People Are Sharing The Most Underrated Thoughtful Gestures (40 Answers)
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.
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.
If you are driving someone home. At night, wait for them to get to the door, unlock and enter before you leave.
"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."
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.
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."
Pedestrians who give a little nod or a wave to front cars that stopped for them.
Really listening when people speak and not just waiting for your turn to talk.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Letting someone with minimal items cut in front of you at the grocery checkout.
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.
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.
Idk if this really counts but when you accidentally make eye contact with a stranger and both of y'all smile at each other.
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.
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.
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...
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!
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).
When someone holds the elevator doors open when you're just a few seconds away.
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.
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.
Asking if a person got home okay.
Carrying groceries, bags or heavy items for an older person or family member.
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)
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.
Someone deliberately taking their time to get on a bus you're running for.
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.
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.
When someone lets you into a lane. Thanks for not being a jerk!!
Engaged listening without interrupting.
Sending a meme to a friend that you know they'd enjoy.
Taking your bag of the seat on the bus/train if others are looking for a place to sit.
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.
Remembering sweet little things like how someone likes their coffee.
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.