We put a lot of effort into showing our significant others and family members that we love them, but when’s the last time you did that for your friends? Even though friends are some of the most important people in our lives, we often don’t give them as much thought as we should.
If your friends could use a little love, here are 10 ways to show them that you’re thinking of them, from bringing them their favorite foods to giving them thoughtful gifts like a state scented candle.
1. Check in with Them Regularly
Staying in touch with your friends doesn’t have to be a huge production—even a simple text to let them know that you’re thinking of them is a sweet gesture. Text messages, phone calls and video calls are all great ways to connect with your friends even if you live far apart.
While long chat sessions are fantastic, even a quick “thinking of you” will make them feel loved if you’re both really busy.
2. Mail Them a Card
Yes, technology makes it easier than ever before to stay in touch. But there’s still something really special about receiving a card in the mail. Dust off your penmanship skills, get some cute stationery and write your friends some heartfelt notes to brighten their day.
Even if you live in the same town and see your friends in person on the regular, it’s still a nice gesture to send them cards around special occasions like birthdays and holidays.
3. Bring Them Food or Drinks
Everybody needs to eat and drink, so why not save your friend the burden of cooking for themselves and bring them some food instead? If you’re in the mood to bake, make a large batch and drop some dessert off at your friend’s house.
If cooking is more your thing, you can make them a meal instead (or order their favorite takeout and drop it off at their place, if you’re not so great in the kitchen). And if you like to play bartender, homemade cocktails are never a bad way to treat your friend.
4. Share Their Hobbies
Have you ever had a friend take an interest in your passions because they saw how much you loved them? If so, you know how awesome that feels, and how talking about it can bring you closer together. Whenever your friend talks about something that excites them or gives you recommendations, make a note of them and follow up.
If you enjoyed a book or movie that your friend also loves, let them know and start a conversation about it. You might be surprised at how it brings you together.
5. Do Them a Favor
Friendship isn’t all Instagram-worthy brunches and bar crawls. Real friends are there for each other even for the not-so-fun stuff, such as driving their friends to the airport or helping them pack up and move to a new apartment. While these activities may not be inherently fun on their own, when you do them with a friend, the time will absolutely fly by.
In fact, you all might make some of your best memories while doing these seemingly boring chores.
6. Give Them a Thoughtful Gift
Giving your friends gifts that remind you of them is an excellent way to show that you love them. Put some thought into the present and make sure that it’s something that your friend will love and use. You don’t want it to get shoved into the back of a closet and forgotten about.
For example, you could send them a city scented candle to remind them of your hometown, or a new webcam to make your video calls easier. Keep in mind that the gift doesn’t have to be large or expensive in order to mean a lot to your friend.
7. Compliment Them
When’s the last time you told your friends what they’re awesome at? There’s a reason Leslie Knope on Parks and Recreation is constantly complimenting her friends with over-the-top encouragement. It’s a great way to strengthen your relationships and build your friends up.
Make sure that your compliments are genuine and that you mean them. Your friends will be able to tell if you’re faking it.
8. Take Them on an Adventure
Chilling at home and watching Netflix is a great way to hang out with your friends, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
However, if you have a friend who’s a little bit too attached to their couch, try encouraging them to get out and explore new things (with you by their side, of course!). Think cooking classes, restaurant crawls, hiking in nearby parks or touring wineries. Pick some excursions that are aligned with their interests so they’ll already be predisposed to like it.
9. Send Them Things that Remind You of Them
Do you ever see a funny tweet or read an article and think, “This reminds me exactly of <insert friend here>”? If this happens to you frequently, don’t be afraid to send it to your friends! It will make them feel loved and understood, and it’s a good low-key way to let them know that you’re thinking of them—plus, it will only take you a minute to send it their way.
10. Celebrate all the Milestones
Most friends celebrate typical milestones like birthdays and new jobs.
But there’s no reason to confine your excitement to such traditional occasions. Think of some other things that you could celebrate that your friend will appreciate, such as keeping their first houseplant alive for a year or teaching their dog a cool trick. These seemingly silly occasions will show your friend how well you know them and how much you care.
When it comes to telling people in your life that you love them, don’t forget your friends! Try one or more of these 10 ways to show your friends that you’re thinking of them.