Simple Ways to Thank Your Loved Ones Based on Their Love Language
Everyone has their own love language or way of experiencing and receiving affection, and it extends to how people receive our gestures of gratitude and appreciation. Knowing which of the five love languages — acts of service, gifts, quality time, words of affirmation and physical touch — resonates the most with our loved ones can help us convey our appreciation for them clearly and powerfully.
Is there someone you want to thank but aren’t quite sure how? Here are some ways to express your gratitude that will make an impact.
Acts of Service
Someone who feels most loved when others lend them a helping hand has acts of service as their love language. If this is who you’d like to show your appreciation to, here’s the first thing you ought to ask yourself: How can you make this person’s life easier?
Often, it’s the smallest things that no one wants to do. Wash their dishes. Clean their driveway. Offer to run errands for them. If you want to go a little bigger, maybe you can pay one of their bills so they can save their money instead. As long as boundaries are respected, they will surely appreciate seeing you go out of your way to make things more convenient for them.
It doesn’t have to be expensive, and it doesn’t even have to be a material thing — but it’s something that makes the person feel special because it symbolizes something meaningful.
Have they been homesick lately? Try to cook them something from their family’s recipe book. Not a great cook? Get them a scented candle that smells like their backyard in the fall.
A thoughtful present tells them that you pay attention to them — what they like, what they value, and what they may be going through. To give them something that is symbolic of these things will make them feel more connected to you.
Two words: undivided attention. Whether it’s FaceTiming them over coffee or having wine night at home, make sure you listen to every word they say and respond with empathy. Put away your phone and make eye contact, ask thoughtful questions, and if they open up about a problem, only offer advice when they ask for it.
The key is to be fully present. When you spend quality time with someone, you don’t just give them your time — you also give them your energy. Make sure that the energy you share with them is warm and welcoming.
Words of Affirmation
Giving words of affirmation means more than random, offhand compliments. Be specific. Be sincere. Say it to them or write them a note. What exactly is it you want to recognize your loved one for? What have they done for you and what is so awesome about it? How did their actions make you feel?
Hearing you say explicitly what you appreciate about them will make them feel special because it will make them feel seen. Tell them your favorite things about them and why they’re important to you. It will validate them, lift them up, and make them feel loved.
For some people, feeling your touch is more meaningful than all other expressions of love. To a person with this love language, gestures like rubbing their back while hugging them or stroking their hair can speak a thousand words.
Besides receiving kisses, a romantic partner might appreciate a massage to ease those aches and pains and feel close to you. If your loved one is far away, think about sending them a care package containing items that engage the senses. For example, a long-distance partner would appreciate an article of clothing that has your scent on it.
Of course, make sure you have their consent and that you know their boundaries. Use your touch gently and soothingly, and they will feel affirmed and reassured of their place in your life.