10 Small Changes You Can Make Today To Be A Better Person

I think I’m correct in saying that most of us could use some lessons on how to be a better person. It’s not that you’re a bad person! You probably aren’t. It’s just that you probably, on average, spend more time thinking about yourself than anyone else. This is normal – we are human, and we aren’t perfect, and we never will be. While it’s fine to be selfish sometimes, you shouldn’t be selfish all the time. There are so many little things you can do that will make other people bring up your name and say, “Oh, so-and-so? She is so great.”

Let’s use my own life experiences as an example. I’m an introvert, and I don’t love going out all the time. For a few years, I declined a lot of social stuff or would cancel things at the last minute simply because I didn’t feel like going. I always had an excuse as to why I couldn’t make my friend’s birthday party, why I suddenly couldn’t go to that party, why I had to bail on plans that were made weeks ago. I justified it all by saying that I couldn’t possibly say yes to everything and had to take care of myself too. But after a while, I realized I was taking that too far. So, now I make it a point to accept invitations and not bail on people at the last minute simply because I’m not in the mood. I’ve realized that attending a friend’s birthday, even for an hour, is important – and so I’ve made more of an effort, and I think it’s made me a better friend.

But enough about me! Want to know what you can do? This Ask Reddit thread has a lot of ideas on little changes you can make to be a better person. Pick a few and get to work!

Lose Some Of Your Friends

By "lose some friends," I don't mean get rid of people just for the sake of getting rid of them. I mean stop being friends with people who make you feel bad in some way. User uniformedsplatter says, "Less friends, but closer relationships with the friends I do have. It makes life easier and more rich. I still like making lots of new relationships but I still save my energies for the people who are the most important."

At a certain point, you'll realize that staying friends with someone just because you're already friends isn't always worth it. Is there one friend who always puts you down and makes you feel bad? Stop talking to her. Maybe you have a friend who never makes any effort, so you have to do all the work. Stop doing that! Just focus on your good friends, the ones who are there for you. It will make your life happier, and it will make you a better friend as well.

Source: iStock

Make Small Talk

I know it's easy to go to the store, blow off the person asking if you need help, look through the cashier as you pay for your stuff, and then go home and immediately forget about the people you just saw. But try making small talk instead.

User like_so_cute says, "I talk to people at registers. Not just 'I'm fine. You?', but actually asking 'How's your shift going?'. 100 percent of the time, since I started doing this a few months ago, the person ringing up my stuff always looks up at me and smiles, surprised. It sparks a quick conversation instead of just standing there waiting for them to bag my stuff. I usually get a fun story that maybe happened in their store earlier. One time, a guy offered me tickets to a local baseball minor league game since he also works for the stadium. I don't take any longer than if I had just said 'I'm fine. You?', so I'm never holding anybody behind me up. It's just nice to actually TALK to the people I interact with. It always makes me a little bit happier."

Source: iStock

Fix Your Insecurities

Okay, let me explain: most of the time, our own insecurities are what causes us to be mean, rude, or judgmental towards others. If we work on or fix those insecurities, we'll be better people towards others. User pithuskerlover explains, "Losing weight and getting healthier did a wonder for my confidence and self esteem, which positively affected the way that I viewed and treated other women. When I was stuck in a body that I hated and hated myself, I belittled pretty and beautiful women out of jealousy. I didn't realize this of course until I became content with myself. In no way am I saying that all overweight people are miserable with themselves, but I sure was, and I took it out on other people before I decided to do something about it."

Find out what your insecurity is, and work on it. You just might find that not only does it make you feel better, but it also makes you nicer.

Source: iStock

Let People Speak Without Interjecting

It can be extremely difficult to have a conversation with a friend and not contribute to it. And, of course, you shouldn't do that all the time. But if a friend needs to talk about something serious that they're going through, or they're venting about someone to you, or they're crying about something to you, just don't say anything. User AiryNan says, "Don’t speak while a friend is talking to you about something serious, just wait, and when you think you’ve listened long enough to interject, wait some more. It made me more empathetic and a much better listener."

