10 simple ways to show a friend you truly appreciate them

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Is there someone in your life who does a lot for you? Someone that you’d like to express your gratitude to? 

Sometimes, expressing things verbally just doesn’t cut it. 

If that’s the case, read on…

Here are 10 simple ways to show a friend you truly appreciate them: 

1) Write a note 

Growing up, my cousin was my best friend. I remember leaving her house once and putting my hand in my pocket only to find a little note she’d left me. 

She expressed how much she loved me and appreciated me checking in on her. 

It was so lovely and heartfelt, I’ve still got it tucked away safely and from time to time will read it. 

You see, a note is a small, simple thing that’ll take you no more than 5 minutes to do, but will remind your friend for life that you value and care about them

Pro tip – my cousin sprayed the note with our favorite perfume and on top of that, it was “Me To You” paper (which I loved growing up) for a special touch. You might not be that extra but if you’re up for adding some flair to your note, keep this in mind! 

2) Help them out 

The key to this is doing it without them asking

For example, if you hear your friend sigh and express how tired they are, why don’t you go around and take some of the load off of them?

If they’ve got kids, you could offer to babysit and let your friend enjoy a quiet afternoon. 

Or if you notice their dishes are piling up, just whack on a pair of gloves and start scrubbing. 

My mom’s best friend is so good at stuff like this – before you even know what your problem is, she’s there solving it. 

And it’s safe to say, my mom has never questioned whether she’s appreciated in that friendship or not (they both naturally do a lot for each other). 

So keep an eye out for the subtle complaints or clues your friend gives off. This will inform you of how you can best help them. 

3) Show up in times of need

Another simple way to show a friend you truly appreciate them is by being there for them in their times of need. 

Let’s say your friend experiences the loss of a family member. 

Everyone will be quick to offer condolences when it first happens, but it’s in the weeks and months after that they’ll really need company and support. 

And that’s where you come into the mix.

Be the friend that randomly texts to ask how they’re doing. Show up when you sense they’re having a down day with their favorite takeaway and a feel-good film.

Let them know that they can lean on you, no matter what. 

4) Make them their favorite meal

If you don’t like cooking, don’t worry – the internet is full of great recipes that even the clumsiest person in the kitchen can follow (in other words, me). 

And by now, you should know whether your friend is obsessed with dumplings or chicken tikka masala. Or perhaps they love a good mac and cheese.

For your sake, I hope it’s something fairly easy to whip up.

But either way, it’s the ultimate way to show appreciation. 

You’ve taken your time to buy the ingredients, cook it, invite them over, and all just to let them know how much they mean to you.  

5) Create a photo album 

If you’ve got a free afternoon, another simple idea to show your friend you truly appreciate them is by creating an album filled with memories

You could create a timeline of your friendship in photos, and include any mementos you have from events you’ve been to or activities you’ve done together.

This is another thing that your friend will be able to keep and cherish forever. 

And let’s face it, you’ll have a ton of fun making this gift, whether online or in a physical album! 

6) Take them on a friendship date

We make such big efforts in our love lives – wining and dining, romantic meals, flowers, and chocolates. 

So why not do the same for your friend?

But this isn’t just “hanging out” like you’d normally do.

You’ve gotta make it special. Send them a message telling them to keep an evening free. Give them the dress code requirements and say nothing else, except that it’s a surprise. 

And then treat them to a wonderful evening friendship date (or daytime if you prefer to do fun activities like rock climbing, a pottery class, or if there’s a special event on in town). 

Take them flowers and chocolates. Go to their favorite restaurant. Walk arm in arm afterwards and essentially, make them feel your love and appreciation. 

Trust me, this will be a night they’ll never forget. 

7) Compliment them 

Do you know just how powerful compliments are? 

Some studies show that compliments boost bonds, improve communication, and increase self-esteem and self-confidence. 

A lot of power packed into something so simple and easy to do!

So what are you waiting for? Let your friend know how special they are. 

But be careful – you don’t want to give superficial compliments. Sure, it’s nice for your friend to hear their hair looks nice, but what if you told them that they’re a beautiful person inside and out?

Or you could compliment them on something specific that you admire about them…

“You’re always so welcoming and warm. I think that’s why people gravitate towards you so much!” 

These types of compliments hold a lot more weight and meaning than ones that center around just appearance. 

8) Celebrate their milestones 

Another simple way to show appreciation to a friend is by being their cheerleader.

They get a big promotion? Make a fuss of it. Organize a party to celebrate.

Same when they get married, have a child, or it’s their birthday. 

Now, I’m realistic. I know most of us are out here trying to save money and such celebrations come at a cost. 

So that’s why it’s nice to collaborate with other friends and family so the burden isn’t just on you. 

And if money really is an issue, that’s okay. You can still celebrate your friend by making them something at home, baking a cake, or just being there to congratulate them. 

9) Surprise them with lunch at work 

My friend did this once and it was the BEST day ever. 

I was working at a primary school and he had called to ask what time I have my lunch break – I thought it was because he wanted to jump on a phone call or something. 

Lo and behold, he turned up at the reception with Domino’s pizza and we sat in the nearby park to eat. 

It was such a thoughtful thing to do and really made my day. 

So consider doing the same for your friend – even better if they like something that you can easily take and eat in public. 

But if you know they have a highly stressful job it might be best to check in with them first – the last thing you want is to add more pressure on them (if you’re a Friends fan, think Ross in Rachel’s office and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about). 

10) Buy them a gift 

And finally, you could buy your friend a meaningful gift.

Cost really doesn’t matter because it’s the thought that counts. But if you can get something you know they’ll really enjoy, then go for it. 

When I helped my in-laws with redecorating, they thanked me by buying me the most gorgeous hot water bottle. 

Not the most glamorous present but something they knew I’d enjoy using in the winter, and they even made sure it was in my favorite color (it also had my initials on the front which was a nice touch). 

So, hopefully, you’ve now got a few ideas lined up on how to show your friend your appreciation. 

It’s important to keep in mind that it’s the little things in life that mean the most, so don’t feel you have to go overboard to show gratitude. 

Just be a good friend, show up, and don’t be afraid to get a little sentimental! 

Kiran Athar

Kiran is a freelance writer with a degree in multimedia journalism. She enjoys exploring spirituality, psychology, and love in her writing. As she continues blazing ahead on her journey of self-discovery, she hopes to help her readers do the same. She thrives on building a sense of community and bridging the gaps between people. You can reach out to Kiran on Twitter - @KiranAthar1.

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