You don't need to shower people with expensive gifts to show that you care about them. If it's genuine, even a small act of kindness can go a long way. Like texting a friend just to see how they are doing. Or holding the elevator doors open for your neighbor. It can be that simple.

To learn more ways to make people smile, Redditor u/Self_World_Future asked others: "What is an underrated thoughtful gesture?" And they got plenty of answers. As of today, their post has 1,200 comments. Here are the most upvoted ones.

#1

People Are Sharing The Most Underrated Thoughtful Gestures (40 Answers) Asking someone to finish their story if they get cut off in a group. Nothing feels worse than feeling like nobody cares what you have to say, and nothing feels better than someone sticking up for you.

plant10000 , Priscilla Du Preez Report

Foodie panda
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

i am usually the person who's cut off in a group and it feels so nice when someone asks to hear you out. It's truly the little gestures that mean the most 🤗

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#2

People Are Sharing The Most Underrated Thoughtful Gestures (40 Answers) If you are driving someone home. At night, wait for them to get to the door, unlock and enter before you leave.

2cats2hats , Davyd Markovskyi Report

Andy Acceber
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Do this anytime -- not just at night. It's respectful to make sure the person didn't forget their phone or keys in your car. Make sure they get in okay before driving off.

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"What I've learned from re-reading [the comments under my post] is how small these meaningful gestures people listed actually were," u/Self_World_Future told Bored Panda. "Some of the top replies were things like saying 'thank you' or simply asking a friend how they're doing."

The Redditor thinks that being kind may have become less of a priority for us. "However, I believe if people were reminded of the power simple gestures have, they would make more of an effort," they added.

"Since about a year of things like online schooling and working from home, I hope people don't forget to rekindle relationships that may have suffered from the restrictions of the pandemic."

#3

People Are Sharing The Most Underrated Thoughtful Gestures (40 Answers) Saying "Hi" to the security guard.

chenzo17 , Collin Armstrong Report

KJ
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I say hi to most people I make eye contact with, get strange looks from some in the cities but its the norm out in rural areas.

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#4

People Are Sharing The Most Underrated Thoughtful Gestures (40 Answers) If you’re in a group walking and someone’s falling behind (carrying something, have to tie their shoe, just a slower walker/has shorter legs etc.), at least one person waiting for them to catch up. Doesn’t have to be everyone, but just one person, maybe two, waiting for them to finish what they’re doing or to catch up a bit. Both my best friend and my S/O have done this for me at varying points in our relationships, and every time they do it it makes me want to cry bc it shows they care and don’t want me to feel left out even though I’ve got these short little fuckin corgi legs and they’re all walking at the speed of sound.

zachariesalads , Eliott Reyna Report

hyperunknown
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Spit my coffee out on the "corgi legs"-part!. LITERALLY. Tenks. :p

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Details matter. Especially for couples. According to Professor Aaron Ben-Zeév, who is considered one of the world's leading experts in the study of emotions, we should invest in the small routines, not the grand gestures. "We've heard it before but it's true: it's the little things that matter," Ben-Zeév wrote in Psychology Today.

"In any genuine long-term loving relationship, we (correctly) give greater romantic weight to the small gestures that show us evidence of love beyond the brief time spent in sex. There are those who specialize in one-off grand romantic gestures: giving diamonds, whisking their lover abroad, or taking them for lavish dinners at fancy restaurants. However, those actions mainly express a momentary mood and not enduring, profound love."

#5

People Are Sharing The Most Underrated Thoughtful Gestures (40 Answers) Pedestrians who give a little nod or a wave to front cars that stopped for them.

twiistedtwilight , mike krzeszak Report

#6

People Are Sharing The Most Underrated Thoughtful Gestures (40 Answers) Really listening when people speak and not just waiting for your turn to talk.

reddit , Mimi Thian Report

Vorknkx
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It's amazing how hard this is for many people nowadays.

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#7

People Are Sharing The Most Underrated Thoughtful Gestures (40 Answers) Remembering little things. The other day I was talking to a friend and told him I just found out my sister is pregnant and he said “oh, the one who’s married to Brad?”. It was just nice that he makes a point to remember details that don’t necessarily mean anything to him.

