Showing thankfulness can make your friend feel special and make your relationship that much closer than before. Being thankful, or grateful, to the good friends in your life can help you more easily identify the toxic friendships that pop up here and there as well. When you surround yourself with good people and make an effort to recognize their positive contribution to your life, you'll be less taken in by people who don't have your best interests at heart.
While the time around Thanksgiving typically has us thinking about being thankful, you can take these ideas and use them anytime of the year.
Send a Card to Someone With Handwritten Details About Why You're Thankful for Their Friendship
As we spend so much time on social media, handwritten thoughts become that much more special to friends. When you write out your thoughts in your own hand, it lets a friend know that you took the time out of your busy day to think about and honor them. This alone makes your gratitude stand out, so much more than a post on a Facebook wall or a shout out on Twitter.
There's also something about handwriting that allows your personality to come through. After all, a card that you wrote yourself is unlike one that anyone else might write.
When it comes to writing out your thoughts, choose one or two really special moments in order to make them personal. While a generic "I'm thankful you're my friend" note is nice, it's much better to write something that you can say only about your friend and no one else.
I keep thinking about that time you bailed me out after my babysitter left and I needed to get to my job interview. I'll never forget how much that helped me.
You always happen to call me right at the time when I need to hear your voice. Thank you so much for reaching out when you do.
Things that happen to me just aren't real until I get to tell you about them. Thanks for being my friend.
Cards don't have to be sappy, either. If you and a pal have funny stories together, use your sense of humor to let your BFF know how much you appreciate them. Let the nature of your friendship dictate the type of card you write.
Donate to Your Friend's Favorite Charity
Does your friend have a charity they spend lots of time on? Make a donation in their name as a way to say thank you for all they do for you.
While you should never brag about making a donation somewhere, you should make sure you tell a friend that they have made an impact on your awareness of a specific issue, and as a result you want to donate because they are important to you.
Your friend will appreciate the fact that you paid attention and honored them by giving back in this way.
Learn More About a Chronic Disease Your Friend Is Struggling With
If your friend struggles with a chronic condition, show your thankfulness to them by learning more about the disease. People with chronic conditions often feel misunderstood because they "don't look sick." Chronic conditions are never cured, only managed, and as a result add a lot of stress to your friend's life. Find out what's going on with them so you can better support them.
Some things to say:
I really care about you as a friend but I realize I don't know much about your Type 1 diabetes. What do you deal with on a daily basis with that? What's one thing you would like me to know?
I'm thankful that you always make time for me, because I know that your fibromyalgia is a challenge for you. How are some ways I can support you?
It's important to listen more than you talk when you're asking about a friend's chronic health. Also, don't offer tips on how they can "get cured." Your job as a friend is to listen to them, find out more, and learn how to support them as a friend. If you can do this, you will hold a special place in your friend's heart.
Make Something for Them
There are two schools of thought on homemade gifts. Some people really appreciate them, and some people think they're cheesy. But if you can make something for a friend that they personally will appreciate and use, it's a great way to show how thankful you are to have that friend in your life.
Even friends who don't like crafts will enjoy things like a memory journal, which is personal just for them and goes the extra mile in highlighting your friendship.
Here are a few other ideas on making something from scratch:
- Things to Make Using Old Paint Chips
- Friendship Bracelets
- Reuse an Old Favorite Sweater to Make Something for a Friend
- Turn an Old Book Into Something Cool for a Friend
Tell Your Friend
If writing a note isn't your thing, be sure to tell your friend how thankful you are to have them in your life. This can be done simply or dramatically, depending on how you think your friend would most appreciate hearing this.
For example, you could invite them to dinner, and toast them with a thankful message. Or perhaps just turn to them before you're about to start the car and take a road trip, telling them how much it means to have them around.
Give some thought to the best way to let a friend know how much you care. Often, what works well for one friend might not for another, so use each friend's personality as a guide for how best to show thankfulness.