20 Ways to Show Your Friend You Care

With International Friendship Week upon us, it’s the perfect time to think about what friendship really means.

Over the years, I’ve had many acquaintances, some good friends but only a handful of truly great friends.

I was never one to consider the people I partied with as great friends.

Instead, I found the people who were there to listen, understand and not pass judgement were the people I wanted to invest time in.

I’ve found true friends are those you laugh with, grow with and can be sad with as well.

beautiful hipster young women sisters friends in the city

When I was in my 20s, a friend gave me a gift that really blew me away.

I’m sure to her she didn’t think twice but I still think about it to this day.

blonde and brunette beautiful stylish young women in the city        

I’m allergic to nuts.

So when it comes to receiving chocolates or candy, it can become tricky.

Over the years, I’ve received  chocolates as presents, thank-you packages and Valentines.

However, all of those packages always contain chocolate with nuts.

Normally I had to figure out which ones had nut products in them and give away or throw away the rest.

Sometimes I just passed them on to the office because it was just too much of a pain to figure it out. 

 

One summer, I invited several girlfriends to my family’s lake house for a girls’ vacation.

My friend Jenny arrived with a simple package of chocolate and mentioned that she had asked the clerk to specially make up the box so that there were no chocolates with nuts in them.

It was the first time anyone had ever done something like that.

Sure, it may have seemed like such a simple thing to her, but it really let me know she had thought of me and taken time to think about the gift.

It really hit home the importance of  thinking about another and how the simplest of gestures can really mean something big.

 

This month, think about the friends in your life and how you let them know how much they mean to you.

It doesn’t have to be something big, just something thoughtful.

 

beautiful hipster young women sisters friends in the city

 

Simple Yet Thoughtful Ways to Say “I’m Glad You’re My Friend”

1. Invite them over for coffee and a chat. Today, we can easily get over scheduled. Not every gathering needs to be an event. Just spending time face to face can let them know you value them.

 

2. Show up with dinner when they post on Facebook that one of their kiddos is sick and they’re stuck at home. Don’t ask. Just do it.

 

3. Pick a book you’ve read that you’ll know they’ll love, inscribe a message and give it as a gift.

 

two senior women friends smling

 

4. Mail her a photo of you two. You can easily turn a photo into a postcard (and you can even print them out at home).

 

5. Make a mixed CD. It can be for when she’s driving without the kids or, if she likes to work out, for when she’s working up a sweat.

 

6. Take their kids for the afternoon or find another way to help out.

 

Two young women strolling outdoor in the city, blonde and redhead having fun - friendship, relaxing, having fun concept

 

7. Make a hand-made card. Or, if you’re not crafty, buy a card and add a heartfelt note. There doesn’t need to be an occasion.

 

8. Send a text if you see something that reminds you of them and tell them so. There’s no reason to just keep it to yourself.

 

9. Plan a “date night” with the girls. Ditch the family and have some one on one time without life’s daily distractions.

 

10. Send them a cup of coffee through the Internet with a Starbucks eCard.

 

Two friends have a good time in sunny cafe coffee

 

11. Craft a gift and give it for absolutely no reason. It doesn’t have to be a holiday or birthday to give something. For example, if you’re an avid knitter, create a scarf in her favorite colors.

 

12. Surprise them with an outing to try something new. If they’ve been talking about wanting to do something but haven’t made it happen, make it happen for them!

 

13. If something is wrong, pick up the phone. Or better yet, pop on over if you live in the same neighborhood. Sometimes it can be too easy to write a note to say you’re sorry a beloved dog passed away if they posted on Facebook. Better you say it directly.

 

Half length of two young handsome caucasian women friends chatting, focus on the redhead laughing - smiling, friendship, having fun concept

 

14. Call last minute to see if you can get together. I often find I need to schedule things. But sometimes, if you find you have a moment, give it a chance. Even if they can’t get together with you, they’ll know you were thinking of them.

 

15. Celebrate their accomplishments. If they start a new job, send flowers to their work. Something that goes beyond just saying congratulations.

 

16. Invite your friends to your holiday gathering. Holidays are all about family. But it’s important to remember that friends can be just as much a part of your family as those you grew up with.

 

two multiethnic beautiful young woman black and caucasian having fun in town

 

17. Remember their birthday. Send an actual card or post a special card online. Taking just a small extra step lets them know you’re thinking of them. Just don’t post “happy birthday” on Facebook and be done with it.

 

18. Make extras. Baking banana bread? Make an extra loaf, wrap it in ribbon and deliver it to her front door.

 

19. Put your friend on your to-do list. If too much time has gone by without talking, put that on your action items for the day. It’ll keep you from letting another day slip by without reaching out.

 

blonde and brunette beautiful stylish young women selfie in the city

 

20. Make a scrapbook of your friendship. Or make a page she can add to her own personal scrapbook.

 

Bonus: Be a consistent, loyal and caring friend every day. From really listening when she needs to talk to participating in her joys as well, you can show your friend you care every day.

64 Comments

  1. These are great ideas! I love to have people over and your list has inspired me to invite those I call my friends over for just coffee and a good ole chat! That would be a perfect V-day gift and it will not cost me anything! 🙂

  2. Some very good ideas here! My personality is INTJ (introverted, intuition, thinking, judgement) so I’m very logical and not especially emotional. Most other people ARE emotional, so I set a goal this year of being more aware of the needs of other people in my life. These ideas are a great starting point for me. Thanks for sharing them!

  3. Hi Jenny – thanks for hosting! That candy kiss ring is just too cute – has to be my fave (although if I had little ones, I would so create the hot air balloon photo shoot – can’t imagine my teen would go for it tho’ 🙂 Enjoy your weekend!

