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. 

featured image by kristen kilpatrick

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.

image by kristen kilpatrick 

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.

image by kristen kilpatrick

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.

image by Alicia Lund for the venue report

Surprise!

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.

Think Small

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!

image by molly culver

What is your favorite small way to show your friends you care? 

7 comments
  1. 1
    Andrea | November 13, 2018 at 3:48 pm

    This is such a sweet post. I think the most important thing is to honestly just be there. As we get older, we tend to lose touch. The best thing I think a friend can do is to just check in often 🙂
    http://expeditiontoeuphoria.com

    Reply
    • Camille Styles | November 14, 2018 at 6:49 am

      It’s so true – yet so hard to do sometimes! Thanks for the great reminder.

      Reply
  2. 2
    Victoria Owen | November 13, 2018 at 10:31 pm

    I really really love this post! This post is so thoughtful and filled with love and really takes into consideration the maintenance of friendships. I can relate with this post as most of my really close friends are friends I have grown up with, and since high school it has been hard to keep up with everyone. Everyone is in their own stage of life and some might feel left out if they are at a different stage than everyone else. All the suggestions you gave were so thoughtful and meaningful while also being super easy to carry through. The small things can really make a difference and I will be using these suggestions as ways of saying thank you to my friends for all they do for me. Friendships are relationships too and people need to realize they need to put effort into them as well in order to maintain them.

    Reply
    • Camille Styles | November 14, 2018 at 6:49 am

      I love this Victoria – and am so glad you were inspired. It’s so true that our best friendships deserve our time and energy.

      Reply
  3. 3
    Nichole | Wildly Alive | December 7, 2018 at 10:57 am

    Wow, nice post. All of us wants to have a real friend or a best friends. But we should learn how to be one. And these easy steps can really help on how to be a better friend. I appreciate this! Thanks.

    Reply
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Photography

Kristen Kilpatrick


Photography

Molly Culver