In the list of fun-if-not-widely-known holidays, we have to admit that Say Something Nice Day ranks pretty high on the list of good ones. What's not to like about a day where people just go around being kind?
The holiday is said to have been inspired by the book Say Something Nice: Be a Lifter at Work by Mitch Carnell, and is focused on encouraging the people around you.
The objective of Say Something Nice Day is simple: say something nice to everyone you meet today. And, as the adage goes, if you don't have anything nice to say, just don't say anything at all (sometimes that's the kindest thing you can do, right?!).
You can take it a step further, as well, for the people you feel need it the most. Try giving a small gift or offering to buy lunch for a coworker, friend, or if you're feeling especially in the spirit, a complete stranger.
But What Do I Say?
Of course, coming up with something nice to say off the top of your head isn't always the easiest thing, so let's make a list of options to use throughout the day:
1. Acknowledge an accomplishment.
This one works best with people you work with or know personally, obviously. Think of something they've accomplished lately and remark on it, particularly if it's something you know they'll be proud of or even more so if you think it's been largely overlooked.
Examples: "I saw you completed that big project last week, looks like it was a success!" or "I saw on Facebook that you got all A's this semester, congrats!"
2. Appreciate a personality trait.
Whether you're looking for something nice to say for a friend, coworker, or stranger, showing appreciation for something that makes them likable is a great way to lift their spirits.
Examples: "Thank you; you've been really efficient, I appreciate that," or "You're always ready to lend a hand, and that's a great quality to have."
3. Be a noticer.
You've probably met a noticer: they're the kind of people who pick up on the smallest details with hawk-like precision. You can turn this into an avenue to kindness by surprising someone with how much you've paid attention to the little things they do.
Examples: "I've noticed how you always restock the coffee for the coffeemaker, I just want you to know it's appreciated," or "I saw how you helped that guy back there carry his bag, and that was a really nice thing to do."
4. Compliment a style.
It can be a little awkward to compliment someone's appearance, so try complimenting their style instead. Maybe they always wear colorful clothes or look polished; maybe they always have funky jewelry or the best handbag collection ever. Finding something specific makes it easier for you and more personal for them, too.
Examples: "You always have the best shoes!" or "I love the colors in your necklace; that's so cool."
5. Compliment a feature.
If you're comfortable complimenting someone's appearance, finding a specific feature can still be helpful if you aren't sure about a blanket "You're handsome" or "You're pretty." Focus on something that stands out.
Examples: "Your hair looks great like that," or "Your smile is contagious!"
6. Appreciate someone's existence.
It sounds a little weird, but the truth is, sometimes people just need to know that someone's glad they're around. You never know when someone's struggling to make it through the day (week, month, year!). We've all been there, and there's something reassuring about hearing that you're wanted.
Examples: "I just want you to know, I'm really glad you're my friend," or "You're such a hard worker, I'm glad to have you on our team."
Even though this holiday is about what you can give, the warm fuzzies you'll receive from a genuine expression of appreciation--it's a gift of its own!