Life is stressful, painful, mistake-ridden and harsh. The further our society advances into the technological age, the farther away we seem to get from experiencing positive interactions (not via a comment on Instagram or Twitter). To counteract this isolation, I am offering up some ways you can make someone else's day better. An act of kindness, no matter how small, can have an impact that lasts a lifetime.
1. Compliment them (in person).
"You have a beautiful smile."
"Hey, you look really good today."
"Your eyes are gorgeous."
The last one may seem to be geared towards women, but everyone loves to get a random compliment. Just a few words can completely change a person's attitude.
2. Offer to buy lunch.
Maybe it's for a coworker or your best friend. Paying an extra $10 is a small fee for such a simple act of kindness and a meaningful conversation with another human being.
3. Give your undivided attention.
In a world of iPhones and instant access to, quite frankly, everything 24 hours of the day, it's rare to watch a conversation in which someone has given their complete attention to the other person. Put your phone down for a few minutes. I promise your friend or family member will appreciate it.
4. Write a letter.
Unfortunately, handwritten letters are hard to come by nowadays. Fortunately, you can change that with five minutes of your time, a pen and a piece of paper. Opening a letter in the mail that isn't junk mail or bills is always refreshing.
5. Leave a thoughtful sticky note somewhere for them to unexpectedly find.
My wonderful mother is the inspiration for this number. A quick: "Have a great day," or a quote from "Parks and Recreation" is an easy, appreciated way to make someone smile.
6. Smile at a stranger.
Granted, if you're not from the South, you might get strange looks. However, warm smiles are infectious and can lift anyone's spirits.
7. Ask for someone's opinion.
This is such an underrated option. Above all else, people want to feel valued. Even if you don't really need their input, they will appreciate the fact that you value them enough to hear their opinion.
8. Ask a friend how they're doing.
Rushing around, running errands, going to meetings, hurrying to the class that starts in two minutes – we all have busy schedules. In all the static of our day-to-day lives, taking the time to pause and ask someone how they are can easily make someone's day
9. Thank someone.
Please and thank you. Manners matter, people.
10. Lend a hand.
Help an elderly woman carry her groceries to her car or give your new neighbor a hand moving in. The opportunities are always there. You just have to look for them.
11. Surprise them with a gift.
It doesn't have to be a grand gesture – a Hershey's Kiss or a cup of coffee can bring a smile to anyone's face.
12. Tell someone you love them.
We don't say it enough. You never know what could happen so don't put it off. If you're looking for a way to cheer someone up, just three words can make all the difference.