15+ Ways to Show Gratitude to Friends

One of the best ways to show that you genuinely want to appreciate someone and are thankful to them is by showcasing gratitude. Gratitude is something that is not restricted to elders or seniors only. It is not even a formal affair.

You can express your gratefulness to anyone and everyone, in whichever way it pleases you too, and remember that this small act of gratitude can go a long way in giving you back what you truly desire.

Ways to show gratitude to a friend:

  • By merely saying “thank you,” a classic old way.
  • By gifting them something they love, or you both can relate to.
  • By being present whenever they need you to be with them.
  • By complimenting them on their success, achievements, and even how they look.
  • By paying attention to them and also writing notes of appreciation.

With the showcase of appreciation and gratefulness, you can make your bonds and relationships stronger than ever and lead to the commencement of newer bonds. 

list of ways to show gratitude to a friend

Saying, “thank you.”

The very first thing that comes to mind while thinking about showcasing gratitude to someone is saying thank you to them. As simple as it sounds, these two words combined have the power to turn around things in a relationship.

Even if there isn’t such a strong bond between any two people, saying thank you to the other person can instantly kindle the flame of attraction in them, leading to the beginning of a new bond.

This shows that you are a humble and down-to-earth person who appreciates the efforts of others and is not self-centered. It shows that you have basic manners and etiquette which were taught in your childhood.

Even if that other person is just a friend, saying thank you will never bring your image down. 

Paying attention to your friend/friends

One of the best ways to appreciate and validate someone is by listening to whatever they are saying or talking about, paying attention to what they are doing, especially if they want you to pay attention to them.

Maybe whatever they are talking about or doing is very close to them, and they want to disclose it to you; you should be generous enough to listen and be there with them.

A simple “thank you” is not enough all the time. Being with your friends and listening to them can also mean many times; maybe all they want is someone to be there and listen to them.

This is another very effective way to express your gratitude towards your friends.

Writing a note of appreciation.

The power of writing can go a long way indeed. Remember the olden times when people used to write letters, just to communicate with each other? Writing has a charm, so why don’t you do the same with your friends? 

Maybe you want to congratulate them for their achievements, or you want to appreciate them for something they have done, maybe a noble cause, or you may want to express your gratitude towards them.

Whatever be the reason, when you take some time out from your busy day and write a note of appreciation for them, your friends are bound to get elated, and this feeling of happiness can go a long way in ensuring the longevity of your bond with them.

Saying something like, “I appreciate that you took some time out to help me with my assignment,” can go a long way.

Be a person of your words.

Be reliable, be punctual, be what you say you are. If you have a plan with your friends, be there on time. If you have a party to attend at your friend’s house, give importance to that and attend it on time.

If a friend shares some secret with you, make sure you never leak that and stay reliable always.

These are little things that can be up to your ante. Besides portraying your genuine and humble character, these things can make you stand out. Who doesn’t like a person of his/her words?

Don’t make your friends feel like you are taking them for granted. Appreciate them, congratulate them, guide them, listen to them, and keep the promises you made to them.

These things are also great ways to express your thankfulness to your friends. 

benefits appreciation in general

Be specific

There may be something which you don’t like about your friend. Maybe they are a bit too careless or insensitive.

Instead of keeping that to you or telling others so that they can make fun of your friend, you should point it out to them in a gentle way so that you can show them that you care and for that reason, you want them to work on this trait of theirs.

Also, help them out as to how they can combat this trait of theirs and become better. A good friend is the one who is there to help their friends in return.

When you have pointed out that negative trait about them, you should also help them get over it and become a better overall person.

This is another way of being by their side and showcasing your generosity towards them.

Find out the positives more often.

This a natural human tendency that when you focus more on the negative side of someone, you develop that image of that person in your mind, and every time you meet them or talk with them, that image flows in your mind, and you somehow hold yourself back from being that much friendly with them.

Rather than doing this with your friends, focus more on the positive side of their character. Everyone you see is a blend of positive and negative attributes, so you need to consider the positive side of your friends.

When you do so, you will notice yourself trying to sort out the negative side of your friends as well, and this is another way you can help them out.

When you listen to your friends, do so empathetically

When you are listening to your friends, don’t do it just for the sake of listening to them.

