When you help someone do you ever think, “What’s in it for me?”

They say we live in a give and take world. We’re eager to give a helping hand to others. We help those who need financial support through donations. We help those with emotional support with a shoulder to cry on. We help those in pain by empathizing and being there for relief. That’s the beauty of humans. We look out for each other.

But what about the take part. It’s a give and take. So for every moment we give time, money, or advice shouldn’t we be taking as well? Or is taking not a good habit? Of course it is. We have to take what’s ours sometimes. But honestly giving with the intention of taking might be toxic. The question we should really ask is… When you help someone do you ever think, “What’s in it for me?”

Here’s my thoughts when I’m deciding to help someone.

Why would someone ever think about themself before helping someone? That’s naturally a selfish habit. You’d always be going into situations with a personal agenda. You wouldn’t be genuine in the slightest. And honestly, the help would not be as great as someone there for the right reasons.

That’s what makes the most sense. Don’t be a narcissist. Help should never come from the thought of what you get out of it. That’s probably how most people feel about it. But honestly, I can’t lie and say I never think about my personal gain. Actually, the truth is, I’m always thinking about my personal gain when helping others.

There’s some pretty good reasoning though. When you think of the people that need help, they’re all over the world. And there’s hundreds to thousands of different ways people need help. There’s hunger issues. There’s people that have past traumas. There are people that are homeless. This doesn’t take into account all your friends and family that could use your help right now. There’s so much help needed that at some point people may start taking advantage of your help, and leaving you empty handed.

Then there’s the point of what gets you up and motivated to want to help. We could all easily just sit in our own bubbles and never help others. Getting up and helping others on a daily basis sounds nice. But I don’t want to get burned out with no motivation. So it’s in my best interest to pick and choose opportunities that excite me and I feel both parties get value. It’s called a win-win.

But honestly, I think many people are getting some value out of helping others. Maybe like me, you feel good when improving others’ lives. Maybe you get good conversation. Maybe you get praise and recognition. Maybe you just get your volunteer hours. It differs person to person but we always get something out of helping.

And I think it’s smart to be proactive about how you will get value. It doesn’t mean you don’t help. It just means you protect your best interest. That’s a good way to prioritize and make sure you aren’t being a hopeless visionary. We all need something. We can’t all give without sometimes taking. And like they say, nothing in life is free. That includes a helping hand.

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