7 signs you genuinely enjoy helping others, according to psychology

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One person cannot help everybody. One person cannot help the entire world, all at once.

And while that may be true, it shouldn’t stop someone from extending their help to those they can help. And if you’re someone who genuinely enjoys helping others, you agree with that statement.

Also, you and I both know that generosity is not a trait everyone holds. To you, though, it comes easy and natural. 

But are you still unsure of your genuinely generous heart? Well, let’s talk about it further. 

Here are 7 signs that show you genuinely enjoy helping others, according to psychology.

1) You feel good when you help others

Altruism, the selfless concern for the well-being of others, activates the reward centers of the brain

There are 4 noted types of altruism:

  • Genetic or kin altruism

This happens when you selflessly support or help your family members and loved ones. 

  • Reciprocal altruism

This is the type of altruism wherein there is knowledge that the other person will reciprocate the action in the future or have done so in the past.

  • Group-centered altruism

This is altruism done within one’s own ethnic or social group. 

  • Pure or moral altruism

This type of altruism is rooted in empathy and one’s own morals and values.

In simpler terms, it feels good to be good. And you know this to be true for you, don’t you?

2) You have a lot of empathy

Empathy is the root of many good things. Empathy helps us connect with others. Empathy is also known to motivate prosocial behavior

And you, a person who genuinely enjoys helping others, is filled with empathy. 

You’re the type of person who supports your friends without being asked. Who notices when they’re down, who wishes that they have nothing but joy in their lives.

Your heart aches when your family’s heart aches. You’re the type of good neighbor everyone wishes they have.

You help everyone, from strangers to stray animals. You feel empathy even for strangers from faraway lands. You hold goodness in your heart that propels you to do even more good.

To do what you can. To help. 

3) You’re generous with your resources 

A genuine sign that you enjoy helping others is generosity in sharing resources. Whether it’s time, energy, money, presence, cooperation, etc. 

You are willing to contribute what you can. You’re probably the type of person who gives money to fundraisers or who gives your time and energy to volunteer at different initiatives.

Maybe you’re even the type to start said initiatives. 

You might also be the type of person who shows up for your friend’s important events for support. And also the type to support small, local businesses. 

You do all this with no anticipation of a reward. 

4) You don’t care about rewards

The idea of getting a reward is not a source of motivation for you. You don’t do what you do for recognition, fame, or accolades, after all.

If you are given rewards, in whatever form they happen to be in, it is a mere by-product. It is an afterthought, so to speak, but it does not alter your motives or actions.

You help because you enjoy it. You help because it’s what your heart tells you to do. You help because you know it’s what’s right.

5) You believe in the power of community

Margaret J. Wheatley said it best, “There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about.”

And I said at the start of this article that one person cannot help everybody, but how about a community effort? How about collective action?

If you’re someone who genuinely enjoys helping others, you understand the value of this. It’s one of the reasons you do what you do because you know you’re a part of something much bigger than yourself.

So even if an action is considered “small” by others, it’s still your contribution. Small ripples make big waves, right?

And that brings me to the next point, a small act of kindness is still kindness, and that is important.  

6) You believe that acts of kindness, no matter how small, are important

Life has this harsh way of letting us feel our smallness. It has this way of reminding us that the world is vast and we are tiny so we can’t possibly make a difference. 

But we can. We can.

And perhaps it is small in scale, and perhaps it will only matter to a few people, or even just 1 person, but it matters then. 

And you and I share this belief. That acts of kindness, no matter how small, are important. 

We might not be able to move mountains, but we can still take care of the trees within it. We can take care of the animals that live within the lushness. We can take care of the flowers, the birds, and the insects.  

We can take care of the streams that run along it. We don’t need to move mountains for our actions to mean something.  

7) You’re mindful of how your actions affect others

I’ve been seeing this line all over my side of the internet recently, “Consideration is the highest form of love.”

And it got me thinking, hey, that is true. To know that our actions cause ripples, to know that our choices don’t really just end with us.

To be aware that there are consequences for what we do, and it might not be us who will feel it. That it could be our children, grandchildren, other people’s children and grandchildren. 

To be mindful of how our actions affect others, that’s consideration. 

And it might be an indirect way to help someone, but it’s genuine. There are no immediate rewards, after all, just the knowledge that you made the load lighter for someone else.

Or at the very least, you did not cause them harm. 

Learn to give yourself a break

Even at the risk of sounding like a broken record from all the times I’ve included this line in my articles, I’ll say it anyway: You cannot pour from an empty cup.

You are not an inexhaustible resource. Give yourself a break, friend, you deserve it.

But it comes with the territory of generosity, compassion, and empathy, right? That feeling that you’re not doing enough. 

But you are, you are! And not giving yourself time to breathe will be detrimental to you in the long run.

How do you find time to breathe, you might wonder? 

Maybe these three reminders would help.

  • Don’t give more than you can. Leave something for yourself, always. 
  • Don’t give out of pressure. Remain genuine in your intentions, don’t be forced into it.
  • Listen to your limits. Be kind to yourself, too. Always.

Final thoughts

It is admirable to be someone who genuinely enjoys helping others. The world could be bleak enough as it is and we need to be there for each other. To have each other’s backs. 

Kindness is difficult to have at a surplus and there is always a place that will need it, but I don’t think I even need to say this because this is a lesson you know very well. Maybe you even live by it. 

And so, may you continue to find it in you to extend your helping hand. May you find time to catch your breath, too, when it gets tough and depleting. 

Because the world needs your heart, friend, the world needs you. 

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