20 Ways To Show You Care - Creating Connections With All The Beautiful People In Your Life

13 min read MAY 17, 2024

“People who need people…are the luckiest people in the world.”

This single-line Streisand, Merrill, and Styne lyric spanning back generations may not top the song charts today, but I’d like to submit to you that these sentiments should always be at the forefront of our hearts and minds.

People, or rather relationships with people, are one of the most beautiful gifts we can ever enjoy.

Having a true connection with someone, with many different someones, is powerful - even to the point that such connections can improve our physical, mental, and emotional well being.

And, one way to foster this type of connection is by simply (and sincerely) showing that you care.

Right now, I have a dear friend who is going through a painful loss. And generally speaking, one way I like to show that I care is by doing. So, I’ve texted and talked, asking what I can do to help - can I bring a coffee or tea, can I help with her little ones, can I help around the house?

But, at the end of the day, her need, and thus her response, was simple…just knowing I care and desire to support her offers more help and comfort to her than any deed at this time.

Creating or continuing connections with various people in your life can look different depending on the person and relationship, but most often such connections start with a caring spirit.

 We all need care shown to us, and we can all show such concern for others.

I mean, at the end of the day, even if connecting with others doesn’t necessarily come easy for some, showing kindness to/for others…well, it’s not difficult at all.

Such acts fulfill our innate desire and need for connection, and showing kindness to others is actually proven to increase your own happiness, reduce anxiety, and it can even help you live longer!

So, today we’d like to explore some practical ways you can demonstrate that you care, creating and/or fostering sincere connections with the uniquely wonderful people you get to ‘do’ life with each and every day.

Connecting With Others Through Thoughtful Expressions Of Care And Kindness

Did you know that connecting with others is actually just as vital to your overall health and wellness as physical activity and/or healthy eating?

We often center our thoughts on health around physical actions, and certainly these are monumentally important, but when we do this on a metaphorical island, absent from others, void of connection, it can all be for naught.

Studies have proven that “the psychological and physical health benefits of social contact are so great that they can even outweigh the harmful effects of other risk factors and boost life expectancy.”

 Supporting these findings, conclusions from similar research show that offering support to loved ones, showing that you care, can increase lifespan, boost your mood, increase levels of happiness, and reduce stress.

Showing that you care about, value, and desire to support others is the best way to foster connection, and it goes both ways. As you connect with others, and as you leave your heart’s door open for others to connect with you, your mind, body…and the world at large…all benefit!

So, let’s organize the following tips as we seek to find ways to facilitate such expressions of kindness.

First, we’ll cover some generalities, then we’ll look at ways to connect for…

- parents and children
- Friends, siblings, and acquaintances
- kids and teens
- spouses

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Care and connection in general…

The following tips can be echoed in just about any relationship or potential relationship, so keep these things in mind, letting them permeate each of the proposed actions that follow.

1- Express Gratitude

It’s likely you’ve heard of the practice of daily gratitude, the intentional act of listing things each and every day that you’re grateful for.

This practice, in and of itself, can bring great benefit to your life, mindset, and outlook.

But, living a life of gratitude, showing others in word and deed that you are appreciative of their presence in your life, is a primary way to connect and show you care.

Expressing gratitude serves as a reminder to both you and the recipient of such thankfulness that you each play a positive role in one another’s life.

2- Be Present

Whether it’s in person, through a phone call, in a text, or via a card sent in the mail, letting someone know you care by simply being there for them to share in their joys and sorrows, successes and failures, through the milestones and the mundane, is arguably one of the best ways to foster and further connection with others.

3- Be You

Authenticity is at the center of true care and connection. So, don’t worry about how others express care, measuring your heart by the heart’s of other people.

In other words, “you do you,” also fits when it comes to showing kindness.

We’ve all been blessed with unique talents, gifts, and treasures. Using these unique parts of you to show care to others allows for authentic interaction and pure connection.

4- Listen

Wanna really show you care? Wanna truly connect with others?

Stop, slow your mind, and truly listen to what others have to say/share.

And, this goes both ways in a relationship as well…be open and willing to share (appropriately) and be sure to give your full attention, truly listening when others open up to you.

5- Let Nothing Be Beneath You

Throughout life, you’ll find that not everything someone has to share will interest you. Parents can experience this quite often, where young children may desire to show mom or dad every drawing, cartwheel, ball-catch, and more.

And, as we’re all busy, we’re all consumed with a thousand to-do’s, and on and on, taking time to be interested in each of these things can seem unnecessary.

