4 Ways We Disrupt the Cycle of Generosity - Deepstash
4 Ways We Disrupt the Cycle of Generosity

4 Ways We Disrupt the Cycle of Generosity


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4 Ways We Disrupt the Cycle of Generosity

Failure to Actually Ask

Failure to clearly and explicitly ask for what you need is a common reason why people don’t help.

In many research and practice, most people are willing to help, but they don’t know what you need and can’t help until you tell them. An effective ask follows SMART criteria:

  • Specific
  • Meaningful (the “why” of the request)
  • Action-oriented (asking for something to be done)
  • Realistic and 
  • Time-bound (a specific deadline). 

Remember, too, that an ask is a request, not a demand.


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Failure to Accept Offers Graciously

Most people who ask for help are happy to get offers of help. Sometimes, ungracious responses to offers of help, such as “I already know that!” “I tried that, and it doesn’t work.” 

An offer of help is a very human gesture. It implies an affiliative motive. Rebuffing an offer of help is hurtful and reduces the chances the person will try to help again.

Gratitude is the proper response to an offer, a sincere acknowledgment of the act of offering regardless of the content.


19 reads

Failure to Express Sincere Gratitude

Thanking a person who helps you motivates additional prosocial behavior. 

Research shows that the expression of gratitude motivates the helper to help you again, as well as to pay it forward and help third parties. 

This chain of reciprocity breaks when we fail to say thank you or give only faint thanks. 

Expressing thankfulness is an essential part of the giving-receiving cycle. Your expression doesn’t have to be effusive but it does have to be sincere.


17 reads

Failure to Follow Through or Follow Up

Those who offer help never know what happened. Following up closes the loop. 

It lets your helpers know the impact they’ve made. Doing so generates positive emotions and increases the chances your helpers will help you again.

When we clearly ask for what we need, graciously accept offers, express gratitude for them, follow through and follow up, our actions create positive emotions that energize the giving-receiving cycle.


17 reads

Winston Churchill

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”


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