15 Unexpected Ways To Make Someone Else’s Day

Let’s revisit a classic fable…

Once upon a time, there lived a princess in desperate need of some new panties– Aerie’s online 7 for 27 discount panties, to be exact. But every time the princess pressed “Check Out”, the discount wasn’t applied! Oh no! the princess gasped, with flawless melodramatic execution. If there was ever a time for a panty-god mother, it would be now. What will I ever do?

After making a dreadful call to the far, far away land of customer service, the princess faced a grumpy troll: a troll that stood between her and her discount. By enchanting the troll with her kindness, however, the grumpy troll began laughing and chatting, forgetting her woes as a customer service slave. Though the panty-princess just wanted her discount, for goodness sakes, she listened kindly to all the troll’s musings.

At the end of the 24-minute phone call, the customer service troll completed the order and, oh-so-thankful that the panty princess listened to her with kindness, DOUBLED THE FREAKIN’ DISCOUNT AND GAVE HER FREE TWO-DAY SHIPPING.

Okay, so maybe this isn’t one of Aesop’s Fables. Maybe this happened to me last week. And if I’m hittin’ ya on the real, I was only nice to the customer service lady because I’d just had a delicious piece of cake for breakfast and no one was knocking me off that sugar high. But there’s nothing like free-two day shipping to shake you up and push you to re-evaluate your focus in life.

Fable or no fable, we know twenty-somethings live fast. We order our toothpaste refills with One-Click Amazon checkout and need animated faces to quickly portray our fleeting emotions. We cancel lunch dates three times before actually setting work aside to catch up with old friends. We ask for the check at the restaurant the moment our food is brought to us.

But the more we pack into our hours, the less time we seem to have for a timeless necessity: kindness.

By exuding a small dose of warmth, however, we can breathe a little lighter, smile a little wider, and even get free-two day shipping. Check out the list below of sprinkles of kindness to dash upon your days.

1. Say a Greeting Every Time You’re On an Elevator

For bonus points, chat ’em up. A solid go-to for quick conversing with strangers: “How is your week going so far?” You never know who you will meet and what you will learn.

2. Write Personal Cards For Birthdays, Achievements, Or Just-Because

Birthday texts with 9,000 balloon and martini emojis just don’t make the cut anymore, not to mention they’re a solid way to crash a phone and piss off a birthday girl. Cards are way more personal and intimate and show that you go the extra mile for those you care about.

3. Put A “Thanks! You did great!” At The End of Your Restaurant Bill

As a college kid, odds are, you’re not dropping a 40% tip on your restaurant bill, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still make a waiter’s day.

4. Offer To Take People’s Picture When They’re Snapping A Selfie

When you’re rockin’ a killer outfit, you need that full-body shot. Don’t be afraid to help a sista out if you see her fighting this battle between short arms and high heels. Chances are, she will be super thankful and maybe even return the favor.

5. Slow Down & Make Eye Contact

in daily conversation. This is one of the easiest ways to connect with other people and show that you are present and that you care.

6. Offer To Go With Your Friend On A Stressful Errands-Run

Because windows-down Lana Del Rey sing-alongs mixed with a tasty tad of weekend gossip can turn any grocery run into an adventure. Spending time doing the little things with people that you love can go an extra long way.

7. Share Your Talents With Your Friends

You’re a Lala lover, so we know you have some brilliant talent. From cooking to crafting, anything shared will put a smile on your friend’s face. Especially if that thing involves chocolate and the words homemade cookies. 

8. Sign Your Parents Up For Snapchat

As empty (or emptier) nesters, they miss those good ol’ days of prying little facts about your life out of you. Keep them involved with snaps of your lecture hall, your favorite coffee shop, or you kickin’ it with your friends on trivia night. It’s a quick and easy way to keep them involved. Just try not to send them a mass drunk snap from Margarita Monday.

9. Don’t Boredom-Scroll On Your Phone In Public

Kendall Jenner has probably not posted an Instagram since you last checked 37 minutes ago. Put down the phone and be present.

10. Ask Specific Questions Beyond the Passing “How Are You”

Remember playing the “Question Game” in middle school with your crush? Yeah, it’s like that. But you don’t end with the question “So who do u lyke ;);)”. You may think that you know someone, but asking deeper questions can take your relationships to the next level and chances are you’ll learn something totally unexpected. People have tons to say and want to be heard, sometimes we just need to ask.

11. Completely Plan a Girls’ Night

Turn “We need to get together sometime” from an empty promise to a plan of action. If you’re not the planning type, take-out Chinese, Notting Hill, and mimosas never fail.

12. Ask Your Friends About Their Families

While everyone knew your family in high school by default, college is different. Showing a friend you care to know more than what she did at that party last night will prove you’re bridesmaid material.

13. Listen Without Giving Advice

We know you’re Dr. Phil with the business-savy of Oprah and the sensational fix-it-fast solutions of Dr. Oz… but shh. Sometimes, people want to feel and not be fixed. If your friend wants advice, I’m sure she’ll ask.

14. Take Your Dog, Or A Local Shelter Dog, On a Long Walk

Turn your quick sprint around the apartment building with only one pee stop and absolutely no sniffing into a long walk through your town. Nothing will teach you to stop and smell the roses like a dog, who literally stops to smell every single roseAnd weed. And pile of poop.

15. Love Yourself

When you feel down on yourself, remember this: there’s an entire person whose whole existence revolves around making you feel happy and loved. And that person is you. So be kind and love yourself.

Image by Molly Peach

Madison O'Shields

Contributor, University of Texas at Austin Major: English Her heart belongs to: Burberry Coats, Breakfast Tea, and the BBC You can find her: attempting to dress like Blaire Waldorf but reverting back to her zebra onesie pajamas instead

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