Being a bucket filler

“Filling a bucket” is a metaphor for encouraging positivism in someone else’s life. When you make a person smile, help them with a problem, or just make them feel good, your are filling their bucket. The fuller a person’s bucket, the happier and more fulfilled they will feel. Having a full bucket puts a person in a good position. They are more likely to feel inspired to do great things, reach goals, and fill other people’s buckets.

The concept of bucket-filling was derived by Dr. Donald Clifton and Tom Rath, authors of the New York Times bestseller How Full is Your Bucket?

So, what are some examples of things you could say or do to help fill someone’s bucket?


Is someone artistic? Good at math? A fast runner? Do they have a nice smile?

The simplest compliment can do wonders for a person’s self-esteem. Sometimes, all it takes is one to completely make someone’s day. It isn’t hard to do and only takes a few seconds to tell someone they are a nice person, smart, funny, or talented.


If you notice someone struggling with something, whether it be homework, carrying something, or even a confrontation of some kind, offering your help will go a long way. If the tables were turned, you would feel grateful for someone who offered you their assistance when you needed it.


Keep your eyes up, look directly at people, and say “Hello” to them in the morning and when you pass them in the hall. Ask them how they are doing. Not only is this polite in general, but it also shows that you care and that will make them feel good.


Smiling at people has a special effect. A smile can take a person completely by surprise and improve their mood. Smiling shows someone that you are glad to see them, and that feels nice.


Take the time to listen to people. If they want to share a problem they are having, tell you a story, or just talk about random things, being listened to by someone is an incredibly gratifying feeling that everyone appreciates. It lets them know that someone cares.

These simple acts of kindness will not only make others feel good, it will also make you feel good as well. It’s a win-win all around.

Leave a Reply