One of my favorite quotes is "It costs $0 to be nice". I love saying that to people who are rude to me (or, at least I say it after they're gone and not to their face). It takes the same amount of effort to be nice to someone than to be mean to someone. Instead of ruining someone's day, what if you made it one to remember for a positive reason?
Here are ten ways that you can improve a stranger's day. Incorporate these into your life to make an impact on the world.
1. Pay for their meal
When I was having a really hard day a few years ago, I decided to swing by McDonald's and pick up an iced coffee. I pulled up to the front window and found that the person in front of me had paid for my meal. Before I could say thank you, he had pulled away never to be seen again. Ever since then I like to pay for the person behind me whenever I can (I'm a broke college student after all). It makes someone feel like someone is out there looking out for them!
2. Compliment them
It's a priority of mine to compliment at least one person a day. If you see a cute purse or see someone rocking a new shirt, let them know you notice!
3. Put change in an expired parking meter
You've been there before: a ticket for only a few minutes over the meter. What if someone had been there to help you out and have your back? What if you were that person?
4. Post-it notes
These are great if you're on a college campus or even if you live in an apartment complex, go to the store, basically do anything outside your home! Positive affirmations left around for a stranger to spot are sure to put a smile on at least someone's face.
5. Hand out flowers
It's impossible to refuse a flower. Well, if they're not allergic.
6. Leave a big tip/kind note
My friends and I did this once at a restaurant-- the woman was overworked, but still managed to be incredibly kind and patient, which is hard to do with a group of teenagers. To thank her we wanted to give her a big tip, but none of us had money on us other than what would cover the bill.
Instead, we gave her whatever cash we had on us, any gift cards and punch cards and a long note on a napkin signed by all of us. I like to think that we made her shift a little more manageable.
7. Be positive
Be positive! If you hear someone complaining tell them the silver lining of the situation! Just don't be preachy.
8. Scrape off snow/ice on someone's car
This can basically work all the time in Michigan since apparently, it's a never-ending winter. Taking the time to help another person out will be greatly appreciated!
9. Help someone who's obviously lost
Have you ever seen someone looking like they're about to have a panic attack and freaking out because they're lost? Why not ask if you can help! Why not recommend the best places around town, too?
Seeing another person smile makes another person feel happier. Spread the joy!