11 Meaningful Ways To Express Gratitude To Someone 

friend hugging

We all know that being grateful and practicing gratitude is key to living a happy, contentful life. However, to fully practice gratitude we must show others how grateful we are for what they do and how they show up. So today we’ve taken a deep dive into how to express gratitude to someone

We’ll be reviewing different ways we can express gratitude along with some examples for each strategy.

  • Ways to say you’re thankful – in words
  • How to show your gratitude – with kind gestures

Let’s jump in.

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How To Express Gratitude To Someone (In Words)

how to express gratitude to someone in words and kind gestures

Using words to express gratitude goes a long way in deepening bonds and enhancing feelings of appreciation. 

A simple “Thank you” can spark positive emotions, but specificity elevates the sentiment. Mentioning the good deed or kind gesture shows you have truly noticed and valued the effort. 

For example, saying, “I deeply appreciate your help with the job interview; it made a big difference,” leaves a lasting impression. 

For recipients, hearing such expressions validates their actions and encourages further generosity. On the flip side, the act of articulating thanks enriches your own emotional well-being, reinforcing a cycle of positive interaction and mutual respect in both personal and professional relationships.

Here are a number of different ways you can express gratitude in words…

1. Write a letter or thank you card

a handwritten thank you letter

Putting pen to paper with a handwritten note is a simple gesture that can mean so much to the receiver.

In today’s age of digital communication, a handwritten note can show deeper appreciation. Just think about the last time you received a letter in the mail. Can you even remember?!

Now, think about the person you want to express gratitude to. They will feel the same and will truly appreciate the thoughtful gesture.

To best express gratitude through a letter or card, focus on:

  • Specific experiences
  • Convey sincere thanks
  • Articulate the positive difference made in your life. 

This personal touch makes all the difference, crafting a powerful connection that resonates far beyond the written word.

2. Send a text or email

Sending your thanks through text or email is a quick and easy way to let someone know you are grateful. 

You can send something to the point or a little longer with more detail, just make sure to be specific about what you are thankful for.

For some, a heartfelt email might hold more weight, while others may appreciate the immediacy of a text message. 

Here are some prompts you can use to start your thank you message:

  • I cannot thank you enough for…
  • I am deeply grateful for your support during this time…
  • It means the world to me that you…
  • Thank you so very much for…
  • I am so grateful for your friendship. It means so much when you…
  • You have my deepest thanks…
  • Thank you for always encouraging me. It really helped when…
  • You made my day. Thank you so much for…

You can also share a beautiful gratitude quote to convey your thanks.

3. Call Someone

Picking up the phone and calling someone to express thanks can be a lot more meaningful than a text. It gives you the chance to properly communicate your thanks and to catch up with the person as well.

This is especially meaningful for your older relatives and friends, who have more time on their hands than you might. 

4. Express gratitude in the moment

This is a perfect way to express gratitude to someone who is helping you out in your everyday activities – the grocery store worker, the postal worker, a helpful neighbor or a colleague. 

You can express your gratitude by giving a tip or a nice compliment. Make sure to be specific about what you’re thankful for and why it made an impact on you.

5. Show your gratitude to someone, amongst other people

This is especially important in a work setting. You can thank a person you work with amongst your colleagues by sharing how awesome they were on a project or how they continue to be an amazing asset to the team.

Expressing your gratitude to someone amongst their peers can be a big boost to the person you’re thanking, and it also looks good on your to show this thanks.

Some other examples of when you can show gratitude to someone amongst others:

  • At a party – anniversary/wedding/birthday/etc
  • During a presentation or event at work
  • At a volunteer or community event
  • Any other special occasion

How To Show Gratitude To Someone (with Kind Gestures)

friends giving a gratitude gift

As they say, actions speak louder than words, so showing someone your thanks with a kind gesture goes a long way.

6. Random Acts of Kindness

The power of unexpected gestures in conveying gratitude cannot be overstated.

It’s often the little things, a small kindness at just the right moment, that can have the biggest impact. 

Consider how a simple act, such as paying for someone’s coffee, can transform their day. It’s a gesture that tells them they are valued and appreciated, even in the hustle of everyday life. 

Writing a gratitude note for a coworker, friend, or even a stranger goes a long way to brighten their day and yours.

Leaving a positive online review for a local business is something that takes no time for you, but truly helps the business.

These random acts of kindness serve as a powerful way to express sincere thanks and foster stronger relationships, all while making a positive difference in the lives of others.

Related: 115 Good Deeds & Acts of Kindness To Show You Care

7. Give a gratitude gift

Giving a gratitude gift is a kind and meaningful way to show your appreciation. 

When deciding on the gift, consider the recipient’s likes, dislikes, and personal values. This attention to detail ensures the gift resonates well, making the person feel genuinely valued.

