someone that you are there for them time and time again will prove that you appreciate them, and will make them appreciate you in return.[1]
    • For example, if someone close to you is going through a breakup or divorce, they may need to lean on you for support. Never belittle their situation or make jokes about it by saying things like, “Don’t come crying to me. Get out there and find someone else.” Instead, be supporting by saying things like, “I know you are going through a rough time. What can I do to cheer you up?”
  4. Accept them as they are. If you truly appreciate someone, you have to appreciate them as they are. You can not force someone to change just because you want them to. Trying to force that will make them feel unappreciated and rejected. If you disagree with something they do, think, or say, agree to disagree rather than pushing them to see it your way. This kind of respect will show the person that you appreciate them even when you disagree with them on a particular issue.[1]
    • For example, if you have a friend that disagrees with you politically, you are no more likely to change their mind than they are to change yours. That said, constantly trying can damage the relationship. Instead, agree to disagree and avoid that topic.
  5. Show gratitude. Sometimes we’re so busy and wrapped up in life that we forget to express gratitude to our friends and loved ones. We take things in life – and people – for granted, though it’s usually not on purpose. Think about things you can do to express your gratitude.
    • Try thanking loved ones for what they do, for example, even the little stuff. Say, “Thanks for washing the dishes. I really appreciate your help.”
    • You can also try keeping a gratitude journal. Write down specific things you’re grateful for and share them with friends and family.
    • Say “I love you,” or leave a note to someone saying how much they mean to you, make you smile, or add to your life.
  6. Compliment them. Acknowledging a person’s best qualities shows that you notice and appreciate those qualities. Be sure to hand out compliments frequently. Some common compliments are things like:[1]
    • ”You are brilliant.”
    • ”I think you’re beautiful.”
    • ”You are so kind and caring.”

Using Nonverbal Communication

  1. Help them when they need it. A true show of appreciation is being there for someone in need. If the person you appreciate asks for your help, do whatever you can to help them. If you know that they are going through a tough time, go out of your way to do something kind for them.[2]
    • For example, if the person is going through a hard time, you could bring them a meal or stop by to do some chores for them.
  2. Make physical contact. Physical contact can often show that you care for and appreciate someone. Hugs, holding hands, and other forms of contact are often welcome by close friends, family, or lovers. Be sure that any physical contact you initiate is welcomed and never try to force it.[1]
  3. Text. Face-to-face communication is best, of course. Still, so much of our daily interactions today are via phone, email, or text that it’s easy to reach out to your loved ones this way. Send a short message to say that you care.
    • Texts and emails are quick and easy to send and another way of expressing your feelings of appreciation to someone.
    • Try texting, “I appreciate you” or “I love you.” Send a short email saying, “I miss you” or “I can’t wait to see you.”
  4. Look them in the eye when talking. When you are having a conversation with someone, give them your undivided attention. This will make then feel important and appreciated. Look them in the eye when you are talking or listening to them and they will know that they have your full attention.[1]

Acting Thoughtfully

  1. Avoid arguments. Arguments can chip away at a relationship over time. Whenever you can, avoid them at any cost. If something is trivial, it is not worth hurting the other person’s feelings or your relationship with them. Choosing your battles wisely will show a great deal of appreciation for the person.[2]
    • For example, if someone says to you something like, “Your hair is a mess today,” then it probably isn’t worth addressing.
    • If, however, someone stole money from you, you probably need to have a constructive conversation about boundaries.
  2. Offer apologies. If you do have an argument, apologize. This will show that you accept some of the blame for the disagreement and appreciate the other person enough to admit that. This can go a long way in showing your appreciation for them.[2]
  3. Surprise them. Surprising the other person will show that you have thought about them. It also shows that you know them well enough to surprise them with something that they enjoy. An unexpected gift, meal, or trip can show someone that you really appreciate them.[2]
    • For example, stopping by with takeout from a favorite restaurant or cooking a friend’s favorite meal will show them that you appreciate them.
    • People will also feel appreciated if you pick them up a small gift while you are travelling. It shows that you were thinking of them.
  4. Be there for the people you appreciate. When someone you care about needs you, it is important to make time for them. Sometimes you may need to drop what you are doing immediately, and other times you can commit to grabbing lunch later in the week. You should always keep your commitments to the people you appreciate, or they will begin to feel like they are not important to you.
    • For example, if a friend needs your help moving over the weekend, you should try to clear your schedule and help them out.
  5. Pay attention to the people you care about. When you spend time with someone you are close to, give them your full attention. Avoid distractions like cell phones or televisions and engage in conversation. Actively listen to the other person and show a genuine interest in what they are saying.
    • For example, if you have lunch with your parents, turn your cell phone off at the table.
    • Use the power of touch. If the person is a close friend or relative, give them a pat on the back, a hug, or a kiss on the cheek. With an intimate partner, try a backrub, snuggling on the sofa, or kissing.

Sources and Citations

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