Remember that episode of Sex and the City when Carrie realized that unless she got married or had a baby, that no one would be celebrating her? It’s a pretty cringe-worthy moment. Which is why women around the world cheered when she finally got her “I’m getting married to myself” Manolo Blahniks. But it’s easy to forget the sentiment inspired by this episode in the hustle and bustle of daily life. And, with the holiday season officially upon us, it’s easy to forget that this time of year can be especially hard and lonely for some. Fortunately, there are some really nice things we can do for our friends that don’t require a big time or financial commitment. Why not show a friend just how much you care with one of these easy gestures this week? A little goes a long way, and you’ll probably end up turning your own day around while you’re at it.
image by @jenniferelizabeth_
Celebrate Non-Traditional Milestones
First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in a baby carriage. It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of a friend getting married or having a baby. To be fair, those things are pretty amazing. But let’s not forget that the friends who aren’t reaching those milestones deserve a little celebrating too. There are so many other major life moments that you can participate in. Did a friend recently finish grad school? Or earn a big promotion? Did she buy her first home? A small gift, card, or invitation to dinner will make her feel like she’s not celebrating alone.
Acknowledge the Small Things
This is where your trusty planner comes in handy. If a friend mentions they’re nervous about a big meeting at work, jot down the date of the meeting so you can follow up and see how it went. If they have a parent who is having surgery soon, check in after to see how they are recovering.
We all face many obstacles in our daily lives and just feeling like someone cares can make all the difference. You don’t need to make a grand gesture, just help your friend feel listened to and supported.
Work it Out
Is your friend having a tough time at work? We all know how hard it can be to get through a long work day when things are tense at the office. Try sending your friend a mid-afternoon pick-me-up. There are so many food delivery services that make it super easy to send them their favorite latte or green juice to their office during the 3 o’clock slump.
It’s even easier to support an in-office work friend. One time a teammate was having a rough day, so another colleague and I went to Trader Joe’s at lunch and picked up some candy bars and a funny card to leave on her desk. Of course this didn’t solve all of her work problems, but she felt a lot better knowing that she had support from her colleagues.
Put it in Writing
After overcoming a very challenging week with a sick family member, a friend wrote me the sweetest card telling me how sorry she was about what had happened, along with some other very nice things. I was so surprised by this gesture and really appreciated that she had taken the time to think of me and write me that note. It made me smile when I was feeling really run down, and by leaving me a note, she gave me space to decide if I wanted to talk about what was happening.
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
It’s nice that you tagged them in all the photos you shared on social media from your weekend getaway, but why not take the memories a step further? I love printing photos of trips, or of any memories with friends, and sending them copies. Amazon Photos is super easy to use and inexpensive. Plus, they will send the prints straight to your friend. It’s a nice way to give your photos a life off your phone and to remind your friends of all the good times you have together.
Who wouldn’t love to be surprised with a present for no reason at all? No need to spend a lot of money to make someone’s day. Grab that gorgeous bundle of tulips at the farmer’s market or her favorite bottle of wine when you see it’s on sale. Before my first international trip, a friend surprised me at happy hour with a travel journal. I’ve used that journal on every trip I’ve taken since and every time, I think of how kind she was to be as excited as I was about my trip.
The smallest gestures can be so appreciated. I recently mentioned to a friend that I couldn’t find any travel sized dry shampoos at the drugstore. A few days later, she gave me a sample sized one she’d gotten in a kit of hair products. It was such a nice gesture that made my life easier and I was so glad to have it during my hectic trip. This made me realize that by listening and trying to be helpful, you can make such a difference to a friend. Do you know a friend is looking for a new job? Send her any good openings you see or offer to introduce her to colleagues you think she should network with. Is she stressed about leaving her dog home alone all day while at a work event? Offer to swing by and take Rover on a walk after work. Oh, and a ride to the airport is always appreciated!
What is your favorite small way to show your friends you care?