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25 Simple And Creative Ways To Cheer Someone Up

25 Simple And Creative Ways To Cheer Someone Up

Life can get pretty rough sometimes and there is nothing worse than seeing a friend or a loved one in pain. Follow one or two of these easy tips on how to cheer someone up and make someone’s day better. You’ll feel good for having made the effort and the person being cheered up will learn how much you truly care.

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    1. Listen Up

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      When life gets overwhelming it helps to have someone willing to listen. Sometimes, a person just needs to vent. Allow the person you know to air out their problem. This does not put you in the position of solving the problem for them. There are times when a solution may present itself simply through talking to someone else. Your job is to listen and then let it go.

      2. Give Hugs

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        It sounds so simple, it’s stupid. But hugging someone truly relieves stress and can make another feel a lot better. Hugging is a great stress reliever for both parties and is very helpful when there are no words. Research shows that oxytocin, a chemical that is a natural stress reliever, is released in the brain when hugging. A hug conveys loving care when mere words just won’t do.

        3. Give Them a Handwritten Note or Card

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          Whether you are near or far, a handwritten note or card can be very meaningful. It shows you are paying attention and the card can be referred to again and again by the person who really needs a word of encouragement. You’ll also be demonstrating to someone that you cared enough to take the time to write out an encouraging message and send it. Take a few moments from your day to let someone who’s hurting know how much you care.

          4. Have a Chuckle

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            The old adage, “Laughter is the best medicine,” certainly applies here. Help your friend or loved one to a good laugh at the situation. After all, nothing, not even pain—to paraphrase Charlie Chaplin—lasts forever. Use puns, jokes, or sarcasm to help another crack a hearty smile. Laughing just makes a person feel better and a good laugh might help to put a new spin or perspective on the situation.

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            5. Make Them Dinner

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              Click the link above to find foods that relieve stress. Plus, there is an added bonus to sharing food with another person; it gives them a chance to relax and perhaps more comfortably share their problem. Budgets are understandably tight these days, so the meal need not be expensive. Breaking bread with someone can be very calming, soothing, and relaxing. It may also help get the person’s mind off their troubles.

              6. Share a Walk

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                Walking has a multitude of benefits, among them walking is a stress reliever. Taking a stroll through the neighborhood may be just the right thing for the person you know who needs cheering up. A walk is free and getting a little fresh air is very beneficial. Walking has a way of soothing nerves and serving to help someone who is tense to relax. Just the thing for someone who is experiencing a temporary set back.

                7. Have a Movie Night

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                  Gather some favorite snacks and share a movie. Click the link above for a list of movies that are sure to tickle the funny bone. If tears are in order, by all means grab a box of tissue and find a sad story. Sometimes, tears can be as cathartic as laughter. Or choose a movie, such as Steel Magnolias, that is a good mix of comedy and drama. Either way, a movie is a good way to help someone who is troubled take their mind off of the problem for a while.

                  8. A Spa Experience

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                    Having a spa day need not be expensive. The above link provides tips for a DIY spa day treat. A spa day can be a real treat for you both. Relax, unwind, and simply enjoy one another’s company. Treat yourself and a friend or loved one and essentially “stop the world” for an hour or so. You’ll both feel relaxed, refreshed, and simply pampered. A spa day is just a great way to hit the ground running again.

                    9. Volunteer Together

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                      Believe it or not, offering to volunteer is a great stress reliever. Research has definitively proven that volunteering helps a person sleep better, gain a new perspective, and raises self-esteem. There are many opportunities to lend a helping hand. Tutoring, homeless shelters, or any favored charity are all great places to get started. Plus, you’ll have the added benefit of a shared experience with someone who really needs the lift.

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                      10. Host a Staycation

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                        Have a getaway without going anywhere? Yes, it is indeed possible. Treat your pal or loved one by doing a thorough house cleaning. Or pack a picnic lunch for just the two of you and visit the local park. If there is a national park nearby, so much the better. Take an afternoon to enjoy the sights in your community that you may have otherwise taken for granted. Explore the nearby community for hidden treasures, you may be surprised at what you find.

                        11. Do a Simple Remodel

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                          Redecorating need not be expensive or time consuming. The real plus here is that a simple project can bring worlds of pleasure and a brand new perspective on things. Something as simple as rearranging furniture can bring a whole new look to a room. Raid the local secondhand store for used dinner plates and hang these to bring a new look to a room. Purchase some inexpensive frames and frame a child’s artwork to brighten a room.