However, whether it’s a co-worker, neighbor, child, sibling, spouse, or friend, if it’s important enough for someone to share…then well, it’s important!

May we never act as if such things are beneath us, unworthy of our time or attention.

Nothing kills connection like disinterest.

So, don’t just be present, don’t just listen, but value what others bring to you…after all, they are showing that they value you enough to share their personal interests and pleasures.

Care and connection between parents and children…

I’m a parent, so after looking up some of the best ways for parents to connect and show their children that they care, I thought I’d relate the following tips to you through personal experience.

We’ve made it a practice to do some of these exact things, regularly, in our home, and I am humbled and grateful to say these have been used to build a strong, caring relationship between myself and my kids.

6- Special Days/Nights

Like many, I’m tempted to think my kids require, or will benefit most, from grand gestures.

But the truth of the matter is, children (no matter their age) desire your time/presence more than anything.

So, special days or nights don’t have to be elaborate.

- Consider going on simple mom-son or dad-daughter dates.
- Enjoy a picnic at the park.
- Plan a movie night and let your child pick out their favorite snack to enjoy while watching.
- Bake or cook their favorite meal/snack together.

One thing I’ve done with my children since they were very young, is to begin celebrating their birthday several days in advance by allowing them to plan their favorite dinners for the week leading up to their special day.

When my son was roughly 5 years old, one week we seriously had PB&J one evening, chicken nuggets the next night, mac-n-cheese the following evening, and cucumbers, grapes, and cheese quesadillas to finish out the week.

Of course, his palate (thankfully) has changed drastically since those days. But, he’ll be 16 this week, and he still talks about those early birthday meals, truly grateful for how special he has felt each and every year when birthday week rolls around.

7- Tell Them The Good Stuff

If your children are anything like mine (or your nieces, nephews, etc), they love to hear stories from when I was younger. They love to hear stories about friendships, about my grandparents, about their dad and I…all of them.

This type of nostalgic sharing is not only positive, but it greatly fosters connection between a parent and a child.

 8- Involve Children In Showing Care To Others

When appropriate, as you show care to those around you, involve your children in the process.

When I deliver a coffee to a friend, as the occasion allows, I’ve always sought to include my children in this process. Not only have I witnessed this work to create a caring spirit in my kids, but it also serves as a great way to connect.

We love to bake cookies and share with our neighbors and family. We also enjoy lending a hand as a team (father-son, mother-daughter, etc), whether it’s delivering a meal, raking leaves, cleaning a house, and on and on.

This provides a sense of purpose for children, and it shows the child you value their help and support in such endeavors while creating a unique opportunity for connection between a parent and child.

9- Cards, Gifts, Hugs, And Smiles

Sending a well-timed card or gift, giving a hug, or flashing a smile can be a great way to show you care, but this isn’t just a way to connect with friends, co-workers, or acquaintances.

I can tell you from experience, when my kids were young and now even as teenagers, the times I’ve given an unexpected gift or written a note or card for them to simply say “I love you,” has never been received with anything other than sincere appreciation.

Care and connection between siblings, friends, and acquaintances…

How do acquaintances become friendships? Or, how can you strengthen new friendships? How can you further the bond with your adult siblings?

By extending yourself, showing such folks that you care and desire connection, of course.

10- Respect

No person is truly alike, and this is a glorious thing!

 But, if we want to show kindness and build (or continue) meaningful relationships we must respect those wonderful differences.

You won’t always have the same opinions or beliefs, even in your family (especially as you enter adulthood), but it’s beneficial to recognize and accept these differences.

That’s not saying there won’t be times where differences demand distance, but generally speaking, you can brightly shine a caring light when you respect others.

11- Through Joys, Pains, And Celebration

Whether you’re religious or not, there are some biblical principles that are undeniably beneficial to life as a whole, no matter your race, creed, culture, or belief.

And, one such principle goes a little something like this: “rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep, be happy with those who are happy.”

When we join our friends and family in the good times and bad, this may be the most effective expression of genuine care/concern.

When you think about it, coming alongside a friend, neighbor, sibling, or acquaintance, celebrating birthdays, promotions, graduations, etc. as well as ‘weeping’ through times of loss or difficulty, this is where connections truly form, grow, and thrive.

12- Past The Superficial

Anyone else here feel like they have “fake-dar,” you know, like radar that activates when someone either isn’t being authentic or seems to repeatedly be superficial?

