Every few weeks or so, I’ll scroll through my e-mail as my alarm is going off and see that a friend from college has sent me a message. He’s a night owl, so the e-mail probably came in somewhere between 2 and 4 a.m. The subject lines are cryptic, and the body typically contains just a few sentences. However, the message is either positive feedback about a blog post I’ve written recently, or it’s a link to an article about writing that he knows I would find interesting.
These messages are special because of the kind words in them. But they also mean a lot to me because my friend, who is not a writer, has taken the time to read something he knows matters to me. This is a thoughtful way in which he shows his support.
Supporting your friends and family is hugely important, but sometimes it can be confusing to figure out how to do it properly. Of course there’s the standard issue “great job!” when they tell you about a promotion at work or something similar. But how do you dig deeper and give them that next level support when maybe you don’t even fully understand what their job is about?
- Let them talk your ear off: My dad knows more about the radio industry than any person I’ve ever met in my life. To support him, I listen when he talks to me about what’s going on at work. I love him and he loves radio, so I make it a point to try to absorb and understand as much as I can.
- Brag about them: If you’re introducing your friend to someone new, throw in details about something they’ve accomplished recently. They might have been too modest to talk about said accomplishment on their own, so it’ll be appreciated.
- Go to stuff they’re involved in: One of my close friends in college was a fashion design major. The program culminated with a fashion show on one of the last days of senior year. The show happened to fall on the same day as the huge year-end celebration, so day drinking was basically the name of the game for seniors. I have a distinct memory of my other best friends and I shoving chili cheese fries in our mouths and slamming waters hours in advance so we could sober up and make it to the show. We may have been *slightly* buzzed upon arrival, but you best believe we were there hooting and hollering for our friend as she debuted her creations. If your friend has an art show, go check it out. If she’s a singer, go to open mic night with her. Your presence and encouragement are so important.
Sending Edible Arrangements to show how proud you are is great, but you don’t have to fork over big money to remind the people who matter to you that you think they rock. Big time encouragement comes in absolutely free forms too.