Everyone wants to feel valued for what they bring into relationships.
But there are days when we feel a little low and we question if our loved ones truly appreciate us.
Does our existence really make a difference in their lives?
Whether you’re in need of affirmation or just some clarity, here are 11 signs your friends and family value your presence in their life.
1) They keep in touch just to check in
Perhaps the single most underrated way to know that someone values your presence in their lives is when they simply check in with how you are with regularity.
No matter how busy they are, they take the time to call, send a message, even write a postcard or mail a letter.
As much as we’d all like to be more physically present in each other’s lives, for friends and family, there is life to contend with. At the same time, we can fall into the traps of routine and forget to do something as basic as checking in.
So take note of the friends who always remember to keep in touch, those ones are for keeps.
2) They perform small thoughtful gestures often
Friends and family who value your presence are happiest when they can show their love for you through small thoughtful gestures
They’re the ones who’d send a care package on a regular day, a postcard while they’re traveling, or offer to drive you and your dog to the vet.
Never underestimate the importance of the ‘small things’ in comparison to grand gestures.
And what makes them so special—what sets them apart from others— is that they do these things without expecting anything in return.
3) They want you to be with them through life milestones
When friends and family invite you to the most important events in their lives, it means they enjoy your company and want you in their lives, long-term.
This is why they invite you to celebrate milestones with them like weddings, their birthdays, or treat you when they get that long awaited promotion.
They want you to be there on their happiest moments because you were there during their toughest times as well.
When they went through their first break up, had a miscarriage, or suffered the loss of a friend, you were the person whose presence made them feel supported and loved.
So when it’s time to celebrate, you’re on top of their minds.
4) They listen with full attention when you speak
When friends and family don’t value your presence so much, they will multitask while you are speaking—even if you’re talking about something very important to you.
A phone faced down or kept out of sight is one of the signs someone truly values your presence in their life.
When they give you their undivided attention, they are demonstrating not only respect but genuine interest in your life and your perspective.
Whether you are just talking about your cat’s antics or sharing what you learned at the last conference you attended, friends and family who value you will listen because they treasure you.
5) They earn and keep your trust
Friends and family who value your presence in their lives don’t take you for granted, ever.
This is why even though they know you love them, they still work on earning and keeping your trust by keeping your secrets, staying true to agreements, and being authentic.
While there are others who project a fake version of themselves,—they flake on plans, or break your trust—those that truly value the real you will still make the effort to honor commitments and honesty.
6) They hype you, especially to other people
Serendipitous encounters with mutual friends is one way to gauge if your friends or family value you and your presence in their life.
A good indicator of how they really feel about you is how friends and family describe you to their own friends and acquaintances.
While there are friends and family who diss you behind your back, those that truly value you hype you by letting others know what is so awesome about you and how proud they are to have you in their lives.
Think of them as really flattering mirrors who see your best aspects, your strengths, and what makes you unique.
7) They support your hobbies and passions
Friends and family who genuinely value you will support you in your passions—whatever they are.
They will even join in even if it’s not really their cup of tea.
They will watch your favorite Kdrama with you, train with you for that marathon when they didn’t even have a pair of running shoes prior.
But if they can’t, they’ll just ask you about it and listen attentively until their ears fall out.
While other people only stick with you to do something they also love doing, friends and family who truly value your presence also honor what makes you two different.
Friends and family who value your presence in their lives will always be by your side, rooting for you.
8) They make the effort to navigate conflict
No matter where there are human relationships, there will be some conflict—from small misunderstandings to downright deal breakers.
That’s because there is no single person on earth that can be a duplicate of our likes, beliefs and principles. Nope, not even our closest family or friends.
So when someone makes the effort to navigate conflict in the relationship, it means they really value your presence in their lives. They’d rather have the difficult conversations, the negotiations and compromise…that to not have you in their life.
While people who only value you for what you can give will avoid all forms of conflict, those who truly value you know that navigating conflict means the relationship is ready to go deeper in intimacy.
9) They follow up and they follow through
When friends and family value your presence in their lives, they make the effort to follow up on your life updates and follow through on commitments.
If you mention you’re planning on taking guitar lessons, they follow up by checking if you’ve found a teacher. They might even send recommendations to a music school in your area.
And while it’s become commonplace to say, “I hope we can have some coffee some time, or I hope we can meet up soon,” people who value your presence will follow through when they say that.
They’ll update you on the schedule they are available or when they are near your area.
In other words, they won’t just say those things to be nice and polite, they’ll actually make sure they’ll turn them into reality.
10) They don’t forget to express their heartfelt gratitude
While there are so many ways that friends and family can show how much they value your presence in their life, heartfelt words of gratitude remain important.
They’ll write a simple note saying, “Thank you for being here” or a thoughtful poem they wrote for you.
Those who deeply appreciate the value you bring to their lives remember you in their moments of pause and express gratitude.
As much as we are genuinely happy to show our love and support, on the days when life is especially tough, hearing expressions of gratitude makes us feel loved, valued and connected to friends and family.
11) They help you even when they are have struggles too
“When someone helps you and they are struggling too, that’s not help, that’s love,” is a popular quote for a reason.
While there are friends and family who are only there for the good times, there are those who stick even through the toughest times but only if they have energy or resources in overflow.
But those who take the time to help you even when they are struggling too are few and far between.
They are the rarest of all and if you have them in your life, you are among the truly valued for your presence.
One way or the other, we are all guilty of not expressing how much we value the presence of friends and family in our lives.
Being busy dealing with life’s challenges or achieving goals can cause us to lose track of what is most important—the people who have been with us through all the ups and downs.
While familiarity and proximity may cause us to take others for granted, genuine curiosity and care can foster stronger and deeper relationships.
So keep in mind the 11 signs your friends and family value your presence in their life and make sure to return the affection.