                          12. Do Some Gardening

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                            Working with plants and the soil is relaxing and a fantastic stress reliever. Team up and do some gardening, to which there are a number of benefits. You will be benefiting the environment, as well as sprucing up the home. Physical exertion is an added benefit, to help sleep better. Leave the phone inside in order to disconnect from the world; unwanted calls can be distracting and increase stress.

                            13. Ask Open-Ended Questions

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                              Sometimes it helps to allow a friend or loved one to expand on their problem and a possible solution. Asking open-ended questions in order to enable a flow of ideas. Help by asking and by listening in return to relieve stress. You will assist the person through developing a sense of ownership of the problem and in developing a resolution to it. You will both benefit through increasing and strengthening communication skills.

                              14. Brainstorm

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                                Sit down and allow the ideas to flow freely when seeking to resolve the situation. Take a piece of paper and write down ideas as they come without judgment. The key here is to write down ideas freely. Some may be silly and that is an absolutely perfect opportunity to spend some time giggling about a situation that is seemingly overwhelming. Brainstorming provides an opportunity to think about a problem and its possible solutions.

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                                15. Be Silly

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                                  Take time to just be silly. Try the Schwarzenegger Soundboard to make silly messages for one another. Play a game of charades together. Tie an old pantyhose leg to a belt loop, drop in an orange, and try to knock a second orange past the goal line. If there is snow, go ahead and team up to build a silly snowman for the entire neighborhood to enjoy. Dress it up or down, it doesn’t matter just have a little fun.

                                  16. Don’t Sympathize, Empathize

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                                    Feeling sorry for someone is no help. There was a time when you struggled and felt defeated. Use these feelings to put yourself in their shoes. You know how it feels and it feels very bad. Communicate your willingness to listen, while avoiding allowing the person to wallow in their mistake. In fact, your experience can help guide the other person back to being happy and productive.

                                    17. Cry It Out

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                                      There are benefits to allowing the person to cry it out. While it may sound counterproductive, allowing someone to grieve their disappointment or loss often leads to better feelings. Having a good old-fashioned cry is a wonderful stress reliever. Negative emotions are released, making room for more positive thinking and feelings. Shedding tears has been found to release more than negativity, it has also been show to release poisons in the body.

                                      18. Go Shopping

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                                        “Retail therapy” is sometimes disparaged. Give a quick lift by doing a little shopping. The spree need not be expensive. Set a budget and hit up secondhand, consignment, and thrift stores. Spend time together and purchase something that is entirely frivolous. If money is a problem, purchase and return the item later. Veer away from purchasing anything that is a “need.” This trip is all about a want, just remember to help your pal or loved one not to go overboard with spending.

                                        19. Help Set Goals

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                                          Setting goals can be a tremendous help to someone who needs cheering up. Achieving small accomplishments can also lead to clearer thinking and mood improvement. The goals need not be complicated, but rather remain simple steps to achieving a set goal or objective. Sit down and help write out some achievable goals, such as planning a get-together. Anything that may prove to be productive is the key.

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                                          20. Simply Be There

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                                            Sometimes all you can do is simply be there and that is absolutely fine. Listening and caring is worth a great deal to someone who needs to be cheered up. At times, there are simply no right words in the moment that are soothing and not potentially inappropriate. Being generous with your time says volumes about how much you truly care. Time is an important commodity and the person you care for knows it.

                                            21. Be A Friend

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                                              While it may seem simple, being a true friend is not always easy. Listening and caring for another takes time and energy, both well spent when investing in another person. Your friend will come to find this is only a temporary setback and one that can be conquered with loving support. Indeed, you are that loving support. Be a good friend and help another through by listening with an open mind and heart.

                                              22. Make An Appreciation List

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                                                Sometimes it becomes easy to indulge in all that is going wrong. Cheer someone up through helping to show them what they have to be grateful for. This will help the person feel more grounded, more connected to the world around them and to you as a dear friend. Cultivating an appreciative attitude has been proven to lower depression, increase energy, and reduce insomnia. Even when life is at its lowest, there are people and things to be grateful for. Help through making a list of those things.

                                                23. Distract, Distract, Distract

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                                                  Spend time away from the problem. Cheer someone up through providing a pleasant distraction. Dust off a board game, play some cards, or simply talk about something else. This presents an opportunity to relax and take some “time off” from the problem. Certainly, this is only a temporary solution; at some point the problem may simply go away or must be tackled. However, that decision can and probably should wait. Now is the time to free up the mind and think of something else.

