I don’t know how to say nice things, I don’t like to be touched most of the time, I am violently swinging between being a hyper little shit and more grumpy cat than a grumpy cat – but despite all of those things, I actually don’t think of myself as a bad friend or daughter or sister, there are things I’ve learned to do to make up for all those things, don’t be too hard on yourself. If you’re serious about improving your relationships, always know that less is more, that is the golden rule.
Have movies and series taught you nothing? Notes always work. If you’re a person who struggles to verbally express themselves, write a little note, or a letter, or a poem, or whatever strikes your fancy and leave it somewhere you know your intended reader will find. I swear, simple as that. It truly can make their day.
2- Drop Your Phone
Mercy, please. Begad what will happen if you drop your phone and have an actual conversation with the person in front of you? One of the most frustrating sights I’ve ever seen was walking into Starbucks and finding a couple side hugging but holding their phones, not talking, or looking something up, just staring into their screens – for the entire hour I sat there, they did little else. Whether you’re with your mom or your dad or your sis/bro or even bf/gf – drop your goddamn phone. Pay attention to them. Listen. Talk. Make eye contact. It makes a huge difference.
Celebrate their achievements, their successes, their little victories. Celebrate their good grade or their promotion or their business. Celebrate their healing, their steps forward, their courage. Celebrate them. Every step of the way. Don’t just leave a text saying: “congrats! proud of you x” – that is not enough. Do it in person, hug them, maybe bring them a little gift or maybe a letter, take them out for a celebratory outing if you’re feeling like doing something big. Just, show them you’re actually with them, in every step, in every encounter, and in every push forward.
4- Do Something New Together
Try a new cuisine, take a walk down the streets of Maadi, go to a pottery class, attend a concert, hit up an exhibition, visit a museum or a temple, just try something new together. The fact that you’re both sharing a new experience is enough to help strengthen your bond, take your mom to a bellydance class or your dad to a yoga and meditation retreat (yes, it’s difficult convincing them, but it’s worth it). Find something you and the person you want to bond with haven’t done before and just go out and do it, do not wait for the perfect plan or the perfect time, get off your ass, call em, and go for it.
5- Sharing is Caring, right?
Share duties, share responsibilities, share victories, share sadness, share joy – just share. I know we tend to be very closed off and private, no matter what the world thinks, but if they’re someone you’re willing to go far for, then you trust them, right? So share things. Speak up loud or whisper softly, write down things or paint them, what’s important is to share things. Especially duties and responsibilities, we’re all tired, but we should all strive to help one another when we can, always.
6- Treat Them
I don’t know about you guys but the way to my sister’s heart is either chocolate fudge Nutella frosting from the Four Fat Ladies, a Nutella croissant from TBS, or a heavy chocolate cupcake from Nola. These are the staples. I bet you know of similar things with your friends, family, and even lover, yes? So, treat them. Buy them something as simple as a coffee or a brownie, I swear it’ll make them smile and it’ll bring you closer. It’s the little things that count, the ones they show how much you truly care.
7. When You’re Thinking of Them, Tell Them
If you’re going into an exam room and think of your mom, text her quickly and tell her you love her. If you’re traveling somewhere and feel like you miss your dad, call him and tell him. If you’re driving through the city running errands and feeling like you want nothing more than to rest in bae’s arms, FaceTime them and tell them. If you’re sleeping over at a friend’s and you’re suddenly reminded of your sister or brother, text them, tell them. It’s such a simple thing, but it is so inexplicably powerful. Just. Tell. Them
This is just the start, there are so many other things you can do, but if you’re pressed for time, stressed, or just not feeling like doing much but still want to appreciate those around you – this will definitely do.
Lots of love,