Why do People Help? Motivation and expectations
In several surveys helpers – whether professionals, volunteers or people who support others in their personal environment – expressed that helping makes them happier, more satisfied and content. At first sight, these statements seem to be astonishing.
Why should a behaviour that is not meant to give personal benefits make happy? Why should people invest time, energy or money for something from which they don’t profit directly?
There are some aspects that should be considered when dealing with these questions:
People who help others experience feelings of success and self-achievement. They discover that they can affect situations and make a difference. These experiences increase self-esteem and self-efficacy. Helpers own a higher extent of confidence in their own abilities. Studies showed that higher self-efficacy is a protective factor against mental disorders, particularly depression.