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Givers
Dec 26, 2013 General Nonsense |
Some people seem to be born givers. They get their pleasure by absorbing happiness from the people they please. Let's call it reflected happiness as opposed to direct.

Humans are all a bit different at birth, and presumably we are wired to get different levels of pleasure from this sort of reflected happiness. Sociopaths and other selfish people literally feel no pleasure from helping others. Natural givers, on the other hand, are willing to make great sacrifices for others because it feels so good to do so.

I'm not being judgmental. I'm just noting that people are wired for different rewards. And much of that is probably genetic.

So today, in this season of giving, I wonder if there are other traits that givers share. Specifically, I wonder if the bodies and minds of givers are extra-sensitive to the thoughts and emotions of others.

I think most of you know whether you are givers or takers. If you're a giver, do you also have some of the following characteristics?
  1. Are you shy?
  2. Do you dislike receiving gifts?
  3. Are you easily influenced by the taste preferences of others? (music, style, etc.)
  4. Do you avoid sad movies and books?
  5. Do you hate using a restroom if others are near?
  6. Do you enjoy spending time alone because people exhaust you? (Introversion)
  7. Do you often enjoy pets more than most people?
  8. Do you choose careers that make people happy?
If you are a giver, how many of the things on the list apply to you?

 

 
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Dec 26, 2013
I am a giver. (Type 2 on the enneagram - The Helper). I would say about half of these apply to me.
1. Shy - fairly, although have worked through that over the years and not too shy any more
2. Dislike gifts - no
3. Influenced by others tastes - yes
4. Avoid sad movies & books - never used to, I do now because I don't have the head space for them, but when I was younger I loved them
5. Restroom - no, too much of a pragmatist to care
6. Borderline introvert / extrovert - yes I can get exhausted spending lots of time in a group, but I also love spending time with family and friends
7. Pets - probably enjoy them an average amount
8. Career - didn't default into one that makes people happy, but doing something with meaning definitely appeals (e.g. volunteer work)
Other personality traits I can throw into the mix: am organised, friendly, emphathetic, supportive, have anxiety.
Let us know if you find out any common traits (even if the sample population is not statistically significant)!
 
 
Dec 26, 2013
One of my parents is a giver, the other is generous, but not a "giver" personality by nature.

Of your list, only one item (#3) applies to my "giver by nature" parent. All the others are more descriptive of my other parent.
 
 
Dec 26, 2013
You should add a #9 - What political party platform most closely aligns with your own?

 
 
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Dec 26, 2013
Yes. - Are you shy?
Yes. - Do you dislike receiving gifts?
Yes. - Are you easily influenced by the taste preferences of others? (music, style, etc.)
No. - Do you avoid sad movies and books?
No. - Do you hate using a restroom if others are near?
Yes. - Do you enjoy spending time alone because people exhaust you? (Introversion)
Not sure, probably no. - Do you often enjoy pets more than most people?
Not directly. I choose careers where I can make money without working all the time, so I can make people happy with my free time and money. - Do you choose careers that make people happy?
 
 
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Dec 26, 2013
1. yes. Now I can hide it, but I'm shy.
2. yes. I hate it especially when people wish me or give gifts on my birthday.
3. no - stubborn about keeping my old fashioned living.
4. yes.
5. yes. only mildly sensitive, but yes.
6. yes. very much.
7. yes.
8. somewhat.

By the way, I'm not a lavish giver - trying to be sensible, trying to make sure that the recepient kind of deserves it.
 
 
+4 Rank Up Rank Down
Dec 26, 2013
@Phantom ll

Good clarifications.

My impression is that Scott is describing himself and his own motivations for giving. Absorbing Reflected Happiness is a terrific explanation, and indeed probably better describes an introverts approach in general.

I try to see how my own Mom & Grandmother would fit in this discussion; jolly, warm, outgoing extroverts that like to swim deeply in the goodwill they generate. An introvert might find this sort of person exhausting (I sometimes do) but this is the extroverts outward way of doing things, not the introverts internal absorption.

The points Phantom brings up would be a perfectly-timed holiday Psychology Today article. Either way, being part of happiness is always better that the alternative. Happy Holidays!
 
