How to Become a More Selfless Person

See also: Friendliness

In life, personal skills can be as crucial as professional skills, which is why most people see the value in learning life skills such as being more selfless. In our fast-paced world, it’s easy to live every day with an inward focus, concerning ourselves with working, making money, and returning home without adding any value to the lives of others.

However, performing selfless acts can be worthwhile to become more grounded and help others without thinking of our own gains. If you’re ready to change your behaviors and put your ego aside, here are some of the many selfless acts that may end up helping you become an overall more altruistic person and feel more content with your life.

Girl helping a boy up after a fall in a forest.

Donate Items You Don’t Need

With so many charitable organizations offering donation pickup, there’s almost no reason why you can’t donate furniture and other goods you don’t need. Once you have determined the items you want to get rid of, you can arrange for a collection service to collect them from your home or business.

The feel-good factor from donating your unwanted possessions rather than selling them can be immense. Even though you may be able to get money for them, you’re choosing to make sure they get to people who need them the most but may not be able to afford them.

Do One Selfless Thing Every Day

There’s only one way to get used to performing selfless acts, and that’s by doing them. The more you do for others, the more naturally you can attain selflessness as a skill or quality.

The best part is that these acts don’t have to take up much of your day, nor require much effort. You can help a senior citizen cross the street safely, hold the door open for a family, or even let someone skip ahead of you in the grocery line when they have fewer items to buy than you do. These small gestures may not mean a lot to you or take up much of your time, but they can mean the world to someone who might be struggling.

Volunteer Your Time

You might not think it’s possible to help people when you don’t have money to donate or furniture to give to those who need a helping hand. However, sometimes, the best gift you can give is your time.

Local organizations that have been established to help people are always in need of volunteers, which means you have an exceptional opportunity to learn how to become more selfless. Alongside experiencing the benefits of volunteering yourself, such as better physical and mental health, you can also be making a significant difference in someone’s life.

Even something as straightforward as serving food in a soup kitchen or cleaning up a local park may be more worthwhile than you might think.

Support Your Friends and Family

Life gets busy, and it’s easy for distance to grow between you, your friends, and your family. While you might not be able to change your work commitments, you can commit to being more available for your loved ones when time allows.

Keep in touch with them as much as possible, ask how they are doing, and volunteer your help with things they might need on occasion, such as moving house or babysitting children. Don’t put yourself under unnecessary pressure to say yes to all requests for help, but consider whether you could strengthen the relationships you currently have with the most important people in your life.

Be a Listening Ear

When someone is going through a hard time, they often need someone to talk to. You could perform a selfless act by being that listening ear they might desperately need.

However, it’s important to practice active listening rather than listening until there’s an opening for you to speak. Determine whether they are simply venting or are actually looking for advice. If it’s the former, try to avoid offering advice unless it’s specifically asked for. Active listening also involves repeating what someone has said back to them, so they can feel supported in the idea that you’ve heard what they’ve said and understood it.

Try to Be Empathic

Being empathic means that you can put yourself in the shoes of another person to understand their situation. Typically, this skill or trait is learned, but some people are more predisposed to empathy than others.

If you’re not a naturally empathic person, there are several steps you can take to develop empathy. Try to put yourself in another person’s shoes to think about how you would feel in a similar situation and examine your biases.

If you are aware of any predisposed ideas you may hold that could impact your empathy, put steps in place to change them. It may also help to ask better questions to gain a complete picture of a situation.

Let Someone Else Be the Center of Attention

A core part of being selfless involves letting someone other than yourself be the center of attention, even if you are just as worthy of the spotlight as they are. An example of a situation where this might apply is when someone is being applauded for their efforts on a workplace project.

Even though you may have played a part in its success, be gracious. Offer genuine congratulations to the person being praised and let them enjoy their moment. Your day will come.

You might also learn to share the spotlight with others. For example, if you were praised in a group project, congratulate colleagues who played a part in your success. Sharing can be just as important as allowing someone else to have praise all to themselves.

Be Patient

Life gets busy, and we only have so many hours in a day to pack in as many activities and errands as possible. As a result, we may find ourselves rushing from one task to the next, with very little patience for the obstacles in our way.

Practicing patience can be how you work on becoming a more selfless person. Get rid of the expectation for professional services to be provided immediately, and adjust your expectations for immediate results. Even focusing on your stress levels and patience while someone crosses the road in front of your vehicle can be an excellent start to welcoming more patience into your life overall.

Further Reading from Skills You Need

The Skills You Need Guide to Life

The Skills You Need Guide to Life

This two-part guide is an easy-to-read summary of the essential skills you need for a healthy mind and body.

The first eBook, Looking After Yourself, covers some of our most popular content and will help you to live a happier, healthier and more productive life.

The second eBook, Living Well, Living Ethically, considers how you can live your best life all the time. It helps you to answer the question: how can I avoid having too many regrets about my life?

Selflessness is not a skill most people can learn overnight, and it can be a constant work in progress. However, it’s entirely achievable when you take it one step at a time. Start by making at least one small selfless gesture each day, and you can be on your way to changing several other habits.

About the Author

Bilal Javeed began writing as a professional on his personal blog and then discovered his true calling writing about technology, news and gadgets in general. He has been a technical writer, author, and blogger since 2010. An industry watcher who stays on top of the latest features, he is passionate about juicy tech news and everything related to gadgets.