What Motivates Your Giving?

Yesterday I made a comment about how doing something to make someone else happy is not always a “good” thing. Eyebrows raised along with questions about how this could be so.

“Isn’t doing something nice for someone always a “good” thing?” They said.


“Well, not really,” I replied.

What is YOUR motivation??

If I am compromising myself to make you happy is that a good thing? If I’m giving in to your demands so that I can step away from conflict and make you happier, is that a good thing? I think you give up a little piece of yourself every time you do something just to make someone else happy. You’ll know if this is true for you if you feel disappointed or deflated afterward.

I think the key factor here is the motivation behind the doing. If I am excited about this great idea I had to do this thing for someone and do it without attachment to any results or outcome, then yes, It’s a good thing. This is not always the motivational factor for everyone or in every instance.


If you are doing something nice for someone because they did something nice for you and now you feel obligated, or think you must even the scorecard, then I think you are doing it for the wrong reason. I believe that if you are feeling obligated, it is an indicator to you that you are off track. If you are doing it just to keep the scorecard even, this too is an indicator that you are off track. Doing it for any wrong reason is not good.


If you are doing something nice for someone because you think it is expected from you, or because you are expecting a response that reinforces that you did a “good” thing, you too may be a bit off track.


You’ll know if you are off track if you feel angry, upset, or disappointed from the reaction to your “good” thing by the other. Perhaps you didn’t do it so much to make them feel happy, as for how good it would make you feel when the other gushes over you and tells you how great you are. If you are expecting the other to pour appreciation on you in an attempt to improve your self esteem, or if you are expecting a favor in return you are certainly off course.


It’s important to look at your motivation and to be honest with yourself about your motivation. Doing something for someone to make them happy really needs to come from a place of inner joy about the doing. If you are doing something nice for someone for any other reason it may not be a “good” thing after all. Do and give from a place of expressing your love and joy and you’ll never go wrong!



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Tonya Henderson

Creative Spirit Studios

9379 Duffield Road

Gaines, MI 48436

810-471-0665