Generosity Changes Up Your Relationships
Generosity has a fascinating way of impacting your life. When you consider being more generous in your relationships, you might be surprised at the changes that start to take hold. Maybe you’ll notice a shift in those with whom you relate – and maybe you’ll spot movement within yourself!
Being generous is defined as the readiness to give more of something – like money or time – than is strictly necessary or expected. When you decide to go one step beyond what’s expected of you, you’re being generous.
Generosity rarely happens by chance – it’s an intentional decision.
“You have not lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” – John Bunyan
There are some amazing ways to bump up generosity your friends, family, acquaintances and romantic connections. We’re grateful to a number of sources as we explore how to be generous, including:
So what does it look like when you’re more generous in your relationship? You might begin adding one or more of these practices to your daily routine.
Think of listening as an act of generosity and a source of discovery. When you listen to a friend or your partner or your neighbor or a family member – really listen and hear them – the result is amazing. Without offering a solution or an answer, choosing to quietly absorb and hear what someone has to share can change your relationship. See what happens when you don’t jump to a conclusion – or finish a sentence – or think about the next thing to say – or interrupting.
COMMIT TO ONE 5-MINUTE FAVOR A DAY
Adam Rifkin, Wharton Professor of Management, came up with the ‘5-minute favor.’ It’s simple: maybe you can use a product and offer constructive feedback. Introduce two people in an email because of mutual interest. Share, comment or retweet something on social media…you get the idea. One 5-minute favor a day.
CONSIDER THE BENEFITS
You can count the benefits of generosity – and they do add up. People who are generous report they are happier, healthier and more satisfied with life. Generosity produces a sense inside of you that you’re capable to making a difference in the lives of the people with whom you interact – as you address the needs of those around you.
NOTICE WHAT WOULD MAKE SOMEONE’S LIFE EASIER
What might you do that would help out your neighbor or friend or partner’s life? Maybe one is stressed out, or needs to deal with a sick loved one, or is injured or needs a ride – what might you be able to do that could ease the load? When you talk to someone and wonder what you could do for them – instead of what they can do for you – you’re being generous.
COMPLIMENT THREE STRANGERS
Try this with a child, an elder and someone your age. Be really specific: what a great way to ride that tricycle. Or simply, “you look fantastic today.”
THANK SOMEONE WHO HAS MADE A DIFFERENCE IN YOUR LIFE
If possible, let your mom know how she has influenced you. Or share with your dad how his life changed yours. Or reach out to an aunt or uncle or cousin or mentor – and express how what they’ve done for you has helped make you the person you are today.
When you are generous in your relationships, there’s no telling how your connections will deepen – and how you will appreciate what it means to have people in your life who matter. And when they discover how much you are grateful for what they’ve done, you open doors for deeper friendships.
Please let us know how being generous changes up your life, and the lives of those around you!