Listen and understand them, give your opinions on how they can change their situation in life, or help them out with any kind of difficulties they are facing. 

Placing your opinions doesn’t mean that you judge them. When you judge someone when they need your help or need empathy, it shows the place that person holds in your life.

When you come across such a moment, try being empathetic, giving them some space to vent their emotions and feelings, and be with them. This will again depict the respect and appreciation you have for your friends. 

Let your actions speak louder than your words.

You have often heard this saying, but now it’s time to put it into practice. Instead of just helping your friends verbally, you should try to help them at times physically.

Just merely being beside them when they are feeling down can greatly prove how much you love them and are grateful for their existence in your life.

It is something that comes naturally. You will never go and help someone out if you don’t want to, but if that person means something more than “merely another person” to you, you will surely help them out in any way you can.

So, let your actions portray how much you respect and care about your friends. 

benefits of emphasizing

Make sacrifices at times.

You don’t need to make massive sacrifices for your friends now and then, maybe at times if that person means everything to you, but for your friends, you must make small sacrifices just to show how much you prioritize them.

It is not always about being there or empathizing with your friends sometimes, and it’s also about selflessness and love. Putting their needs and desires before yours can make them realize their importance in your life and make the bond even stronger.

Also, you are bound to see a changed behavior from your friends after your sacrifices, showcasing how much they respect you now.

Your appreciation must be at that level for your friends to sacrifice your desires and time for theirs, which proves a lot indeed.

Gift your friends

Even if the classic old “thank you” is effective enough by itself, you can take it up several notches higher by gifting something to your friends.

It can be anything like flowers, a book, giving them a treat, buying them something they have always wanted, or anything you can imagine, but greater than the gift, what matters is your thinking and execution behind it.

This takes time and money, but it also requires your efforts.

When you make even a small arrangement for your friend/friends, it showcases your love and affection towards them and portrays how much you appreciate them being in your life. 

Be available

When your friend does something nice for you or gifts you something, it is not that you have to gift something in return like a give and take policy, but you can, for sure, do something nice for them as well.

You can be available for them when they need you, help them out the way they want you to help them, and prove your appreciation towards them.

For example, if a friend of yours helps you complete your project, you can help him/her arrange notes for the upcoming examination.

It doesn’t have to be the same. Help is helping, no matter how big or small it is. Say that you appreciate his/her help with your assignment, and don’t forget to say “thanks” as well.

Compliment your friends

Besides just being available for your friends and making sacrifices for them, you can also pass random compliments towards them.

Those compliments can also be in a funny way to break any kind of tension between you both or in their life in general. 

You could pass a compliment to a friend saying that she looks beautiful in red and watch how it makes her day, especially if she had been down previously.

A sudden compliment can boost their morale and self-confidence and show them how much you appreciate their presence and the bond you share with them. You can also compliment them for their qualifications, achievements, positive qualities, and so on. 

benefits having friends in life


From the above points, it can be concluded that there are quite a few ways to express your gratitude towards your friends, but the main motive behind showcasing your thankfulness is because of your respect, love, and appreciation for your friends, and this is certainly something which comes naturally.

No one can force you to help and be kind towards your friends unless you want to. There are other ways to portray your appreciation towards them, but in every way, you are sure to get back what you are giving, and this is the beauty of gratefulness. 

FAQs on ways to show gratitude to a friend

What is gratitude?

Gratitude is defined as the feeling of being appreciated by someone, which is again felt by receiving kindness, favors, compliments, help, etc. It is a positive emotion associated with various physical and mental health benefits. 

What are the three stages of gratitude?

The three stages of gratitude involve:

What are some of the ways to express gratitude?

Some of the ways to express gratitude include showing a little bit of enthusiasm, being specific about what you are saying, complimenting someone, writing a note of appreciation, giving additional tips and encouragement, gifting others, getting into deep talks with them, sharing your favorite things with others, and so on.

What are the factors that can hinder gratitude?

Besides your brain and genes, certain factors like envy, jealousy, cynicism, materialism, and narcissism can stand as a barrier between you and thankfulness.

What are the benefits that grateful people have over non-grateful people?

Grateful people can better engage with their environment and are easily likable due to their humble and down-to-earth nature. Grateful people have better personal growth, better connectedness with others, greater feelings of purpose, and more meaningful life in general. 

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