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Acts of kindness

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Acts of kindness

Look for ways to make people around you feel more comfortable. Hold or open the door for others. Answer questions for new employees in a respectful way. Compliment someone on a job well done. Wave or say hello in passing. Be patient when someone is learning something new. Be genuinely interested in what someone has to say. Listen to a problem that someone is experiencing – ask if they want help with a solution or just someone to listen. Empathize with someone who trusts you enough to talk about what they’re going through. Bring food or water to a homeless person rather than money. Allow a colleague or friend to vent their frustration with a situation on you. Give someone a compliment. Give someone a ride when they need it. Let someone know when they have something in their teeth. Buy someone a meal.

Let a car out in front of you in traffic. Let someone go ahead of you in line at a grocery store. Let someone borrow your car. Give a stranger directions when they are lost. Help a coworker when they have a question. Let someone know when they do a good job or do something that helps you out. Treat others how you would want to be treated.

Tip more than 15% if you have the means to do so. Don’t be on your phone when having a conversation or hanging out with people. Take the time to make something for someone (baking, knitting, etc). Run errands for someone who doesn’t have the time to do it themselves. Say hello, acknowledge someone’s presence. Extend a helping hand.


Listen and ask questions to understand. Let others know you are grateful. Buy lunch for a stranger. Make eye contact and smile at someone. Give someone a hug (make sure they want the hug first). Thank someone for who they are. Be courteous while driving even if other drivers are not. Be willing to understand other people’s opinion or point of view. Answer questions in a way that doesn’t put others down or make them feel stupid. Thank your significant other for the things they do around the house, even if it is agreed that they are supposed to do those tasks. Ask about someone’s family, significant other, friend, or anyone you know is important to the person.

Help a stranger having car troubles (or any other trouble). Send a kind email, note, etc. recognizing something someone did for you. High fives, hugs, pats on the back. Call strangers “Sir”, “Miss”, or “Ma’am”. Laugh when people think they said something funny (whether or not is in in fact funny). Remember dates that are important in other people’s lives. Help others in need.

Give your partner the day off. Actively listen when someone is speaking to you. Make dinner for your significant other when they’ve had a bad day. Be attentive when holding a conversation. Help someone move when they need assistance. Give a foot rub — even if their feet are a little smelly. Don’t mention said person’s smelly feet whilst foot rubbing. Clean up after other people.

Celebrate another’s success. Ask someone how their day is and help them if needed. Replace the toilet paper roll when it is empty. Call people you care about that live far away to see how they are doing. Ask others if they need help with anything. Offer to buy something from the store for somebody. Be sensitive to the feelings of others. Respond to the feelings of theirs (talk to those that seem lonely, help put thing in perspective when somebody is angry, etc). Ask, “How can I help?”. Do something helpful that nobody will ever know about.

Offer your coat to somebody who is obviously colder than you. Stand out of the way if someone else is already walking through a narrow area. Help somebody with a burden (physical or otherwise). Respect the opinions of others. Pay for the car behind you in the drive-thru at Taco Bell. Donate time to the animal shelter. Make someone a mix tape.

Bake a cake for someone. Listen to someone vent and keep their confidence. Check to see if those near you need anything on your way to run an errand. Pick up litter when you see it, even if it was not yours. Be patient with others.

Show an interest in things others care about. Make someone a meal and be an accommodating host. Ask your host if they need help cleaning up. Ask someone about a recent trip or weekend and be genuinely interested. Offer someone your chair. Explain something to someone in a polite way if they don’t understand it – use different words so it is more likely they will understand. Give someone a ride home. Call mom to say hi.

Invite the in-laws over for dinner. Offer to cover for a person who is going on vacation. Fold the laundry (or do another chore that isn’t typically yours). Buy someone flowers/a card. Write a Thank You note. Cook/bake a friend’s favorite thing. Remember someone’s preference on how they like their coffee/tea and offer to get it/make it for them. Try to take the most respectful interpretation of unknown circumstances.

Write someone a letter.

Babysit for a friend so they can go out. Be polite, even with less friendly people. Touch base with friends and family that live in other places to see how they are doing. Get up early to take care of a pet so your significant other can sleep in a little bit more. Say “Good Morning” and mean it. Serve first without any expectation of something in return. Help your neighbors (at work and at home).

Serve your partner at home:
a. Take out the trash
b. Make the beds
c. Do the dishes without being asked
d. Do the laundry, fold all clothes, and put them away
e. Wash your partner’s car
f. Clean the yard/garage without being asked
g. Make the evening or the weekend about what your partner/children want to do
h. Take time to really listen to your children/partner/parents

Call your parents, brothers, sisters, friends without consideration of the conversation (just say hello and listen). Be a good listener who carefully hears what is being said. Thank your partner when they support an unexpected event. Be available for the unexpected. Be aware of our elderly and help when you can.

