10 Ways to Make People Feel Good

I’m excited to share today’s lesson because it captures one of life’s simple yet powerful truths. When you focus on others rather than on yourself, you make a positive difference in two lives—yours and the person with whom you interact.

When you are intentional about doing things that make others feel good, you create a special connection that accelerates new relationships and nurtures existing ones.

The Values of Making People Feel Good

Recently, I talked about habits we have that bug people and the damaging effect that can have on our reputations. However, doing things that make people feel good is quite the opposite. Not only does it brighten someone’s day, but it’s a positive reflection on you and enhances your reputation.

Let’s look at a couple areas in your life and see the results.

  • In the workplace, making your co-workers feel good will enhance the work environment, making it more enjoyable; it will also increase your influence with them.
  • In your business, making your clients and customers feel good will draw them closer to you; it will also increase your sales.
  • In the home, it will bind your family members closer together, turning your house into a happy home.

Because I have seen the results of reciprocal goodwill in action, I am intentional in my own life about doing things that I know make people feel good.

Ten Ways to Improve People’s Lives

When you make people feel good, you enhance their self-image and give them energy, hope, and confidence. Below are ten simple ways you can make people feel good.

1. Encourage. What sunshine and rain do for flowers, encouragement does for humanity. Regardless of one’s position in life, everyone needs to hear words of encouragement.
“Three billion people on the face of the earth go to bed hungry every night, but four billion people go to bed every night hungry for a simple word of encouragement and recognition.”    — Robert Cavett

2. Compliment Sincerely. You can compliment someone for a job well done or on an admirable characteristic you have noticed. If you can’t do it in person, don’t hesitate to use another means like a card, thoughtful email, or text message.

3. Praise Publicly. Boost someone’s confidence by commending their efforts in front of others, either verbally or in writing. You can also do this with people who serve you, such as a store clerk, waitress, or receptionist who has gone the extra mile to assist you.

4. Listen Thoughtfully. Focus on listening, not just hearing. When you are an attentive listener, people sense your care and concern and are comforted that their feelings and experiences are validated.

5. Serve Willingly. The next time you notice that a co-worker is under the gun and needs a hand, volunteer to help. Or offer to assist someone who has a task to do that they don’t want to do.  In doing so, you will help them see themselves as worthy of your efforts and attention.

6. Show Genuine Interest. Ask about something important to them and concentrate on what they have to say. Remembering and commenting on their hobbies, sports, vacations, or family at a later date will prove that you have a sincere interest in their lives.

7. Express Love Unselfishly.  Every person has a primary love language that dictates the ways they prefer to be loved. When we understand and love people the way they need to be loved (not just the way that satisfies our needs), it draws them closer to us and us to them. See a post from my wife Joy about this subject here.

8. Make a Friendly Call. It doesn’t have to be important or a special day, just call to let a friend or family member know you are thinking of them.  Asking how someone is doing is always appreciated.
“The deepest principle of human nature is a craving to be appreciated.”   —William James

9. Give a Gift. It doesn’t need to be expensive. It can be a small bouquet of flowers or a card. In this department, it’s most definitely the thought that counts. Hallmark has captured the essence in their advertisement: You cared enough to send. . .”

10. Smile Often. A sincere smile never goes out of style; it can mean different things to different people. A smile can brighten people’s day in an instant, and they’ll appreciate that you made the effort to acknowledge them.

Starting today, I encourage you to start doing the things like those listed above that make people feel good. If you need some additional inspiration, be sure to read my post, 25 Unexpected Ways to Make Someone’s Day. If you have some suggestions of your own, please share them in the comment section below.

Taking the time to make others feel good may be one of the most gratifying things you do; you’ll experience great rewards when you are the one responsible for positive changes in someone’s overall demeanor and attitude.

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.)

