Doing good things…

In general doing good things for others makes people feel better. This was found in a study (Steger et al 2007 in the Journal of Research in Personality) where it was discovered that the more people
participated in meaningful activities such as listening to a friend’s problems or helping others, the happier they were and the
more purposeful their lives felt. Pleasure-seeking behaviors, on the
other hand, did not make people happier.
In order to make sure that the
relationship between happiness and doing good wasn’t the other way
around — that happiness instead leads people to do good things—the
researchers looked at which tended to come first. They found that the
subjects became happier after they did something good, suggesting that
happiness does, in fact, come about as a result of doing good things.

Why is it that doing good things make some people feel good, whilst others feel nothing even when they do good things?
Of course there isn’t a simple answer… it could be for many reasons:

  • Someone with low morals/ conscience may not feel good doing good things, and also will not feel bad doing bad things. Why do they have low morals/ conscience in the first place? many possible reasons:
    – Neglected/ Unhappy upbringing
    – Mental disconnection of some kind which may be genetic or acquired after emotional/ mental trauma/ injury of some kind.
  • Some people are more connected with their feelings than others, and so feel better doing good things. But what makes them more connected with their feelings? Again it’s probably based on genetics and environment.

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