Such exchanges or conversations are fine for acquaintances, but when you desire real connection, this takes place beyond small talk.

Sure, we’re not saying you have to overshare with everyone you meet, but when seeking to establish or further a relationship, connection typically happens beyond the superficial.

So, don’t be afraid (when the door is open to do so) to share more of yourself, your values, hopes, aspirations, expectations, struggles, joys, etc.

13- Spread Compliments Like Confetti

I just advised against being fake, so I’m certainly not saying you should give compliments without sincerity. But, showing real appreciation, expressing kindness through your speech towards others is a great way to show you care…and such behaviors open the door for meaningful relationships.

14- Always Be Ready To Help

When you’re able, expressing care for your friends and acquaintances by lending a helping hand goes a long way.

Whether it’s showing up with dinner, offering to mow a lawn, babysit, or run an errand, etc. offering to help someone out is a great way to demonstrate care.

Care and connection amongst kids/teens…

We’ve looked at how you can foster connection in a parent-child relationship, but here’s a few tips as well to help your kids or teens express care/kindness to those their own age.

The connections and friendships made during these developmental years can be some of the best of our lifetime, creating memories, and even aiding in forming us into who we are meant to be as a person.

So, when helping your child/teen connect with their peers, here’s a few things to consider…

15- Team Sports/Activities

Being a part of a team teaches many invaluable life lessons, but it also provides a real avenue for connection and expressing kindness.

Find something your child/teen is passionate about, and help them get involved, learning, serving, playing, and growing alongside their peers, building lasting friendships in the process.

16- Playdates And Open Homes

Obviously, not every opportunity for connection has to happen in an organized (team) way.

Especially with young children, seek to be open to having playdates, park outings, and more, providing time for connection between both children and parents.

17- Sharing Is Caring

Personally, I’ve found that children, even teens, tend to do this naturally, but seeing it in action can serve as a reminder to adults that bonds often form over a willingness to share.

With children, we certainly don’t have to insist that every one of their precious treasures must be freely made available to others, however, an encouragement to share whenever possible does show kindness and certainly opens the door for connection.

And, sharing isn’t simply about toys and treasures…teaching children to share their heart by sending a thoughtful card or note to a friend is a great practice to build/strengthen relationships, no matter the age.

Care and connection between spouses…

A marriage or partnership can only grow with intention, action, and meaningful expressions of care.

Yet, so often we see that such relationships suffer as we seemingly pour ourselves into every other area of life, while neglecting those that we once said mattered most.

If we want our spouse to feel loved, cared for, important, and desired, furthering that connection in the process, then we must be active in this pursuit.

So, seek to incorporate those items we’ve already mentioned throughout our exploration today, as well as these last few tips…

18- Plan, Plan, Plan

Life’s hectic, so it’s often a reality that quality time amongst spouses must be planned. Just know that taking the time to actually organize such time together - a quiet evening, a romantic dinner, a stroll in the park, etc. - speaks volumes.

Putting forth this kind of effort communicates a caring heart, and a desire to connect…even before you’ve enjoyed such a day, afternoon, evening, or weekend.

19- Use Your Words

What other relationships do you have/know of that thrive without communication, especially communication that expresses love, affection, care, gratitude, or kindness.

Frankly, men and women in spousal relationships need to hear “I love you,” “I appreciate you,” “You have the most beautiful smile,” “I’m happy to see you,” etc.

It’s likely these types of phrases were abundant in the beginning phases of your relationship, so let’s never underestimate the fact that such speech (when spoken in sincerity) is likely part of what helped to form your bond in the first place.

So, be continually aware of your words, using them to care for and connect with your spouse/partner.

20- Don’t Forgo Affection

I’ll be delicate here, not wanting to take this past a PG audience, but with that being said…I’m going to assume you know what’s meant by affection here.

While I’m certainly not talking about forcing such behaviors, it likely goes without saying that a marriage or partnership that lacks affection, lacks connection.

Intimacy - from bedroom time to hugs, kisses, and just about any form of affection - is a vital part of showing your spouse you care, you love him/her, and that you not only enjoy your relationship but desire its continuation or furtherance.


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Headshot of Becky Livingston Vance
Becky Livingston Vance Content writer

Becky is a mother, educator, and content writer for Lifeboost Coffee. She has had three years’ experience as a writer, and in that time she has enjoyed creatively composing articles and ebooks covering the topics of coffee, health and fitness, education, recipes, and relationships.


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