They say that the language of love is a universal one, but is it really like that? While love is the force that can move mountains and change the world, different people have different ways of expressing it. Still, there are some things that are universally accepted as tokens of affection, and today we’d like to help you master them. From buying gifts and leaving cute notes to grand romantic gestures and fulfilling other people’s dreams, we bring you an extensive list of ways you can show your loved ones just how much you care for them.
Be an active listener
Some people have mastered the art of small talk – they know what questions to ask to keep the conversation going, but they don’t actually make an effort to remember the things they hear. If you’d like to show to people they mean a lot to you, your interest in their life and the news they share with you should be genuine. If they mention a cool TV show, try to watch at least one episode or next time ask them if they have seen any new episodes, listen to podcasts they mention, and remember when their exams or interviews are. If you know that they or someone they care about is going through a hard time, reach out after a while to see if the situation got better in the meantime. This is a seemingly small thing that will greatly improve the romantic relationship as well the relationships you have with other people.
Lend a helping hand
While there are people who aren’t shy about the hardships they are experiencing, others are more private and don’t want to upset or burden others with their problems. A great way to show others that you care is to make sure they know they can count on you to be there and to help them out. If you know that someone is going through a hard time and needs a friend, let them know they can call you and talk to you about the things that bother them. Or you can help in other ways: while you might not always be able to carry heavy boxes when they move to a new apartment, you will have a number of professionals who could be of assistance; you can share a meal with someone, be a babysitter for an evening, or take their pet out for a walk if they are busy.
Buy them a gift
Gift giving is a form of art, but it doesn’t mean that you have to spend a fortune on a gift in order for it to really count. Meaningful gifts are sometimes seemingly menial and random, but even such gifts have the power to make the person receiving them feel appreciated and loved. When you know what they love and care about, you can create your own big, meaningful gift that’s made of a lot of smaller ones. The best of all is that today you have the possibility to create gift baskets for people you love. This means that you don’t have to fret over whether or not they’ll love what’s inside because you will fill them with treats and trinkets you know will hit the center.
Be more mindful of others
Just as you should pay attention to the information others choose to share with you, you should never judge others for the things they do and the choices they make in their lives. The number one thing you should remember is that other people are often going through tough times you know nothing about. Keeping this in the back of your mind will make you more empathetic and allow you to be more gentle and accepting with others. This kind of approach and attitude will show people around you that you genuinely care about them and that you aren’t quick to jump to conclusions, which is an amiable trait.
Do an activity together
Sadly, this is the time of social distancing, which means that a great number of people have been spending the majority of their free time staying home. While going to the gym might be off the table for obvious reasons, it doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do together. There are plenty of safe activities you can do together while still keeping the distance: going cycling or walking is great, as well as walking your pets together or going for a run. Being physically active is a great way to stay healthy and in shape, and it will show others that you care deeply about both their mental and physical health. If you are unable to go out, organize a board game or play video games together.
Respect their time and boundaries
It might not seem like a big deal to back out on a date or something you planned at the last minute, but it’s incredibly disrespectful of other people’s time. This is to say that you should give it your best to follow through with all plans you made together, no matter how small and insignificant they may seem. Shopping together, going for a walk, watching a movie, dog sitting, taking them to an appointment, or helping them pick a perfect outfit. Similarly, if they show or tell you that they are uncomfortable talking about something or doing something, respect their boundaries, no matter how weak they might seem. This respect for them will mean so much, and it will show that you see and treat them like your equals.
Put it in writing
When was the last time you wrote about how you feel about others? Not many people choose to journal their thoughts, and even fewer choose to share with others. A simple post-it with an encouraging note before a big meeting will brighten a person’s day and make them feel seen and appreciated. A nice postcard from a trip, no matter how short the trip was, will show other that you thought about them while you were having fun. Not to mention what a genuine love letter can do to stir the passion in a relationship – it’s gentle and thoughtful, and it will be cherished for years to come.
Words are powerful, but they say that oftentimes actions speak louder than words. Professing your love with big words is important, but you shouldn’t just stop there. Sometimes you have to find creative ways to remind those around you just how much they mean to you and how much you care about them. We have tried to give you a few ideas, but you don’t have to copy-paste the things we listed here. Feel free to improvise and get creative with showing your love, and those you care about the most will appreciate it.