10 Ways to Make Yourself Look Good

We know that, by definition, acts of altruism are unselfish. But what if they were just a little bit self-serving? Studies show that both men and women are more attracted to people who show altruistic tendencies than those that don’t. So, if the results of hitting the gym or eating more veggies seem more long-term than immediate, here are 10 things that can make you look good right now.

  1. Bring a pooch along as you log those miles. Going for a routine run anyway? Volunteer at a local shelter to get rescue dogs some exercise and attention. Seattle Humane Society needs volunteers to take dogs on 4 mile runs. Walking more your pace? PAWS recruits volunteers for daily walks and general obedience lessons.
  2. Tap into your inner mathlete. Join about 900 other people and help low-income families save on expensive tax prep fees. United Way’s Free Tax Prep volunteer gig teaches you everything you need to know.
  3. Make the most of a grocery store two-fer. Next time a 2 for $5 deal catches your eye–but you don’t really need that second jar of peanut butter–buy it anyway and leave it in the food bank bin most grocery stores have at the front of the store. You’ll feel good–and look good–making that drop.
  4. Scrape somebody’s windows. It’s almost that time of year when the weather can slow you down. Done scraping your own windows and waiting for the defroster to finish the job? Scrape a neighbor’s windows while you wait. They may never know who did it, but it’s an easy way to start your day having done something nice for someone and that feeling will follow you through the day.
  5. Be kind to your server. Waiting tables is tough. People notice how you interact with the otherwise strangers that are there to serve you. Be polite, make eye contact and tip generously when they take good care of you.
  6. Return somebody’s cart. We know you’re in a hurry, but if you see someone loading up their car about ready to make an extra trip back to the store, offer to take it in for them. Better yet, if someone before you has left a cart precariously in the parking lot, do more than just park your car to avoid it. Grab it on your way in and return it to its home.
  7. Lighten your gift card load. Tired of carrying around those random $10 Gift Cards from well-meaning relatives or small balances you’ll never get back to spend? Coinstar Exchange kiosks will give convert those balances to cash–cash you can donate to someone who needs it.
  8. Give. Giving to a cause that’s important to you makes you feel good. You stand a little taller, smile a little bigger. And, it’s easy. Make a difference right where you live with a gift to United Way.
  9. Pass it on. Just finished a good book (we mean the paper kind) that most of your friends have already read? King County has hundreds of roadside Little Free Libraries. Leave a favorite book there for someone else to enjoy.
  10. Post selfless selfies. Make the most of your good deeds. Walking the neighbor’s dog while they’re out of town? Volunteering with some co-workers at a park? Get those selfies up.
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