01kaj10 , Donovan Grabowski Report

Caro Caro
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

He let you know he was actually listening to what you told him.

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You see, it is much easier to fake one-off actions than it is to imitate continuous behavior, expressed every day through small gestures. "We don't experience enduring love in one night of great sex, but rather in consistent loving behavior. Love is not one big gesture; it is rather a combination of million little things expressed in pleasant and kind daily actions," Ben-Zeév explained.

But the professor highlighted that "the importance of continuous small deeds in romantic relationships does not eliminate the importance of one-off big and small romantic gestures, such as going abroad together, the wedding of a firstborn child, or a shared meal in a romantic setting."

The professor said that at the end of the day, profound love, like a happy life, combines the enduring continuum of the little things with the bigger, more meaningful things — the latter spices up romantic relationships and life, but it is not the main course.

#8

People Are Sharing The Most Underrated Thoughtful Gestures (40 Answers) Visiting someone with alzheimers. You will leave with a broken heart and in 20 minutes they won't remember that you were there. But during your visit they will hopefully feel loved or at least know someone cares.

RussO1313 , Tim Doerfler Report

Foxxy (The Original)
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I did work experience at an aged care facility where I visited patients and helped organise activities for them. There was one patient I visited who had dementia. She started bawling her eyes out that none of her family came to visit her. After I helped console her, I left the room and started bawling myself coz I felt so sorry for her. The director saw me and asked what was wrong and I explained. Well it turned out her family visited her that morning and visits a few times a week. She just couldn't remember. It's all so heartbreaking.

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#9

People Are Sharing The Most Underrated Thoughtful Gestures (40 Answers) Every time there's a new person at work, I recall what it was like being the new guy and go out my way to make them feel comfortable and let them know that I'll answer any questions judgement free.

RalfHorris , Lagos Techie Report

Michelle M
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Same as school. When I was in secondary school, I used to feel bad for the new kids sitting alone but was not courageous enough to go over and say something. I'm better now.

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#10

People Are Sharing The Most Underrated Thoughtful Gestures (40 Answers) Letting someone with minimal items cut in front of you at the grocery checkout.

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Daria B
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This is nice, but only if you don't let too many people cut in front of you. It becomes disrespectful to those behind you.

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#11

People Are Sharing The Most Underrated Thoughtful Gestures (40 Answers) When a car stops to let me cross the street, thereby forcing the other oncoming car to also recognize that I need to cross.

There is a busy road I have to cross daily and I'm so grateful every single time that the cars stop for me to cross. It's just a simple gesture of feeling recognized.

PrinceofCanino , Juan Ordonez Report

Matthew Horne
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I always find this odd. In the UK the pedestrian has right of way. It's the law for a vehicle to stop.

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#12

People Are Sharing The Most Underrated Thoughtful Gestures (40 Answers) Telling someone they got a booger just hanging for its dear life or their fly is open. Embarrassing but better than walking around with it like it's in vogue.

Wiknetti , eyesogreen Report

Foxxy (The Original)
Community Member
1 year ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I have a question to all the ladies. If you leaked period blood onto your pants/skirt etc. Would you want someone to say something, even if it's a stranger? EDIT: So here's a scenario. My mum and I were at some busy markets. I had just left the toilets and when we were walking a lady in front had blood on the back of her skirt. My mum told me not to say anything coz she left the toilet just before I did and probably noticed it then and would probably be embarrassed if I said something. I dunno, it's a tricky one.

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#13

People Are Sharing The Most Underrated Thoughtful Gestures (40 Answers) Idk if this really counts but when you accidentally make eye contact with a stranger and both of y'all smile at each other.

TrashFireTM , Yingchou Han Report

#14

People Are Sharing The Most Underrated Thoughtful Gestures (40 Answers) When someone you're hanging out with throws away your trash or takes your dishes when you're done eating. Not that I expect that all the time, but I find it sweet when it happens. Like if you're sitting down at a fast food restaurant and your friend grabs your trash and throws it away with theirs.

friendsareshit , Catt Liu Report

KJ
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I had a random lady packing her boot with shopping hover once she was finished, she then offered to take my trolley back to the storage area with hers, small act of kindness but put a smile on my face.

