Making someone happy just for the sake of it can be one of the most rewarding feelings in this world. Brightening up a person’s day, whether the person is your best friend or your waiter, can bring you good karma and will make your day brighter in turn. To make someone happy, you have to be genuine, open, and willing to put in some effort to make a difference.
Making Your Friends Happy
Be emotionally supportive. Everyone wants to know that they are loved and appreciated. Encourage your friends to follow their dreams, especially if no one else will. Find a way to tell them how much they mean to you, even if you have to do it casually or inconspicuously. Be caring and compassionate in all your dealings. Just being there for your friends, whether they’re having a major life struggle or just ranting about their work situation, can be the best thing you can do to make them happier.
Another way to be emotionally supportive is to let your friends know when they’re being self-destructive. If they’re in a bad relationship, making poor life choices, or squandering their talents, find a gentle way to discuss it with them. Whether or not they listen is up to them, but at least you took the time to be honest.
Cheer them up when they’re down. Smile at them and, if you have a warm relationship with the person, hug them. Do something fun like building a blanket fort, hosting a sleepover, or making silly putty — especially if you’re “too old” for such things. Put together a little collection of adorable pictures, videos, and gifts and dare the person not to feel better after taking a look.
Of course, being silly won’t make a person happier in every situation, but it’s worth a shot. Your friend will appreciate that you’re really willing to put in hard work to make him smile.
If your friend is really sad, then sometimes the best way to cheer him up is just to be there for him, as a shoulder to cry on. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to come up with a ridiculous activity to make your friend feel better, if the mood isn’t right.
Sometimes, even after lots of talking and hugs and cuddles, the person still will be in a bad mood. With certain types people it actually helps to get sad about them being sad. If they’re the empathetic kind, it’ll drive them crazy to see you sad and they’ll try to fix it. And usually when they do, their mood will improve as well, and sometimes more than what you yourself are capable of.
Be a good listener. One easy way to make somebody feel appreciated and validated is to simply hear them out. Try to understand their thoughts and be in their shoes. Ask thoughtful questions, don’t interrupt, and if you don’t understand something, say something instead of playing along. You may have a friend who feels like he doesn’t get enough attention and who really needs a kind ear, and you can make that person happier by being there and making an effort to really listen.
To truly listen to your friend, turn your body toward him, make eye contact, and don’t give unsolicited advice. Make your friend see that you’re fully focused and are there to help make your friend’s life better, not to pass judgment.
Put your phone away when your friend is talking to show that you are giving your friend the attention he deserves.
Give a meaningful gift. Take the time out to pick out a special gift thatis suitable for the person. The more thought you put into the gift, the better it is from the point of being an expression of positive energy and consideration. Get your friend something that he or she would really like or need instead of getting something random; it could be a rare album that your friend would love, or a first edition of your friend’s favorite novel. Making an effort to find something truly unique for your friend will make your friend feel instantly happy.
Though giving your friend a meaningful gift on her birthday or during the holidays can make a positive impression, sometimes nothing can make a person happier than a random gift given without a special occasion.
Call up a friend just to say hi. One way to make a friend happy is to call him or her just to say hi. This small gesture can make a big difference and can show your friend that you really care about him or her and want to know what’s going on in his or her life. Call when you have a few minutes and ask about how your friend’s day is going and what he’s been up to at work, in school, or with his friends. Take some time to take an interest in your friend without wanting anything in return, and you’ll be lighting up your friend’s day.
People don’t call each other just to chat nearly as often as they used to. Make your friend happy by calling without wanting a single thing.
If you know your friend just had a big week, such as starting a new job, then calling just to see how it’s going can make your friend even happier.
Help out a friend just because. Another way to make a friend happy is to offer some help. This doesn’t mean you have to do anything super intense, or to help out only during dark times either. If your friend is having a busy day, pick up lunch for him or her or offer to walk his dog that morning. You can give your friend a ride to work if you know his car is in the shop, or help him put together that IKEA table that’s been leaning against his wall for weeks. Even making an effort to help out with the small things can bring a smile to your friend’s face.
Some of your friends may be resistant to asking for help even when they need it. Work on making them see that you genuinely do want to help them, and they’ll be more eager to accept.
Be observant. Watch your friend and see what he or she needs the most. Maybe your friend would love a cup of iced coffee but is too shy to ask for it.
