“Always be a little kinder than necessary.” – James M. Barrie
Stop whatever you’re doing for a quick second and for a moment, think about your friends who you look up to. Why do you look up to them? Are they incredibly talented at something, do you like their positive attitude, what about them makes them fun to be around? Chances are, one of the aspects of that person that makes them interesting is that they are kind. Kindness is a simple yet incredibly powerful characteristic. It’s not very difficult to be kind, and it can really make someone else’s day, and it can even put you in a better mood. Is a friend having a bad day? Do something unexpectedly kind. Are you feeling in a bit of a slump? Spread kindness. Do you simply want to have a good time with people? Be kind. It’s really an answer to everything, and below are ten easy ways to be nice to others.
Say hi and smile
So you’re probably thinking “what kind of advice is this? Is she going to advise me to put on a jacket when it’s cold outside next?” but take a second to think about it. Whenever we make accidental (or not) eye contact with other people, we usually dart our eyes away as quickly as possible. There are those rare, beautiful people who instead give you a smile or say “hi.” We need more of those people in the world. Be one of them.
Actually grab lunch with friends
“It was so nice seeing you, let’s catch up over lunch soon!” We’ve said this a million times, been told this a million times, and the likelihood of actually getting lunch is probably only one in a million. Improve those odds. Actually text the person a bit later and set up a time and place, and then don’t cancel. It’ll make their day to have lunch plans and be able to enjoy your company.
Send an unexpected text
Reach out to someone you haven’t seen in a while. Doesn’t it make your day when you get one of those texts? Something as simple as “Hope you’ve been well, miss you!” or “How was your day?” or “How have you been, haven’t seen you in way too long!” always works well. Or reach out to a best friend, someone who you saw half an hour ago and has plans within two hours, and just send them one of your favourite quotes, it’ll definitely make their day at least a bit brighter.
Give a care package
It doesn’t have to be expensive at all, it’s more about the fact that you took the time to think about it and put it together. These would be great to give to friends going through midterms, for a birthday, randomly for your favourite people, and pledges (it’s college – we’ve all heard the stories, help them out here).
Sticky note your feelings
Take ten minutes, write a few compliments, quotes, motivational words, or just draw smiley faces on sticky notes and put them around your room/suite/apartment. It’ll cheer up anyone who sees them and they’re simple and quick to put up. A win-win situation for us busy college women!
Send A Good luck text
These are the best. Getting one before a competition, test, or just tough day makes everything better. It’ll make the person happy to simply get a good luck text, but it will also show that you care and pay attention because you remembered whatever it is that they have going on that day.
Put down your phone
Simple, it seems, but incredibly difficult in practice. We’re practically glued to our phones, and while our lives are so much easier in tons of ways because of it, it always feels a bit rude when we’re talking and the other person is looking at their phone. Vow, for at least one meal, to not be that person. Put it on silent, turn off the vibrations, put its face down on the table or in your bag, and hope and pray your Mom doesn’t call while it’s out of your hands. It’ll make for a much better conversation, make it obvious you really care, show respect, and simply be a much more enjoyable time.
I’m definitely not saying to go Regina George on someone, but if you actually like someone’s skirt, tell them that. Does someone have an absurdly perfect cat-eye (it must be black magic), tell them that! Are you appreciating someone’s radiant positivity? Thank them! And it doesn’t matter whether or not you know the person, everyone appreciates a compliment!
Be kind to yourself
Ah, and you thought this was entirely about giving to other people. Surprise! While it’s so important to be nice to everyone, “everyone” includes you. It is absolutely necessary to be kind to yourself. Treat yourself as you would treat others, it’s a phrase that needs to go both ways. Grab your favourite latte from that cute coffee shop downtown and take some “me time.” Find a new corner on campus and just sit in the sun with a friend. Block out the never-ending “to-do” list from your mind for an hour over lunch with a friend. Have an impromptu spa night. Go to a rooftop and enjoy the view. Be kind to others and be kind to yourself.
Image via Laura Claypool