Are You Altruistic? 8 Symptoms of Altruism


Altruism is a personal quality that we can all strive for – let’s talk about what it means to be altruistic and how it can benefit you to develop this quality.

When you’re altruistic, you have a moral mandate to perform tasks and activities that provide help and support to others. Being altruistic means you take personal responsibility to do something of value for another human being.

You go out of your way to consider the benefits you can create for others. If you’re altruistic, people likely see you as friendly, open, concerned, caring, and supportive. You have a true passion to empower and help facilitate the well-being of other people.

Are you altruistic? Consider these clues:

1. You think of others first. In any situation, you consider the other person. It comes naturally to you. It’s not that you think others are more important than you-it’s just that you strive to be thoughtful.

2. You consider the impact of your behavior on others. For example, you’d like to buy an SUV because you get so frustrated about not being able to see where you’re going when you’re following an SUV.

* You realize, at first, that if you also had one, you could likely have a better view of what’s going on up the road ahead of you.

* However, you also think, “Yeah, but then if I get an SUV, I will be responsible for putting one more gas guzzler on the road that other drivers can’t see around. No, I’m not going to get an SUV.” An altruistic person truly considers the effects of their behaviors on those around them.

3. You get positive feelings after doing something for another person. When you’re altruistic, you actually like to do things for other people – and pretty often, you do them without thinking about what YOU might receive in return, except for the knowledge you gain (or reinforce) and the “warm fuzzy” you personally feel. Helping others brings personal rewards that those around you might not understand or aspire to.

4. It’s no bother to go out of your way to help other people. During times when many people find a certain situation to be a source of frustration, you step forward and do what’s necessary to provide assistance to others. An altruistic person doesn’t consider it a big deal to pitch in and help others – whether anyone around them feels the same way or not.

5. To a certain extent, you believe in the concept of karma. Although you might not accept Eastern philosophy in its entirety, you do think that “what goes around comes around.” In other words, you believe that if you do something positive for someone, down the road good things will come to you.

6. You apply the Golden Rule when dealing with others. You “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” A worthy personal goal is to bring good cheer to the people you’re around and applying the Golden Rule is an effective way to do it.

7. You step forward to join your favorite cause. You’re an activist of sorts. Whenever something is really important to you, you’re not afraid to join a local or national group that works to combat the difficulty or establish a better way of life for people as a whole. Your focus is to contribute and maybe even motivate others to do the same – and you’re not afraid to be associated with an “unpopular” or little-known cause if you truly believe in it.

8. You display a quiet self-confidence. Because you’re so clear on what your personal morals and standards for behavior are, you rarely experience self-doubt. You believe what you believe very strongly. You experience strength in your convictions, and that strength often encourages others to do what you are doing, get involved in a cause you’re involved in, or “check themselves” regarding their actions and their motives.

Being altruistic is a wonderful personal value to possess. If the clues above describe you, then you might have altruism!

On the other hand, maybe you’d like to become more altruistic. If so, it’s a worthy endeavor. Focus on developing the above personal qualities. The more altruistic people we have in the world, the better lives we’ll all live.