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7 simple ways to make the most important people in your life feel important

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About Sarah Markley

Sarah Markley speaks regularly for conferences, MOPs meetings and church groups. She also writes for (in)courage and A Deeper Story. Sarah has two daughters, a husband, a dog, and a cat, and lives in Southern California. You can find her on her blog, on Twitter, and on Instagram.

It’s easy to get crazy and frenzied during the holiday season. And it’s easy to sacrifice the most important people in our lives on the altar of Christmas shopping, holiday parties, and All The Things to do.

This began as a short article on some easy and unique ways to make our spouses feel important this Christmas even in the midst of the season, but I believe it can be applied to anyone in our families or close circles.

Take a few days this week and try out a couple of these. I know it will make a big difference in the lives of your most important people, and you as well.

1. Take a week and write a letter every day

Taking some time and really focusing on the things that you love about your spouse or family member, and then telling them, goes a long way. If it’s your spouse or teenager, tell them the things you like about them, how you “see” who they are. If it’s a young child, draw them a picture and tell them how much you enjoy their presence.

2. Really listen during conversations

Ask real, thoughtful questions and then be interested in the answers. You may be surprised at what your teen or school aged child tell you if you truly take the time to listen. Sit near them, face your body toward them, and open up your ears and your mind.

3. Take a normal responsibility off of the plate of your spouse or family member

Whether it’s your spouse or your child, and he or she normally walks the dog or takes out the trash, do it for them this week. While you are doing it, be thankful for them and direct your mind towards who they are. Use this time to notice, just by yourself, things about them that are special. It will relieve them of a chore and it will help you as well.

4. Give gifts that speak to them, not to you

It has taken me a long time to realize that I should give gifts to my loved ones that appeal to them and not just to me. If your mother-in-law’s “love language” is candles and perfume, then that is what should be under the tree. If you really pay attention to what your spouse or loved ones want or need, your gift giving will be much more meaningful.

5. Put down your phone/computer/work and sit with someone

I knew my seven-year-old needed me the other night, and so I put down my much needed work and sat with her on the sofa. I asked her about her television show, I laughed with her, and I held her close. I’m pretty sure she knew that she was the most important person in the world to me.

6. Touch

Most people respond positively to touch and often, when we are busy, we forget to touch our most important people. When you sit with your spouse, take his or her hand; when you walk with one of your children, put your arm around his or her shoulders.

7. Just say it

When I asked my husband this evening what made him feel important, he said, “Just tell me.” I looked at him in the car right then and I said, “You are important to me.” And I meant it.

What a crazy season we are living in right now. Don’t let the holidays get by and miss the people who are sitting right in front of you.

It’s not difficult: say it, write it, put down your work, but whatever you have to do, make them feel as important as they really are.

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Comments

  1. Good reminders, our kids are easier to take a moment of stillness with because they demand it. Read me a book. Let me sit on your lap. But as adults we have to make time for one another even when it isn’t requested.

  2. Love these!

  3. Great tips and reminders. I’m going to work on putting social media to bed for a while and just focus on my family.

  4. It’s amazing how many people think “Oh she or he knows I love them” its an important reminder to actually DO stuff that will show them that we do. Writing a letter will also probably go over better if its a real letter, not an email :)

  5. This was great for me to read because I’ve been thinking about this very topic the last few days: how to be more present to my family and leave holidy “busy-ness” aside. Last night I had so much work to do, but I put it aside to watch a movie with my kids and husband. We had a great time together. Glad I didn’t miss it.

  6. Love these, thankyou for the reminder during this craaaazy month :-)

  7. I love the idea of writing letters. It’s such a forgotten art but receiving a note in the mail means that someone took the time to write something and go to the work of mailing it! This year I’ve realized that in the days of e-cards and too much on our plates we’re missing out on the joy of tangible Christmas cards. It always feels really special when I get one of those bright red envelopes in my mail box, even if the person only signed their name to it!

  8. I’m so lucky to have the chance reading the book “Organized Simplicity” by Tsh Oxenreider. Thanks a lot. It is just like fresh air and clean water for my life.

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