Generosity is a quality that most of us strive to develop. Our generosity will bring us more joy and satisfaction in the long run. But a recent study has revealed that an overabundance of giving can have the opposite effect on one’s emotional well-being.
The motivations behind excessive giving can run deep, but it can lead to feelings of unease, unhappiness, or even depression over time if not addressed properly.
The concept of financial or material wealth is often perceived as a source of happiness, but paradoxically, research suggests that those who give excessively are less likely to be happy.
This dichotomy raises many questions surrounding the notion that generosity does not always bring joy and contentment.
Gifting Too Much Can Create a Negative Emotional Response
Giving too much can negatively affect individuals because it can encourage feelings of guilt and resentment for over-indulgence. This dynamic misalignment can occur when giving more than what you can afford or more than what is expected from others.
Moreover, if the recipient takes it for granted, the giver is prone to feeling unappreciated, undeservedly deriving negative emotions from the act of giving.
Increased Stress from Financial Losses
Being overly generous can lead to financial losses, contributing to increased stress levels, as with any other form of loss experienced in life. When money seems tight, excessive giving may also create disagreements among co-habitants as different opinions arise between those choosing to stay responsible with their financial plans and those preferring to give away things they do not have an immediate use for.
Reduces Sense of Self-Worth or Accomplishment
Without feeling rewarded for our actions, such as having saved up money and being able to spend it when we choose, we might start feeling uncomfortable because our actions do not get associated with feelings of accomplishment like they would if they were self-directed instead. Illusions of powerlessness take away any sense of efficacy we could have enjoyed otherwise if our choices had been just ours – not driven by social expectations or external obligations towards others.
Limits Opportunity for Personal Growth
By giving excessively, individuals can limit their opportunities for personal growth. When they give away all their possessions or money, they may not be left with anything to work towards. Without an end goal or tangible items to strive for, gaining a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment cannot be easy.
Furthermore, by constantly giving away resources that could be used to further an individual’s goals, they may not have the means to achieve personal growth.
What motivates them to give excessively?
When it comes to giving back, plenty of people open their wallets, donating their money and time to causes they care about. But some individuals give more than expected — far exceeding average charitable donations and going great distances to help others.
The Desire for Impact
Most people who give generously want to make an impact for good in the world. Whether it’s helping a friend or family member or contributing to a larger cause such as cancer research, getting personally involved can be incredibly rewarding.
Giving also makes you feel good about yourself and brings a strong sense of satisfaction when an individual has aided in making the world a better place.
A Deep Sense of Gratitude
Exceptionally generous individuals often have an intense appreciation for life and all its blessings — from things as simple as having enough money to pay rent on time or being healthy enough to do a mud run one weekend.
They understand how blessed they are and strive to share that with anyone struggling without adequate finances or necessary resources. It’s why they always seek avenues of assistance and opportunities where their contribution could make the most difference.
Compassionate Nature Boosts Giving
Those who can repeatedly give often have extremely compassionate natures, caring deeply about those around them, right down to strangers they may never meet but know to deserve attention nonetheless. This compassion spurs them forward, pushing them further towards action versus restlessness and indecision, resulting in meaningful contributions based on selfless charity instead of selfishness.
An Intense Dedication Towards Equality
Excessive donors typically believe they have to ensure everyone has access to the same resources and opportunities. They want to level the playing field so that all individuals, regardless of background or socio-economic status, can have an equal chance at success.
Strategies to find the balance between generous nature and genuine happiness
We all try to be generous—it’s part of our human nature. We want to show our family, friends, and colleagues that we care about them and appreciate their efforts. But sometimes, our generosity can backfire because it can actually create feelings of resentment or take away from our feelings of genuine happiness. Here are some strategies for finding the right balance between generosity and genuine happiness:
Set Healthy Boundaries and Communicate Your Needs
The key to balancing your generous nature and genuine happiness is to set healthy boundaries for yourself—not just with others but also with yourself.
Recognize what is important for your personal growth and what you need from others to feel truly happy. And then communicate those needs clearly so everyone can understand what you are trying to accomplish.
Know When to Say “No”
One way to balance giving too much and feeling genuinely happy is by learning when it’s okay to say no. You don’t want to be a “yes” person who always says yes without considering the consequences of agreeing or taking responsibility for something you can’t handle. Once you become comfortable making decisions based on sound judgment rather than emotion, claiming “no” becomes an option now and then.
Be Mindful About Giving Too Much
Just because being generous makes you feel good doesn’t mean it’s always a good idea — remember that generosity needs to be balanced with your self-care to benefit both parties involved.
Before opening your wallet or offering assistance, think carefully about how much time, money, or energy you’re willing to invest into this person before feeling overwhelmed or overburdened by having given too much of yourself away.
Prioritize Your Feelings
Prioritizing your feelings is key to finding a balance between being generous and feeling genuinely happy. It’s important to take a step back and assess how your generosity might impact your emotional well-being. If you are feeling overwhelmed or burdened by having given too much, then it may be time to reevaluate your priorities and ensure that your needs are being met.
Take Time out For Yourself
It’s important to remember that taking time out for yourself is essential to finding a balance between generosity and genuine happiness. It can be hard to resist the urge to give, but it’s even more important to ensure you’re taking care of yourself. Taking time each day or week for yourself will help you recharge and return to your generous nature with renewed energy.
Finding a balance between being generous and genuinely happy is a delicate balancing act. It’s important to remember that while generous behavior can make us feel good, it can also lead to feelings of resentment or overburdening if taken too far. By setting healthy boundaries, recognizing when to say no, being mindful about giving too much, prioritizing your feelings, and taking time out for yourself, you can find a balance that allows you to give without sacrificing your sense of genuine happiness.