We’ve All Been There…
We’ve all been in that situation when we need to lift someone’s spirits.
You’re at work and a coworker gets bad news. A friend calls in the middle of the night because something awful just happened. You come home to find a family member crying for some reason. Someone close to you seems down in the dumps and feels all alone. When someone we care about is feeling down, it’s natural to want to help lift their spirits. In these moments, if you know the right thing to do, the comfort and support you provide can be invaluable.
Knowing the right thing to do to cheer someone up in different situations is an important skill to have for a variety of reasons. First, and most immediately, you can truly enhance the emotional well-being of someone in your life, or maybe even that of a whole group of people. When someone is feeling down, they may also feel isolated and alone. However, when someone takes the time to reach out and offer a kind word or gesture, it can make a significant impact on the suffering person’s mood and overall well-being.
Being able to cheer someone up can also strengthen relationships, set a good example for others around you, and, over time, help build a sense of community among everyone involved. Being able to cheer someone up can help create a positive and supportive environment at work, in the family, or in any other situation, so people feel safe to express their emotions and seek help when needed.
Overall, knowing how to cheer someone up can make a meaningful difference in someone’s life, and it’s a skill worth developing.
Here are a host of great ideas to cheer people up, be a positive force in their life, bring a smile to their face, and show them that you truly care…with a few points sprinkled in on mistakes to avoid.
Listen to Them without Judgment
Sometimes, all someone needs is for a friend listen to them, so they can sound something out or get something off their chest, and don’t need a “solution”. It’s hard to always know when it’s time to just listen. Sometimes they’re visibly upset, and it’s easy to tell. Other times you have to pick up on body language and other subtle clues. With active listening, nod a good amount and show acknowledgement. It’s ok to make supportive comments, like, “I hear you,” or “mmm hmm”. But try to avoid offering a solution or your opinion too soon. Also, be careful to interject with commentary about a similar experience you once had. It’s not about you, it’s about listening to them and letting them get it all out.
Just Be Supportive
Ask them directly how you can be there for them and just be supportive. Sometimes, all someone needs is to know that they’re not alone. Ask them how you can help, and let them know that you’re there for them, no matter what. Sometimes they may tell you they don’t need anything. But, you can always say, “If you change your mind, I’m here for you.” They may just take you up on it after a while. Build trust with them, and they may open up. Then, you can show your love and support with some of the other approached mentioned in this article.
Give Them Some Space
Along with being supportive, you might need to let them be alone for a little while. Tell them you love them and that you’ll be there for them when they’re ready. Sometimes, people need space to process their feelings and emotions without a lot of involvement from others in their life. Let them know that you’re there for them and that you’ll be there when they’re ready to talk or when they need your help. This is big judgement call on your part. You may need to speak with some other friends or family members to determine the right path forward, depending on the circumstances. Don’t let too much time pass before checking in again, and check in with your network to see how things are going from their perspective.
Write Them a Heartfelt Letter
This is a great way to let someone know you’re thinking about them, express your feelings, and let them know that they’re loved and appreciated. In today’s fast-paced and digital world, receiving a handwritten letter or card can feel like a meaningful and personal gesture. It can bring a sense of warmth and comfort, especially to those who may be feeling lonely or isolated. Additionally, taking the time to write a thoughtful message can demonstrate that you are willing to put in the effort to make someone feel special and valued. While receiving a letter or card is always nice, handwritten with some specific personal thoughts is the best way to do it. Include a little doodle or a cute saying in your note for a special touch.
Go for a Walk Together
Taking a walk together can be a great way to reconnect, open up about things, and find some interesting things to talk about. The fresh air, exercise and being out of the house or apartment can have a positive impact on everyone’s mood. It’s a great opportunity for some one-on-one time and conversation. And, you never know, it could lead to a new adventure or experience that will help your friend forget all about his or her troubles for a while. You can surprise your friend by saying, “I’m picking you up in 10 minutes,” then take him or her somewhere you’ve already decided will be the perfect change of scenery and setting for a nice walk together.
Spend Time in Nature
Along the lines of going for a walk together, take your friend to a local park or a nearby lake or waterfall, or somewhere that’s a break from their normal surroundings. Maybe there’s a local botanical garden nearby, or you’re near the sea shore. Just sit for a while and listen to the birds and other critters, or the sound of the water and boats, or some other unfamiliar background noises. Spending time in nature can be a great way to clear one’s mind and lift one’s spirits. You and your friend might end up always remembering that one time you took them there and just talked. And, who knows, it may become a new favorite spot for the two of you.
Plan a Fun Time for Them
Plan a fun day out together. Whether it’s going to a theme park, seeing a movie, or taking a day trip, planning a fun day out can be a great way to cheer someone up. Alternatively, plan a little get-together for them, maybe a guy’s or girl’s night out. Surprising someone like this and surrounding them with their friends or family can be a great way to lift their spirits. Obviously use your judgement, based on the situation. It’s may also be wise to check in with other friends and/or family to see if the timing is right for a fun event with friends, based on the circumstances.
