In this post, you will find 200 simple ways to be kind to others (and yourself).
Kindness is one of the most important attributes that we can develop as human beings. Being kind creates meaningful human connections and improves quality of life for everyone involved.
Can you think of a time when someone was unexpectedly kind to you?
Was it a loved one or a total stranger?
How did it make you feel?
Did you pass it on?
One of the best things about kindness is that it has a ripple effect. When you are kind to people, they are likely to pass on that goodwill to someone else. Thereby, continuing the cycle.
Random acts of kindness don’t have to be elaborate or complicated; the most simple actions can make a huge difference in someone else’s life and restore our collective faith in humanity.
In fact, the more simple the better. That way, we can show others kindness anytime and anywhere.
I’ve come up with a long list of easy ways to be kind, caring and compassionate to others, so keep reading!
32 Ways to Teach Your Kids Kindness
Kids pick up things easily. If you want to see a true reflection of yourself, there’s no better mirror than a little kid repeating your actions and words.
As parents, teachers, or guardians, we want to guide our children to become kind adults in the future. By teaching them to be helpful, empathetic and service-oriented, we make them better people and strengthen society as a whole.
To achieve that goal, here are 32 ideas for teaching your young ones how to be kind. Who knows, maybe us adults can pick up a thing or two from this list as well.
- Encourage your kids to talk to the new student at school.
- Have your kids call their grandparents or family members that live far away to check on them and see how they’re doing.
- Have your kid write a thank you note for your mail carrier and leave it in the mailbox.
- Show them how to set the table for dinner or how to wash dishes after someone cooks for them.
- Encourage your kids to take the dogs out on walks around the house.
- Teach them to share their candy and toys with friends or cousins who visit.
- Encourage them to sincerely compliment their friends when they see each other.
- Have them check on an elderly neighbor and help them with chores.
- Teach them to say please when requesting things & thank you when receiving things.
- Have them set up a lemonade stand and donate the proceeds to charity.
- Donate used books to the library.
- Direct them to say a big thank you to service workers and sanitation workers.
- Have them clean up their sick sibling’s room.
- Guide your kids to clean up their own messes.
- Volunteer for a building project through Habitat for Humanity.
- Have them wash a neighbor’s car.
- Plant trees in your neighborhood.
- Wheel out the neighbor’s garbage can.
- Help them donate clothes, books, and toys to a homeless shelter.
- Buy a bundle of flowers and give them out one by one.
- Volunteer to sing songs at hospitals and nursing homes.
- Take them to walk the dogs at a local animal shelter.
- Take care of the neighbor’s plants or pets while they are away.
- Write notes and cards to loved ones expressing how much they care about them.
- Create and give out teacher appreciation gifts.
- Have them bring cookies to school to share with their friends.
- Take them to visit a sick friend at the hospital and teach them to say ‘get well soon’.
- Encourage them to send a postcard to a friend who has moved away.
- Have them make a gift for a classmate on their birthday.
- Urge them to create a personalized gift for someone they truly appreciate.
- Motivate them to smile and greet people they see.
- Donate extra money to charity and explain the importance of sharing with those in need. It’s not about how much they decide to give; it’s about the gesture.
83 Different Ways To Be Kind To Strangers
As an adult, offering kindness to people we don’t know can be scary. What if they reject us? What if they think we’re being weird or intrusive? We limit our kindness to friends and family because we’re familiar with them and we already know how they will respond.
What we have to remember is that our acts of kindness are not for validation. Even when the person you’re being kind to isn’t appreciative, that warm and gratifying feeling that you get from doing something good will bring you happiness and mental wellness.
That being said, here are 83 ways to be kind to strangers you encounter.
- Learn to use the magic words (please, excuse me, I am sorry, thank you, and pardon me) when you speak.
- Lend your support to minority-owned businesses by buying from them.
- Join a welcoming committee and help others feel welcome when they are new to your school, church, or community.
- Hold the door open for others.
- Promote small businesses that you love on social media.
- Feed someone you know that is hungry. It could be a homeless person or a hungry family on your street.
- Strike up a conversation with someone you’ve just met. We all crave connection and it feels good to find it in the most random places.
- When you are at the grocery store, buy the cashier something.
- Donate to a stranger’s GoFundMe.
- Volunteer at a home for the elderly.
- Offer to carry your neighbor’s grocery bags or luggage.
- Thank people when they are kind to you. It is important to acknowledge other people’s acts of kindness.
- Donate your time or money to charity.
- Join an online community and help to answer people’s questions.
- Write uplifting notes and leave them in places where people can find them.
- Leave extra coupons at the store, for someone else to use.
- Pay for a stranger’s meal at the drive-thru.
- Learn to pay people compliments. Tell a stranger that they look good. Compliment their outfit or their hairstyle.
- When customer service asks you how you’re doing, ask them how they’re doing in return.
- Smile at strangers.
