There are many reasons why people love to help and put others first – because they were raised that way, because they believe that society won’t like them if they act in their own self-interest, or simply because it makes them feel good.
You could be the most self-centered person in the world, but you probably still enjoy helping others.
But why is that?
It’s Just Part of Who You Are
Everyone has their own way of helping others, but if you’re like me, it’s just a part of you. You don’t know why, because you’ve always been that way. Maybe it’s your upbringing, maybe it’s just something that’s innate to you, but either way, helping others has always been your nature – and it’s nothing to be ashamed of!
You’re Not Afraid and Love to Take on New Challenges or Get Involved in Projects That Are Difficult or Time-Consuming, Especially When It Comes to a Bigger Goal
You’d rather give than receive because you know you can give back to make someone else’s life better. You want to make the world a better place one step at a time by helping others when they need it most.
People Who Aren’t as Empathetic May Even Try to Convince You Not to Help Them Because They Find It Strange or Upsetting, or Think You’re Doing It for Self-Interest
But remember, if someone doesn’t appreciate your willingness to help them through difficult times, then they don’t really deserve your time.
If someone tries to convince you otherwise, don’t let them get you down. You’ve no right to tell others how to behave anyway! There’s nothing wrong with wanting to help others – on the contrary, it makes us even more human than we already are. So keep doing what makes you happy!
You Care About Others
You’re a people person and caring about others is important to you.
You want other people to be happy, you want to make the world a better place, and you want to contribute to the community. You understand that your problems aren’t insurmountable and can be solved through hard work and dedication, but it’s not just about yourself – you want to help anyone who needs help.
I know from my own experience that life can be hard sometimes; there are days when we question our existence on this planet or whether life has any meaning at all. But then we look at our friends who’re going through similar struggles, and those who face even greater challenges every day: Poverty, disease, abuse … and suddenly our own problems seem so insignificant.
When we take a step back and look at things from a different perspective, we realize how much we can do for ourselves and how much we can love giving to others.
You See the Big Picture
You’re one of those people who’d rather help others than yourself because you see the big picture. You feel that your life is meaningless if you don’t contribute to creating the big picture that will one day make the world a better place. You think that you only have one life and you should make the most of it. You see that the world is much bigger than your life, to which you’re less committed.
You Aren’t Like Other People Who Take Things for Granted and Only Care About Themselves
You have a strong sense of duty to help others and be there for them when they need someone to talk to or just listen to what they’ve been through in their lives.
You Have a Strong Sense of Responsibility
You always want to be there for someone when he or she needs you, and expect others to do the same for you. You’re always there for everyone, no matter how much trouble they cause you because deep down there’s still a part of you that wants to believe in humanity, even if it seems like no one does anymore.
Helping Others Gives Your Life Direction
If you don’t have a purpose in your life, you just go to work and then go home. And that’s it. You just exist. You feel like you’re not really there for anything. You’re just drifting around on this planet, trying to get by as best you can without connecting with other people or making a difference in this world.
You need a mission in your life to give it meaning, and you find that mission by figuring out what you’ve to offer the world.
When You Have a Mission and a Purpose, You Don’t Waste Your Time. You Don’t Work Just for Money or for the Sake of a Job You May Not Even Love Doing
You feel that you have to work for something real, something that really matters.
This can be something as simple as being a good listener or friend to a loved one. Or maybe you’re an artist or musician who helps others express themselves through their art. Maybe you’re a natural leader and people look up to you when they need advice or guidance. Maybe you’re a great cook who can inspire others by sharing your cooking skills.
Whatever it’s that you have to offer the world, once you figure it out, it may become your life’s mission. And when you have a life mission, everything else will fall into place around it.
You’ll Be Physiologically Rewarded
Altruism can improve self-esteem in two ways: It helps people feel better about themselves by giving them a sense of purpose, and it also gives them a sense of connectedness with others. This sense of connection is especially important when you’re feeling lonely, isolated, or have negative thoughts – which is why helping others can be so helpful when you’re feeling down.
It’s Also Been Proven That Helping Others Improves Our Mood and Reduces Stress. When You Help Someone, You’re Less Likely to Be Stressed and More Likely to Feel Happy and Relaxed
When you do something positive for another person, you get a dopamine rush – the same chemical that rewards you when you drink a cold beer or eat chocolate. This rush of lasting happiness motivates you to keep doing things that make you experience this positive emotion.
Dopamine is called the “feel-good” chemical because it’s associated with joy. Other research has shown that dopamine is also involved in motivation and reward learning.
Your brain releases dopamine every time something rewarding happens: the food you love, positive emotion, winning money … the list goes on.
You Want to Run Away From Your Own Problems
One of the biggest problems many people face when trying to help others is that they often do so for self-motivation. They want to feel good about themselves and make themselves feel better by helping others. They can even convince themselves that they love helping, and to some degree, they do love it.
Helping others is a good way to distract yourself from your own problems and negative self-talk. When you’re having a bad day, it can be very tempting to focus on others’ problems instead of your own. It’s hard to feel sorry for others when you feel like curling up and crying.
However, I think this is a very selfish reason to help someone. If you’re only helping to distract yourself from your own problems, there’s a good chance that the person you’re trying to help will be worse off than before.
If you want to help someone out of genuine concern or compassion, do it, but if you just want to distract yourself from your own problems, don’t do it. You may not even be aware that you’re doing this for self-interest.
Feeling Guilty for Not Helping Someone in the Past
Being self-conscious of your guilt is one of those feelings that aren’t talked about much. Yet it’s one of the most common feelings we experience. It’s a feeling that tells us we’ve done something wrong, but it can be difficult to understand why we feel guilty.
Guilt Is Usually Triggered by Someone Else Being Worse Off Than Before
For example, if you don’t help someone who needs help, you make them worse off than they were before. The reason you feel guilty when you don’t help someone is that they could have used your help. In other words: If you don’t help them, they’ll be worse off than they were before.
It’s Normal to Feel Guilty When You’re Compassionate
There are people who feel guilt very often or not at all and don’t love helping others. This sometimes makes them seem to look cold and self-centered about their well-being – but it’s normal for people to have varying levels of compassion (i.e., how much empathy they feel for others). Although some people may appear more generous or compassionate than others on the surface, that doesn’t mean that deep down they’re truly more compassionate; it just means that their actions reflect their inner nature better than those of others.
You Must Feel Useful to Others
Altruism is one of the best ways to feel useful and important in life. It satisfies our need to feel needed and important and gives our lives meaning and purpose.
In a world where we’re increasingly isolated from one another, feeling useful to others is more important than ever.
It’s a Universal Human Need to Feel Needed and Important, and Feeling Useful Fulfills That Need
Feeling needed and important is what most people strive for, and feeling useful fulfills that need.
Feeling useful is a powerful motivator to help others because it satisfies our human need to be needed and important. We all want to make a difference in the world – even if it’s just a small difference. When we help others, we feel like we’re making a difference, and that gives us purpose and meaning in life.
Helping others is also an antidote to loneliness and isolation. When you help others whether it’s a friend, family member, or a social connection you barely know, you build social bonds with them that can buffer feelings of isolation. You also get feedback from them that your efforts are appreciated – which further strengthens your sense of being needed by others.
Your Religion Tells You to Do This
Some people put themselves first not because they want to, but because they believe their God tells them to and their love for God is the most important thing. Many religions teach that we should help others because it’s the right thing to do, not because we’ll get something in return.
This can sometimes be a good thing, especially if you have a selfish or greedy personality. It makes you think about the needs of others and helps you develop empathy for those who’re less fortunate than you.
You’ll often find them being a helping hand by volunteering for a religious nonprofit organization. Like everywhere else, some will do volunteer work for helping others, and others will do it for self-motivation.
Your Happiness Decreases When Someone Else Is Sad
It’s true. We all know that happiness is contagious. That’s why we love to share it with others and rejoice when others are happy. We also know that the same is true for negativity.
If you’re a positive person but are sensitive to negative vibes, you might put your friends’ problems before your own just so you can see them in a positive light again. But are you helping them or hurting them? Are you doing it for them or for self-motivation?
When we talk about giving advice, most people think of the person who needs advice as to the receiver and the other person as the giver. But sometimes it goes both ways, and in those cases, we need to be careful about how much help we give.
Example: If you’re having a bad day and your girlfriend asks you how you’re doing, you might tell her that your boyfriend broke up with you. She might then say something like, “Don’t worry about it, maybe he’ll come back.” And here’s where it gets tricky: in some cases, she may be right – maybe he’ll come back – but in other cases, she may not be right at all – and it won’t help you in any way, but she’ll think she was being useful and helpful to you, while you’ll feel completely misunderstood.
Recognize When You’re Really Helping Others
When we help others, it’s important to recognize when we’re really helping them and when we’re doing it for selfish reasons.
Intention Is Everything
You can tell by asking yourself the right questions:
- Are you doing it to feel good about yourself?
- Do you want some recognition?
- Is there some other reward involved?
True helpers don’t expect anything in return. They don’t need recognition or praise; they just do what needs to be done because it’s the right thing for them to do.
If someone helps you out of gratitude or a sense of duty, that’s different from a true helper who does it without expecting anything in return.
Taking Care of Yourself Is Important Too!
This may be obvious to you, but many people overlook it. If you can’t take care of yourself, how can you help others? And will they even take advice from someone who doesn’t lead by example?
Here are some ways to help you do that:
- Get enough sleep. Sleep is important for your overall well-being, especially if you’re dealing with stress. For adults, it’s recommended to get seven to eight hours of sleep each night. This can help reduce fatigue and improve concentration and memory. It also helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
- Exercise regularly. Exercise helps relieve stress and reduce negative emotions such as anger or rage. You don’t have to go to a gym or run a marathon to experience the benefits of exercise; even simple exercises like stretching or walking can help you feel better emotionally and physically.
- Eat a healthy diet and drink plenty of water.
- Don’t overwhelm yourself.
- Reduce your time spent on social media.
- Ask for help; you may need it, especially if you experience negative thoughts. I have friends who are therapists, and they see therapists regularly themselves, not because they aren’t balanced, but because it’s important for them to take care of their own mental health as well.
- Be your authentic self (true self).
- Practice mindfulness.
- Get out of your comfort zone, for example, and practice new activities that are good for your wellbeing.
- Don’t put off your own problems and make sure your life gets in order first.
- Don’t always focus on people’s problems or on good deeds for others, but also on success stories.
We all know that being stressed isn’t good for our mental health or for others around us. We know that when we’re tired and exhausted, we can’t function as well as when we’re at our best. But when everything is going so fast, it’s easy to forget to take care of ourselves!