The cardamom law is known to many and has a clear message:
“You must not bother others, you must be decent and kind, or else you can do whatever you want.”
If it were that simple.
Why are some of us kinder than others and what prevents us from being kinder?
In the largest of its kind to date, British researchers have conducted a massive study to find answers to these questions.
The results indicate that generous people feel better about themselves.
It is human nature to be kind. It’s a big part of how we achieve connection with others, and the relationships that we have. Professor Claudia Hammond tells the newspaper Watchman.
Increase well-being and satisfaction
studying It is a collaboration between the University of Sussex and BBC Radio 4. It involved more than 60,000 participants from 144 different countries, who answered a questionnaire on the topic of ‘Kindness’.
The study lasted a total of 30 minutes, and was evaluated by professionals with a background in psychology.
The goal was to learn more about how kindness is viewed in society.
The summary of results shows that people who perform and receive friendly gestures, tend to experience a higher level of quality of life and satisfaction.
75 percent of respondents believed that the pandemic had led to more friendliness in the population. 60% of respondents said they had received a kind gesture in the past 24 hours.
I found differences between the sexes
According to Professor Claudia Hammond, kindness is rooted in a form of selfishness.
First and foremost because it makes us feel good, explains the British researcher.
We know from brain research that kindness makes us feel warm and good while doing work. It’s good to know that you are a nice person and care about others. And we want to feel good about ourselves.
The study also shows that religion and the value system play an important role.
Those who believed that good intentions were more important than strength and achievement were more willing to give it to themselves.
Women more often stated that they consider themselves cute compared to men.
But overall, gender was not of particular significance to the results. It was mostly about character.
It is consistent with previous results
Norwegian researcher and psychologist Hallgeir Sjåstad thinks the findings are exciting.
– Those who are more likely to help others and who more often stop and notice what they are already grateful for are, on average, happier and more satisfied with life than selfish and greedy people. – He sat on the edge, he told NRK.
Sjåstad says the findings from the British research line up well with previous research.
It is well documented that there is a positive relationship between The quality of life, how generous you are to others and how grateful you are for the help you get yourself.
But if it’s so good for us, why aren’t we just so kind and nice all the time?
The Norwegian psychologist believes that it also has a certain cost.
– You don’t understand how much that means to others
It is not easy to explain why some are kinder than others, although a lot depends on the character.
However, Hallgeir Sjåstad believes it has something to do with the fact that kindness in everyday life requires active prioritization Time, money or energy.
– Even when one has a sincere desire to become a better human being, there are still some practical limitations that can hold us back.
Another part of the explanation, the psychiatrist explains, is that we underestimate what it would be like to others if we made an effort.
– Several studies show this kind of effect: a genuine “thank you” or a helping hand often means more to the recipient than the sender previously thought.
According to a British study, self-confidence can also have an impact on how kind you are.
– Talking to strangers
Professor Claudia Hammond says, not everyone dares to do friendly acts for fear that the act will be misunderstood by others.
Participants who stated that they are extroverted and responded that they are often open to new things, also reported that they gave and received more kindness.
So did the people who reported that they often talked to strangers.
– This could simply be about self-confidence. It is a quality that one needs to offer kindness. One must tolerate the possibility of rejecting a potential offer.
Hallgeir Sjåstad believes happiness research is very important.
He explains that the fact that we can develop research-based knowledge about our potential for collaboration and humanity means we can understand ourselves a little better.
In the next step, societies and organizations can also leverage this knowledge to influence the future in a positive direction.
– Personally, I find some hope in the fact that the average person derives a large part of their quality of life from their relationship with others. When we feel good about each other, we usually feel good as individuals as well.
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