"Wow, you're so nice all the time. I don't know how you do it." - Every person I encounter

Being nice is considered a fault in today's society. It means you are naive, keep your guard down or are oblivious to the horror happening every day. I am always criticized for being too nice to people for a multitude of reasons. Personally, I believe in a different philosophy than everyone else when it comes to kindness.

I think shutting out the world, putting your armor up and worrying about yourself is easy. There's no strength or power in self-absorbance and self-protection. Allowing yourself to open up and let the world in, now that's difficult. And it will never get easier.

Sure, sometimes people don't deserve your kindness. Sometimes people don't deserve for you to care about them and maybe they will never care about you the same way. There is a vulnerability in letting people into your life, but you learn as you go.

The idea of random acts of kindness can be cringy. The idea of leaving random notes in jean pockets in department stores or buying a ton of flowers then handing them out in a parking lot can be a bit overwhelming. While of course, you should want to give random acts of kindness to the whole world, you can start small and be nice to the community around you.

1. Tell a stranger you like their outfit.

2. Buy coffee for the person behind you in line at Starbucks or Dutch Bros.

3. Bake cookies for your co-workers.

4. Comment creative and encouraging things on 5 different Instagram posts. (Especially if they're pictures of the person!)

5. Text someone you haven't talked to in awhile and ask "How are you doing today?"

6. Call your family and see how they're doing.

7. Reach out to an old friend and see if they need anything.

8. Go through your closet and donate the clothes you don't wear anymore to a local charity.

9. Tell someone how much they mean to you, because sometimes we all need to be reminded that we are loved.

10. Invite your neighbors over for dinner.

11. Offer help when you see someone who needs it.

12. Handwrite letters for your friends for when they need a pick me up.

13. Email your boss and tell them you appreciate them. They need to be reassured they're doing a good job, too.

14. Let someone borrow your favorite book.

15. Allow the car in front of you to merge into your lane, even though you really don't want to.

16. Smile at the people who are working in customer service, and tip well if you can.

17. Offer to take a photo for someone who is clearly struggling with a good selfie.

18. Endorse someone on LinkedIn.

19. Invite a co-worker or classmate out to lunch with you that you don't know that well.

20. Hype up your friends when you see them, because you never know if they really need it.