Write them thank you cards. Your friend will instantly be happier if you send him a thank you card that shows how much you appreciate something he’s done for you. You may think that thank you cards are only for teachers or older people, but sending one to a friend can be a meaningful and unique way to say thank you and to make your friend feel happier. You don’t have to thank the friend for a specific thing, but you can be more general and thank him for being an amazing friend or a great listener.
Leave the note on your friend’s doorstep, in your friend’s mailbox, or even sneak it inside a book your friend is reading. The element of surprise can make your friend even happier.
Say something nice about a friend behind his back. Another way to make your friend happy is to praise him to other friends when he’s not around. Instead of gossiping and being mean, spread the positivity and say something nice about one of your friends, whether you’re praising his fashion sense or his amazing guitar skills, so that your friend will feel happy when it gets back to him. Rest assured that, just like negative gossip, your friend will hear about it if you say something kind about him behind his back. Plus, if you say something nice about a friend behind his or her back, this will inspire your friend to say something about you when you’re not around; this will continue to spread positive energy around.
Bake something. Baking something is a way to make your friends happy that will never grow stale. Taking the time to bake chocolate chip cookies, banana bread, apple pie, or another favorite treat of your friend’s will definitely make your friend happy and will make him or her appreciate the effort you’re putting in to lighting up your friend’s day. You can even leave the baked treats on your friend’s desk or on her front porch for an extra surprise treat.
If you don’t know what dessert is that person’s favorite, see if you can cleverly ask around so your baked goods are an extra treat.
Baking your friend something for his or her birthday can make your friend even more happy.
Making Your Parents Happy
Be trustworthy. Keeping a big promise every now and again isn’t nearly as meaningful as keeping your end of the bargain on day-to-day stuff. Make honesty a policy. Even white lies can feel like little betrayals. Make sure your actions always reflect your words – and vice versa. If you want to make your parents happy, then one of the best things you can do is to be worthy of their trust.
Your parents may spend a lot of time worrying that you’re not being open with them. The best thing you can do is show them that you want to talk to them about the things that are going on in your life.
If your parents feel like you have an honest relationship and that you don’t hide anything from them, then that will make them very happy.
Spend quality time with them. Show that you not only care, but also enjoy their company. It doesn’t take much: start by turning off the TV, sitting down, and talking. You can also invite them to get out for a while by going bowling, swimming, or doing something else fun and active. Family time doesn’t have to be boring, and it can be just as fun as you want it to be, whether you go check out a new Italian restaurant or play charades. Your parents will want to spend time with you more than anything else, and being around them more will make them very happy.
Instead of closing the door to your room, leave it open, showing your parents that you want to spend time with them instead of shutting them out of your life.
Pick a weekly night for family time, whether it’s every Sunday or every other Wednesday. Plugging family time into your routine will definitely make your parents happy.
The key thing with spending time with your parents is that you should act like you want to be there, not like you’re just doing it to make them happy and wishing you could be with your friends instead.
Make them feel appreciated. Compliment them sincerely by telling them something you love about them. Make your parents feel like you don’t take them for granted and that you really are grateful for all of the things they do for you. Never let a day go by without saying thank you, and without showing that you couldn’t have done something without them. Your parents will be happier because they’ll see how much you appreciate them. Let’s face it: it’s all too common for parents to get taken for granted, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay. Step outside the expected mold and make an effort to show them that you care.
Remember that your parents aren’t just parents; they’re people with their own goals and needs. They aren’t “required” to take care of you; they made a choice to care, and you should be appreciative of that.
Be happy yourself. One way to make your parents happy is to make an effort to be a happy person yourself, whether it means finding love, a meaningful career, or pursuing a hobby that makes you happy. Studies show that parents are just as invested in the happiness of their adult children as their children when they are younger, so you should always work to be happy and to demonstrate your happiness if you want to make your parents happy themselves.
It’s all too easy to call your parents to complain about your job or other annoying aspects of your life. However, you should call them to talk about the things you like, too. It’s important to be honest, but keeping up a good front won’t hurt, either.
Help out around the house. Another way to make your parents happy is to help out as much as you can around the house. This doesn’t mean you should just get your chores done early, but that you should go above and beyond to do what isn’t expected of you, such as doing extra laundry, wiping down the kitchen counters, or even vacuuming the house when your parents are out. Your parents will really appreciate the extra effort you’re making and they’ll be happier as a result.
This will make your parents especially happy when they’ve had a long day and really need someone to take some chores off their hands.
You don’t have to point out what you did; they’ll notice that the work got done, and they’ll feel instantly happier.
