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Those sweet little words

Simple words of compliment or love can make your day, says study.

india Updated: Nov 14, 2010 00:50 IST

What makes people happy? Just a simple act of kindness, such as a sincere compliment or a “I love you” from the partner or even a “thank you” from the boss, a new study in Britain has found.

Researchers have carried out the study and found that a well-timed compliment about appearance is the “biggest little thing” that can make a difference to someone’s day, the Daily Express reported.

The study, based on a poll of 3,000 people, also found that being told “I love you” by a partner was the second-best thing, followed by a surprise note or card from a loved one, or having a cuddle. Finding money you had forgotten about in a pocket of an old pair of trousers completed the top five.

Peter AndreA spokesman for Clinton Cards, which carried out the poll, said: "Sometimes it really is the small things which can make such a difference. Whether it’s a simple thank-you from someone after you’ve gone out of your way to help them, or a compliment on your appearance — a little thing like that can really cheer you up."

The survey revealed that Britons think This Morning presenter Holly Willoughby is the kindest celebrity, closely followed by Joanna Lumley. Peter Andre and Bob Geldof came third and fourth, while Holly’s co-presenter, Phillip Schofield also made the top five. On the flip side, Peter Andre’s ex Katie Price topped the list of celebs who could do with being kinder.

Three-quarters of people feel happier after witnessing a random act of kindness. But while almost everyone (97%) considers themselves kind, more than a quarter would not help a mum get a pushchair up or down stairs.