Maybe we’re all getting a little lax on the manners front or maybe we’re all just too busy living our best social media lives to practice a little kindness every now and again.
It doesn’t cost you anything to be nice to people nor should you need a reason to do so. If anything, consider it a selfish act that will help boost your own mood and allow you to be kinder to yourself.
Often we get so wrapped up in our own day to day problems that we forget to look around us and remember just how much is going on out there, outside of our own issues. We have no idea what those walking past us in the street, the quiet one in the office or the louder than life, class clown are really going through and we have no idea how one random act of kindness might positively affect the recipient. More often than not we see the people around us as the root of our stresses, that driver in front who just won’t step on the accelerator, the person in front of you dilly-dallying down the street on their phone or the lack of immediate response from someone when you need an answer the most. Instead, step back and view these people as individuals who are dealing with just as much stress and difficulty in life as you are. Flex that empathetic muscle and see what happens.
If we all started showing a little more empathy each day, imagine the solutions and bridges we could build? Imagine the progress we could make in the everyday experience of those around us, ourselves included?
Of course, it takes a lot more than random acts of kindness to solve the world’s biggest issues but it’s at least a start to making it a better place to live in. Here’s to making the world a brighter and happier place for all.
Try these 23 little ways to be kinder to those around you.
Remember to say please and thank you. It seems small but can make the world of difference sometimes.
Treat your team to coffee in the morning. Nothing makes you more popular in the workplace than providing caffeine, especially when it’s a surprise.
Share homegrown goods with your neighbours. Honesty boxes with stalls of fresh produce left at the bottom of a lane never fail to make me smile. Sometimes you can’t beat going old school and taking it back to the lemonade stand days.
Let people through traffic. Nothing returns good karma quite like letting the car in front of you out or in front of you while sat in traffic.
Really listen when asking people how they are. Most will pass out a default response but for those that don’t, check in on what’s really going on.
Smile at strangers. It’s infectious.
Interact with people you see every day. The guys on the corner shop, the barista at your daily coffee stop, say hi, have a chat, develop a friendly relationship.
Pay for the person behind you in line. Just for the sake of it.
Think before you speak. Be more positive in your choice of words.
Pay someone a compliment. Acknowledge someone who has impressed you.
Stop complaining. Break habits of negativity for the long-haul. Watch as your positivity skyrockets and brings everyone around you with it.
Share your old books. Leave a note inside for the next person explaining why you loved the book.
Send surprise flowers to someone. And don’t mention it until they tell you about them.
Be compassionate for another’s situation. Be the bigger person next time someone snaps and accept their anger may not be directed at you but as a result of other things happening in their life that you know nothing about.
Express gratitude to those that have made a difference in your life. More often than not we have no idea how we may have positively impacted another’s life without meaning to. For those that have had a positive impact on your life, write them a letter and let them know.
Call a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while. Let them know you were thinking of them, you’re sorry you lost touch and enjoy a long overdue catch-up.
Encourage those around you to engage in more kindness. Chat around the dinner table about the topic of kindness, asking friends and family what they did to be kind today and what they’re grateful for.
Give a warm welcome. Forget default, monotone greetings. Welcome people with a friendly smile and enthusiastic hello. They’ll appreciate the warm reception.
Be kind to those you don’t see eye to eye with. Start with a hello and ask them how they are. Maybe it will be the start of a beautiful friendship and if not, at least you tried.
Nominate someone for an award you think they deserve. Help get them the recognition they’ve earned.
Encourage someone. Next time someone tells you about a dream or a goal, encourage them to pursue it and make it a reality. Everyone needs their own cheerleader every once in a while.
Pay attention to the busy people around you. What small thing could you do to make their life easier? For a co-worker, you could offer to help them with a work task. If it’s a friend or family member, offer to help out at home so they can enjoy some time to themselves.
Make someone a cup of tea. As all Northern Irish dwellers know, there’s nothing a cup of tea can’t fix.