Get Them to Laugh (or even just crack a smile)
Laughter is said to be the best medicine, and sometimes all it takes is a little wisecrack, a story about a crazy experience you had, a silly joke, or just remembering a fun time to brighten someone’s day. The act of smiling actually brings a lot of positivity to a person, and there’s some neurological science behind this one. When the muscles responsible for smiling contract, they signal the brain and stimulate the mental reward system, which further increases the level of happy hormones, called endorphins. Put simply, when someone’s brain feels happy, they start to smile; and, when someone smiles, their brain actually feels happier. Finally, one thing you can always do when you see someone without a smile, just give them yours. It almost always helps!
Give Them a Call
Depending on the situation, a phone call may be the best approach to cheer someone up. A simple phone call can go a long way in letting someone know that you’re thinking of them and care about
their well-being. Be sure to set aside a good amount of time for the call. Share a little news about your day or about what’s been going on in your life lately. A lot of times they need some good news or a funny story as a distraction or as an ice-breaker. But, also be sure to ask them how they’re doing and what’s been going on with them. People love it when someone wants to know about them. Practice active listening, dig a little deeper on some of the
details that you think are important, and be genuinely interested. The most important thing is to make them feel loved and appreciated. If you need to take it further, maybe another approach is required after the phone call ends.
Share a Meal (even cook together)
Meet them for at the diner for breakfast, or have lunch or dinner somewhere special. If you enjoy wine, a BYO place is always fun. Alternatively, you could make them a homemade meal or bring them a yummy treat. Cooking for someone or bringing them a special treat can be a great way to show them that you care. Something else you can do is make dinner together at home. Cooking a meal together can be a great way to bond and lift their spirits. Go shopping together for the fresh ingredients, then have fun preparing the meal as a team and spending time together. Of course, if you cook at home, you can BYO wine. No matter what, there’s something about breaking bread and sharing some vino with someone else that touches the soul.
Send Them a Thoughtful Gift
A small gift or token of your affection can help to lift someone’s spirits. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, it could be something simple like flowers, or a scented candle, or a photo from years ago that you know they would appreciate. When someone is surprised by an unexpected gift from someone in their life it will likely bring a smile to their face. And, as mentioned in the point above about getting someone to laugh, or even just crack a smile, the act of smiling brings a lot of positivity to a person, based on some well-founded science. Typically, the recipient of the gift will call to say thank you, and then you can have an even more heartfelt conversation. If they don’t call within a day or so, call them to make sure they received the gift, then make a point to have a good, meaningful phone call. You can even follow up with a personal visit to see where they placed the gift in their home. Sometimes a big gift isn’t even necessary. Small acts of kindness, like leaving a thoughtful note or doing a small task for them without their asking can go a long way in cheering someone up.
Offer to Help Them with an Important Task
Sometimes, people feel like they have the weight of the world on their shoulders with so many things to do, like laundry, dishes, errands, housecleaning, extra-curricular activities, etc. A little bit of extra help can go a long way in cheering someone up. If you see them struggling with something, ask them, “What can I do to help?” rather than “Do you need a hand?”. Offer to help them with a project or craft you know they’ve been wanting to do. Maybe they’ve been putting it off for a while, and they just need someone’s help to make it happen. Help them get organized and moving ahead, or even stick with them through the whole project. You can also volunteer together. Volunteering can be a great way to feel good and make a positive impact in someone’s life. It’s also a great way to bond and feel connected to something bigger than yourself.
Practice Mindfulness with Them
Practicing mindfulness and meditation with someone else has many benefits. By sharing these experiences, you can create a sense of connection and support, and offer a calming and peaceful environment for them to relax and let go of any negative thoughts or emotions. Mindfulness and meditation have been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, promote relaxation and improve mood, so doing it with someone else can help them experience these benefits as well. It’s a wonderful way to show your support and care for them, and can leave them feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Share with them a new way to get into their meditation or how to practice breathing exercises. At the very least, these can be great ways to help someone relax and feel more at peace. On a bigger scale, they can help you both get in touch with something much deeper and more meaningful.
Share a List They Will Appreciate
Make them a playlist with all the songs that mean something to you about them. Music can have a powerful effect on mood, and making a playlist of songs that you know will cheer them up can be a great way to show that you care. You can also send them a list of things you appreciate about them. Sometimes, all someone needs is a reminder of their worth. Letting them know the things you appreciate about them and why you’re grateful to have them in your life will brighten just about anyone’s day.
Key Takeaway for Cheering Someone Up
We hope you found something in our list of ways to cheer someone up that will allow you to really help your special someone when they need it most. Here are a few final thoughts to help you implement these techniques successfully. Remember that everyone is different and what works for one person may not work for another. It’s important to be sensitive and responsive to each person’s needs and choose an approach that you think will be most effective for them. It is also important to remember that cheering someone up is not a one-time thing. It’s a continuous effort to show that you care and support them always. The most important thing is to show that you care and that you’re there for them in any way you can.
Sometimes, just being there for them and showing them that you care is all that’s needed. Check in regularly with the important people in your life and let them know that you’re there.