This is the time of year when kindness seems to come out in people. It’s also the time of year when people wear themselves out.
So if you’ve been bitten by the nice bug, but don’t have the energy to start up a food drive for the needy, try these easy and effortless suggestions instead. No matter how small they might be, you can still make a difference for someone.
1) If you make eye contact with a stranger, smile already! Maybe even say hello.
2) When a fellow driver lets you in front of them during a traffic jam, wave to them. In some areas (ahem, California), the “thank you” wave is not a very common gesture, so it’ll be a pleasant surprise for the other driver.
3) Let someone in front of you during a traffic jam. Don’t ignore the person with their blinker on attempting to get into your lane. Hold back and wave them in.
If they don’t acknowledge the fact you let them in (again ahem, California), know you did the right thing anyway.
Yeah, thinking that doesn’t make me feel better right away either.
4) When a person accidentally cuts you off and they apologize by waving or however they express remorse, wave back. Don’t continue to be a butt bag.
5) Genuinely compliment a stranger. Whether you love their highlights or a cool broach they’re wearing, if you took notice, say something.
6) When thinking about a friend or family member, let them know with a text or a phone call.
7) Use more patience when speaking with customer representatives about their employer’s faulty product or service. It’s not their fault. These people are just trying to make a living.
Plus, when you’re nice to them, you are more likely to get what you want.
8) When dropping someone off at their house, wait till they get inside before taking off. I know, they probably have a cell phone if they’re locked out. However, when it’s dark, windy, and 20 degrees outside, they’ll definitely appreciate the warm car till someone comes to the rescue.
9) Give at least something to people who ask for your help. Five or six years ago, I was walking from my car to my apartment pretty late at night. Some guy came out of nowhere, claimed his daughter lived nearby, but wasn’t home and he got locked out of her house.
This dude told me he didn’t own a car and his wallet and cell phone were in the house, so there was no way for him to get home. He asked if he could borrow $20 for a cab.
Well, I didn’t have any cash, but my gullible butt went to the bank, withdrew money out of the ATM, drove back and happily gave it to him. He took my address down and promised he would send me the money back.
I believed him.
I mean, how could a person take advantage of someone who, a) not only gave him $20 (and being a broke dancer at the time, I could stretch $20 to buy a weeks worth of groceries), but b) went above and beyond to give him that money.
As you might have guessed, I never received the money.
I realize this story probably wasn’t the best to share when trying to convince you to help others, but there are still plenty of other instances where the people I helped out were actually needy.
10) Surprise your significant other at their office and take them out for lunch.
11) If someone inspires you, tell them.
12) Is a friend searching for something such as a good, yet inexpensive vacuum cleaner? If you come across a great sale on vacuums, email the deal to them.
13) Send a bummed out friend a dorky video text.
14) After the trash man has swung by, take a neighbor’s garbage bin back up to their house. Bonus points if you know where they store it, and put the bin back in the designated spot.
15) If you leave the house earlier than your significant other, write a sweet note and put it in a place where they will easily see it. My husband does this every now and then. It never fails to make me smile.
16) Always try to acknowledge a child. Wink, smile, wave, fist bump, whatever!
17) If you don’t do this already, take 5 minutes, and play with your dog.
18) Going over to a friends house to hang out? Bring them a coffee.
19) When calling a friend on their birthday, don’t just wish them “happy birthday,” sing it to them. The sillier, the better.
20) When at the grocery store and waiting to check out, let the person with only a couple items go in front of you.
I hope at least one of the suggestions above got you inspired to take action. If none of them were quite up your alley, maybe they got your creative juices flowing to come up with a different great way to be nice.
Already do something nice that hardly takes a bit of energy? Talk to me! I’d love to know your great ideas.
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