8 Things You Can do to Brighten a Stranger's Day ...

There are lots of ways you can brighten a stranger's day. This is actually one of my favorite things to do. Whether you don't know someone at all, or if you want to make someone you work with but may not know that well smile, there are many ideas that can help you do that. You can get some great ideas by reading through these 8 things you can do to bright a stranger's day, though!

1. Post-It

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In the event that there's someone you don't know that well at work, it can be difficult to go up and offer some random compliment. What you can do, however, is stick a post-it note to their desk or computer, letting them know that you like their hair, a piece of jewelry, and so on. You can make it anonymous if you want to; either way, it's sure to brighten the person's day.

2. Fly by Compliment

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You don't have to know a person to compliment. I love to call out a compliment when I'm just walking by someone. One time, I scared a girl in Salem, MA, to death because I told her I liked her hair … as I was walking out of the Broad Street Cemetery, and she was walking by it. But she got a huge smile after she got over the shock!

3. Pay It Backward

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A number of years ago, there was this little coffee shop deal, whether nearly everyone across the U.S. supposedly paid for the coffee of the person behind them. Cool, right? Even if we can't get anything like that going again, you could randomly offer to pay for the coffee of the person standing behind you the next time you're in line. Wouldn't that be nice?

4. Sneak a Fiver

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Try taping a five dollar bill – or more – to an item in the grocery store. Diapers work well because you know anyone buying a box of Huggies could use some extra money. This is the kind of anonymous but kind gesture that can really make someone feel like they've won the jackpot, even though it's not a lot of money.

5. A Rose by Any Other Name

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You can buy single roses at most stores and gas stations now, and they hardly cost anything. Try buying one, and sticking it under someone's windshield as you walk past. Can you imagine how much they'll smile when they see it?

6. Make a Donation

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A lot of people have conditioned themselves to look the other way when they pass someone on the street who is down and out or homeless. I know that it's sometimes tricky, because there are dangers on the street. However, if you're not by yourself, if you don't feel threatened, don't be stingy about a few cents or dollar bills. Share the wealth with someone less fortunate than you.

7. Smile

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Sometimes all you need to do is smile at someone as you pass them. Make eye contact, and flash a smile, even offer a wave. You don't have to say the word, because often it's the silent gestures that say the most. They'll definitely be appreciated.

8. An Act of Chivalry

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Finally, try giving up a cab to someone when you're both trying to get one at the same time. Open a door for someone else, give up a seat on the bus or the train, or offer to share your table at a restaurant. Little things like this can really mean the world to someone, and they don't cost you anything at all.

When you want to brighten a stranger's day, your options are endless. You can also think about what would make you smile. To be sure, these are some great things you can do to brighten a stranger's day. What else do you like to do to pay it forward?

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