Why sharing makes us happy – Why we sometimes get it wrong

From a very young age most of us are taught to share, as we become adults those that share are generally happier than those that are selfish. Why is this though ? I think this quote sums it up pretty nicely !

Happiness is like a kiss. You must share it to enjoy it.”
—Bernard Meltzer (Radio Host, 1916-1998)

One of the the things that steals happiness and feeds our notion that we “have nothing to share” is that we seek to share objects or that their must be some monetary value attached to share. The English language is partially to blame, consider the meaning of monetary, then consider the meaning of value , for the sake of sharing happiness “value” should largely be more of a noun than a verb

* Monetary – adjective- relating to money or currency.

* Value

– as a noun –

1.
The regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something.
“your support is of great value”

2.

A person’s principles or standards of behavior; one’s judgment of what is important in life.
“they internalize their parents’ rules and values”
2.
Consider (someone or something) to be important or beneficial; have a high opinion of.
“she had come to value her privacy and independence”
The random warm smile of a stranger, a story you share because it makes you happy, randomly helping someone load their groceries who is otherwise preoccupied with a toddler or older parent, recognizing somebody is having a bad day and making them smile or laugh, all excellent examples of sharing value that one couldn’t put a monetary value on if they tried. Sharing happiness costs nothing ! In order to share happiness use it mostly as a noun 🙂
It might appear I have a prejudice to sharing within the monetary category, I don’t ! Everything has its place and time, my point is we all have something to share and sometimes the things with no monetary value are the most “valuable” .
How we sometimes get it wrong … Study after study has been done with children relating to sharing , it may come as no surprise that children who share are happier ! Here is the other part to that though … Children who willingly share things are happier than those that are forced to ! As we grow we should become less selfish and become aware that sharing brings happiness ! Once again though here is the other part to that, if the only reason we share is because we feel obligated (and clearly this can be a number of external forces) then likely you aren’t offering much of value (the noun)! How many times have you shared , not because you necessarily want to but because you felt obligated ? Sharing with the right heart will make you happy and be of much greater benefit to whomever you shared it with ! I’m not saying you shouldn’t help (share your time) that friend that is inexplicably moving to a 4th story condo with the largest sleeper sofa you’ve ever seen with stairs only access ! Frankly NOBODY really wants to do this 😉 ! What I am saying is if you don’t help with the right heart then the help you’re giving is actually of low value ! Happiness takes work, in this example maybe sweat !
Sharing freely of ourselves (value , mostly the noun) helps connect people on a level otherwise not attainable – Makes you happy
Sharing out of Obligation has very little value and likely has little meaningful impact – WONT MAKE YOU HAPPY !
Good things come from the right heart !
Share the happiness everybody, it’s good for you !

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