Say “I Appreciate You” in a Way They Will Love

By Billie •  Updated: 11/03/22 •  7 min read

What Is it to Truly Appreciate Someone?

You have likely told a friend, a server at a restaurant, a clerk at a shoe store doing you a favour, etc., that you appreciate whatever it was that they did for you at that time.

But did you really appreciate the meaning of what you were saying?

Maybe you wanted to tell someone you love them and appreciate them deeply. Did they fathom the depth of your feeling?

The definitions of appreciate (verb):

  1. recognize the full worth of
  2. understand (a situation) fully; grasp the full implications of
  3. rise in value or price

Great. Now we know the implications of the word “appreciate” and grasp the nuanced meaning it offers when we say we appreciate someone.

For example, to appreciate your mother is to recognize her full worth, to see her place in the world and to hold her place in esteem (respect and admiration).

Telling someone you appreciate them, in a way that they can fully grasp the message, is a necessary part of forming and cultivating an intimate relationship. Tell your husband you appreciate him and watch his initiative to be a powerful expression of himself in the world emerge.

That does not mean we express our appreciation enough, however; some of the hardest things to say are also the simplest. Many people choose not to say these words, or don’t have the presence of mind to express it to another.

Examples of Wording to Let Someone Know You Appreciate Them

You can appreciate someone in words and in actions.

People have a deep need to be appreciated and acknowledged for who they are and what they do, even if they deny it. We are social creatures and derive worth and meaning through our relationships with each other.

What to appreciate? Give positive attention to the actions you would like to see more of — what you focus on expands, so focus on the behaviours you like. Gratitude and appreciation are the keys to a fulfilling life, and at the root of the law of attraction and vision boards.

For example, if you like your husband to dress a certain way, give positive feedback when he does so. If you like your kids to assume more responsibilities, appreciate them for taking out the garbage or doing the dishes.

Tell someone you appreciate them anytime someone offers assistance with a task that saved you from doing it yourself, and for the thoughtful things they do that make your life easier:

A gift basket of items your friend enjoys is a thoughtful accompaniment to your note of appreciation.

“I Appreciate You…” Examples For a Friend

The words “I appreciate you” are the simplest, yet most effective words to say to someone you appreciate.

Thanking a friend for who they are will have a dramatic effect on on the quality of your relationship. It’s the little things that often make the most difference in a relationship.

Small gestures of appreciation, and simply recognizing that you’re forever grateful for who they are in your life, can vanquish any resentment that can overtake an otherwise healthy friendship.

Saying “I appreciate you” or “I appreciate that you” are variations on the same intention, but the former is more direct and powerful. Say “I appreciate you” when the focus is on the person, and “I appreciate that you” when you are appreciating a specific action.

Why not combine them? Say ‘I appreciate you.’ Then explain why by adding something descriptive after the phrase that applies to the situation, and voila! You’ve written a thank you note that hits the right heart note.

“I Appreciate That You…” Examples

Heartfelt appreciation can’t be beat, no matter the exact words utilized. Giving thanks to someone for being a good friend makes them feel special, which leads to a stronger relationship with the person expressing their gratitude.

Appreciate friends, partners, and children for the small, overlooked efforts they make, and let them know why:

“I Appreciate Your Kind Words”

“I Appreciate Your Thoughtfulness”

“I Appreciate Your Time”

“I appreciate your time” is a little more formal, a phrase reserved for colleagues and acquaintances you are not as comfortable imposing on.

“I Appreciate Your Support and Guidance”

Is Saying “I Appreciate You” the same as “I Love You”?

Saying “I appreciate you” does not necessarily mean you love someone, at least not intimately. Love does encompass the feeling and act of appreciation, however.

So do tell the ones you love that you appreciate them, even if you also tell them you love them.

Explaining why you appreciate them — pointing out the what small considerations they make or what big actions they take that affect you in ways you appreciate — goes a long way in cementing bonds of goodwill between loved ones.

How to Respond to “I Appreciate You”

You can respond to words of appreciation by saying “thank you” or “I appreciate you, too” which can be used interchangeably in most circumstances.

The common phrase used in response is a graceful “Thank You.


Write an uplifting note to encourage your depressed boyfriend.

Tell your husband or life partner that you appreciate him in love messages.


I like to climb mountains, read Nietzsche, and explore the West Coast. I have a BA from York University (2003) in Toronto, Canada, and yet on this site I sometimes spell like an American (know your audience). Thank you. Thank you very much.

Keep Reading