Acts of Kindness - how to show someone you love them

How to Show Someone That You Love Them

They say the best gift you can ever give to your children is to light up every time they walk in the room. This has been my mantra since the day my kids were born over thirty years ago. Each time they knock at my door, visit unexpectedly, or call me on the phone, my heart lights up. My eyes sparkle and my insides twinkle. Now that I’m a grandma, I feel the same way about my grandson. It is a delight to see his little face at my door and feel his hugs around my neck. He's talking now, so I get to hear what's going on in that little head of his. It is a delight!

My kids, husband and grandson know I love them. It’s so apparent every time they see me. I give them a big hug and wrap my love and arms around them. They know they light up my life and in turn, they reflect back to me all the goodness they feel from receiving this love. It is a wonderful feeling.

Showing others kindness

How to Show Love to Someone Outside Your Family

Sometimes it can be more difficult to show love or fondness to people outside our families. We may feel awkward expressing these emotions to others who are not related to us. For me, I’ve had the same friends for over fifty years. This is rare and I know how lucky I am. I love them like my own family and for this reason, it’s easy to express love to them. They are my "family of the heart." 

I Send Cards and Lots of Them

One thing I do for my friends of fifty years to express love is send cards. A handwritten card with just a note of love or gratitude goes a long way. I have recorded a schedule of their important dates on my personal calendar to acknowledge the special times and events in their lives. For example, I always send a birthday card. Sending a handwritten birthday card is a thing of the past for most. But I think it’s important and I continue to do it. In fact, I took the cue from my sister-in-law years ago who sent birthday cards to me every year. What I realized from looking through them recently is that her message is consistent. Her message is: "I love you." When you see these words in writing, it has a different feel from hearing them. You can see that the message is clear and heartfelt by the way she communicates her feelings.

I also send cards for other special occasions. I send them for Mother’s Day, anniversaries, Valentine’s Day, and any day that makes friendship come to mind. Some friends get cards “just because” so they know I’m thinking of them. Sometimes life gets busy, and we don’t get to tell those we love how much they mean to us. We get disconnected. Sometimes the relationship fades. What was once a dear friend becomes a distant memory and this feels painful inside. For this reason, I continue to send cards.

When I feel the urge, I pick up a box of cards with cute little sayings, or even those with blank insides, and I write down what I’m feeling about a friend or loved one, and send it. Maybe I say, “I miss you!” and that's all. Maybe I let them know how special they are to me. Maybe I thank them for something that popped up in my day and made me think of them. Whatever the occasion, even if there doesn’t need to be one, I send a card. I think about the sentiment that is on my mind, write it down, put a stamp on the envelope and stick it in the mail. Sometimes I even forget that I sent the card until I get a text message with a heart and a few words of kindness from them. It makes their day, and it makes mine.

Sometimes I Send Flowers

Flowers are also a great way to show someone they’re on your mind. I have a few friends to whom I regularly send flowers. I send them to my friend of over fifty years to mark the anniversary of her parent’s death. I was so close to both her parents and I always want her to know that I miss them, too. I send flowers for occasions when she is acknowledged at work. I send them to say, “I’m thinking of you.” There are many occasions that warrant a gift of flowers. It’s my pay-it-forward gesture, as I know it makes her happy.

This special friend was a kindergarten teacher for umpteen years, and I always felt that doing something kind for her was causing a ripple effect for her students. She is an extremely patient woman and a wonderful teacher. I think she needs to be recognized for all her hard work and for that reason, flowers seem like the right thing to send. Plus, she loves them.

I Send Thank You Notes

I always send a thank you note when someone does something kind for me. I thank them for their kindness and express gratitude for their actions. I also think this helps them know how much their actions mean to me and that they are appreciated. One thing in life I’ve noticed is that not everyone feels heard or seen. Letting people know how important their actions are can make a huge difference in how they feel about themselves and others. When they feel heard and seen, they are more likely to continue to express kindness. And this is what creates and extends the ripple effect.

In yoga, we learn that there is no greater gift to give than the words, “thank you.” It is a small gesture with a tremendous amount of feeling and weight. These two little words express gratitude and tell someone that you appreciate their efforts. Or them. So small. Yet so powerful. 

Texts, The Phone, And Thank You Notes

My generation grew up with the phone and called to say thank you along with a handwritten note when we were young. Now I see people text a thank you note. I think it’s great. It helps my generation keep in touch with a generation that doesn’t know about handwritten notes. Maybe thank you emails and texts, but not too often handwritten thank you notes.

I instilled in my kids years ago how important thank you notes are, not by text, but by note. Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I think it shows respect and appreciation. I frequently get texts from friends telling me that my kids send the most sincere thank you notes. To me, it’s a huge compliment. It means that they’re showing gratitude and love on their own. It warms my heart. I also think it’s a way to connect deeper and to make someone feel special and loved. If someone has taken the time to do something kind for me or my children, the least we can do is acknowledge their efforts and love.

Do What Works for You

No matter what works for you, showing love and appreciation are important ways to express ourselves. People don’t have to go out of their way for us, and we need to acknowledge when they do. Lives are busy and taking the time out to offer thanks is a way that we build community and connection. It shows that someone’s words or time have meaning and value.

Life Hack Decks and our Random Acts of Kindness Deck

We offer Random Acts of Kindness Decks to help you find other ways to express love and gratitude to others. Our prompt deck of 52 cards offers suggestions for showing appreciation, gratitude, and kindness. Pick up a deck today and see the effect your positive actions have on those around you. Trust me, they will appreciate the kindness. And it will make you feel good too.

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