back to part 1

Recognise the damage you do. We all occasionally hurt or worry people around us, simply through being a little thoughtless or self-absorbed, it’s only human, and everyone is different in terms of sensitivity and needs.

When it comes to recognising the damage and hurt that you can inflict on friends and family, you need to talk to people, you need to see where people shut off a little, and you need to work out where you’re going wrong.

Sometimes it can be simply making allowances for a loved ones oversensitivity about a subject, other times it can be admitting that maybe you do drink or work a little too much. Before you think about actively helping others, do the easier job first, and work out how you’re potentially upsetting them

Stop Being Self-Absorbed. We’re all guilty of this sometimes. When life seems a little too hard, and you’re down on your luck, chances are pretty high that someone you know and love is having a substantially worse time than you. You should stop overthinking, stop planning your solutions and ideas, and just get out there and be there for people.
Obviously, the other side of this coin is being too accommodating, which isn’t necessarily good for people around you either, or you. You don’t want to become a doormat.

Care for the vulnerable and voiceless. With those out of the way, this is how you can really come up with some huge ways to help others. The vulnerable, lonely and voiceless are people (and animals) who society has all too often left behind. I’m thinking older people, living alone, children in care, people in the agony of addiction and abandoned or hurt animals.
Our society has little provision for these kind of people, so anything you can do, be that giving a homeless person money, or even going whole-hog and spending your time volunteering, will have a positive effect on society.

If you’ve got a bleak, cynical outlook on life, simply changing and helping the life of someone who really needs it, will help you become more positive, and see your own value and significance in the world.

Listen. We all love to talk about ourselves. This doesn’t mean we’re vain necessarily, but simply human. Most people aren’t that good at really settling back, listening and absorbing what others have to say.

Too many people say ‘how are you’ and then just wait for their turn to talk. If you truly and honestly settle back and listen to what the other person, be that your other half, or a stranger, has to say, and are willing to throw back support, analysis or even a compliment, that will brighten their day.

Give genuine weird compliments. Everyone likes to be complimented, but if it’s an obvious compliment, they’ll have heard it. A lot. We all know what stands out about us as individuals, and what other people notice. So saying you’re jealous of how tall somebody is, or how nice someone’s hair looks isn’t really going to make much of an impact, no matter how sincere and genuine your motivation was.

So how do you make a positive impact with a compliment? Go weird. Not too weird though. Things like ‘you make me feel comfortable and confident’ or ‘that’s a really nicely fitted jacket’ can have a big impact on someone, especially delivered warmly and openly from a stranger.

Don’t go too weird though, no wandering up to people, leaning in, and telling them their hair tastes nice. It has to be genuine, and it can’t be threatening. Or you’ll end up getting the police called on you.

There are tons of great happiness apps out there on Android and iOS. From meditation, to diet, to fitness they can help you focus your efforts and become the happiest person you can be. A great example is, this app has a ton of useful stuff in it perfect for getting over a rut in your mental wellbeing.

You could even go as far as to record all the times you helped people out, and make a point of doing something selfless and helpful every day. But remember, you need to care for yourself before other people.