88 Ways To Make A Stranger Smile

Make a Stranger Smile Today

Don’t wait for people to smile.  Show them how.

Let your guard down.  Talk to someone you don’t know straight from your heart.  Compliment them.  Don’t anticipate awkwardness.  Just be you in that beautiful way only you know and give them the chance to smile and connect with you.

Remember, your best friend was once a stranger too.

Love whoever is around to be loved.
-Kurt Vonnegut

  1. Smile often.
  2. Hold a door open for someone.
  3. Pay for the person in line behind you.
  4. Send a hand-written thank you card to someone who assisted you with something.
  5. Clean out all your old clothes and donate them to someone in need.
  6. Give a compliment about a waiter, waitress, sales clerk, etc. to his or her manager.
  7. Compliment a stranger’s appearance.  Flatter them.
  8. Leave encouraging post-it notes in a library books and other random places.  (Read Operation Beautiful.)
  9. Help an elderly person carry something.
  10. Send flowers to someone anonymously.
  11. Be a courteous driver.  Let people merge in front of you.
  12. Volunteer at a children’s hospital or nursing home.
  13. Donate blood.
  14. Buy house warming gifts for new neighbors.
  15. Introduce yourself.  Make new colleagues, classmates, etc. feel welcome.
  16. Inspire others online.  (Check out Makes Me Think.)
  17. Send letters of appreciation to business owners/managers and other people who support you.
  18. Treat everyone with the same level of respect you’d give to your grandfather.
  19. Give everyone the same level of patience you’d have with your baby sister.
  20. Appreciate people the way they are.
  21. Share your lunch or a snack with someone who doesn’t have one.
  22. Put some change in an expired parking meter.
  23. Check up on someone who looks lonely.
  24. Tell your boss, teacher or professor that he or she is doing a great job and that you appreciate what they’ve taught you.
  25. Create places and things for others to enjoy.  Like decorating your house for the holidays or creating a piece of art.
  26. If you overhear that it’s someone’s birthday, go out of your way to wish them a happy one.
  27. Ask someone for their opinion or advice.
  28. Bring cookies or bagels to work for everyone.
  29. Tip waiters and waitresses well when they deserve it.
  30. Be a part of something you believe in.  Those around you will notice your enthusiasm.  (Read The Alchemist.)
  31. Leave a thank-you note for the office janitors.
  32. Help bag your own groceries at the checkout counter.
  33. Offer your seat to someone when there aren’t any left.
  34. Let someone with only a few items cut you in line at the grocery store.
  35. Wave to a kid in the car next to you.
  36. Spread good news.
  37. Repeat something nice you heard about someone else.
  38. Remember people’s names and address them accordingly.
  39. When you make eye contact with someone, smile.
  40. Replace what you’ve used.  For example, fill up the copier or printer with paper after you’re done using it.
  41. Share your umbrella on a rainy day.
  42. Listen intently to people’s stories without trying to fix everything.
  43. Dance with someone who hasn’t been asked.
  44. Call a stranger’s attention to a beautiful sunset or full moon.  (Check out What Money Cannot Buy.)
  45. Give words of encouragement toward someone’s dream, no matter how big or small it is.
  46. Ask someone who enjoys cooking for a recipe.
  47. Let someone else eat the last slice of pizza or cake.
  48. Stop and buy a drink from a kid’s lemonade stand.
  49. Help someone get your parking space in a crowded parking lot when you’re leaving.
  50. Ask someone you see every now and then if they’ve lost weight.
  51. Do a little something extra to make someone else’s life easier.
  52. Use all the manners you learned in Kindergarten.
  53. Listen to someone’s pain and help them find a path through it.
  54. Give without expecting to get back.
  55. Encourage others to do one unanticipated kind or helpful act at least once a week.
  56. Observe everyone without judging.
  57. Say “Please” and “Thank you.”
  58. Forgive and let go of anger.  For instance, if somebody accidentally cuts you off in traffic, just let it go.
  59. Believe in yourself with all of your heart.  People will notice.
  60. Don’t be so serious all the time.  (Read The Happiness Project.)
  61. Treat every small interaction with another person as an opportunity to make a positive impact in both your lives.
  62. Greed, anger and ignorance.  Avoid all three.
  63. Speak the truth.
  64. Teach others how to make a difference by setting an example.
  65. Help others be independent.
  66. Give people the space they need.
  67. Lend your shoulder to cry on.
  68. Offer encouragement after a failure.
  69. Acknowledge people for a job well done.
  70. Tell a good joke.
  71. Clean up after yourself.
  72. Excel at what you do.  People appreciate professionals.
  73. Create a care package and send it to an active duty military unit.
  74. Redirect gifts.  Instead of having people give you birthday and holiday gifts, ask them to donate gifts or money to a good cause.
  75. Stop to help.  The next time you see someone pulled over with a flat tire, or in need of assistance, stop and ask how you can help.
  76. Put a small personal touch on everything you do.  People notice and appreciate individuality.
  77. Take the time to teach someone a skill you know.
  78. Help someone get active.  There’s a coworker or acquaintance in your life who wants to get healthy, but needs a helping hand.  Offer to go walking or running together, to join a gym together.
  79. Send a nice email to a tech support representative who has assisted you.
  80. Donate food to a charity.
  81. Stand up for someone.  Lend your voice. Often the powerless, the homeless, the neglected in our world need someone to speak up for them.
  82. If you see a couple taking a self-pic, offer to take the picture for them.
  83. Help the weary shopper in front of you who needs that extra two or three cents to avoid breaking a 20-dollar bill.
  84. Come to the rescue.  If you realize someone is sick, bring them some hot tea, etc.
  85. Stand up for your beliefs without flaunting them.
  86. Make yourself available and approachable.
  87. Over-deliver on all of your promises and obligations.
  88. Be positive and focus on what’s right.

And above all, live proudly.  Inspire people with who you are and how you live your life.

Photo by: Thomas Hawk

Comments

  1. says

    “When you make eye contact with someone, smile.”

    Haha that awkward eye contact always happened to me. I should get the urge to smile first next time! Thank you for inspiring! :)

  2. says

    The power of our smile is amazing. A few years ago I set myself a goal of bringing a smile to the face of 1000 strangers, and met my goal in a about two years. I don’t know how much it helped the strangers, but the project had a life changing impact on me.

    There are many great ideas on your list. I particularly like “Spread Good News”, and your many examples of simple actions such as “leave a thank you note for the office janitors.”

  3. Alice says

    Just some things I’m thinking of doing-
    Making cupcakes/cookies and keeping them in a jar by the door, so when somebody knocks to deliver a parcel or something, you can offer them a treat :)
    And
    When you have a little extra cash, getting a rucksack and putting a few essential items in it (soap, toothpaste, food, a blanket, maybe dog food, etc.) and then giving it to/leaving it by a homeless person, to show them someone cares :)

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