Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach

Why Helping People Is So Satisfying

Having a bad day? Try helping someone. It’s stunning how satisfying it is to help others. 

Science actually shows that being generous not only lifts your mood, it even improves your health.

Why do our bodies reward us for being generous? Probably because it’s the best life strategy.

Suppose someone gives you $100 and tells you to share it with someone else. You decide how much, but here’s the catch: only if they agree do you get to keep your share.

An economist would argue that a $99 to $1 split would be enough. After all, the other person now has a buck he didn’t have before.

But people don’t work like that. 

If you don’t offer the other person something close to 50/50, they’re likely to tell you to screw yourself. 

Why? 

Because you’re insulting them with your chump change offer. Sure, you’re giving them something for nothing. But not out of kindness. You’re only offering them some money so that you can have more.

The real benefactor is you. The other person is just a cog in your self-enriching scheme.

And nobody likes to be treated that way.

Now imagine you get to play the money game again but this time there’s a crowd. And instead of low-balling, you make the other person a generous offer. Say, $70.

Yes, you didn’t maximize your earnings. But what happens when the next game starts?

Will people will want to play with you again?

Of course!

Yet that’s precisely what the lowballers and swindlers forget, you never just play once. Your whole life is a series of opportunities to play.

And if you want to be invited to as many of them as you can, you better be generous. There’s no better strategy.

By Jeroen Elsing
Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach