1. When the person you’re admiring from a safe distance acknowledges, with one quick glance, that they know you’re staring at them but they seem totally okay with it so you keep on watching.
2. When someone sees you trip on the sidewalk and they laugh a little as soon as you recover and you start laughing too because we all bite it sometimes and it sucks but it’s also unmistakably funny.
3. When shaking hands with someone after a brief initial interaction solidifies your certainty that you’ll be Googling each other later.
4. When someone accidentally grazes you and that split second of physical contact leads to a momentary rush that’s not exactly sexual but definitely pleasurable.
5. When someone gives you a thumbs-up or a telling nod from across the room because you’ve said something particularly smart or insightful and you smile back, hoping to convey that they’ve made your day.
6. When striking up a random conversation with someone who happens to sit next to you proves way more rewarding than you’d ever imagined when you first opened the door to mindless chitchat.
7. When the barista or a security guard or another familiar but unknown figure offers a thoughtful compliment in passing just to be nice and you say “thank you” emphatically because they’ve truly made you feel better about life.
8. When someone catches you checking them out and winks in thanks instead of pretending they hadn’t noticed, or acting offended.
9. When one person goes out of their way to hold the door open for another, and the recipient of kindness expresses sincere gratitude because they too understand and appreciate the importance of small but meaningful acts of service.
10. When you say something at the exact same time as someone you barely know in class or at the office and then chuckle together at the absurdity of your synchronized thoughts.
11. When you sigh simultaneously with another human, in complete harmony, as if you’d coordinated involuntary responses.
12. When you realize that you don’t actually know the “friend” you’ve just approached so enthusiastically but they generously reassure you that it’s okay in the knowing way of someone who’s falsely recognized someone a dozen times before.
13. When you’re one of two people who bursts into laughter in an audience and you feel united, temporarily, by a shared sense of humor and nothing else.
14. When observing someone from across a crowded subway elicits the distinct feeling that you understand them for some reason you can’t quite pinpoint, but deeply enjoy.
15. When you realize, after skipping and dancing down the street or belting out a song on the go, that you’re not actually alone, and the other person giggles as they continue on their way as if grateful for the impromptu show.
16. When you can’t stop staring at an adorable dog and then smile at its owner, who clearly welcomes reassurance that his or her pet’s the cutest thing ever.
17. When everyone in a waiting room shakes their heads in shared disbelief after the nurse announces the doctor’s behind schedule and you all take some degree of comfort in experiencing an everyday frustration alongside others.
18. When you respond similarly to someone watching the same screen in a public place and it’s nice to know that there’s someone out there whose outlook mirrors yours, even if you’ll never actually know their name.
19. When you nod in acknowledgement of a fellow jogger, cyclist, walker or shopper as you pass them by because you’re doing the same thing at the same time and that’s enough to make you feel a little less alone in the world, if only for a second.