Do you remember the last time you received an unexpected call, text or email from someone who intentionally said something complimentary to you? How did it make you feel? Did it brighten your mood? Did it bring a smile to your face? What impression did this person make on you?
When I consider the different types of impressions we make on people, there are very few more powerful then when you do something unexpectedly to show people they are important to you. It could be a simple text message telling a friend how much you value the friendship or a short email to a co-worker complimenting him or her on the way he or she handled a difficult situation at the office today.
Results of Kind Words
When you take your time to surprise people with acts of kindness or love, you will make them feel noticed, valued, and appreciated. You will bring a smile to their faces and joy to their hearts. It will enhance their self-esteem and strengthen their self-confidence. It will renew their energy and put a bounce in their step. It will draw them closer to you and you to them and create an extraordinary bond in your relationship. You will benefit also because there is joy in unselfish acts when you give of yourself, your time, and your resources.
Ideas to Inspire You to Action
Here are 25 unexpected things you can do to show people they are special in your eyes.
1. Do your children’s chores for the day.
2. Drop a hand-written card in the mail to give someone an encouraging word.
3. Give your spouse or significant other a gift on your next date night.
4. Shovel snow for an older couple down the street.
5. Call a friend going through a difficult period to show your support.
6. Send a client something special that made you think of him or her.
7. Send a gift basket or bouquet of flowers to the hotel room of a friend who is on a long road trip.
8. Invite a friend to dinner and plan an evening with his/her interest in mind.
9. If you are a parent, plan a special day with your kids, but don’t tell them.
10. Offer to take a co-worker (who is not close to you) to lunch and buy it.
11. Plan a company or department meeting, surprising everyone with a party to show your appreciation for their hard work.
12. Pay the toll for the person following you and tell the gate attendant to communicate your brief message.
13. Stop by the hospital to visit a friend.
14. Cut the grass for a neighbor who is overwhelmed at work.
15. Take dinner over to a family suffering from financial hardship.
16. Stay late and help a co-worker finish an important project.
17. Call and invite an old friend to have coffee or tea.
18. Buy your friend sitting at another table in the restaurant a drink or dessert.
19. Go to the funeral of your friend or co-worker who has lost a loved one.
20. Look someone in the eye and share how proud you are of him or her.
21. Express appreciation for ordinary and routine tasks done well.
22. Praise someone for evidence portrayed by inner qualities—patience, fairness, integrity, gentleness, cooperation.
23. Say an encouraging word to your boss, teacher, coach, pastor or priest. Leaders are lonely.
24. Offer to run an errand for an overworked friend.
25. Thank people who serve you—waitperson, janitor, receptionist.
These are just a few of the many little things we can do to brighten someone’s day and create a unique connection. Not only will these acts make the person feel good, but they will make you feel good, too.
I want to challenge you to look for situations when you can show your interest in others by doing something unanticipated. When you think of something, do it without hesitation and make someone’s day.
I also want to encourage you to start this practice this very minute. Who do you love that you have not communicated with recently? Call, email or text and let them know you love them. Will you do it? Will you do it now? Please come back and tell me below about your experience.
Every time you show a genuine interest in the lives of others by committing an unexpected act of kindness, you are telling them that who they are and what they do is significant.
Today’s post was inspired by Karen Trim, a member of the Little Things Matter Facebook community.
About the Author: Todd Smith is a successful entrepreneur of 30 years and founder of Little Things Matter. To receive Todd’s daily lessons, subscribe here. All Todd’s lessons are also available on iTunes as downloadable podcasts. (Todd’s podcasts are ranked #27 in America’s top 100 podcasts and #1 in the personal and development field.)