Have you ever experienced an unexpected kind interaction that changed your entire day? I have been fortunate enough to have partaken in such pleasantries, and I have taken it upon myself to pay it forward as often as possible.
We often become so caught up in our own minds that we fail to connect with one another. We walk down the street, and we are concerned about our plans for the day or the week, speculating over how we will get everything accomplished. Our thoughts are often elsewhere, especially with persistent intrusions from our overwhelming obligations and responsibilities.
Although we acknowledge such shortcomings, we often still struggle to engage in delightful interactions with others. We overthink it and make it much more difficult than it really is. It’s simple, really…
Everyone you encounter on a daily basis is dealing with some form of stress, hardship, or challenge that you know nothing about. Unless someone confides in you directly, you never really know what he or she is going through personally. A single smile can brighten someone’s day even more than you realize.
From our acquaintances to our coworkers to our closest friends and family members, we often wait for others to make the first move. However, people don’t always want to be the ones to reach out, which makes it all the more meaningful when someone else takes that step. Make an effort to initiate interactions with others. Be the first person to say hello. Be the one to extend an invitation to lunch. Go out of your way to acknowledge someone else and show him or her that you value your relationship.
We all need to hear words of encouragement from time to time. Never miss a chance to offer support to someone else. Our words are the easiest gift to offer to others, and yet we keep the nice ones to ourselves all too often. Choose to be friendly and generous. Speak with warmth and sincerity. People will notice and appreciate your kindness.
There is more than enough criticism to go around these days. Never miss an opportunity to compliment someone else. Even a kind remark of, “You look nice today!” or “You did a wonderful job presenting in the meeting this morning!” can immediately improve someone’s mood.
Whenever you are engaged in conversation with someone, offer your undivided attention. Be truly present in the moment and assure the other person with your attitude and body language that there is nowhere else you would rather be. With so many distractions in our fast-paced world, these brief reveries of uninterrupted interaction are rare and meaningful.
Before you make any judgments about someone else, take a moment to consider the scenario from his or her point of view. We are all presented with our own unique experiences, circumstances, and difficulties, and we should take the time to reflect upon the lessons that we are given each day. Everyone can teach you something if you are receptive and sensitive enough to learn from them.
The smallest acts of kindness can be the sole deciding factors in turning a bad day into a good one, or a good day into a great one. Never miss an opportunity to surprise and delight those around you.
You may even find that you surprise and delight yourself in the process. It’s that simple.