Do you ever feel like most people today pay far too much attention to themselves and far too little to others? What would happen if we all went a little out of our way to make someone else feel good? I think we would have a world full of more hope, love, compassion, and smiles than we do now. No matter how much money you have, where you live, or what language you speak, you can ALWAYS do something to help another person, even if that just means opening the door for them when they have their hands full.
Here are 6 things I dare you to do today:
“How you make others feel about themselves says a lot about you.” – Unknown
1. Show compassion to someone
Like we said before, our society today pays far too much attention to the self rather than other people. No matter what you’re going through, you can always make someone else feel good somehow. Compliment them, hold the door for them, pull over to the side of the road if you see someone stranded, or bake cookies for a friend who just had a bad breakup. I think you get the point – you can probably list a million nice things to do for someone if you tried. Compassion costs nothing, and only requires that you open your heart and realize that we all are one family and should look out for each other whenever possible.
2. Tell someone they’re beautiful
We live in a world behind screens, and our conversations happen in bubbles through text, so our people skills will start to suffer. We have literally become afraid of getting close to other people because talking through technology feels more comfortable. Well, it’s time to break down those walls and get used to vulnerability again. Nothing bad will happen to you if you call someone beautiful – in fact, it has mutual benefits. You will feel uplifted, and the other person will, too. If you don’t believe us, you should read about this amazing photography project that a student did where she took pictures of people she found beautiful.
3. Hug a stranger
You don’t have to stand on the corner of the street with a ‘Free Hugs’ sign, but it might work best that way, because at least people know what to expect. Running up to them in a store or other public place might not give you the reaction you want, so if you feel like trying this, the free hugs strategy will probably be your best bet. Who knows the last time people hugged someone…they might live alone, not have a girlfriend or boyfriend at the moment, not have any friends..the reality for most people is that they feel quite lonely. So, you can help alleviate this feeling if only temporarily by offering them a hug.
Hugs have so many health benefits, including releasing oxytocin, a feel-good hormone that helps us trust others, decreasing our stress levels, giving us security, and lowering our blood pressure.
4. Call someone you’ve been meaning to talk to
Today, I dare you to give someone a ring who you have been wanting to talk to for ages, whether that be an old friend, your mom, your high school math teacher, or your ex-boyfriend. Calling someone we had/have a relationship with can make us feel safe, understood, and maybe give us a good laugh, too. It never hurts to catch up with someone and ask about how their life is going either, so what do you have to lose?
5. Commit a random act of kindness
This doesn’t have to involve anything fancy – you can hold a door open for someone, pay for their coffee at Starbucks, help them change a tire, offer to help your neighbor carry in their groceries, or something similar. We have dozens of daily opportunities to help one another, so why not take them? Remember, it usually costs nothing to help another person, and the feelings you and the other person will get are priceless.
6. Write someone a letter (by hand)
Can you think of the last time you received a handwritten letter? Me either. Today, we read emails and text messages, but it just doesn’t feel the same as opening a letter you got in the mail from your friend who lives halfway across the country. You get to see their own unique handwriting, read on paper instead of a screen, and wait with anticipation for the letter to arrive. So, if you can recall how excited you feel running to the mailbox to open your long-awaited letter, imagine how the recipient would feel!
I dare you to do some, if not all, of these things today. They don’t take much time or money – all they require is for you to open up your heart and spread a little love, kindness, and compassion.