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#15

People Are Sharing The Most Underrated Thoughtful Gestures (40 Answers) Saying "please" and "thank you."

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#16

People Are Sharing The Most Underrated Thoughtful Gestures (40 Answers) Texting a friend just to see how they are doing. It’s always nice to have someone reach out vs feeling like you are the person reaching out all the time.

kkkilla , Daria Nepriakhina Report

Foxxy (The Original)
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Yes, friendship is a two way street. I have given up "friends" coz it was only me that reached out. You certainly find out who are worthy of your time and friendship.

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#17

People Are Sharing The Most Underrated Thoughtful Gestures (40 Answers) Getting my oil changed yesterday and sitting in the waiting room and girl 30 years younger than me is getting a soda from the machine next to me... She looks over and asks me if I'd like a soda as well... I was a little surprised but politely said no and thank you... I thought it was an exceptionally kind gesture...

azbartender , Markus Winkler Report

matilda
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Yeah! Very kind. Or leave some change next to vending machine to make someone's day. It's not that expensive to leave 20p for a coffee ☕

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#18

Trying to understand, not to debate.

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the child
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

A very rare occurrence on The Internet but very memorable and appreciated

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#19

People Are Sharing The Most Underrated Thoughtful Gestures (40 Answers) Letting people off the subway before you rush in.

somefuzzypants , Emir Eğricesu Report

Foxxy (The Original)
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That should be common sense really and not just trains but also buses, trams etc.

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#20

Giving a compliment (even something simple) to the food someone cooked for you. Odds are cooking is an extension of the person's personality and it'll mean a lot!

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Andy Acceber
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This! Don't fall into a pattern of feeling entitled when someone cooks for you. It's a chore and it takes work. Find at least one thing to compliment at every meal.

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#21

People Are Sharing The Most Underrated Thoughtful Gestures (40 Answers) Take candid pictures of a mother with her children.

Or frankly ANYONE with their children..or grandchildren..or friends.. doing something other than posing in front of a fireplace at Christmas. You really have no idea how much I treasure the rare glimpses of me interacting with my kids when smiles aren't forced. Take them, send them, they want them. You don't have to ask..just.. do it. (So long as you, ya know.. know them and what not).

jillaaa , krakenimages Report

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#22

People Are Sharing The Most Underrated Thoughtful Gestures (40 Answers) When someone holds the elevator doors open when you're just a few seconds away.

locheness4 , Pelin Kahraman Report

#23

People Are Sharing The Most Underrated Thoughtful Gestures (40 Answers) I'm really glad you asked because earlier one of my friends who I hadn't talked to in a while expressed that they felt really comfortable with me, and came out as possibly trans (they are still figuring out exactly what their identity is, and had only told one person besides me) and told me how much they valued me as a friend. I actually came very close to crying because I was so moved by it. Tell your friends what they mean to you, it is incredibly powerful.

RexIsAMiiCostume , Sam Balye Report

Foxxy (The Original)
Community Member
1 year ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

My friends and I are always telling each other how much we mean to one another. And we also say "love you" at the end of phone calls/messages.

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#24

Just a thank you wave or flash from a driver who you let go in front of you or before you. Just a small thing that makes me feel good.

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Scagsy
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I know people who literally turn into the devil if somebody doesn't wave a thanks. So it averts that as well.

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#25

People Are Sharing The Most Underrated Thoughtful Gestures (40 Answers) Asking if a person got home okay.

Carrying groceries, bags or heavy items for an older person or family member.

reddit , Priscilla Du Preez Report

I I
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

my wife loves it when i go shopping with her , i NEVER let her carry a bag

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#26

I try to have water bottles or soda every time I have workmen over to my house or furniture/appliance delivery guys. They work hard and I'm usually pretty late into their delivery day so I figure a little treat is appreciated (on top of a tip . . . I'm not a monster)

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NsG
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I'm British, we offer cups of tea! With digestive biscuits if it's multiday work. Although, I'm also cosmopolitan, so I offer coffee and water too.