  4. I’m a big fan of printing photos and mailing them — you know, in the actual mail in a real paper card. It’s inexpensive for me (maybe $5 for a card, a photo or two, and a stamp), but thrilling for the recipient.

    1. I agree! I actually have an app on my phone where I can choose a photo from a weekend and have it mailed directly as a postcard (for a price of course). So worth it, though 🙂

  5. Those are great ideas! Friendships should be nurtured all the time and letting your friends know you care is as simple as picking up the phone and calling just to see how they’re doing.

  6. Great ideas! I totally get why that extra bit of thought from your friend sticks out in your mind – just that little bit if thought that let’s your know they care. Thanks for sharing!

  7. I adore my friends, but I know I’m terrible at showing them how much they mean to me. These are some great tips (and easy, too!), so even “bad” friends like me can show our affection!

  8. Thank you so much for all of the wonderful suggestions. I see quite a few that I would like to give a try. As moms we tend to focus so much on our kids that we forget that our friends might need us too from time to time.

  9. A wonderful list of thoughtful suggestions and a reminder that we should always be more pleasant to those who are special in our lives than to those casual acquaintances who we probably will never see again.

  10. It’s so sad that you had received so many boxes of chocolates over the year, and yet only that one friend was thoughtful enough to get one that you could actually enjoy!

    I always try to be the thoughtful friend. I’m there when they need to vent, rant, or cry on my shoulder. And if I’m going to get a gift, I don’t get it for the sake of getting a gift, I put careful thought into selecting something I really think they will derive enjoyment from. Over the years I’ve discovered how few people know me really well. I only have two friends that give me amazingly thoughtful gifts, but a lot of friends who give me gifts that they themselves would enjoy.

    I think this is a great list! It’s a wonderful balance between a lot of small things and a few bigger things that can show people you care! I certainly try to do all of the above whenever I can. Hopefully this list will inspire many! Thanks for sharing.

    1. You’re right, Lalia. I’m always amazed that people give the gifts they wish they were getting. I believe in getting people gifts that they want but wouldn’t necessarily buy for themselves (usually indulgent). Over the years, people have started calling them Jenny Gifts!

      1. Yes! Precisely how I feel about it. There are so many lovely people in the world that always give to others, and do not give enough to themselves. So I love to “spoil” the amazing people in my life. A number of years ago, when I was still living in the same city as my mother, I bought her FOURTEEN gifts. I gave her a small gift once every day leading up to her birthday, always presenting it to her when I showed up at her workplace to walk her home. Then of course there was a bigger gift the day of her birthday. Apparently she must have told many of her co-workers all about it, because they all told me how thoughtful that was when they saw me afterwards!

  11. I agree; this is a great list. I have some wonderful friends and have tried to be one but more by the calling and listening when possible. Right now my life is more overwhelming and I am grateful for the friends who are doing that for me. I am needing them right now.

  12. These are all great tips. I admit, I’ve been a bad friend at times. I tend to get busy with my daily life and let other things slip. I think I need to call my BFF now. Thank you for the reminder.
    -Stacey

    1. There are no bad friends! We all get caught up in daily life sometimes. But I’m glad to inspire you to reach out to your friends. What matters is they know in the end they matter to us 🙂

  13. Thanks for the wonderful ideas! I’m definitely going to use some of these ideas. My best friend and I haven’t really been keeping in touch that much for the past few months due to our busy, busy and hectic schedules.

  14. Thank you so much for this list of ideas! It is amazing how some friends are just that amazing and worth our time to invest! You reminded me that I needed to set up a play date with my best friend (who has been my BFF since the 5th grade!). Thank you so much for sharing!

  15. You certainly put together a fantastic list of ideas. While having done one or two, the thought of having a list will help me in the future. It is amazing when something little is done and how much it can mean. Thanks for reminding me to remember my friends!

  16. Great list! I have a friend who’s so thoughtful that way to – it just comes naturally to her. I am not that way so lists & ideas are helpful!

  17. This is an excellent post filled with so many great tips and suggestions! I love that you included the story of your friend – the way she went the extra mile to give you something that truly showed how much she cared. Gifts are wonderful, but when the giver really puts thought into the gift they give – that’s what makes it not just appreciated by the receiver, but also cherished! Thanks for this wonderful post!

  18. I love your list, especially the book one.
    It makes me a little homesick for my friends, though.

    I think I need to work on my postal ideas (including implementing the postcard/photocard)…
    Thank you!

  19. I love those ideas! Friends are so important and we need to take the time to care for our friendships even when life is busy. Thanks for sharing. I am pinning this.

  20. Very nice ideas! Those ideas will really make someone’s day. Too often, people think getting together or staying in touch with someone, has to be a big event, but it doesn’t.

  21. I always say that family doesn’t need to mean blood, that its about the unconditional love that you share with people, regardless of who they are, like an adoptive family consisting of friends who mean oh so much more to your heart and soul! This was a great post and I am really happy I had the chance to be introduced to your blog!

  22. While I moved across the country, I know I have friends, but I feel like I have to be invited/called to action because I’m burdening them.
    Thank you for the thoughts and ideas.

  23. I’ve always had a hard time making friends. And when I do make friends, it seems they always expect me to be the only one putting in any effort. I guess that’s why I’m happy with having my husband as my best friend. He’s the only one who really “gets” me anyway lol.

    1. My husband is one of the only people who “gets” me too. I feel like we’re all pulled in so many different directions that it’s easy for us to not make the effort for friends. But I’m always pleasantly surprised that when I do reach out, my friends are SO happy I did and wish they had done it sooner.

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