Forget grand gestures, it’s so often the little things in life that truly make someone’s day.
These are the acts that make us feel seen, appreciated, and connected to one another.
Kindness leaves its mark.
With that in mind, here are 11 simple ways to make someone’s day…
1) Lighten someone’s load by taking a few chores off their hands
How do you make someone’s day easier?
Do some of their chores for them without them even having to ask.
Trust me, lightening someone’s load in practical ways can be far more romantic than flowers or chocolates.
You are giving them the gift of their time back. And that is precious.
Running a couple of errands for a busy friend or partner shows them support.
Doing so is going to strengthen your relationship and make their day.
2) Smile and greet everyone you meet with warmth
Don’t underestimate the power of the smallest of gestures in life.
You see, research has noted that kindness and warmth are contagious.
So when you meet and greet everyone throughout your day in a friendly way, that positivity is going to spread.
Make an extra conscious effort to look people in the eye, and offer them some courteous words.
Whether that’s “Hi, good morning” or “Hope you have a great day” — spread the gift of positive energy that they can carry with them.
3) Ask ‘how are you really doing?’
If you’re looking for effortless (and absolutely free) ways to make someone’s day every day, then simply paying an interest in their lives is a great way to do it.
“How are you?” has become more of a social greeting than a way of genuinely checking in with one another.
Asking thoughtful questions that dig deeper is a way of showing we care.
Research suggests that we really appreciate it when people take an interest in us.
So much so that studies have found that people who ask questions, and in particular follow-up questions are seen as more likable.
4) Get a thoughtful little gift
We’re not talking about flashy displays or grand gestures here. It’s the small and intimate touch.
A little gift for no reason at all.
Let me give you an example.
There is a particular brand of instant noodles that I’m kind of obsessed with. I’m pretty lazy, and they’re just a great snack or easy meal when I’m short on time.
It’s silly, but I can’t tell you how much it means when my boyfriend comes over to my place and hands me a pack.
It’s not how much something costs. Gifts don’t have to be expensive. It truly is the thought that counts.
5) Make a referral or leave a positive review
Small businesses rely on word of mouth.
If you’ve had great service or a positive experience, let people know.
Write a review online, post about it on your social media, and recommend it to your friends.
It’s going to mean so much to the people working hard to make a success of their biz.
6) Leave thank you notes to express your gratitude
Tell people the impact they have on your life.
There is no better way to make someone’s day than to make them feel valued.
The more specific you are, the better.
What are you thankful for about this person? How have they made your life easier?
Leave a little note for your partner before you go to work. Put a note in your kid’s lunchboxes telling them why they’re special. Leave a note on a colleague’s desk saying thanks.
Gratitude not only makes others feel happy, but it also increases our own positive emotions.
So it really is win-win.
7) ‘Pay it forward’ to strangers
Paying it forward is all about doing thoughtful and often anonymous acts of kindness toward strangers.
Some ideas include:
- Paying for the next person in lines goods or services (e.g. buy their coffee, pay their toll charge on the bridge)
- Donate to food banks
- Give clothes to goodwill
- Leaving an extra generous tip
- Let someone go in front of you in the supermarket line
- Litter pick in your community
8) Dish out sincere and unique compliments
What can you say to make someone’s day?
Hands down, sincere compliments are the best.
Don’t limit your compliments to loved ones either. Tell the person next to you at the bus stop that you like their shirt.
Set yourself a compliments quota for the day. For example, decide to make 5 genuine and thoughtful compliments during your day.
Become more observant to notice the positive things you like about others. And share it with them!
9) Take some treats into the office
Show your colleagues some love and brighten their day with office goodies.
It can be cakes and sweets, or even a bowl of fruit.
But attach a note saying you just wanted to let them know how great they are to work with.
10) Send a heartfelt check-in text to a friend you haven’t seen in a while
We all live busy lives. Before you know it, time passes and you quickly lose touch.
But we don’t have to wait until we have a chunk of time before checking in with loved ones.
We don’t need to have a full evening free to hang out. A short text can still be impactful.
Send a message to a friend you haven’t seen in a while.
Maybe you could recall a funny or special time you spent together. Perhaps it’s as simple as saying you hope they are well.
The point is less what you say, and more that it shows you care.
11) Send someone a letter, card, or postcard
Sending a letter can be seen as outdated in this high-tech day and age.
But if you’re looking for something to send to brighten someone’s day it doesn’t get much better than a hand-written greeting.
In fact, a 2020 survey noted that two-thirds of people agreed that receiving mail lifted their spirits.
Don’t have time to write a letter?
No problem, sending a card or even a postcard will also effortlessly brighten someone’s day.