7 Ways to Thank Those Who Inspire You

By Mia Barnes – February 21, 2022

Chances are good you have someone in your life who is the wind beneath your wings, but when was the last time you thanked them for all the goodness they bring?

Even those who live to help want to be appreciated for their efforts, so here are seven thoughtful ways to recognize and thank the people in your life who inspire you.

1. Be Specific With Praise

Nearly everyone appreciates an attaboy every now and then, but only if it’s sincere. Genuine compliments build people up and even boost productivity. However, generalized platitudes can have the opposite effect, making the person disbelieve what they’re hearing and feel less positive.

Instead, explain how the other person’s actions influenced you. For example, you could say, “I really appreciate how you kept checking in on me when I was sick. It made me feel like I always had someone I could count on in an emergency.” The more specific, the better.

2. Brag About Them to Others

Another way to recognize and thank those people in your life who inspire you is to brag about them to others. This approach might work particularly well for folks with low self-esteem who tend to dismiss any kind of words you speak directly to them.

The trick? Let the other party overhear what you say. For example, you might mention how you couldn’t have fixed your vehicle without the other person’s assistance if someone says, “Nice ride,” in the grocery store parking lot.

3. Learn to Speak Their Language 

You might have heard of the five love languages — but they aren’t only for your significant other. Find out what love language of the individual you want to thank and use it to show your appreciation.

Suppose you take the quiz together for fun and discover that their love language is acts of service. That’s your cue to empty the dishwasher without being prompted or offer to babysit the littles so they can enjoy a date night with their significant other.

4. Help When They Need It

Nearly everyone can use a helping hand occasionally. One way to thank someone who is always there for you is by returning the favor.

If your friend shows up without fail to help everyone move, be prepared to pack a box when it’s their turn to change living arrangements. If they recently suffered a loss or are going through a tough time at work, ask what you can do to help take off their plate. You might help out by providing healthy freezer meals or even cleaning up their house on the weekend.

Woman giving groceries to a man.

5. Share Their Work on Social Media

Is the person who inspires you a writer, artist or another content creator? If so, one way to thank them is to help them reach audiences with their work.

If they have a blog or a YouTube channel, share their work on social media. Doing so exposes them to a much wider audience, potentially helping them grow sales and boosting their confidence when their “likes” increase.

6. Give Them a Meaningful Gift

It’s nearly always appropriate to say “thank you” with a gift. The best ones don’t cost the most money but rather have the greatest meaning.

A personalized photo mug or blanket can delight your BFF by providing a visual reminder of your special bond. You could also amass a scrapbook of memories you’ve shared.

7. Write a Handwritten “Thank You” Note

Writing a “thank you” note, without being prompted by a wedding registry gift, is a dying tradition. Revitalize it by sending one to thank someone in your life who inspires you.

Instead of handing it over in person, add a stamp and send it through the mail. Most people don’t see anything but bills and junk when they open their mailboxes these days, so they’ll appreciate the surprise.

Please don’t overlook those folks who make you a better person. Use the seven tips above to recognize and thank the people in your life who inspire you.


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