It’s usually the “little” or “simple” things that make the biggest impression. Here’s 30 of those simple things compiled by Kathyrn Mott of LifeHack.
1. Dress the part
Your appearance is the thing people see first. They look at your clothes, hair, shoes, etc. They make assumptions about you before you even open your mouth. If you want to impress people, dress for the occasion. Take time to get ready in the morning.
2. Be on time
If you’re late for something, you’re giving someone the opportunity to judge you without you even being there. If you say you’re going to be somewhere at a certain time, then be there at that time. Waiting for someone when they should already be there is frustrating and annoying.
3. Don’t break your promises
There are too many people out there making promises they know they can’t keep. They promise something because it makes the other person feel better in that moment. The problem with that is that down the road, when you don’t follow through, the comfort that person felt turns into discouragement, frustration and even anger. If you can’t keep a promise, don’t make it. If you do make a promise, do everything you can to keep it.
4. Respect others
This includes your elders, minors, co-workers, family members, etc. This can be hard when you have to be around someone who has differing opinions than you, or who acts in a way you don’t approve of. But you can still be civil. If you look for attributes you respect in people, you will find them.
5. Be involved
If you support going green, then go green in your life. If you support your local government, then attend community meetings. Be a part of the things that matter to you.
6. Say, “Please,” and, “Thank you,” often
These are small words, but they go a long way. Expressing your gratitude to people, even for the smallest acts of kindness, shows that you see the good in people; it shows that you pay attention to the things people around you are doing and saying.
7. Smile often
Smiles are contagious. If a stranger walks past you at the store and smiles, it is a natural response to smile back. Seeing someone smile can remind others that there are things to be grateful for, that life is fun and exciting.
8. Don’t be constantly using your phone
When you are with someone, be with them. Phones are an amazing piece of technology. But they are also a distraction. Use your phone when it’s appropriate. You don’t need it out every second of every day.
9. Be faithful to your partner
We hear story after story about divorces and infidelity. It’s everywhere. By being honest and true with your partner, you are showing that you know where your priorities are. You understand what it means to be in a healthy relationship.
10. Support your children
Take time to be involved in your kids’ lives. Know what they’re interested in. Go their games, recitals, competitions, parent-teacher conferences, etc. Listen when they talk to you. Be the kind of parent they know they can go to when they have questions.
11. Personal hygiene isn’t an option, it’s a requirement
Have breath mints handy. Wear deodorant. Brush your teeth. Wear clean clothes. These are things that should be common sense, but some people really struggle with them. Talking to someone with bad breath is gross. It’s distracting. All you can think about is that you want to give them a mint. Take care of your personal hygiene and people will be more focused on what you’re saying and doing instead of how you smell.
12. Speak clearly and make eye contact
Let the person you’re talking to know that you are engaged in the conversation and that you care about what you’re discussing. Don’t mumble or look around, keep your focus on them.
13. Don’t chew gum
This can depend on the type of situation you’re in. If you’re with family hanging out or with close friends at the movies, gum is fine. But in a professional situation, gum is distracting.
14. Use humor
This can lighten the mood and bring people down from a tense state. Just make sure you’re using this at appropriate times.
15. Greet people with a handshake or hug
Determine what type of situation you’re in. You probably don’t want to go in to an interview and hug your potential boss, but you should offer them a firm handshake. With close friends and family members a hug shows a level of intimacy. It shows that you love and care about them and gives you a way to physically express that.
16. Be true to yourself
Know what you want out of life and do everything you can to achieve it.
17. Listen to others
When someone is talking to you, listen to what they are saying. Don’t be thinking of a response while they are still talking.
18. Perform acts of kindness
Open the door for someone, collect your neighbor’s mail when they go out town, make dinner for someone who just had a baby.
19. Be organized
Have a schedule and know what you have going on. Know where things are in your house, at work, in your car, etc.
20. Compliment people
Look for the good in people around you and take the time to let them know you noticed. Compliment them on their clothes, their work, their attitude, anything you can think of.
21. Share knowledge and information with others
When you have a skill or talent, share it. Teach others and share what you know and have learned.
22. Be positive and focus on the good
This can be hard when times are tough, but it’s possible. Look for the solution instead of focusing on the problem. Stay positive.
23. Help others
Help when and where you can. In most cases, chances to serve aren’t always at the most opportune times, but sacrificing your time to help someone in need says a lot about you.
24. Keep a clean car
Take your car through the car wash every so often. Clean out the inside. Don’t let garbage pile up. You never know when you’re going to have to give someone a ride.
25. Care about people
Don’t build up a wall to “protect” your feelings. Let yourself feel, let yourself care for people.
26. Don’t take offense
Things will be said and people will do things, purposefully or accidentally, that could hurt you. You can choose to be offended or to move past it.
27. Own up to your mistakes
When you make a mistake, admit it, own up to it, do what you can to fix it and move on.
28. Take advantage of experiences life has to offer
If you get the opportunity to go somewhere new, learn a new talent or try something new, do it! Enjoy life.
29. Know what’s going on in the world
Be up to date on recent news, both local and global. Be informed.
The world is a big place. Take the time to go out and meet new people, learn new cultures and make new memories.
Originally published in LifeHack