It’s about the little things.
At my previous position as a Program Manager, I worked with this one student who graduated and was looking for a full time position. I literally spent one hour every day for three days (1+1+1=3 hours total) prepping him for his interview and giving him career advice, since he had to choose between 2 jobs. One trick I taught him to use during interviews was the STAR (situation, task, action, results) method when answering a behavioral or situational question. He used it and got the job!
The next day, he was bragging in front of my boss how much I helped him and how he got the job because of the STAR method! Boy oh boy did I feel great for that kind of acknowledgement and recognition. To me, the STAR method is nothing and I felt like it wasn’t much but for him, it changed his life! (okay, I might be exaggerating a little bit). That excitement he had just made my day because I knew I could make just that little of a difference when teaching him an interview tip wasn’t that big of a deal for me!
Little things in relationships can make you feel like you matter too. For my Valentine’s Day present, I got taken out to Cookie-con which is basically like a dessert convention. However, not only is it the action of taking me, but really having listened, knowing that cakes and cookies are my life.
Actions such as telling you they miss you or they love can reassure you are also wanted. Or buying the dessert that you love just because he remembered you mentioning it while he’s half asleep. It may not seem like much, but it gives you the warm fuzzy feeling doesn’t it? Here are some tips for the little things:
- Enjoy it. Don’t think that everything has to be big for you to get value out of it.
- Make sure you show appreciation, even if it’s verbal such as saying you’re proud of them. When you notice and acknowledge something the person cares about, the boosts the other person up.
- Listen. Does that person like their coffee a certain way or has a hobby their passionate about? Surprise them with what they like and they’ll be thankful you listened!
- Do it randomly. It doesn’t have to be an anniversary or Valentine’s day. Work weeks can be mundane so mix it up and give them a nice surprise, guaranteed to make their day.
For me, I don’t care about the grand gestures or if you can take me to a fancy restaurant. In fact, I prefer you don’t. It’s really the little things that keeps me happy and I’m thankful when someone can do something like that for me. Life isn’t always about big milestones, but the steps in between as well. So go ahead, buy $20 worth of desserts for yourself or someone else (because I just did!).