Related Posts:

36 Ways to Make a Positive Impression in Less Than 10 Seconds

25 Unexpected Ways to Make Someone’s Day

Loving People the Way They Need to Be Loved

20 Tips for Positive Group Interactions

The Go Givers are the Winners

How Likable are You?

The Value of Remembering Names

Who Do I Have To Become To Get What I Want?

The Power of Showing Your Appreciation

10 Ways To Be A Good Listener

To Earn Respect You Must Show Respect

10 Simple Ways to Show Your Sincere Interest in Others

The 12 Fastest Ways to Build Rapport (Part 1)

The 12 Fastest Ways to Build Rapport (Part 2)

Living Beyond Ourselves

10 Ways To Stand Out at The Next Party

Building Rapport By Making Others Comfortable

The Ripple Effect of a Smile

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  • I agree. We are not here to just take and take, we are also here to give.

  • kbertrand

    An illustrative story:
    A colleague and I met for dinner one evening after a 5 year separation. For an hour he crowed pleasantly about his adventures during that time, his career, his romances, his life lessons, his travels, his future plans well underway. When he was through, he sighed and said unhappily, "But people don't seem to like me. I don't know why." In that hour and the hour following, he failed to ask me anything about my life, express interest in anything that interested me even after I mentioned them in passing and waited patiently for my turn to bring him up to date. Every sentence of mine was stolen as a jump point for another of his stories. In the end, I felt disrespected as his personal audience. I liked this person very much but realized it was his self absorption and bad communication habits that caused our friendship to fall apart years earlier.

    What's worse - I realized with shock - I was no better in my own career or personal life!

    Some people may think etiquette blogs restate the obvious but in reality there are quite a few energetic and intelligent people who just somehow missed the lessons on how to live with other people! It's killing our promotions and our personal lives and we don't even know to ask for help because we never knew we were the problem! I know when I commit a social faux pas by change in expression of those around me. But it always leaves me wondering: where was the rule book everyone else read that I missed? It's like a club and I can't get membership.

    Thanks for this blog. The tips are concise and completely do-able even for the socially inept. I'm a quick learner and sure to craft a better office demeanor with your help. Thanks again. Keep up the good work.

  • DavidCookPottery

    One year in October at the Autumn Leaves Festival in Mt. Airy, NC I had my pottery booth set up. Lots of folks come through there each year, as the festival draws about 100,000 people over three days. This year will be my 10th year there, so I'm guessing this story happened 4 or 5 years ago.

    A Mom and a Daughter were in my booth looking at my pots. I always greet the folks, and hopefully make them feel comfortable and under NO pressure to buy anything at all. These two ladies just looked and looked. I asked them what they were looking for and they told me they were not sure yet.

    You see, the Daughter's house had burned, and they had no insurance. So she told me they were just looking around to see what they MIGHT be able to have one day. Maybe.

    "Well, tell me which piece here you really like. I'd be interested to know and to know why," I told them - or something really close to that. They looked around and picked out a piece of pottery and told me what they thought about it and why they liked it.

    I walked over and picked it up. I took it to my "office" table. I wrapped it in newspaper. I put it in a bag. And then, I handed it to them.

    We all stood there and cried. In fact, as I write this I am crying still. I can NEVER tell this story without crying about it, either in print or in person.

    There is such POWER in GIVING things away to others, just because. And not having any other motivation, other than to just give a part of yourself away to another.

    Give a gift? Great thought, Todd. I've seen its power many, many times. This is only one time I have shared about. There have been many others.

    And now, my hope, my aim - if I can make it happen somehow - is to GIVE MYSELF AWAY in service, in music, in counseling, in writing on Facebook - in whatever way I can be helpful on this Good Earth, for my Very GOOD GOD, while I have breath and strength to do so.

    GOD bless you Todd for Little Things Matter. I am deeply touched each day by it, by the people's comments, and by the messages - always positive and lifting - that are shared here.

    With sincere gratitude,

    Dr. David A. Cook
    118 Yost Farm Rd.
    Salisbury, NC 28146

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