Pass It On: How to Brighten a Stranger’s Day

woman complimenting another woman

Brighten a stranger’s day: Offer a genuine compliment.
Image: Shutterstock

Making someone’s day is easier than you might think. Especially in big cities, people often tend to just walk by one another with their heads down, minding their own business. But sometimes, a stranger shows surprising kindness and compassion, and that’s something worthy of passing on. If you want to be one of those life-brightening strangers, try some of the following suggestions:

  1. Smile at others. Sometimes all we need to lift our spirits is to see someone else who looks like they’re having a good day.
  2. Compliment someone genuinely (but not creepily). Self-confidence is something many lack, and compliments are a great way to make someone feel better about themselves.
  3. Pay for the person behind you (on the toll bridge, at the coffee shop, or even at a restaurant).
  4. Leave an extra big tip for your server. Food service workers work hard for not much money, and it can be hard to get by on such a small paycheck. Surprise them with a show of support and appreciation.
  5. Hold open a door for someone. Show them that chivalry isn’t dead after all.
  6. Express gratitude, even for the tiny things. We often forget to say a simple “thank you” when someone does something courteous for us.
  7. Be a well-wisher. Tell someone you hope they have a wonderful day or weekend—and be genuine about it.
  8. Learn the name of your barista/concierge/security guard/etc. You’d be surprised how many faces we see everyday without bothering to put names to them. Take a moment to find out these people’s names and life stories. Listen and remember, and create a friendship out of what used to be a business transaction.
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