Having a bad day? Want a sure-fire way to make it better? Spend a few minutes doing something for someone else. Studies show that when we make someone else feel good, we feel good too. So, how can you make someone else happy? Here are just a few ways:
1. Let them know you are thinking about them. When life gets busy, it’s easy to neglect our friends, but odds are, they are missing you as much as you are missing them. Reach out! Text, email or call a friend just to say, "Hi! I’ve been thinking about you! How are you?"
2. Give a compliment. Think about how great you felt the last time you received a sincere, unexpected compliment. You can share that feeling! Look for opportunities to compliment others. The best compliments are specific and take note of the complimentee’s effort. For example, while it’s great to hear, "You look good today!", try mentioning the specifics: "Great scarf! It really brings your outfit together!"
3. Bring snacks. Everyone likes snacks. Try bringing a treat to the office or dropping off some fruit or home-baked cookies to someone who has helped you out recently. Not a baker? Buy someone a cup of coffee. For bonus points, take note of your friends’ and colleagues’ preferences (keep a cheat sheet on your phone). They’ll be touched that you remembered that they take their caramel macchiato half-sweet.
4. Offer a hand. Gifts don’t have to be things. They can also be time and effort. Whether you help your neighbor shovel their walk, mentor a new colleague, or lend an ear to someone who needs to talk, make someone’s day by helping where you can.
Next time, I’ll bring you suggestions for how to be happier at work. In the meantime, make your colleagues happier by trying some of these suggestions.