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You’re Important to Me: Five Simple Ways to Show You Care about Someone
© 2012 by Aurelio Locsin.
Because your relationships are important to you, you take the time to tell those around you how much you value them. While these verbal expressions are important and necessary, they cannot compare to actions that express the same feelings. The following simple ideas let you add one more layer of appreciation for those you care about. They work between co-workers, friends, relatives and lovers. Each idea works for either gender but alternate “his” and “her” pronouns for the sake of inclusiveness.
Unlock her car door first.
If you’re both taking your car someplace, unlock her car door first, especially during bad weather. This shows that you place her convenience and comfort above your own. Doing this manually at the door, rather than from a distance with a remote, shows that you’re willing to go the extra mile for her. Depending on your relationship, you can also hold the door open, which should be reserved for more chivalrous occasions.
Turn off your cellphone before him.
When you first encounter someone that you’re meeting for an extended period, such as a dinner or business discussion, show him that you’re turning off your cellphone. This signals that he is more important than any phone call from an invisible third party. The action is especially applauded by the generation before cell phones. People who grew up with their phones may find your action a bit strange but will appreciate it anyway.
Clean up after her.
Doing this after she does something for you, like cooking a meal, is expected and unmemorable. Putting her stuff away is more meaningful if you do it after she finishes her favorite activities, such as finishing her gardening, working out with weights or adding a new scrapbook page. This means you appreciate all her activities and all parts of her life, even if they don’t involve you.
Bring him an unexpected treat.
If you go out by yourself for a snack or lunch, bring him back a small food treat, such as a coffee or a cookie, without asking for what he wants. This shows that you remember his preferences and that you’re thinking about him. The gesture is especially appreciated at work because it’s so unexpected. In addition, the coffeine boost may be just what he needs to stay awake until quitting while the snack eliminates hunger pangs at mid-afternoon.
Do something your gender would never do for someone of the opposite gender.
This tip is going to sound sexist but it only proves that men and women have different expectations and behaviors, most likely because of genetics and conditioning.
- If you’re a woman, accompany the man to his favorite activity such as sporting event or train show. But don’t chatter about your feelings on personal subjects such as your relationship. Instead, try to understand why he enjoys the event, ask questions about it and offer genuine compliments on what you’re seeing.
- If you’re a man out with a woman, whether it’s for shopping, coffee or dinner, listen to her express her feelings. Don’t offer advice and don’t talk about yourself. Instead, acknowledge her thoughts and ideas, and support her decisions.
This is best used with someone you know very well such as a good friend, a close relative or your significant other. If he or she knows this is not the way you usually operate, the change will be refreshing. But be prepared to answer any questions like “Why are you doing this?” with something simple and heartfelt such as “Because you’re important to me.”