CC Issue 08 / Reflections

How to Make Someone’s Day

How to Make Someone’s Day

There are times when things fall into your lap, when you don’t have to try and everything is working and you feel blessed to have everything that you have. You love your friends, your family, your job and your dogs, and nothing could be better. Then there are the other days, when even the thought of getting up and trudging through another day of uninspired monotony is enough to catapult you to the brink of despair. These are the bad days and we all have them.

Luckily, it often takes just a tiny gesture of goodwill to turn it all around.  While you may never achieve Amelie’s success (see clip below), you  may be able to make a small difference for someone else by following these tips:



Remember something about them

Nothing makes you feel interesting like when someone remembers a small detail about your life. If you want to make someone feel good, carefully regurgitate details of their life back to them. The conversation will continue on as normal but if you look closely, an almost imperceptible smile will cross their face, as they register that yes, indeed, they are interesting enough to remember. Here’s a quick example:

John: What did you do on the weekend?
Mary: I went on a camping trip to Wilson’s Prom.
John: Oh, great! I hope you didn’t twist your ankle like last time.
Mary: (Imperceptible smile crosses face – ‘Wow! He remembered!’). Noooo, I was more careful this time. (Smile continues. ‘I feel validated.’)

Let someone in
Whether you’re lining up, driving in a car or walking through a crowded train station, the simple act of letting someone in is one of the most powerful small acts that one can perform. To do it, simply make eye contact with the person whose day you wish to make, then tilt your head to one side and mouth the words, “After you.” You should accompany this with an appropriate hand gesture. When driving, a simple flash of the lights will do, followed by a hand gesture if necessary. If someone waves to you to say, “Thank you,” reciprocate by keeping your hand on the steering wheel, nodding your head and raising one or two fingers.

Teasing is one of the best ways to show someone that you like them. However, when doing this, you must be sure that your tone is clearly jovial. Irony works with some people and not others, and although it is best performed deadpan, sometimes people will take offence if you call them an ugly, uncoordinated brute and they have to find the irony on their own.

Leave a note
Nothing says, “I’m thinking of you,” like a strategically-left note. Post-it notes do the trick perfectly. It doesn’t count if the note is asking you to do something, like, “Don’t forget to feed the cat.” However, something like, “Hey buddy. I hope you’re having a good day. Here’s a little bit of chocolate, you handsome devil,” would do the trick nicely. The most common form is the note left on the desk at work, but a kitchen table would work just as well. The grand daddy is the note left on the car windscreen, as it contains the added suspense of having to get out of the car in order to read said message.

Too often we let self-doubt stop us from doing something worthwhile. If your friend has a passion for something, make them feel like they can do it, even if you think they can’t. At least they won’t die wondering.

Follow these rules and you will be making people’s days left, right and centre. If anyone has any other ways to make one’s day, feel free to share them.

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