Set examples for all to follow.

Listen to a person, let them finish what they say and let them know you heard them. Answer a person’s question and make sure they felt answered. Interact with someone without judgement – let them be who they are. Thank someone genuinely for doing something, even if it is mundane. Help someone who is not feeling great to find something productive to do (without judgement). Find something right in what a person is saying. Find something you like about a person you talk to. You don’t have to even say it, just find it.

Let someone who is carrying something go first/get through. When you call customer service at an odd time (like a Sunday), thank them for working so you have someone to call. Let someone finish what they are doing before starting a conversation/interrupting. Realize when you’re not in a good mood and make an effort to not snap at people.

Forgive people and don’t hold grudges.

Pay attention to how others react when you’re talking to them – adjust your tone and apologize if you’ve offended them. Take the time to ask your kids, loved ones, or anyone you care about how their day was. Do something that your significant other or friend wants to do when you go out. Buy someone coffee who is in line behind you. Give someone the day/evening off. Pay someone’s tab in a restaurant/, grocery store, or coffee shop.

Call parents, especially if you don’t speak often. Greet, smile at, and meet the eyes of cashiers, waters, gas station attendants, etc. Pay attention to others’ food preferences and dietary needs so everyone gets enough food. When apologizing, apologize for your own actions, not for the other person’s reaction. Listen more than you talk.

Compliment dogs – people like their dogs and like to hear them appreciated, and dogs deserve compliments. Ask people, “Is there some specific area in which you think I can do better?” or “Is there a way I can be of more help to you?”. The most valuable thing we have is time. Ask people, “Is there anything I can do that would give you more time to do what you need to do?”. Stay calm no matter what is going on around you, particularly if you have a reason to be upset.

Call an old friend every 2 weeks.

Send a card and/or a small gift to a friend for no reason. Look for an opportunity to make someone look smart. Cheer someone up who seems sad or frustrated. Ask the question each day, “What act of kindness can I do today?”. Stop for pedestrians. Resupply the bathroom. Use the courtesy flush. Clean the coffee machines. If you make a mistake, take the time to apologize and correct it. Clean up in the gym. Spend time with friends.

Be interested in others instead of trying to be interesting to them. Do not need to get in the last word. Acknowledge the people you are talking with and remember things about them and what they talk about. Ensure others can participate. Be aware of those around you and notice if you upset them (then fix it). Find what others are doing right and thank them for it.

Thank others, even if what they are doing is part of their job. Offer to provide a service for someone if you are knowledgeable in a certain area. Inquire about birthday/anniversary dates and make a point to wish them a happy birthday/anniversary on that day. Send a personal card/not to their home address for birthday/anniversary or just to say thank you.

Attend an event with someone else to keep them company even if you hate whatever it is they are doing. Empty trash/wipe down desk. Help research a question for someone else and give them the details of what was found (i.e. cheapest place to get car serviced). Ask about family/become aware of those that are important to them.

Bring in someone’s favorite drink in the morning.

Buy someone their favorite treat and bring it by in the afternoon. Share your treat/food with others – fill up others treat jars for them. Listen without interrupting and don’t offer and opinion unless asked. Clean the kitchen/empty the trash before leaving a party at another’s house – pick up after others. Be helpful without expecting anything in return.

Find out what staff or others need and help them with that thing. Find out what spouse wants help on and do it. Respond to LinkedIn contact notices about job anniversaries. Send birthday wishes to friends. Pay attention to a speaker – don’t doodle on paper or fail to look at them when they talk. Be open to communication from staff anytime they need something.

Clean up/care for pets without being asked to. Help a stranger with something. Cook breakfast for significant other. Give treats to dogs and cats. Take in a homeless animal. Help a friend with their outdoor chores, especially during bad weather. Reverse the roles, and ask your parents if they need anything.


Leave sweet notes for spouse or kids. Give a thoughtful gift for no reason. Give up your time for someone else. Help someone without being asked. Listen to someone talk about their job, and be interested in it and them. Let an upset person say everything they have to say, until they are done. Listen to someone’s opinion on something, without interjecting your own. Try to spend a week not talking about yourself. Laugh WITH someone, not AT them.

Come to the defense of someone, instead of “going along with the crowd”. Adopt an attitude that the other person knows more about a subject or job than you do, without having to prove that they don’t. Clean the house for your significant other. Give shelter to outdoor animals. If you see something at store that reminds you of someone, buy it as a gift for them just because.