How to Show Your Appreciation in Three Easy Steps 

by | Oct 6, 2023 | Personal Development

We remember to acknowledge people on their birthdays and to congratulate them when they achieve a big accomplishment. But what about the everyday awesomeness they exhibit? We’re here to encourage you to find small ways to celebrate the people in your life. Unlike “recognition,” which comes only after a result or for a particular performance, appreciation is a way to highlight how much you value someone … just because.

Step 1: Identify people in your life who you appreciate.

Go beyond the obvious as you think about the people who make your life easier, richer and more fulfilled, or better in any way. Let them know you value them and are glad that they’re a part of your life (even when they make mistakes). While you definitely want to include your significant other, family members, and close friends on this list, expand your circle of who you express appreciation to. From people you see in passing throughout the day to the bigger figures in your life, everyone enjoys feeling appreciated and seen.

Step 2: Find simple ways to let them know how much you care.

A golden retriever holds a yellow tulip in their mouth and stands in front of a wooden fence

You might think they’re already aware of how much they add to your life because you give them a warm smile and a polite “hello” each day, but challenge yourself to go beneath the surface! Give them words of affirmation for them to believe that you value them as much as you do. What ways can you show others you care?

  • Your mailman. It’s hot out there! Leave a sports drink and a kind note thanking them for all they do.  
  • Your waiter. Clean up after yourself, tell their manager how awesome they were, and leave a note with the tip to say you appreciate their friendliness.  
  • Your kids’ school counselor. Dealing with little kids (and their parents) is tough. Show your appreciation by writing a heartfelt note and leaving a small flower arrangement that they can use to brighten their desk.  
  • Your veterinarian. You already know one thing you have in common, your pet! Consider purchasing inexpensive dog or cat-patterned fleece fabric and making a simple tie blanket to wrap them in love.

Step 3: Repeat the process, and accept compliments, too!

Don’t wait for a special occasion to show your appreciation for someone. Your feelings of gratitude toward them go beyond any one thing they’ve said or done. Let “just because” be enough of a reason to let them know how amazing they are. Then, graciously accept compliments as they come. People have trouble receiving words of praise. Studies show this can be linked to low self-esteem, but with a little practice, you’ll learn to say “thank you” rather than shying away (or cringing) when someone compliments you.

  • Remind yourself that they’re commenting on their experience, not yours. If you thought you burned the chicken, but they loved it, be thankful rather than defensive when they compliment the chef. 
  • If a compliment catches you off guard, your immediate reaction could be deflection. Instead, slow down and take in what they have to say. Let yourself feel proud and deserving of other people’s praise.  
  • Practice self-awareness. Notice your response so that you can work on changing it. Instead of laughing off a compliment, feel grateful that someone took the time to appreciate your hard work.

Let the cycle of appreciation continue! Repeat these three steps until they become second nature. Let showing your appreciation and accepting accolades from others become a way of life.

Showing your appreciation for others is an essential step in building quality relationships. Learn additional ways of solidifying your friendships, here.