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#27

I don't know if this counts, but if I ever see a car parked at an expired meter, and if I have a spare coin, I throw it in.

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cybermerlin2000
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It counts because that person could be running late and not having a good day only to find the meter that was definitely supposed to run out, hasn't. It breaks the bad luck streak and makes their day so much better

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#28

People Are Sharing The Most Underrated Thoughtful Gestures (40 Answers) Holding the door open for someone.

sarahsunshine521 , Kristina Paparo Report

WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Tricky in these times. Can't recall the times I held the door for someone and got an ear full about how they were perfectly capable of opening the door themselves. At least that was the message without all the swearwords and cursing.

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#29

Someone deliberately taking their time to get on a bus you're running for.

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~hUmMuS vIbEs~
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Or noticing you and telling the driver so they can wait a couple of seconds. I'm so grateful when people do this, as I'm always late.

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#30

Saying “Wait, I don’t get what you mean. Can you repeat that?”

It does NOT signify to the other person that you weren’t listening. In fact, it actually signifies that you care enough about understanding that you’ll listen twice.

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#31

People Are Sharing The Most Underrated Thoughtful Gestures (40 Answers) Non expensive flowers for occasions. I'm talking 10$ daisy arrangement for your coworkers last day, or just because to a friend, I always bring wine and flowers as a host/hostess gift. There are so many cool flowers (not just roses!!)

And it can be for a male or female. The kings in your life deserve flowers as much as grandma. Tell him those sunflowers reminded you of his smile, tell bertha from accounting you appreciate the prompt Thursday afternoon checks. Tell Gamgam she's your favorite and leave a little sunshine in your wake.

Kantotheotter , Free-Photos Report

Samantha Lomb
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Just fyi, if they have pets, particularly animals like cats, make sure the flowers aren't toxic. Lilies are deadly.

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#32

People Are Sharing The Most Underrated Thoughtful Gestures (40 Answers) Remembering someone's name goes a long way.

reddit , Jon Tyson Report

Manndy Fisher
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Yeah, part of my brain responsible for names really hates me..

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#33

When someone lets you into a lane. Thanks for not being a jerk!!

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Jo Johannsen
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

For me, this is situational. If somebody races down the median ahead of dozens of patient drivers then tries to force their way in at the last moment before they run out of room, I am less inclined to be kind. Yes, that's a petty reaction, but that's how it is.

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#34

People Are Sharing The Most Underrated Thoughtful Gestures (40 Answers) Engaged listening without interrupting.

Cosmohumanist , Anna Vander Stel Report

WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That's one of the things that got lost. Everyone is talking and nobody is listening.

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#35

People Are Sharing The Most Underrated Thoughtful Gestures (40 Answers) Sending a meme to a friend that you know they'd enjoy.

Elijah_MorningWood , Priscilla Du Preez Report

Beast
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

completely agreed!!! best thing ever. 1 of my friends used to do this a lot

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#36

Taking your bag of the seat on the bus/train if others are looking for a place to sit.

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WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

In my country it's not considered polite, it's considered avoiding being called a selfish prick or cow.

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#37

Buy someone their favorite food item. My mom will specifically buy me new pears. It’s awesome because you see they like something, you remember they like something, and you put effort into getting them that something. For two-three bucks you can make a very thoughtful gesture.

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KombatBunni
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I bring my partner a chocolate bar or a snack called pocky. They love the surprise :)

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#38

Remembering sweet little things like how someone likes their coffee.

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LeilaOdinis
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

You would be my friend for life. Double Double :)

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#39

After I hang out with my girlfriend, she'll often text me something like "Thanks for having me over today :)" and it'll make me feel really good because it's a reminder that we're doing this because we like being together and not just because it's convenient or routine or whatever.

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GirlFriday
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Before he moved in, my SO would send me thank you for cooking text or thanks for watching my show with me or whatever. So sweet.

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#40

People Are Sharing The Most Underrated Thoughtful Gestures (40 Answers) Giving a compliment. E.g. you look nice today.

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Michelle M
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Yes. And let's try to compliment men more often. Means a lot

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Note: this post originally had 65 images. It’s been shortened to the top 40 images based on user votes.