I went for my morning coffee, and a complete stranger completely made my day. She gave me a huge grin, and said she liked my shoes! I immediately smiled back, and complimented her on her handbag. I know, these are little things, but this quick exchange between two strangers really made us both smile…
It got me thinking, there are tons of tiny gestures that people do for each other all of the time that can make someone’s day, so why not list them out? If you’ve been caught up in “non-presence” (aka not noticing the little things, wrapped up in life’s hustle and bustle, mind anywhere but here), take a moment to BREATHE, focus on the moment, and do something nice for someone:
1. Leave a post-it compliment on someone’s computer. Things like: ”Great presentation at the meeting yesterday!” or “Thanks for always being there!” or “Love the necklace!!!”
2. Make someone a cup of coffee (fixed the way they like it) unexpectedly.
3. Ask to see photos of someone’s kids, new boyfriend, family, or whatever it is they love (even if it’s a material thing like a car, home, motorcycle- if they talk about it, it’s important to them).
4. Send a hand-written note for no reason to your spouse, children, mom, or best friend. Because they see you regularly, they will be extra-surprised by this simple gesture!
5. Inquire about a situation someone casually mentioned- if a colleague’s daughter went off to college, a neighbor’s son just had a baby, your hairdresser’s mother was under-the-weather…People like to share, but sometimes feel like it’s a burden/selfish to talk about themselves unless they are asked! Just remembering the things that are happening to others, and asking about them can really brighten someone’s day.
6. Take off the shades, turn off the cell phone. This will allow you to smile and make eye contact with strangers- at the bank, the post office, the food store, the toll booth. Connect with people in the world around you.
7. Give a small gift to someone who’s been a little down. It can be homemade (like cookies or muffins, a picture your child made, or an inexpensive token. For example, go to the dollar store, and get a candle or picture frame. Wrap it in pretty tissue with a bow, sign a simple notecard, and let the person know you are thinking of them, and there if they need anything!
8. Sing loudly in the car by yourself! Laugh, have fun, and when you get to a stoplight, you’ll be sure to brighten the day of the driver next to you- not to mention you’ll lift your own spirits!