- Water your neighbor’s dead or dying plants.
- Reach out to a former teacher and thank them.
- Move things out of the way that could trip people. (For example, push in chairs).
- Return a lost item that you’ve found.
- Report a crime. This can go a long way towards helping past or potential victims.
- Tip people for their excellent service whenever you can.
- Pay for a stranger’s ticket at the toll booth.
- Congratulate a stranger on their wins.
- Sponsor a student through college if you can afford it.
- Write uplifting messages to a pen pal.
- Donate your clothes to a local orphanage.
- Also, donate food to an orphanage.
- Cuddle preterm babies at participating hospitals.
- Talk to people in a gentle, engaging and respectful tone.
- Learn to recycle. This creates a sustainable environment for the generations to come. If that isn’t kindness, I don’t know what is.
- When driving, obey traffic rules and don’t give in to road rage. Allow pedestrians to cross at zebra crossings, hold up your hand to say thanks and wave appreciatively when another driver lets you cut in front of them.
- Invite a total stranger to have lunch with you.
- Send care packages to internally displaced persons, military personnel, or people whose homes were ruined by storm or fire.
- Share fruits and vegetables from your garden with strangers.
- Leave a few coins at the vending machine.
- Donate your old magazines. They can come in handy in waiting rooms.
- Don’t yell at people even when they make mistakes. Instead, be patient and use a pleasant tone to communicate your grievances.
- Let a stranger cut in line at the checkout or movie theater.
- If someone is protesting, listen carefully to what they have to say, and if it is a cause that you would like to support, sign their petition. When strangers work together towards a common goal, we can affect change in society.
- Welcome someone who recently moved into your neighborhood for dinner or just coffee.
- The next time you are on the bus or in the midst of people you don’t know, ask people questions about themselves. Some will be uninterested but others will have great stories to tell. Not everyone has someone to talk to.
- Pray with a stranger. If they are believers, it might just be the comfort they need.
- Give up your seat on a plane so a group of travelers can sit together.
- Give your seat in a crowded bus to the elderly or disabled.
- Help someone who looks lost with directions.
- Take a minute to tell someone’s boss that they did a great job.
- Give out flowers in a hospital or nursing home.
- Buy gift cards and hand them out to people you don’t know.
- On a hot summer day, hand out water bottles to construction workers.
- Encourage a parent whose child is being noisy in a public space.
- Put a dollar in a purse on sale at the store. It will be a pleasant surprise for whoever buys it.
- Pick up litter / trash on the street.
- Engage newbies at the office or a party in conversation. We all know how being the new person can make you feel awkward and left out.
- Give an umbrella to someone stuck in the rain.
- Support a child’s business. Buy from their lemonade or brownie stand.
- Send thank-you notes to service workers, your local firefighters, or police officers.
- Learn first aid. You might help save a life one day!
- Donate blood at a blood drive.
- Donate your old electronics to charity.
- Donate towels and blankets to an animal shelter.
- Play with animals at the local shelter.
- Share your knowledge with people freely. You can do this by setting up a blog, YouTube channel, giving out free lectures, or mentoring someone.
- Take a stranger’s shopping cart back inside the store for them.
- Help walk a neighbor’s dog when they are too busy or sick to do it themselves.
- If a neighbor just had major surgery or a baby, make them some dinner.
- Help mow your neighbor’s lawn.
- Scrape ice off of a stranger’s windshield.
- Take diapers and wipes to your local women’s shelter.
- Buy and donate high-quality socks to the homeless in your city.
- Try to comfort someone who’s crying in a public space.
- Leave a gift card and encouraging note in a random book at the library.
- Give away your parking spot.
- Adopt a pet instead of buying one (there are so many animals looking for love!).
- Make or buy cards with inspiring quotes and give them away.
- Always wipe down gym equipment after each use.
- Endorse a skilled person on LinkedIn.
- Leave some change at the laundromat.
39 Different Ways To Be Caring Towards Friends and Family
We run to our loved ones when the going gets tough because we know that they have our backs. Unfortunately, this can make it easy to take them for granted.
Let’s not forget to do something special for our friends and family members whenever we can. Here are 39 great ways to extend kindness to those closest to you.
- Surprise a loved one with breakfast in bed.
- Help someone do laundry.
- Buy from your friend’s business.
- Help them promote their business on social media.
- Write a handwritten note to uplift your best friend’s mood every week of the year.
- Help your family carve pumpkins for Halloween.
- Organize a clean-up party for a friend moving out of an apartment.
- Help someone move.
- Get a souvenir for loved ones when returning from a trip.
- Help a friend study for an upcoming exam or job interview.
- Help a loved one find a new job.
- Set up your friend on a blind date with someone you know would be perfect for them.
- Help tidy up your roommate’s things. You never know what they are going through.
- Keep loved ones company during and after a surgical operation.