                                                  24. Seize The Problem

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                                                    Sometimes the best solution is to help a friend or loved one face the problem head on. In other words—help! “Take the bull by the horns” and tackle the problem. The person in need of cheering up can “borrow” some of your strength and insight to find a workable solution. A forward momentum can also help the person get “unstuck” and move forward. While it is impossible to change the past, it is entirely possible to move ahead with confidence.

                                                    25. Think Positively

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                                                      It is easy to wallow in self-pity. Help a friend lift themselves from that pit through the power of positive thinking. Redirect energy and focus toward moving forward, away from useless negative feelings, thoughts, and emotions. In this way, you will provide a boost of positive energy, enabling the person to stop the downward plunge into depression and ultimately loss of momentum. Try to find the “silver lining” in the situation to assist in moving forward.

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                                                      Published on April 7, 2021

                                                      6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

                                                      6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

                                                      Some of the most manipulative people are so good at what they do that their words and actions can convince you into thinking they truly care about what’s best for you when in reality, it’s quite the opposite. The most common signs of a controlling person are rarely obvious to outside observers. And for someone enmeshed in a controlling relationship or friendship, it can be incredibly challenging to stay away from this toxic person, even if you’re aware of their emotionally abusive tendencies.

                                                      While it’s ultimately up to you to decide whether to preserve or leave a lopsided, unfulfilling relationship, it’s nevertheless critical to understand the following six signs of controlling people so you can better advocate for yourself and mitigate the influence of their manipulative tendencies in your own life.

                                                      1. They Push Their Own Personal Agenda

                                                      Do you know someone who always tries to micromanage the words, behaviors, and attitudes of people around them? Does this person act like they have the right to know anything they want about you, including your location, what you’re doing in a given moment, who you’re talking to online, or any other private information about you? And when planning events and special occasions, does this person dominate conversations, steer plans in their own preferred directions, disparage others’ suggestions, and refuse to collaborate with anyone who might disagree with them?

                                                      If you answered “yes” to some of the above questions, then those are clear signs of a controlling person whom you absolutely need to be cautious around. Controlling people are reluctant to even consider alternative ideas, let alone enthusiastically work with people who have differing views. They prefer to be the captain of every ship—regardless of how much or how little an issue personally impacts them—and they have an arsenal of manipulative tactics to deploy if someone stands in the way of them achieving their own personal agendas.

                                                      In long-term relationships with controlling people, you may feel constantly pressured to meet their demands, follow their schedule, and focus on whatever they feel is most important. It’s not an exaggeration to say that these people act like the universe revolves around them, which can be exhausting to deal with for their family members, friends, and colleagues.

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                                                      2. They Make Everything Transactional

                                                      Controlling people aren’t always self-centered, but they’re not too empathetic either. Empathy for them tends to appear in the form of strategic concessions they use as a means to get what they want. They typically view interpersonal relationships as transactional opportunities to extract more value from people surrounding them, which can have a draining effect on those they interact with.

                                                      For example, one sign of a controlling person may be their insistence on “keeping score.” This can involve doing nice things for you with the ulterior motive of demanding something from you at a later date in exchange for what you thought was just an act of kindness or a friendly support.

                                                      Perhaps they shower you in praise (also known as “love-bombing”) or gifts then blow up at you if you don’t intuitively know they’re expecting something back from you. None of us are mind-readers, but controlling people behave as though everyone else should think and act like they want others to and those who fall out of line are punished for failing to meet their impossible expectations.

                                                      A controlling person may also threaten to withhold support if you don’t adhere to their demands, but they do so in such subtle ways that the guilt they impose blinds you from the unreasonable nature of their behaviors.

                                                      Some statements to be wary of include:

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                                                      • “I did ___________ for you. What do you mean you can’t do ___________ for me?”
                                                      • “Remember how I helped you with ___________? That took a lot of time and energy from me, but I guess you didn’t appreciate my help.”
                                                      • “I always give you ___________. Don’t you care about my needs too?”
                                                      • “You’re so selfish!” or “You don’t care about me at all!” (gaslighting if you respond with hesitation or politely decline their request for help for perfectly valid reasons, such as not having enough time or resources to assist them)

                                                      3. They Criticize Everything

                                                      One of the most common telltale signs of a controlling person is their capacity to criticize anything and everything, even small things that seemingly don’t matter. As with many toxic traits in relationships, these problems typically start out so small that you may not even notice. At first, you may even agree with their criticism or at least be able to understand their perspective when they bring up an issue.