Also, note that a gratitude gift can be someone small like a homemade gift –  it’s not about the money spent but the thought. 

Here are some gift ideas you can consider:

  • Flowers with a kind note
  • Bake something – cookies, brownies, banana bread, or whatever you’re good at
  • Cook something – freezer meals are a great gift as they keep on giving… soup, chili, curry for example
  • A small plant
  • Tea and a cute mug
  • Homemade spice and herb mixes
  • A journal or a cute notebook
  • Chocolate
  • Wine

Other than sending a gratitude gift to someone after they did something nice for you, a great time to express appreciation to someone with a gratitude gift is during the holiday season.

8. Send a Care Package

Sending a care package stands as a truly thoughtful gesture to show your thanks. 

Tailor the package based on what your recipient might appreciate most in life right now.

For example: If they are exhausted and always lacking time, give them a self-care package with items like tea, bubble bath, a candle and essential oils.

If they love to read you can send them a book lovers subscription box (for one month) like this Read It and Eat Box or this Authentic Books Experience that includes:

  • Themed soy candle
  • Themed cocktail or tea
  • Custom book music playlist
  • Themed self care and beauty products
  • Newly released novel (most signed + authors note)

Make sure to include a handwritten note to express your thanks alongside the gift.

9. Help a friend out

Lending a hand goes a long way in expressing genuine gratitude. It’s often the best way to show deep appreciation, whether by assisting with everyday tasks or providing support in more difficult times. 

Offering help, from a simple act like spending time to help a friend move, to a more significant gesture, such as being there for a family member during a hard time, can make a big difference. 

Remember! The key is to help willingly, without a second thought for reciprocation. In doing so, you not only lighten the lives of others but also enrich your own.

10. Volunteer

A good way to give back in general is to volunteer.  You can think of this as expressing gratitude to the Universe or God by giving to people in your community.

There are so many ways you can volunteer as well. The easiest would be to reach out to a local food bank or shelter so you can volunteer for a day or on a regular basis.

Another excellent way to volunteer is to think about the skills you possess. Can you use these skills to help an organization?

For example, I’ve volunteered my marketing skills and built websites for some non-profits as part of my volunteering.

11. Show your affection

Sometimes all you need is to show your affection. Give someone a big, heartfelt hug. The kind where you wrap your arms around them and hold on tight. 

After all, it’s been proven that hugs can have significant health benefits on your brain and body such as reducing stress, increasing happiness, and in some cases even reducing pain.

Examples of When To Express Gratitude

After a Job Interview – thank your interviewer for the opportunity to show your interest. Make sure to reference what you enjoyed about the conversation.

When a loved one is going through a difficult time – we all need a boost when times are tough, so this is a great time to show someone how much you appreciate them.

After someone buys you a gift – sharing kind words, a simple phone call, thank you card or text is perfect for this.

When people help you out – for example, they help you move, run some errands for you, or help you with your résumé.

After a fun time with friends – a sweet and simple text shared with friends you enjoyed time with is a little gesture, but always nice to receive.

On special occasions – like birthdays or anniversaries, expressing gratitude makes these celebrations more meaningful.

Daily encounters – such as receiving help from a stranger or a kind word from a colleague.

How to know the best way to express your gratitude to someone

This is important to know for those people you’re closest to – for example, a friend, parent, or spouse.

The best way to know how to express gratitude to someone so they truly appreciate your gesture is to understand their love language.

You may have heard of The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman which was written for romantic relationships. However, this concept still works perfectly for other types of close relationships too.

Here is a recap of the 5 different love languages:

  • Words of affirmation
  • Acts of service
  • Quality time
  • Gift giving
  • Physical touch

If you are unsure of what someone’s love language is, bring it up in general conversations and share some details on what each love language means. It’s an interesting conversation whether you’re romantic partners or not, as understanding this helps all relationships.

Here is the official resource that provides some great information on each love language.

What are some other ways you can practice gratitude?

I have a number of different articles and resources which I’ll share below, but as a brief overview here are some of my favorite ways to be grateful on a daily basis:

Final Thoughts On Expressing Gratitude To Others

Making a conscious effort to express thanks with sincere gratitude can make a positive influence on others’ lives. After all, people go out of their way to be kind and show up for others in their lives and a little thanks can go a long way.

So, next time someone does something kind for you, think about what expressions of gratitude you want to show them in return.

How Do You Typically Express Gratitude To Others?

Share in the comments below 🙂

More Gratitude Resources You’ll Love:

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I’m passionate about helping you live life to the fullest so you can choose to find happiness and purpose. Learn how to CREATE THE LIFE YOU LOVE with intentional living and discovery of the simple things life has to offer. Learn more…

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