A Pay-It-Forward Attitude Makes It Easier to Ask for Help
Paying it forward — helping others in their time of need — may boost your confidence if you've had to ask for help in the past, and more likely you'll ask for help when you need it in the future.
We're sometimes reluctant to ask for help or assistance when faced with a problem. The feelings we're left with are usually something close to incompetence. But there's an easy way to bounce back. The Research Digest has summarized a recent study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology that has found helping others can allow people to regain their confidence and sense of independence.
The study was comprised of 87 participants who were split into two groups to solve a series of difficult puzzles. One group received hints that pointed participants in the right direction when they got stumped on a problem, allowing them to retain some of their autonomy in figuring out the puzzle. The other group was given outright solutions to the puzzles — what the researchers called “dependency-oriented” hints.
By the end of the exercise, the latter group felt unhappy about having to seek help, rating themselves as less competent. Whereas the group given hints had greater feelings of self-worth, but still a little let down that they needed help to solve some of the problems.
In the next part of the study, researchers asked the participants to solve another round of puzzles and to help make hint cards for the ones they solve correctly. Both groups seemed to get a boost of confidence writing the hint cards. However, the group that initially received the "dependency-oriented" cards saw the greatest gains from this pay-it-forward exercise.
The researchers write:
“After paying help forward, participants felt more self-competent than before helping, and this effect was more pronounced among former recipients of dependency-oriented help. These results show that helping forward can negate the psychological threat associated with receiving help.”
It's important to note that the participants were told that they would be helping others later on in the study. A factor that the researchers believe encouraged the participants to use the hint cards in the first place. Perhaps if people adopted a "pay-it-forward" attitude in life, they may be more apt to ask for help.
Read more at Research Digest.
Photo Credit: Reddy Aprianto/Flickr
Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.
No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.
The Oxfam report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency."
- A new report by Oxfam argues that wealth inequality is causing poverty and misery around the world.
- In the last year, the world's billionaires saw their wealth increase by 12%, while the poorest 3.8 billion people on the planet lost 11% of their wealth.
- The report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency." We explain what Steven Pinker's got to do with it.
Moans, groans, and gripes release stress hormones in the brain.
Could you give up complaining for a whole month? That's the crux of this interesting piece by Jessica Hullinger over at Fast Company. Hullinger explores the reasons why humans are so predisposed to griping and why, despite these predispositions, we should all try to complain less. As for no complaining for a month, that was the goal for people enrolled in the Complaint Restraint project.
Participants sought to go the entirety of February without so much as a moan, groan, or bellyache.
- Facebook and Google began as companies with supposedly noble purposes.
- Creating a more connected world and indexing the world's information: what could be better than that?
- But pressure to return value to shareholders came at the expense of their own users.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.