Cook them a nice meal. Another thing you can do to make your parents happy is to surprise them with a nice, home-cooked meal. You don’t have to make something too elaborate, and just a simple pasta dish with a salad and chicken or fish will do just fine. The important thing isn’t that you’ve cooked a gourmet meal, but that you’ve taken the time to help out your parents, and have made it so they don’t have to worry about cooking that day.
Surprise them on a night when your parents are used to doing the cooking. Nothing will make them happier than coming home to a nice, home-cooked meal.
You’ll earn bonus points for helping clean up, too.
Be affectionate. Giving your parents a bit more affection can make them happy. Just a hug when you see them, a kiss on the cheek, a pat on the arm or shoulder, or any small affectionate gesture can really help light up their lives. You may be at the age where you think it’s not cool to be affectionate with your parents, but you have to get over that and give them the love and affection they need if you want them to be happy. Just giving your parents a hug or a kiss before you go to school will make a difference in their days.
When your parents come home from work, don’t just stay in your room and greet them from the other side of the house. Make an effort to come down, give them a big hug, and ask about their day.
Be kind to your sibling. If you want your parents to be happy, then one of the best things you can do is to develop a positive relationship with your sibling or siblings. Taking the time to be nice to your brother or sister can make your parents feel happy that their children are getting along, and it can also just make everything in your household run smoother. If you’re the older sibling, taking over some of the responsibilities of taking care of your younger sibling can also make your parents happier because they’ll have less to worry about.
If your younger sibling needs help with homework, offer to help out if your parents are having a busy day.
If you’re the younger sibling, then making an effort to be nice to your older sibling and to avoid starting fights can make a big difference.
Check in with them just because. Your parents are probably used to you calling them when you need something or have a question only they can answer. If you want to make them happy, then you should call them just to say hi and to see how they’re doing. They’ll feel appreciated and cared for, and will be happy because you’ve taken the time to talk to them just because you wanted to, not because you needed something.
If you’re having a busy day, even a text message saying hi and asking how they’re doing can make a huge difference.
If you’re busy at work, sending them a quick email saying hi or sending a link to news article they might like can light up their day.
Making Strangers or Acquaintances Happy
Practice random acts of kindness. Call, text, or email the person just to say that you’re thinking about them. Send a hand-written letter, silly cartoon, or cute photo to them in the mail; so few people use snail mail nowadays that getting it is a real treat. Pick the person a flower, help them carry their groceries, or offer to do something big like help them move. Being kind just for the sake of kindness will bring you good karma and will make the rest of your day better, too.
Look around you. If you see someone who looks particularly in need of a smile or kindness, direct your attention to that person — as long as you make sure you’re not imposing.
Make them laugh. Laughter relieves tension and is wonderfully contagious. Just making an effort at making witty banter as you’re buying your groceries or waiting in line for a movie ticket can bring a smile to a person’s face. If you aren’t feeling inspired, find something funny online and email it to them. The most important thing is that you show that you don’t take yourself too seriously and that you’re willing to go out of your way to make people laugh.
People don’t get nearly enough laughter in their lives. You can make the rest of a person’s day more enjoyable just by making him laugh once or twice.
You can also do something silly like pick a dandelion or blade of grass and give it to them, saying, “I got this especially for you!” or “I picked this weed just for you!”
Make eye contact and say hello. This is a small and simple way to make a difference in a person’s life. Just the act of making eye contact with a person can make him or her feel valued, and saying hello can brighten up any person’s day. You never know what’s going on in someone’s mind, and saying hello and making them feel special just for a moment may be the boost of happiness they need to get through the day.
You might be the only person to smile at this other person all day. Think about what a difference that makes.
Donate your things. Another way to make a person happy is to donate the clothes, dishware, or other items you no longer need in order to help the people who could really use them. You won’t know how big of a difference your old clothes or plates can make in the life of a person who really needs them, and donating your things is a guarantee that you’ll be making someone somewhere out there smile, even if you can’t see it.
If you’re hanging on to clothes that you haven’t worn once in more than a year, it’s time to donate them to people who could put them to good use.
Though it’s easy to be sentimental about old things you no longer use, think about how much more value and happiness someone else can get out of them.
Give a nice compliment. You can make a person smile and feel happier just by giving a simple compliment. As long as your compliment is sincere and kind, you’ll be making someone’s life a little bit better. All you have to do is tell a person that you like her necklace, that she has a great smile, or that you love the funky pants he’s wearing. As long as you don’t step out of line or make people uncomfortable, giving nice compliments can help make people happier instantly.
