Yellow GerberasThink back to times you’ve received flowers from someone other than a romantic partner. How did you feel about the person giving you those beautiful buds? Did you want to become even better friends with them? Invite them over more often? Maybe you even felt compelled to hug them right there on the spot. No doubt about it, flowers are powerful little helpers in strengthening friendships.

This summer — with so many parties, special occasions and flowers naturally in bloom — here are a few ways you can use flower power to create deeper connections between you and both new and old friends.

  • Going to a party? Pamper the host. So you are going to a BBQ, and you feel obligated to bring something. Switch your focus from you to your host. You know your party host will be a busy bee on BBQ day after days of prepping, so what if you, supported them before the big day. Send your host flowers before the party. Tell them how much you appreciate all that they have already done, and affirm what a great day it will be. Sending flowers to this person — even if you don’t yet know them very well — is meaningful and will help lead to a deeper connection.
  • A surprisingly grateful guest is a welcome guest. So you are taking a summer trip and staying with friends. You are excited; they are excited. You want to be a good guest when you arrive, so you’ll be mindful that you do your share, treat for a meal or two, and send a thank-you card. And while all that is good etiquette and will be appreciated, chances are that what is most important to your friends and to you is that you connect, really connect. Not just stay busy in all the activities you have planned, but form a closer bond in the time you have together. Common courtesy may tell you to arrive with flowers in hand, but uncommon acts of love deliver more punch and open up more channels to love. Have flowers sent to their home, while you are there. Pick a time when you know you’ll be home or close by, and when the delivery person comes, act surprised. As a special gift to you, watch your friend open the flowers, and see how their heart instantly opens (we so rarely get to see this moment when someone receives our flowers.) And then, when they finally figure out the flowers are from you, tell them how grateful you are for what they bring into your life. Both your hearts will open wide, and presto — a deeper connection is formed.
  • Send love home. So you are the host of a summer gathering with a group of friends. You cook, you entertain, and all have a good time. None of you want the evening to end. You are all enjoying each others’ company so much. And while the party may need to end, the connection doesn’t. Before the party make sure that you have plenty of flower arrangements placed all around the house, flowers that look beautiful even if there are just a few stems, such as sunflowers, gerbera daisies or gladiolas. As each guest leaves, gift them with a few stems. And tell them how much you appreciated having them in your home, and that these flowers are a gift from your heart and home to theirs. Instant love that will now travel with them to their home, where they will remember you and this night you shared together. Just make sure to wrap the base of the stems with some wet paper towels, a baggie and a rubber band so the flowers are alive when they arrive.

Which of these flower power friend-making adventures will you try? Pick at least one, and then let me know how it goes. Share your friend-bonding story here to inspire us all this summer.