Daily Archives: September 17, 2015

T13 – Love

Following on from my previous Thursday thirteen list, I was thinking about the first entry there. As adults / married people / maybe even people in general, it’s easy to let love go assumed. Some of us are better at it than others and I certainly don’t consider myself the best, but I got to thinking about ways we can show someone we value them. Not just romantic partners, but anyone in our lives. Here are some suggestions, I’d love to hear yours.

  1. Pay them a compliment. A genuine, unexpected, specific piece of praise from someone whose opinion you value always feels good, right? Just make sure it’s given unconditionally, not because you want something or because the recipient needs it.
  2. Give loving critique. There’s also a real compliment to be found in someone who carefully and lovingly takes time out to help you improve something. Be careful you’re giving helpful and constructive critique though, not just criticizing.
  3. Notice. Did they do something different with their hair, do well at school / work, or just do a chore you normally find yourself doing? Notice, comment and compliment. Especially if it’s something they are probably quietly proud of themself for.
  4. Turn a blind eye. On the other hand, sometimes it’s nice not to notice. And don’t just notice without saying anything, genuinely give them a pass today. So your husband came home late, your daughter didn’t clean her room and your colleague forgot to put sugar in your coffee? Forgive and forget. You probably screwed up today too.
  5. Listen. Oh my God, if this was Thursday 1 instead of Thursday 13, this would be it. Listen and Be Seen to be listening. Put the phone down, turn off the TV and look them in the eye. Then, when they are done, respond. In our distracted, busy, multi-tasking world, 100% of your attention is probably the most generous gift you can give to anyone.
  6. Give them a gift. It doesn’t have to be pricey, or special. A single flower, a candy bar, a lowest-denomination giftcard to their nearest coffeshop all say “I was thinking of you; I don’t expect anything in return”. And how nice does it feel to know someone’s been thinking of you?
  7. Text / Email / Write. Talking of which, what about a quick message during a busy day just to say “Hi”?
  8. Plan Something Together. Quick is great, but long is good too, and having something to look forward to is lovely. My best friend and I planned a holiday together last year and we’ve got a girly night out on the cards this year. Living a mixture of 3000 and 9000 miles apart (she divides her time between the UK and Singapore; I’m based in Toronto) means our get-togethers take more planning than they once did, but anticipation is half the fun and knowing we will both work to make it happen is more evidence of how much we love each other.
  9. Tell Them. Ah, the old ones are the best. Do any of us say “I love you” enough? And not just as in it’s what some people always end a phone call / visit / day with, but an unexpected and heartfelt “I love you”.
  10. Share a hug. 
  11. Say “Thank you”. It’s easy to take loved ones, and the things they do, for granted. It makes them poorer, but it makes us poorer too; everyone knows gratitude is good for your mental health, right? So whether it’s for the big things or the little ones, say it out loud.
  12. Say “Sorry”. While we’re speaking aloud, here’s another magic word. We’re all wrong sometimes; we all make mistakes and it’s OK to admit it.
  13. Ask for help. Because if we admit weaknesses, we allow others to do the same, and that’s a powerful gift too.


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