Don’t compliment the figure of a person you don’t know. Stick to commenting on clothes, jewelry, or something else that won’t be taken the wrong way.
Just look the person in the eye and say something like, “Cool sweater.” Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to say the perfect thing.
Spread your positive energy. Another way to make someone happy is simply to be happy yourself and to spread your positive energy and joy to the people around you. Have a smile on your face, talk about the things you love, make positive comments about your surroundings, and make other people feel good about themselves. Happiness is contagious, and if you work on spreading good cheer to the people around you, they’ll pick it up pretty fast. Even if you’re not feeling super positive, just making the effort to smile can actually make you feel happier and can bring joy to those around you. If you catch yourself making a negative comment, try to counteract it with two positive comments.
Help a person carry something heavy. You can make a person happy just by helping him or her carry something heavy. Whether you’re helping an older lady carry groceries to her car or helping a guy at the post office get a heavy package to his car, you’ll be making a difference in a person’s life by lightening the load just a little. If you have a neighbor who is doing some heavy lifting, ask if you can help out, too, and you’ll be making another person happier.
You’ll instantly make someone happier by doing this because you’ll be making his or her life easier.
Of course, don’t get into any dangerous situations where you’re helping a person you don’t know carry something into a van or a house. As long as you’re helping out in a safe, public place, you’ll be making a difference.
Post something uplifting on Facebook. These days, most people use Facebook for ranting or complaining about something annoying that happened to them that day, or even for sharing a depressing article about how the entire world is going down the drain. While this may feel true, sometimes, you can work to make people happier by posting a positive news story (yes, they do exist!), a cute video of cats, a funny comic or story from the Onion, or really anything at all that will make people smile. You’ll be making people happier without even realizing it.
Of course, there are many awful things going on in the world, but you can leave it to your other 1,000 Facebook friends to remind us about that. Why not post something positive and give your online friends a breath of fresh air?
A simple hug, a smile or a compliment is enough to make someones day. If you don’t want to drastically try and make them happy, just do one of those simple things.
Sacrifice some of your time for a sad or depressed person.
Make sure they know that you’ll be there for them no matter what.
Make a surprise for them without any occasion.
Let them know that you’re comfortable with them around – say “Vera! I love you!”, “I missed you!”, “I love being around you!”, “It’s so nice to be here with you”, etc. The other person would appreciate knowing that they’re appreciated! Say anything sweet you truly mean, but have always kept on the inside. It’ll make them smile physically and mentally, knowing that it came from the bottom of your heart.
Be happy yourself. You’re saying, I know how to be happy – follow me! It can fade their sadness, getting in touch with their desire to enjoy themselves instead of shedding tears.
You will need to make them happy by making them laugh and showing kindness.Show them that you’re really sorry. They would be happy to be with someone that makes them comfortable! Or play something that they love. Make them feel better.
If they don’t want to talk about it then don’t annoy them by trying to find out about what is bothering them. Bring something else up like “What are you doing this weekend?” etc.
Go to the movies to watch a family film with them. Try to be friendly and buy them snacks.
Laugh at people’s jokes. It’s very embarrassing when you’re in a group, make a joke, and no one else finds it funny. So try to at least smile.
Go and see the person that is sad at the only time that it is OK with the person. It might get them even more mad and it may make your relationship with the person not very good.
Do something that encourages sweating. Football, soccer, basketball, a jog with you two together, dancing, bowling, cleaning up the garage, etc.
You could write them a letter.
Take him/her to see animals, especially when he/she loves them!
Make sure none of your loving support comes across as pitying or sarcastic.
If your friend is upset about someone, don’t chime in with bad things about that person. It’d just encourage negative feelings towards that someone he/she is thinking of.
Going too overboard or being too forward about things can make the other person feel awkward.
If your friend wants to be alone, give them space but let them know that you’re willing to hear whatever they have to say if they change their mind.
Don’t ever make a fool of them .
Don’t pressure the other person about the problem that they’re having; doing so will result in more negative emotions.
Don’t shout at them .
Don’t become a crutch. If someone becomes dependent on you to make them feel good, your unhealthy (and possibly destructive) dynamic will make them worse off than they were before you came along.
How to Be Happy
How to Cheer Up
How to Get Happy when You’re Sad
How to Be Happy and Love Yourself Even when Everyone Puts You Down
How to Cheer up a Sad Child
How to Cheer Up Yourself After Hearing a Negative Comment
How to Be a Good Friend and Make Friends
How to Be Happy
How to Send Someone a Virtual Hug
Sources and Citations
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