                                                      However, the criticism tends to get more intense, more constant, and more perplexing for people who maintain relationships with controlling people. You’ll likely notice how they rarely seem to criticize something they do. It’s almost always other-oriented and these types of people are so manipulative that any rationale they offer can seem plausibly legitimate.

                                                      Some warning signs of a controlling person who’s overly critical to the point of abusiveness include:

                                                      • Criticizing things about you that you have little to no control over (e.g., appearance, disability, family)
                                                      • Criticizing your personal choices and interests, such as educational pursuits, career, clothing, favorite music, time spent on your hobbies, etc.
                                                      • Punishing you for expressing vulnerability by invalidating thoughts and feelings you share with them
                                                      • Attacking you whenever you express an opinion counter to theirs

                                                      4. They Balk When Someone Criticizes Them

                                                      We all know the adage, “what goes around, comes around.” But this statement doesn’t apply as much to toxic, controlling people. They’d much prefer to dish out criticism without ever having to take it in return.

                                                      For instance, if your friend constantly talks about your appearance with little regard for your emotions but flips out if you make just a single comment about their appearance, there’s a possibility that they could have some hidden controlling tendencies left unchecked. Remember, these people aren’t just controlling in their behaviors towards others. They’re also actively trying to stay in complete control over every aspect of their lives, which includes how others view them.

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                                                      This seemingly insatiable desire for control can prompt them to lash out against even the smallest bits of criticism, leaving people around them too weary or scared to speak up again in the future. While it’s possible they may suffer from something called rejection sensitivity dysphoria, this does not excuse them from the consequences of their words and actions. They should seek professional help to better manage their reactions to criticism.

                                                      5. They Socially Isolate You

                                                      Not all controlling people do this, but for manipulative narcissists, socially isolating victims is a go-to strategy for maintaining control because it’s effective at preventing people from truly understanding how toxic their partner, family member, or friend is treating them. Think of it this way—if you don’t talk to many other people in your life, there’s less of a risk that you’ll damage their reputation by revealing their abusive tendencies.

                                                      Socially isolating others also gives the person more control over you and your life as it becomes more difficult to break away from them if you don’t have other healthier channels of communication and interpersonal support to turn to.

                                                      This process doesn’t happen overnight, nor is it something you can readily recognize as abusive. At first, it may seem reasonable, such as asking you to stop engaging so often with family members with whom both of you disagree on major social or political issues. As the social isolation progresses, they may suggest cutting people out of your life—especially if they don’t like that person, regardless of how you personally feel—or even conjure up high-stakes problems like “it’s me or them” under the guise of saving you from people in your life whom they don’t like for whatever reason.

                                                      In a controlling person’s life narrative, they’re always the protagonist who’s incapable of any wrongdoing. The blame is always redirected at someone else, whether that’s you or other people in your life. The more they isolate you from other supportive people in your life, the more susceptible you’ll be to falsely believing that they’re right and you “don’t need” your other friends and family when you have someone as perfect as this person.

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                                                      6. They’re Emotionally Abusive

                                                      It’s hard enough to be in control of your own emotions but when someone else is constantly belittling you and your interests or leveraging guilt and shame to manipulate you into saying or doing what they want, this can make it even more challenging to stay in control of your own life and emotional well-being.

                                                      Emotional abuse is another sign of a controlling person that is often overlooked in relationships. After all, human personalities vary widely in terms of passivity, and it’s not uncommon for one person in a relationship to be significantly more passive than the other. This becomes an issue when the controlling partner or friend exudes signs of emotional abuse, which can start subtly and become much more pronounced over time.

                                                      Concerning signs of emotionally abusive language or behavior to watch out for include:

                                                      • Dismissing your needs and/or belittling your interests in counterproductive ways
                                                      • Privately or publicly shaming or humiliating you
                                                      • Making you feel as though you can never live up to their expectations or do anything right (according to their own vague, subjective standards)
                                                      • Gaslighting you into thinking they said or did something that never actually happened (making you question your own reality)

                                                      Final Thoughts

                                                      It’s sometimes hard to see the negative things about someone with whom we have a relationship. We may sometimes unconsciously overlook the signs of a controlling person, especially if that person is someone we have known for a long time or are close to us. However, cutting them off your life is the best thing you can do for yourself. Just watch out for these six signs of a controlling person and take immediate action when you spot them.

                                                      More Tips on How To Deal With a Controlling Person

                                                      Featured photo credit: Külli Kittus via unsplash.com

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