In our fast-paced culture, dominated by technology and electronic communication, it's easy to understand why we've lost so much human interaction, and left behind the small gestures that can make people feel loved. We've abandoned feelings and emotions for convenience and speed, barely ever leaving thoughtful notes for someone we care about, because texting is so much faster.
A recent AskReddit thread is giving everyone the warm fuzzies, posing the question, "What small gesture makes you feel enormously loved?" The answers span a wide range, from forehead kisses and backrubs, to two strangers exchanging a smile, to addressing someone by their name when you're talking to them. Some appear seemingly casual, while others signify a momentous shift in someone's life. It was a slap in the face in the best way possible, reminding me just how important the "little" things are — and how maybe they aren't so little after all.
This thread reminds me of the times my boyfriend has walked in the apartment with flowers, for no reason at all; or the time he bought me expensive coconut ice cream because I couldn't have any diary. Then I ate all the coconut ice cream and he was like, "Megan, WTF." Still, though — worth it.
What small gestures made you feel loved? Here's what some people had to say.
1. Handwritten Love Letters
Knowing that someone took the time to write you a letter — when they could've texted or emailed — is truly heartwarming. Handwritten letters are good for the giver, too! The activity has been shown to increase motivation, decrease stress, and improve your overall mood and well-being.
2. Really Caring About Your Day
What makes this so fascinating is how little we're actually communicating with words. When someone asks about your day, remember that only seven percent of your answer is delivered to them verbally. The other 93, they get from tuning in to your tone and facial expressions.
3. Totally Relaxing Physical Affection
Not only does it feel incredible, but there is actual research that explains the mental and physical health benefits of physical touch. For example, it has been correlated with decreased violence, increased trust, a stronger immune system, greater learning engagement, and stronger bonds between people.
4. Remembering The Details
Science says that on any given day, the average person hears somewhere between 20,000 and 30,000 words — and of that, they only remember 17 to 25 percent! So when someone remembers something specific about you, you can know that they really do care.
5. Random Surprises
You can really brighten someone's day with an out-of-the-blue gift or kind act. Additionally, it's good for you! Research has found that doing random acts of kindness can improve your mood and relationship satisfaction, while decreasing anxiety and social avoidance.
6. Feeling Included, Because You're Important
Some statistics have the divorce rate at 50 percent, with a whopping 75 percent later remarrying. Additionally, well over 1,000 new stepfamilies are forming every single day. With so many people coming together, it's touching to know that it's not just blood that makes you family.
7. Expressing Concern For Someone's Safety
It's a true friend who wants to make sure you're safe and sound; and science has found that solid friendships encourage healthy behavior, boost self-esteem, and help fight off depression.
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