We all know that we should be nice. We all know that helping others is important.
But often, we let our own selfish desires get in the way.
The thing is, in many ways, humans seem to be naturally altruistic. There are some studies that show we have a tendency to help others, and we are often rewarded for helping people by increased feelings of self-worth and self-esteem.
Still, some people seem to just naturally enjoy being helpful more than others.
And if you keep your eyes open, you can spot these wonderful people by their personality traits.
1)They are empathetic
This is one of the biggest signs of someone genuinely enjoys helping others.
Simply put, empathy is the ability to put yourself in somebody else’s place. To imagine how they feel and experience their emotions for yourself.
We all have some degree of empathy, unless we have a severe personality disorder. But there are definitely levels of empathy, and not everyone has the same amount.
People who genuinely enjoy helping others are almost always highly empathetic. Because they can understand how other people feel, they can’t keep from trying to help them when they need it.
Other signs of a high level of empathy include:
- Great intuition
- A tendency toward introversion
- Sensitivity to sensory stimuli such as bright lights and loud noise
- A tendency to appreciate nature
Psychologist Judith Orloff is one of the world’s leading authorities on empathetic people.
“These people filter the world through their intuition and have a difficult time intellectualizing their feelings,” she writes.
“When overwhelmed with the impact of stressful emotions, empaths may experience panic attacks, depression, chronic fatigue, food, sex, and drug binges, or exhibit many other physical symptoms that defy traditional diagnosis.”
Clearly, it’s not always easy being empathetic. But because empathetic people experience the pain of others almost like it is their own, they can’t keep from trying to help others where they can.
2) They are compassionate
Compassion is often linked to empathy. But while empathy describes the ability to understand the emotions of others, compassion is more accurately described as the emotional response that comes from witnessing other people suffering.
“Compassion is a natural and automatic response that has ensured our survival,” according to Emma Seppala, associate director of The Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford Medical School.
“The reason a compassionate lifestyle leads to greater psychological well-being may be explained by the fact that the act of giving appears to be as pleasurable, if not more so, as the act of receiving,” she adds.
In other words, being compassionate towards others can make us feel better. Certainly, people who are deeply moved by the suffering of others often enjoy helping them out.
3) They have strong morals
There are lots of reasons why people feel compelled to help others. And sometimes, it comes from having a strong moral code that dictates a person should help others in need.
Most religions have an emphasis on helping others as a core value. But you don’t have to be religious to be a person of strong morals.
Most moral codes you could adopt are heavily based on altruism and helping others as a recognition that ultimately, we are all the same.
4) They are patient
Often, people who genuinely enjoy helping others have lots of other good qualities. One of the most noticeable among those qualities is patience.
More of us could benefit from the ability to remain calm and understanding even in a stressful situation. Speaking personally, I often get frustrated with the actions of other people, but ultimately, it only lowers my own quality-of-life.
Patience can be crucial when helping others. After all, not everyone reacts with gratitude to being helped. Also, patience allows someone to maintain their efforts to help others over the long term, understanding that sometimes, good things take a long time to achieve.
5) They are generous
It probably won’t come as a big surprise that people who enjoy helping others are also often very generous.
“Generosity is the act of being kind, selfless, and giving to others,” says wellness writer Tchiki Davis. “Despite being an act that is done to benefit others’ well-being, generosity also paradoxically increases our well-being.”
There are lots of different ways you can be generous. One is to donate money to your favorite charities. Another is to be generous with your time, volunteering with nonprofit organizations or just helping people in your social circle.
Just talking to someone who is going through a hard time can be an act of generosity.
Often, being generous with others means helping them, so it’s no surprise that generosity and helpfulness are strongly linked.
6) They are resilient
Resilience might not be the first quality you think of when you imagine a helpful person. But actually, resilience is a core trait that allows people to truly enjoy helping others.
Resilience describes your capacity to cope with stress and adversity. Resilient people are those who are able to manage their own emotional responses to events, which makes them cool in a crisis and more able to help others in bad times.
Plus, resilience is something that is often built through a lifetime of struggle. And people who have struggled themselves often tend to be more empathetic, compassionate, and more willing to help others because they know just how bad life can be.
7) They are good listeners
Sometimes, the best way to help someone is just to listen.
So people who genuinely enjoy helping others are often very good listeners.
After all, it’s hard to help someone if you don’t understand what they need or want. So many times, truly being helpful to someone starts with listening carefully to what is going on in their life.
Good listeners have a genuine interest in other people. Again, this comes back to empathy, since empathetic people are often very interested in others.
8) They are optimistic
We live in a flawed world, and it’s easy sometimes to give into cynicism and pessimism. But people who are constantly helpful to others generally maintain an optimistic worldview that helps them keep trying.
After all, believing that things can work out for the best gives you the energy to focus on what you can do to help. People with a positive outlook look for the best possible solution, even in trying circumstances.
Many times, that makes them more willing to help others.
Plus, just as negative people have a way of dragging everyone else down, optimistic people can do the opposite. Their ability to focus on the good things in life and keep striving to make things better could help lift the spirits of anyone who comes into contact with them.
9) They are open-minded
Being open-minded is another key to helping others.
People who genuinely enjoy helping are rarely close-minded. Instead, they accept people as they are, with all their problems, failings, and flaws.
That’s because they understand that none of us are perfect. And sooner or later, we all need help from someone else.
Being open-minded means being willing to help anyone, no matter where they come from or what they’ve done. That’s why it’s a trait you’ll often find among genuinely helpful people.
10) They are nonjudgmental
People who want to help don’t judge others.
They don’t ask themselves why a person needs help. They don’t look for reasons why it’s somebody’s own fault that they are in trouble.
Instead, they just focus on what they can do to alleviate the suffering.
Judging others can make us less willing to help them. It erects barriers between us and other people, making us think that we are different. From there, it’s a short step to thinking that people deserve the bad things that happened to them.
People who genuinely enjoy helping others don’t think this way. Instead, they don’t waste any time judging the actions or lifestyles of other people, and focus instead on how they can help.
11) They are reliable
This is an underrated trait. But being reliable is often one of the best ways to help other people.
Being reliable means being consistent in the things you say and the way you act. It means showing up for people when you say you will and honoring the commitments you make.
Often, being reliable comes from having a strong moral code and a deep sense of empathy – the exact same things that cause someone to genuinely enjoy helping others.
Finding helpful people
It can often seem like a cruel world. But the truth is, there is always someone out there willing to help.
That’s because many people genuinely enjoy helping others through hard times. And if you know someone with these personality traits, there’s a good chance that they are one of these excellent people.
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