Never underestimate how big of an impact a small gesture can make. It really is amazing that simple things can have such an impact. Just saying something can have a huge impact, but it isn’t limited to words. Think about your own experiences and how a little gesture at the right moment made all the difference in the world to you. Chances are that your little gestures to others can have a similar impact. Here are a few ways that you can make someone’s day for free:
Sometimes, all anyone needs to brighten their day is a smile. A smile can go a long way toward making someone feel good about themselves. If you make eye contact with someone, whether it’s an acquaintance or stranger, give them a genuine smile.
It often seems like people give away compliments like they’re nothing. Sometimes they can seem so artificial or trite. But a genuine compliment is one of the best things you can receive and most people can usually tell the difference between a genuine compliment and an artificial one. Complimenting someone for a job well done or a service will make their day that much better – and it’s something they’ll probably remember for awhile, as well.
Saying Please and Thank You
Saying “please” and “thank you” should seem like a no brainer, but you’d be surprised by how many people don’t actually use these words. Have you ever been to a busy coffee shop or retail shop where the cashiers or sales associates seem harried and tired? Most people finish their transaction and walk away without a second thought. It takes barely a second to say “please” or “thank you,” and just hearing it is often a small bright spot for that worker.
The popularity of smart phones and social media means that people use the phone less and less to connect. After all, why call when you can send a text or a status update in a couple seconds, right? Except, sometimes hearing someone’s voice can bring a smile to your face, especially if it’s someone you haven’t talked to for awhile. Never underestimate the power of a phone call. Even if it’s a quick five minute call, it might make that person’s day.
Writing a Letter or Note
As with phone calls, so many people are enamored by email and text messaging that everything seems to be done electronically. Wedding invites are sent through email or social media, holiday or birthday cards are sent as ecards, and notes are sent in 140 characters over a social media platform. The next time you want to send a thank you, congratulations, or even a quick update about your life, think about writing a nice letter or note. It’s something much more personal and will definitely make the recipient’s day.
Talk to a Stranger
When you’re waiting in line, whether to purchase something or to get somewhere, the last thing you usually want to do is strike up a conversation. But sometimes, exchanging pleasantries is a nice way to make the time go by – not to mention, it might bring a small glimmer of happiness to that person’s life. How many times have you had a short exchange with someone that left you smiling afterward? Simple friendliness does a lot to make a person’s day.
Be Kind to Other Drivers or Pedestrians
No one likes getting stuck in traffic, especially when it’s in a high-traffic, difficult to maneuver area. Equally annoying is being a pedestrian and never being able to cross a street because no one will stop. Making an effort to let another car go in front of you or stopping to let someone cross the street is a great way to make someone’s day. So many people are in a rush and unaware of the other people on the road. Simple road etiquette is a wonderful way to make someone’s day easier. You’ll appreciate it the next time it happens to you, so make an effort to try and give someone else the right away at least once a day.
Many people listen, but don’t really hear what’s being said. If a friend needs to vent, let them. It will make them feel good to know someone really cares. But what will really make their day is if you remember what they were concerned about at a later point. If a friend was worried about an upcoming job presentation or date, ask them how it went at a later date. Even if it didn’t end up going well, at least they’ll know you cared enough to remember what they talked about.
Lend a Hand
Do you have elderly neighbors who might need help mowing their yard or shoveling snow? Is there a colleague who’s trying to carry too many things by themselves? Does a friend need help moving things to a new place? Does a neighbor need someone to watch their kids for an hour? If so, offer to help! Knowing that someone out there is kind enough to take a few moments out of their day to lend a helping hand is always appreciated.
Do you have a great book you think a friend might enjoy? What about a recipe they’ve been dying to get their hands on? Or is there a friend who doesn’t own a TV and wants to watch the game or a weekly TV show? Just asking if a friend wants to join you in doing something, or dropping off an unexpected gift, will brighten their day. Everyone likes to know that someone was thinking about them.
These are just a few of the many things you can do to make someone’s day that doesn’t cost a dime. Taking the time to do as many of these as possible has an extra added benefit. The more that you make other people’s day a bit better, you will find that your own day is also going that way.
(Photo courtesy of TheGiantVermin)