Kindness begets kindness. If you make someone smile, you just might make their day. Would you like to make a positive impact? If so, here are 20 simple ways to make someone happy.

1. Make Eye Contact and Say “Hello”

Don’t be shy! Do this every time you walk past a person at the grocery store, street, or even at work.

2. Call a Friend for No Reason

Most of us resort to texting these days and save phone calls for when we need something. Surprise a friend with a random phone call and say, “I actually don’t have a reason for calling, I was just wondering how you’re doing?”

3. Send a Thoughtful E-mail

If a co-worker has been talking about something they hope to accomplish (like writing a book or learning a new language), find a helpful article relevant to their goal and send it to them. They will appreciate the thought.

4. Offer Baby-Sitting Services

If you are a trusted friend of a couple who you know is very busy and unable to go out on dates too often, offer to hang out with the kids next weekend so they can escape the house for some much-needed alone time.

5. Check Up on Your Mom

You know you don’t call your mother enough and it will make her day, so just do it.

6. Donate Stuff to Charity

How many of the clothes in your closet do you actually wear? How many toys do your kids really need? Eliminate the clutter from your home and give it to someone who needs it. You can even involve your child in the process so they learn the importance of giving.

7. Throw a Party

It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate, but choose 5-10 of your closet friends and decide on a date that is convenient for all of you. Ask everyone to bring over a single dish or bottle of wine for a fun night of bonding and conversation. 

8. Offer Encouragement

Do you know a friend who wants to accomplish a big goal in life? Tell them that you believe they can do it and offer your support.

9. Rally the Troops

If someone in your workplace is having a really hard time because a death in the family or whatever the case may be, take the initiative to get a card and have everyone in the office sign it.

10. Be Mysterious

Plan a fun night-out with your partner, but don’t inform them of any of the details. You could get tickets to a live play or concert they would enjoy, reserve spots in a dance class, or simply go on a peaceful hike. Explain the proper attire, but don’t tell them the rest. 

11. The Forgotten Birthday

We have all forgotten about a birthday of a close friend, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make them happy. Surprise them with a thoughtful gift days or even weeks after the fact. Write a little note saying something like, “I kinda forgot about your birthday and feel like a big goof, but hey, this present more than makes up for it, am I right?”

12. Write a Thank You Note

If someone helped you move furniture, land a job or prepare for a big project, write a note expressing your gratitude. Make sure they know that if they ever could use your help, you’d be more than happy to return the favor.

13. Dance the Night Away

This point is mostly targeted to men because I know a lot of you prefer sitting-on-the-side-lines in the club, but don’t you think your partner might like it if you joined her on the dance floor? Your manhood will not wither away and you are not going to look silly, I promise.

14. Do Some Chores

If some friends invited you over for dinner, march over to the sink and start working on the dishes without as much as asking if they could use your help.

15. Brew a New Pot

Walking into the break room is a moment of terror that fills all coffee fiends with dread. Save your co-workers from this nightmare by brewing a new pot if you get the last cup.

16. Make ‘em Laugh

Share a funny cartoon at the office. Tell a silly joke to your kids. Go to a stand-up comedy show with your partner.

17. Listen

Do you know someone who is having a really hard time? Ask them if they would like to talk about it and listen without judgment or interruption. Sometimes the greatest gift we can offer is silence and understanding.

18. Tip Generously

Surprise your waiter or waitress with a tip that is far above the norm. If your lunch was $10, you could make their day with $5.

19. Put Other People First

As soon as you walk inside from work, hug your children, kiss your partner, and/or rub your dog’s belly. These people have missed you all day, so express your love to them before you do anything for yourself.

20. Speak Kind Words

Send a text, email, or Facebook comment to a friend just to say they are a wonderful person and you are thankful that they are a part of your life. Even better, give a specific compliment about one of their strongest qualities as a person, like, “I just want you to know that I’m really glad we’re friends. You have a way of making me laugh when I need it the most.”

Do you have any other suggestions?

I would love it if you helped me increase the scope of this list by commenting with your own ideas about thoughtful things that will make someone happy. Let’s hear it!

The best things in life really are free. Spending time with your family, enjoying a good book, or simply pursuing a hobby you enjoy are all great, absolutely free things that can make you happy today. 30 Absolutely Free Activities That Can Make You Happy Today

Featured photo credit: Neal.via Flickr

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