There’s an easy-to-articulate, hard-to-implement best practice when it comes teaching yourself to be happy: Talk Yourself Happy! This stems from the recognition that the positive things you say to other people often reverberate back to create positivity in your own life. In effect, saying things to make other people happy will immensely magnify your own happiness.
Words are among our greatest tools. We can have an incredible effect on others simply by thinking carefully about what we say, making a distinct effort to be kind, positive and sincere.
There are certain inspiring things that truly happy people find themselves saying to others all the time. Try making an effort to say a few of these every day for a week. You’ll be amazed at how the positivity you create improves your happiness.
1. “I’m happy to see you.”
This is the most basic and attractive sentiment you can express to another human being, that simply being in the person’s presence creates a positive feeling.
2. “I’m always happy to see you.”
This is the opposite of most relationship advice: that you should never take a specific negative action and suggest that it’s indicative of someone’s entire way of acting. Well, turn that on its head by expressing that it’s not just this one interaction that has produced positive feelings but basically all interactions with this person. It’s an amazingly gratifying thing to hear.
3. “Remember when you…”
Surprise someone by bringing up a positive thing that she did in the past, and you’re almost guaranteed to induce a positive response. If it’s something she thought was long forgotten, learning that something she did made a positive, lasting impression on someone else is an amazing experience.
4. “You might not realize this, but…”
This is an even more potent version of the previous suggestion, provided you finish the sentence with a description of how the person’s actions led to a positive outcome. It’s one thing to learn that other people recognise the favourable things you’ve done, it’s another thing entirely to learn that you’re having a positive effect on other people without even realizing it.
5. “You really impress me.”
This is similar to “I’m happy to see you” and “I’m always happy to see you,” except that it focuses on things that the person does, rather than his or her existential being. Other variations include “You are really great at…” or “People love that you…” Simply be sincere and specific. It can be anything, as long as it’s authentic and truly positive, and it’s guaranteed to elicit positive reactions.
6. “You really impressed me when…”
Focusing on specific actions or events can be even more powerful. It means that you’re not only thinking abstractly but offering proof that things the other person does provoke positive reactions. It’s the difference between saying that a comedian was really funny and quoting one of his or her best jokes.
7. “I believe in you.”
People have self-doubts. You do, I do, we all do. When others simply say they believe in you, however, it becomes easier to believe in yourself. Just that small expression of confidence can push people to achieve more. And then to be thankful for the help.
8. “Look how far you’ve come!”
It is so important to celebrate achievements. This doesn’t mean you have to throw a party, but even acknowledging that someone’s efforts have achieved results can be extremely gratifying for the person. Of course, heck, if you want to take things to the extreme, throw a party. Just be sure that you’re the one buying the first round and singing the loudest.
9. “I’d like to hear your thoughts about…”
Everyone likes to think that his or her opinions matter, and of course they do – sometimes. However, this kind of invitation to share what someone thinks can’t help but fill a person with just a tiny bit more self-worth, which in turns creates both happiness and positive feelings toward you. Just be sure to be sincere. Make sure that you are truly interested in whatever subject you’re asking about.
10. “Tell me more.”
This is the best follow-up to the last item. It tells the other person that you are listening, and that you find value in what he or she is saying. The actor and writer Peter Ustinov once said that the greatest compliment he ever received took place when he was afraid he had gone on too long in a conversation with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, only to have her tell him, “Please continue.”
11. “I took your suggestion.”
OK, it’s almost too easy at this point. Combine asking someone’s opinion and demonstrating that the person has had impact on your life and you’ve provided him with two of the most gratifying, basic experiences of the human condition. It doesn’t matter really whether you tried a new restaurant on the other person’s advice, followed his suggestion on how to begin an important conversation, or started waking up 15 minutes earlier for a week because she said it was a good idea.
12. “I’m sorry.”
Say this when you mean it, when you’ve done something worth expressing regret for or the other person deserves sympathy. However, don’t water it down by using it when you don’t mean it. In fact, one writer made a compelling argument recently that the phrase is so overused that it ought to be retired. This underscores how people appreciate this phrase when it’s sincere, but how it annoys them when it isn’t.
13. “I’d like to be more like you.”
Now you’ve got it. You’re expressing positivity toward other people almost naturally, pointing out not only things that they do well but maybe even things they do better than you do. If you want to see a sentiment similar to this work very effectively, watch the 1997 movie As Good As It Gets. Or else, just read this short bit of dialogue in which Jack Nicholson’s character offers Helen Hunt’s character the ultimate compliment: “You make me want to be a better man.”
14. “Thank you.”
It’s not that much of a stretch to suggest that every other item on this list is in fact a form of “thank you.” This is truly one of the most powerful, underrated phrases in the English language. It packs a heck of a punch, encompassing positivity and impact in two little syllables.
15. “You’re welcome.”
Not “yep.” Not “no problem” or “no worries.” Say “You’re welcome.” Instead of deflecting another person’s thanks, as some of these other phrases do, saying “you’re welcome” dignifies the person’s gratitude. It acknowledges that yes, you did do something worthy, or nice, or positive for someone because you believe that she’s worth it.
Two little letters, and yet they can be so powerful. Most important, they demonstrate that you care for yourself, which is a key prerequisite to caring truly for other people. Carry this one in your back pocket; use it when necessary. You’ll find that the most positive and happy people you interact with respect you for doing so – and that can make you happy, too.
(derived from inc.com)