There comes a time where many of us start to feel selfish. We don't know exactly why at this moment we feel this way but we know it’s not necessarily good. It’s ok to be selfish at times, you just don't want to get carried away with it.
Being wealthy by yourself wouldn’t make you happy because your friends and family wouldn’t be there to help you enjoy the success.
When we do something for somebody, more times than not we’re looking for something in return or looking to get back equal with that person. We don’t want to be in debt to anybody because we’re so concerned about our reputation. Of course, everyone wants to be known as somebody who is selfless. It lets people know that we have a heart and that we’re not “selfish.”
How much value do you bring to people?
What do you think your friends and family would say to be your greatest asset?
When it comes to being more selfless, you have to realize that your previous actions of giving weren’t genuine. You need to learn how to make this positive shift into your life.
One thing that you should always keep in mind when it comes to being more helpful is that you should want to help people as much as you would want them to help you.
Have you ever started complaining to yourself so that people would notice that you were struggling? We’re all guilty of this, we don’t want to ask for help because we don't want to look needy or annoying.
Let's look at a few ways you can become more selfless in your day to day.
Start taking notice of what people are having trouble with
You may be in your own world as of right now, but try to observe the people around you. Although, you have your own problems that you’re dealing with, the people who you see every day have problems of their own too.
It may be hard to recognize their problems at first because you’re so used to them figuring out their issues on their own. Over time, you will begin to notice when they deal with moments of frustration or stress. If it’s somebody who is close to you then you may hear them repeat something they usually say when they’re tired or angry.
Take a mental note of these little things that they do. Look out for the next time they do that one thing so that you can be ready to help.
If you’re truly passionate about wanting to become a more selfless person, then you can even take physical notes when hearing about a problem someone is going through. You don’t have to carry a notebook and pen everywhere with you but it’s good to use it when you have some time to yourself.
Writing these issues down is a great way to stay reminded of how you can help people with their problems in the future. Make these notes your priority for a day and you will begin to feel more selfless.
You’re not looking for somebody else’s approval to let you know that you are being selfless, it’s a feeling you will build up eventually.
Make sure you are thinking of ways you can help somebody before actually taking action. There are times where I want to help people, but I have no idea what I’m doing. The person may appreciate me for trying but in the end, nothing gets resolved.
Become genuinely interested in what other people are interested in
This is by far one of the easiest ways to help people. It’s always good to be a jack of all trades but this can be really helpful for the times you want to help somebody with positive intentions.
If you have some sort of background with the area that someone is having trouble with, then you will have more confidence in helping that person and you will actually enjoy helping them as well.
You can start to learn more about other people’s interests by spending more time with them or talking to them about it.
As I slowly started to make friends in high school, I realized that many of them were into anime. At the time, I had no idea about what it was or how to even have a conversation about it. Despite me feeling left out, I was still motivated to learn more about the art because I knew that this was an opportunity for me to become more well versed in a different area of my life.
As the semesters past by I was learning more and more about how it originated and where to watch the most exclusive anime shows on the internet. One day my friends were excited to watch a new episode of a certain anime show but the website that they usually used got blocked. Luckily, I was able to provide them with a different website where they could all watch the new episode.
At this point in my life, I didn't even think of this as “giving,” anime became something of my own interest and I was still able to help my friends all because it was an opportunity for me to learn more about something I didn't know much about.
Being able to find interest in what other people like is great for when you need a conversation starter. This goes for people that you’ve just met for the first time at work or someone that you may find attractive.
Asking people how they’re doing in detail
When talking to somebody that you genuinely want to help, you can try and bring something up that was bothering them in the past in the conversation. This opens the door to both you and the person you’re talking to. That person will feel more comfortable venting to you and you will have a chance to figure out you can help that person.
Sometimes, the best way to help somebody is by listening. How many times do you cut your friend off in the middle of a conversation when they’re trying to tell you something that’s bothering them?
Being an active listener is a gift not only for you but for the person who is talking to you. When asking somebody how they’re doing, try to add in something you noticed or learned about them from your previous interaction.
Another great way to make this conversation more set up for you to help is to expand the conversation as much you can. Ask them simple questions like “How’d that make you feel?” Or “What gave you the idea to do that?” People love to talk about themselves and so you. We want people to know about how interesting and uninteresting our lives are because we want to be accepted.
Do people a favor and accept them for who they are, be willing to help them whenever you can. Being selfless can be a new skill for you if you’re just willing to listen to what people have to say.
Spend less time trying to figure out your own problems and help people become the person they were destined to be.
So, in your next conversation, strive to be different and ask someone something that will allow you to help them in the future or at that moment.
The path to becoming more selfless isn’t easy, it will take some time and effort just like most things you're trying to accomplish in life. Remind yourself to be a giver and not someone who is constantly trying to be 50/50 with people on the generosity scale.
I’ll leave you with a quote from the book “The Go-Giver” that says
“The most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself.”