True and honest generosity is hard to come by.
A bit like the golden goose of the people world, you’ll no doubt find that many seem to have this quality…
But when it comes down to it, it’s more like a supermarket-bought egg that’s been dusted in spray-painting. An obvious fake.
Generosity looks great on resumes. It makes someone kind and altruistic, which wins favors and votes and other pleasantries.
However, there’s a big difference between being generous to try and seem like a better person and having this instinctual selflessness and desire to help others.
The latter is far more valuable and remarkable, and should you find someone who is naturally generous – hold on to them tight.
It’s by association that we’re lifted up and made into better people.
If you’re uncertain of how to tell genuine generosity from fake niceness, check out these 10 telltale behaviors that show someone’s truly generous:
1) They let no gesture go unnoticed
Starting off conversely with how they receive generosity bestowed by other people, I can tell you now that really generous people let gestures go unnoticed.
Your grandma may have gotten on your case about writing ‘thank you’ cards, but she did so for a reason.
Generous people might give a lot themselves but they also do so much to express gratitude.
They’ll likely fawn over any gift, big or small. Even you making their day that little bit easier by running an errand for them will have them gushing their honest thank-yous.
2) They’re masters at checking in
Kind and generous individuals not only never forget to show appreciation but also never let their friends or loved ones fall off their radar.
You know the sort of people I’m talking about.
You might go weeks or months without seeing each other but you can count on them to send you a sweet text seeing how you are, or a late night facetime for an overdue catch up.
It’s easy to make excuses as to why you haven’t found the time to see how a friend is doing, but really generous and loving individuals won’t take this easy route.
Sure, they get just as busy as the next person but they will eventually find the time to reach out and make sure you’re also doing okay.
They’re just reliable like that and let no friend go feeling ignored or forgotten.
3) They don’t do it for the applause
Sometimes, people only do good things and perform acts of kindness for the applause that follows.
If you look closely enough, you can see them tense up after giving money to someone in need or performing a generous gesture.
Their eyes will flit around as they wait for someone to notice how good they’ve been, how kind they are, and praise them for this behavior.
Newsflash: doing good just for validation isn’t what we’re after.
Truly generous people are kind and selfless without ever thinking about how this will make them look in other people’s eyes.
4) They don’t reserve their generosity for a select few
Some people are very generous….
But only to their boyfriend (because they’re scared he’ll leave if they stop buying him presents).
Others are very generous, but only towards their close family members.
Everyone else is on their own.
Some are just generous towards their old friends, and eye up newcomers with suspicion and hostility.
The difference between all of the above and the truly generous out there is that the latter won’t make someone jump through hoops to qualify for their kindness.
They spread this kindness far and wide without the expectation that people need to earn it first.
5) They’re quick to forgive
Part of giving selflessly to help others and foster positive change is also being generous with dishing out forgiveness.
Whilst getting into disagreements or conflicts can lead many to hold onto grudges and let them fester, generous people tend not to cling onto these feelings of resentment so much.
Instead, they tend to be the first to forgive and forget; they harbor little ill-will and have big hearts which have lots of room for second chances.
6) They share their good ideas
Think back to school: If you’d studiously prepared for a test and knew all the answers, would you share them with someone who was struggling and asked you for help?
Or would you feel bitter and resentful, unwilling to give answers to someone who didn’t deserve them and hadn’t tried as hard as you had?
As much as you should feel like your own hard work pays off, the difference between turning your nose up at those who ask for help and the really generous amongst us is that they’ll almost never say no.
They might feel a little frustrated at having to share the fruits of their labor, but they know that the greatest satisfaction is in seeing others succeed.
Whether constructive feedback and ideas that will take your project to the next level or a round of homework answers, you can be sure that someone selfless will always share with you what they can.
7) They’re “yes” people
“No” is a pretty firm favorite in most of our vocabularies.
“No, I can’t help you with that”, tends to be the go-to when we’re stressed or just not inclined towards helping a stranger.
But if you notice that someone tends not to decline but instead uses “yes” far more than the average person, it’s a pretty high indicator of unmatched generosity.
They have the same amount of pressure going on in their own lives as everyone else, but they still find the time to agree to help others or stay in touch with loved ones.
Being just as generous with their time as with everything else they can give, they’ll often go out of their way to make sure no one feels left out or forgotten by them.
8) They ask how they can help (but also do so without saying anything)
Generous people do acts of kindness and selflessness without prompting.
However, they know full well that they’re not mind readers.
Hence why they often ask outright how they can help or what they can do for you, frequently posing questions like, “What can I do to help?”
It’s so very comforting to know that you don’t have to feel awkward or guilty in asking them for help because they so often take the initiative and beat you to it.
9) They don’t boast or brag
Don’t mistake someone who spends so much time bragging about all the wealth and possessions they have and occasionally offers you a measly crumb of it as a truly generous person.
This is more an example of a fat cat sitting on a pile of gold who wishes to show off by rolling one chipped and fragmented gold penny that he no longer needs in your direction.
Truly generous people don’t have this need to show off and boast.
They may well be sitting on good fortune. They may also be struggling more than you or me behind closed doors.
Either way, they avoid strutting around and flouting their riches in the faces of others.
Instead, they tend to quietly celebrate their own successes and use these to free up time and resources to continue spreading kindness amongst other people.
10) Giving actually energizes them
Finally, generous people actually get back from giving and making the world a better place.
And no, this doesn’t make them selfish. It’s not the same as giving and getting a good reputation which benefits your career.
However, truly generous people get a natural high and a buzz from helping others and having a small yet positive impact on the world.
Thus, they tend to be bright and enthusiastic in other areas in their life, as they live as reversed energy vampires who instead feed on empowering others and giving what they can.
Hopefully, these signs will help you to be able to spot the golden eggs from the frauds and the fakes.
Whilst many people herald themselves as generous and selfless, it’s worth being able to tell true generosity from seemingly kind acts that come with an ulterior purpose.
True and genuine generosity is one of the most valuable characteristics a person can have.
It’s a huge indicator of a truly kind and compassionate soul, and most certainly the sort of person you want to keep in your company.
Exhibiting generosity also inspires other people to do the same, which works to connect humanity to work together to help those less fortunate.
And whilst many people pretend to be selfless and kind, only exhibiting these traits when it suits you is in fact pretty selfish.
If you’re stuck on where to start, begin with daily random acts of kindness where you can, by trying to notice how other generous people behave.
By observing them and acknowledging how they do good, you can begin to spread more positivity and gratitude in spreading kindness and expecting nothing in return.