This is the easiest self-help thing you can do, even though, at first, it looks as if you’re doing it for someone else.
All you have to do is say something nice.
There’s only one catch:
You have to mean it.
Surely, in almost all your daily wanderings you can find something nice to say to almost everyone you meet.
Don’t lie and don’t lard it on. Just find something you can honestly compliment.
At their house? Even if you hate the decor, say how lovely the light looks as it comes through the window.
Seeing them at the grocery store? Comment on their cheerful demeanor, their smile, their attitude, their clothes, their children. You don’t have to rack your brain that hard to find something positive.
Barbara Fredrickson, in her book: Love 2.0, makes quite a compelling case for the beneficial effects of micro connections. It’s not too much of a stretch to suggest these are even more powerful when they involve a heartfelt compliment.
There are many studies that show how much better people feel after they are generous. You don’t have to write a check, volunteer in a soup kitchen, or knit scarves for the homeless (though those would also be appreciated). Just say a few words:
You look so vibrant today.
You always have such good energy.
I love that color on you.
You have such a way with children.
You’re such a kind soul.
You really make a difference.
The world is so much better with you in it.
I really appreciate your unique view on things.
You get the idea.
Don’t wait until the urge strikes, cultivate the habit. I promise you will be the ultimate beneficiary.
So, go ahead, make someone’s day better. It’s free, easy (once you let yourself relax and let go) and it will increase your joy.
Copyright Nicole S. Urdang