It's the most serious situations that can make you want to speak up even more because you want to give your opinion and help, but sometimes the best thing you can do is just be there, quietly, listening. Sometimes they don't want your advice, they just want someone who will hear them. If they ask for advice, go for it! But try to let them get everything out before you throw in your two cents.

Source: iStock

Stop Demanding Perfection From Yourself

It sounds corny, but it's true: you need to give yourself a break. Beating yourself up for making a mistake or not doing something perfectly isn't making your life any better! User abqkat says, "But, overall, I'd say not letting 'perfect' become the enemy of 'good enough.' If I'm too lazy to do a legit workout, a brisk walk, and 30 pushups spaced out in commercial breaks is better than nothing. Literally anything- physical, chore-wise, health-wise- is better than nothing."

Source: iStock

Compliment People More

Think about how you feel when you get an unexpected compliment, whether it's from a friend or a stranger. You probably instantly smile and feel a boost of confidence. So why shouldn't you give out compliments too? User SassyfrasDonut says, "I have a rule that if something on/about someone catches my eye and makes me look/pay attention (hair, clothing, jewelry, shoes, smile, car, stroller, gadget, whatever), I verbally compliment them on it."

I have this rule too. I love when someone compliments something I'm wearing, or my makeup, or something like that. So, whenever I see something I like, I try to return the favor. It makes both people feel good!

Source: iStock

Admit When You're Wrong

The worst kind of people are people who can't admit their wrong no matter what. They always find an excuse and they come off as very arrogant. Be the opposite of this - be able to admit when you're wrong. User -Pluvio- says, "I don't know when exactly it started, but I began to readily admit when I've been wrong. It helps me take criticism a lot better (during my training for my job now, I would just respond with, 'Okay, yeah, I get it. How can I improve?' instead of trying to defend myself, or dig my heels deeper). It also helps you learn from someone else. People are more likely to educate you when you're open to it, shockingly. "

Source: iStock

Appreciate Being Wrong

This might sound kind of corny, but listen: you don't need to adjust admit you're wrong, you should also learn to like it, because it can be a lesson. User Aquarian_Sage says, I say, "'Thank you for proving me wrong.' 'I'm glad I was wrong.' I'm a terribly conceited know-it-all. I knew I needed to reign in my pride, so now when I'm wrong about something but the outcome is desirable, I give thanks that I was proven wrong. For example, I decided to try this vegan chocolate cake. If I was right in my initial prediction, then that cake would've sucked. But I was wrong, and got to add something delicious in my recipe library! Since I started showing gratitude for being proven wrong, I find myself to be more open-minded. I hope this helps someone as it has helped me.

Source: iStock

Give Yourself Social Media Breaks

Social media can really bring out the worst in people, especially in this time of political turmoil. It's so easy to get into a huge fight with someone you disagree with through Facebook comments. It's so easy to leave a rude comment on someone else's photo. And aside from that, it's easy to be sitting with friends, staring at your phone, being rude AF. Give yourself a break sometimes! User kziv says, "I removed the Facebook app from my phone and only check it on my computer. I've been WAY more present when out and about, less FOMO."

Try it out! You should actively strive to be more present, for your sake and the sake of others.

Source: iStock

Turn Negative Thoughts Into Positives

I know this sounds like something your mom would get preachy about, but honestly, it's so important! You need to try to be more positive, for yourself and others (no one likes a negative person who is always complaining). User unitedstatesofmeows says, "I’ve started reframing my thoughts. When I want to complain about something, I try to think about it in a positive way. Like, 'ugh, I’m stuck in traffic again??' turns into 'sucks that I’m stuck in traffic again, but now this gives me more time to listen to podcasts.' It’s made me a lot more appreciative of the little things. Of course, I still complain about some things, but you can’t be positive and upbeat ALL the time..."

Source: iStock

You can follow the author, Jessica Booth, on Twitter or Instagram.


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