FRIDAY FIVE: Simple ways to make a stranger’s day…

2012-08-16 22

THE world would be a much lovelier place if we all did something nice for each other, every now and then, don’t you think?

So why not make a little effort today and make a stranger’s day by surprising them with a thoughtful gesture.

Stuck for ideas? Fret not my pretties! Here are five easy peasy ways to cheer up someone you don’t even know.

* Smile

‘A smile costs nothing but gives much.’ If you don’t do anything else today, tomorrow or the day after that, then just smile. It really is that simple.

Next time you walk past someone in the street or catch eyes with someone in a shop or bar, just smile gently. It really can brighten someone’s day and you’ll be amazed at how many pearly smiles you get back. (Just make sure it’ a natural smile you give out, a demented grin is so not a good look.)

* Leave behind a book

If you’ve finished a fabulous book and are now wondering how you’re going to squeeze it into an already busting bookshelf, then I have just the solution. Leave it somewhere for a stranger to enjoy.

There are many times I’ve been sat somewhere, when a book would have been a pleasant distraction and I cannot be alone in thinking that. So share the wonderful magic of words and leave a book behind, where someone can marvel at the gift and enjoy it.

Great places to leave a book include on a train, at a station, in a cafe or on a bench in a park. Got two mins? Why not scribble down a comment or leave a little note inside.

*Note – you could also do this with magazines and newspapers too.

* Compliment someone

How many times have you seen somebody do something amazing or been left in wonder by somebody’s outfit or beauty or laughter or voice?

Next time somebody makes you sit up and appreciate something, take a moment to go and compliment them. Yes, that’s right. Go up to a stranger and tell them what you admire. Scary I know but it shouldn’t be!

Random strangers have complimented me on various things over the years and I have to say on every single occasion, the compliment has made my day.

So be brave, be polite and tell someone why you think their shoes, hairstyle, elegance or dance moves are just plain amazing. Then watch them walk away with a smile on their face and a spring in their step.

*Pay for a stranger’s cuppa or cake

Ok, this suggestion is a lot bolder I grant you, but can you just imagine how incredible it would be, if when you went to pay for a cup of tea or a slice of cake, that somebody had already paid for it, for you!

That some stranger, who wanted nothing in return but to make somebody’s day, had paid for your drink or food, just to cheer you up. How lovely would that be?

So why not go and do it, just for the hell of it. Next time you’re paying for your own cuppa or lunch, take a look around, choose someone who you think looks down in the dumps or a little stressed and treat them without them being none the wiser. Discreetly pay, then simply walk away, with the knowledge that you’ve done something really lovely. I guarantee you’ll feel amazing after.

* Leave a random note

I’ve said this often, but folk just don’t write enough letters these days. In my bid to get more people to take pen to paper, I’d like to encourage you all to throw caution to the wind and write an anonymous note for a stranger and leave it somewhere where it can be easily found.

I first came across this amazing idea a few months ago on the Guardian website. (You can read all about it here). The article covers the amazing initiative ‘The World Needs More Love Letters’ which was started by Hannah Brencher in New York.

The idea is that you write random letters for strangers that are acts of kindness or ‘love’, telling people you don’t know that they are remarkable and special, and then leave them somewhere public.

The wonderful initiative has since exploded and even has it’s own website, with 10,000 people across the world taking part. I don’t know about you, but I really do fancy being one of them.

Afterall, who knows how a few simple kind and inspiring words may change someone’s day or life.

What do you think of my ideas? Do you think I’m crazy wanting to spread some joy in the wider world? Have you or would you consider making a stranger’s day in some way? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Till the next time, do something kind today.



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8 Discussions on
“FRIDAY FIVE: Simple ways to make a stranger’s day…”
  • Hi Kate you are a very thoughtful lady, and if there was more people like you, the world would be a better place. The one I like the best and I find it easy and which comes very natural to do, and that is to compliment someone, even if they are a stranger and they are near me, if in my head I think oh they look nice or a child I see that is beautiful or the lady has got something on that I like, the words just come out lol but I suppose not everyone can do it. I also do smile at strangers not particular a man but a nice elderly lady is a nice thing to do. Yet again a wonderful blog Kate you are a very special lady. Love Janine XXX

    • Thank you Janine! What a lovely thing to say :)

      Keep complimenting and keep smiling! xxx

  • These are such wonderful ideas. How great the world would be if we all did this! I have been trying some of these out and I think that not only do you make other people happier but by thinking of others you actually make your self happier too.

  • Love, love, love this post! I try to make an effort to compliment friends and strangers – I like your hair, your top, ooo what a lovely bag etc. It never fails to lift people. Thanks for reminding us how important this is. #TheList

  • Not crazy at all, these are lovely ideas! Random acts of kindness can really make someone’s day, whether it’s something simple like a smile or a compliment, or paying for someone in a cafe. I’ve heard that there are some cafés where you can buy your own drink and ask to put one by – the one that is put by is then given to someone in need, such as someone who loves on the street. A couple of other ideas I’ve heard of include buying lottery scratchards and leaving them in random places. I’ve heard that research has shown that regularly doing random acts of kindness can help improve your own happiness, too. Xx #TheList

  • I LOVE this! I think it would be lovely if people were a little kinder to others. My daughter smiles and waves at strangers (she is 18 months old) and it always amazes me how many people simply put their heads down and walk past. A smile and a wave to a small child is not that difficult is it! I love your ideas, I posted about ‘passing it on’ and you have reminded me I still have to send out my 5 random gifts. Thanks for linking to #TheList xx

  • This is so lovely, it’s amazing what difference it can make to a really poo day if a stranger just gives you a kind smile. And the paying for someone’s cuppa idea is really lovely too, I’m so going to try and do that. Thanks for the inspiring thoughts :-) x

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