- Plan playdates with your kids or babysit for them, especially when they could really use some alone time without their kids.
- Create a scrapbook for your friends and family, highlighting memories you always want to remember.
- Let your friend know when they’ve got food stuck between their teeth.
- Listen intently to your friends and family when they are venting about a bad day.
- Surprise loved ones with lunch at work, especially when you know that it’s going to be a busy day for them.
- Send flowers to a friend going through challenging times.
- Send flowers to a friend celebrating a significant milestone, such as a wedding anniversary, a promotion, or a book launch.
- Send a random message of encouragement, letting your loved one know how important they are to you.
- Plan a fun day with your friend and choose an activity that they love (even if it’s not one that you prefer).
- Help loved ones remain positive in tough situations.
- Pray for and comfort a brokenhearted friend.
- Do the chore your spouse/roommate/sibling hates to do.
- Help a friend plan for a big day.
- Teach your friend a skill that you’re an expert in.
- Invite a friend over for coffee and talk about your week.
- Throw them a surprise party.
- Make them a sunshine box.
- Share a funny story that’s guaranteed to crack your family member up when they are feeling sad.
- Give a hug.
- Go out of your way to spend meaningful time with them, especially when it has been difficult to reconcile your schedules.
- Bake them their favorite snack or dessert.
- Give your friend an item of clothing from your closet, that you know they love.
- Read your friend’s blog posts or watch their vlogs regularly.
- Offer to run your spouse’s or roommate’s errands while doing yours.
- Gift a loved one a positivity jar and bring them smiles when they feel down.
- When you encounter a video, quote or image that your loved one would relate to, send it to them.
28 Ways To Show Your Co-Workers Compassion
We spend most of our adult lives working to make a living. And because of that, we often spend more time with our coworkers than we spend with our friends and family members.
So if we really want to make a difference with our acts of kindness, we can’t forget our colleagues at work. Here are some ideas on how to be kind to your coworkers (and create a more productive and trusting work environment).
- Own up and admit your mistakes.
- Visit a teammate when they are ill.
- Go to a colleague’s wedding if you were invited.
- Support your colleague’s project.
- Only ever give constructive criticism.
- Don’t gossip about colleagues.
- Refill the coffee pot when it is empty.
- Mentor someone in their career. Don’t hesitate to share your expertise.
- Speak up! If safe working conditions aren’t being followed in your office.
- Smile at coworkers when the office is tense or busy.
- Ask people for their opinions and thank them for their help.
- Help those that seek your opinion and thank them for asking you.
- Respect everyone in the office, no matter how small or big their position is.
- Be grateful for every worker’s role.
- Leave baked goods in the break room for everyone to enjoy.
- If a colleague travels along your route, give them a ride or carpool.
- Ask how someone is doing before getting into the business of the day.
- Invite a co-worker to lunch.
- Tell a co-worker you’re sorry for their loss if they’ve lost someone dear to them.
- Throw a co-worker a surprise birthday party at the office.
- Donate money to a co-worker who needs it.
- Report sexual harassment if you witness it in the workplace.
- Use less paper and more eco-friendly, paperless alternatives.
- Promote the use of reusable mugs and water bottles in the office.
- Turn off the lights in an empty room to conserve energy.
- As a team lead, ensure that there are open lines of communication in your team.
- Be aware of unconscious bias in the office and how it affects your teammates.
- Praise someone at work for doing a great job.
18 Ways To Be Kind To Yourself
To round this post up, I’m going to remind you to be kind to yourself. You cannot pour from an empty vessel, so it is important to be delicate and intentional about your own body, mental health and mindset.
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If you’re wondering what are some ways to be kind to myself, here are some ideas-
- Make yourself a self-care kit. It will help you sail through those stressed and anxious moments.
- Do not compare yourself to others.
- Take a walk outside. Nature, Vitamin D from the sun and fresh air are more healing than you think.
- Complain less. Start making gratitude lists.
- Find a new hobby.
- Let go of people who hurt you. Be quick to forgive and forget. It feels much better to let things go.
- Start journaling (or try a different type of journaling).
- Make your home into a cozy retreat.
- Go on a fun trip alone or with friends.
- Treat yourself to a spa day.
- Use positive affirmations to empower yourself.
- Have an electronic-free day where you do not touch your phone or computer all day long.
- Read a self-development book.
- Splurge on a concert that you’ve always wanted to go to.
- Buy an outfit that makes you feel super confident.
- Find reasons to laugh because laughter is good for the body.
- Run a marathon that supports a non-profit. Not only will you get an intense workout, but you’ll be supporting a worthy cause too.
- Say positive things about yourself to yourself.
Remember- you don’t have to be wealthy to change the world around you. You only need to share your time and be intentional.
Challenge yourself to identify 5 ways to be kind to a stranger, your loved ones, coworkers or to yourself this week, from the list above. You’ll be so glad you did.