 
+2 Rank Up Rank Down
Dec 26, 2013
1. Yes, although awkward may be a better description.
2. Largely indifferent.
3. No, I am rarely a follower.
4. I typically avoid fiction all together.
5. Once again indifferent.
6. Yes, but rarely am I afforded the opportunity.
7. Yes.
8. Indirectly yes, I design and test safety products. I help people every day without ever being seen. I had also considered military, police and fire service.

I am also an anonymous charitable giver. Maybe it is just me but it seems to take the charity out of it if you need to call the media and present a giant novelty check.
 
 
Dec 26, 2013
Almost all of those are true of me, although I'm not nearly so shy as I was when I was younger (I'm 45). And I'm not big on pets. Also, I get some satisfaction from sad or, especially, melancholy movies and books.
 
 
Dec 26, 2013
A more interesting discussion, IMHO, would be a nature-versus-nurture. Your behavioral posts always start off by assuming that genetics and brain wiring are immutable and cause most, if not all, of our personality traits. I don't believe that this is settled science.

For example, sociopaths. Generally, what is now called antisocial personality disorder has no known cause. In some cases, it seems intrinsic, while in others, it can be caused by abuse at an early age. If it's truly genetic, then the responsible gene seems to have hidden itself quite well.

Moreover, I think that a discussion of narcissism would be more germane to your topic than one on sociopathy. Sociopaths in general lack emotions; they have little or no feelings for anyone. Narcissists have all their emotions inwardly directed; yet in order to get the emotional input they need from others, they can act like anything you want them to be - including being able to ape the actions of givers.

Many of your above questions, as some others have noted, ask if givers are introverted. It beats me, but it probably would make an interesting study. In general, I would say that the topic is much more complex and uncertain in its causes than simply being a matter of hard wiring in particular people's brains.

[Genetics would be meaningless without an environment with which to interact. So in 100% of all cases -- no exceptions -- humans actions are an interplay of genes plus environment. I hope that's clear.

My point in many of my posts can best be explained by my soon-to-be-overused analogy about the bag of marbles. If you drop a bag of marbles on the floor, and some roll under the table, it doesn't mean those marbles had free will. The nature vs. nurture discussion is empty because everything depends 100% on both nature and nurture being exactly what they are to get the specific outcome. I'm only saying there is no magical thing called free will. -- Scott]

 
 
Dec 26, 2013
And to answer your questions:

1-Yes
2-No
3-No but am easily influenced to not share my tastes in this regard
4-Generally yes
5-'hate' is a strong word for it
6-Yes
7-There is not an animal I ca tnk othat I coul leave aloe most of the time and stillenjoy having around so I havent done this enough to be sure
8-Luck and ability have played a stronger part in the careers Ive ended up in than choice
 
 
Dec 26, 2013
[Some people seem to be born givers. They get their pleasure by absorbing happiness from the people they please. Let's call it reflected happiness as opposed to direct.

Humans are all a bit different at birth, and presumably we are wired to get different levels of pleasure from this sort of reflected happiness. Sociopaths and other selfish people literally feel no pleasure from helping others. Natural givers, on the other hand, are willing to make great sacrifices for others because it feels so good to do so]

Cant help thinking this isnt an either-or kind of thing but more of a somewhere in between kind of thing. I used to be very much a 'taker' but have been slowly inching to the 'giver' line. Not there yet but wouldnt call myself so much a taker anymore.
 
 
Dec 26, 2013
Numbers 1,4,5,6 and 7 are me to a T. I dream of being able to do number 8. As far as number 2 goes, I enjoy receiving gifts, just not in front of people (nothing like a package on the door step).
 
 
Dec 26, 2013
I think this is a no-brainer. I am a giver, but only to those near to me. I fit 1-7, but not 8.

Note that not all of these traits are generally considered desirable. Specifically, being easily influenced by the preferences of others is not considered a leadership quality by today's standards since it appears to show that you are weak. I don't agree with that notion, even though it seems to be the prevailing idea. Not caring what people think about you shouldn't equal not caring about others. Likewise, caring what people think about you don't *automatically* make you a poor leader.

Half of your list also describes introverts in general, which I doubt you meant to do.
 
 
 
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