Birthday Messages to People We Love

closeup of four hands holding up a wooden heart.

Last month, I spent a weekend with seven of my dear friends. We were celebrating the 50th birthday of one of our traveling buddies. This particular friend started a tradition on our birthdays in which we go around the table and tell that friend what she means to us. This time, it was our chance to tell her what she meant to us and to do so in front of each other.

The first time our friend came up with this plan was for my 50th birthday. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I liked it. It’s kind of awkward to sit and listen to people say nice things to you and to have all of the attention on you. It probably shouldn’t be awkward, but at first it felt that way. Yet afterwards, I experienced such joy by thinking about the words that were spoken to me by women that I loved and respected so much. Few feelings compare.

It’s now become a delight to tell each woman what she means to me. I told my friend how having her in my life has made my life fuller, more wonderful, and certainly more fun. What power is held in the moments when we tell people how important they are to us? And why don’t we all do it more frequently? These aren’t false compliments, but rather heartfelt emotions and observations about each other. Rarely do we get through them without a few tears. Yet they are tears of joy and gratitude.

Say words of #affirmation instead judgment to loved ones & see what happens. #friendship #gratitude Click To Tweet

My friend who started the tradition is a spiritual, religious woman who proudly shares her faith, but never pushes it on others. She focused on the birthday affirmations because she truly believes that friends are blessings to be honored. When you get a group of friends together and they not only get along, but find joy in each other, isn’t that truly a blessing?

The lesson for me regarding the birthday wishes is to spend more time telling the people I love that not only how much I love them, but also what they mean to me. I’m trying harder to say words of affirmation versus words of judgment and criticism. It’s not always easy, but each time I do it leads to closer and more authentic relationships, both personally and professionally. Starting with birthdays was a great idea, but I’m not going to wait a year anymore to tell someone how important they are to me. Blessings need to be nourished and I plan to do so.


Lisa Kaplin Psy. D. CPC

Lisa Kaplin Psy. D. PCC

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About Lisa Kaplin, Psy. D, PCC

headshot of Lisa KaplinCertified Life Coach and Psychologist at Smart Women Inspired Lives.

I’m the proud owner of Smart Women Inspired Lives, where I help overwhelmed and exhausted women move from the feeling of being “stuck” into a life filled with calm, confidence, and joy. In addition to the posts and articles I write, I offer individual and group life coaching sessions, classes and speaking engagement opportunities.


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