How do you show someone you care? Do you send them a private message, write a note and pop it in their bag, gently squeeze their hand, or give them a full-on hug?
You might, of course, do all, some or none of these things. That’s because everyone’s different when it comes to how they like to give, show and, importantly, receive support, care and affection.
But it can make life tricky. If you’re a big hugger, for example, but a friend would rather stick their head in a bucket of cold slime before accepting the role of huggee, it can leave you feeling confused, awkward and maybe even a little sad. How can you show them you care if they won’t let you put your arms around them?
It can help to look at all the different ways a person can demonstrate their affection and work out which feel right for you and your friend. Some people might give you a small gift if you’ve helped them with a project, for example, while others will tell you how much you mean to them if you’re feeling low. Equally, showing someone you care could involve a kind deed, such as making your mum or dad a cup of tea when they’ve helped with schoolwork.
The important thing is to try not to feel hurt if a friend expresses their support in a way that’s different to yours. They still care for you and value your friendship.
And if you’re a happy huggee but your friends aren’t, or big squeezes are still off the agenda, make sure to put in a request for extra cuddles at home.