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Gratitude 101: How to Let Loved Ones Know You Appreciate Them

The season of gratitude and festivity is right around the corner, which means it's time to spend a lot more time with loved ones. Thanksgiving is near and is a holiday where families and friends gather to enjoy a home cooked meal and share what they are grateful for.

Why Words of Thanks Matter

Think about a time when a friend or loved one appreciated you, and how good it felt to hear that they're grateful for your presence in their life. Gratitude is a very special thing that motivates us to express appreciation for something, someone, or an experience in our lives.

But, why exactly is gratitude so important in relationships? Using words to clearly express why another person is important to you is essential to building a strong relationship. ​​Being able to express your genuine gratitude for a loved one can build trust and closeness in a relationship. A verbal affirmation to another can recognize a person’s skills, personality, or actions. Sometimes we can forget how impactful a few kind words to another can be.

In research, gratitude has shown to be strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, appreciate good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build stronger relationships.

Using Your Actions: How to Show Gratitude to Someone You Love

For those who believe actions speak louder than words, showing your appreciation can be a great way to express thanks for loved ones. Here are some ideas for expressing gratitude through your actions in different kinds of relationships.

Romantic Partner or Spouse

Give a romantic gift: For those who appreciate gifts, a small token of appreciation can go a long way. Try picking out flowers, chocolates, or candles for your partner to express your appreciation and let them know you were thinking of them.

Write a letter: Giving your partner written confessions of your affections for them can be especially meaningful and leave a lasting impression for years to come. A letter is a great way to communicate your gratitude for your spouse, and they will always be able to go back and read it later when they need a little pick me up.

Plan a date: Orchestrating a special date for you and your spouse can be a grand gesture of your gratitude. Knowing that you planned the night just for them is a sure way to make them feel special and appreciated. Need ideas? Read 4 Eco-Friendly Date Ideas You Should Be Trying Today.


Make a homemade gift: Creating a personalized gift for your friend is a fun and creative way to express gratitude. Examples of a homemade gift could be a scrapbook, a care package, or a piece of art. This idea is especially special because of how much thought and care goes into the gift. The possibilities are endless!

Buy or make them a yummy meal: Treating your friend to a meal lets them know that you appreciate them and want to spend time with them. Making them their favorite meal or taking them out to their favorite restaurant shows them that you care for them and pay attention to their interests.

Family Members

Give a gratitude gift: Sending a family member flowers with a letter of gratitude is a sure way to communicate your appreciation. Receiving this gift will make a family member feel loved and appreciated.

Act of service: Offering to do a chore or errand for a family member can take a great deal of pressure off and communicate to them that you care about them. Let them know that you appreciate how much they do for you, and that you want to help lighten their load. For more ideas, read 10 Ways to Put More Love Out Into the World.

Using Your Words: What to Say to Someone You Appreciate

Sometimes words are all you need to leave a lasting impression. Expressing gratitude with your voice is a great way to clearly state your appreciation for those in your life. Giving a loved one a call, sending a text, or having a family Zoom or Facetime meeting are some of the avenues you can use to express gratitude through words.

Here are some phrases you can use for inspiration in communicating gratitude.

  • “I am so grateful that I have you in my life.”
  • “I really appreciate everything you do for me and don’t know what I would do without you!”
  • “You’re the best friend/partner/family member I could ever ask for. Thank you for standing by me.”
  • “Our relationship makes my life so much better. I am so happy you are in my life. Thank you for being my friend/partner.”
  • “You are a great blessing in my life.”


It’s that time of the year where many of us reflect on what we are thankful for, which means it is a great time to show those you care about your appreciation! Showing your gratitude for loved ones can brighten their day and bring you closer together, which is what the holiday season is all about.