If someone does these 13 things for others, they’re a truly selfless person

We’ve all encountered them: those rare, radiant individuals who seem to effortlessly brighten every room they enter.

You know the type. They’re the ones who pause their busy day to help an elderly stranger, or stay up late to lend a listening ear to a friend in need.

They embody kindness, understanding, and above all, selflessness.

But what is it that makes these people truly selfless?

Let’s look into the 13 qualities that define them.

1) They give without expecting anything in return

If there’s a cookie left in the jar, they’re the ones who will insist you take it.

Selfless people understand the joy of giving and aren’t tallying up the score.

They’ll be the ones standing in the rain to help you carry your groceries, asking nothing in return except maybe a shared laugh about the weather.

To them, the act of giving is reward enough.

So, don’t be surprised if they’re secretly your superhero, sans the flashy cape.

2) Empathy is their second nature

You know when you’re having a bad day and someone just “gets it”? That’s them!

They seem to have an uncanny ability to understand what you’re going through.

They feel your excitement about the new job, and they’re equally there with you when your favorite show kills off your favorite character (I’m still not over “Game of Thrones”).

Empathy is not just a trait for them, it’s a superpower, and they wield it with grace and sensitivity.

3) They practice active listening

When you’re talking to them, you’d swear you’re the most interesting person on the planet.

Their phone isn’t in sight, and they’re not just waiting for their turn to speak.

They listen like they’re trying to solve a mystery, genuinely intrigued and invested in every word you say.

They make you feel heard and valued, even when you’re debating whether pineapple belongs on a pizza (I say it does, fight me!).

Their active listening skills truly set them apart.

4) They’re always ready to help

Ever been in a situation where you need help, but you’re too shy to ask?

No worries! They’re already there, holding that heavy door, picking up the paper you dropped, or offering to help with that office presentation that has you sweating bullets.

It’s as if they have a sixth sense for when help is needed. It’s like they’re part of some kind of “Helping Avengers”, always on standby to swoop in and save the day.

5) They prioritize others’ needs

They are the ones who’ll insist you take the last slice of pizza, even though you saw their eyes light up when it was brought to the table.

Yes, they might have wanted it, but your happiness matters more to them.

This might lead to some funny “After you. No, after you” moments, but it’s a beautiful reflection of their giving nature.

They ensure everyone else is taken care of before they think of their own needs.

6) They possess a high level of patience

things that make someone a truly dependable person If someone does these 13 things for others, they’re a truly selfless person

You know that friend who will watch an entire series with you, even though they’ve already seen it, just to experience your reactions?

That’s them, alright!

Whether it’s sitting patiently with you as you learn to drive, or listening to you rant about your day, they’re the embodiment of patience.

It’s like they have an extra storage of patience hidden somewhere, and honestly, it’s nothing short of magical.

7) They show kindness to all

They’re the ones smiling at strangers, petting every dog they see, and even scooping up bugs to gently place them outside rather than killing them.

For them, kindness is a way of life.

They treat everyone, and everything, with a kindness that’s heartwarming.

Their warm and friendly demeanor can make even the grumpiest person crack a smile, and that, my friend, is nothing short of a miracle!

8) They never seek recognition

These people are the ones who quietly clean up after the office party, help the elderly neighbor with her garden, or fill up the office coffee pot without uttering a word about it.

They don’t need a spotlight or a shout-out.

They’re a bit like ninjas, performing acts of kindness without seeking recognition.

If “anonymous good samaritan” had a face, it would be theirs.

9) They stay humble

Despite their endless kindness and generosity, you’ll never hear them bragging about it.

They may have just spent their entire weekend helping a friend move, but come Monday, they’ll just casually mention they had a “busy weekend”.

You might catch a hint of a smile, but that’s about it. They are the living embodiment of the phrase “actions speak louder than words”. 

Their humility makes their actions all the more impactful.

10) They promote and encourage others

These selfless folks are everyone’s personal cheerleaders.

They celebrate your accomplishments as if they were their own.

They’re the ones sharing your latest blog post, cheering the loudest at your gig, and probably have your small business flier in their bag ready to hand out.

They genuinely want to see you succeed and will move mountains to help you get there.

They believe in the power of ‘we’ over ‘me’, and that’s what makes them genuinely extraordinary.

11) They sacrifice their comfort for others

Whether it’s giving up their cozy spot on the couch for you, or braving the harsh cold to help a stranded motorist, these selfless individuals often prioritize others’ comfort over their own. 

They’ll put up with the suspenseful horror movie (even though they despise them) just because you enjoy it.

You’ll find them going out of their comfort zones regularly, not because they have to, but because they want to.

12) They show respect to everyone

For them, respect isn’t tied to a person’s age, status, or background.

They treat everyone with the same level of respect and decency, whether it’s a high-ranking executive or the person cleaning the office at night.

They’re the ones who’ll strike up a friendly conversation with the bus driver, or genuinely thank the barista for their coffee.

They have this innate belief that everyone deserves respect, and they practice this belief every day.

13) They possess a positive outlook

Ever met someone whose optimism is infectious? They’re so fun to be with, aren’t they?!

Despite the challenges and adversities they face, they always manage to see the silver lining. 

They aren’t ignorant of the negatives, but they choose to focus on the positives.

They believe in the goodness of people and the world, making them a beacon of hope.

It’s like they have a pocketful of sunshine that they’re willing to share, one smile at a time.

Why is selflessness really admirable?

red flags youre a people pleaser If someone does these 13 things for others, they’re a truly selfless person

There’s something inherently captivating about selfless people.

Their aura of kindness, humility, and generosity feels like a breath of fresh air in a world often driven by self-interest.

Selflessness is admirable because it goes against our innate human instincts of survival and self-preservation.

Such individuals serve as living reminders that empathy, compassion, and selflessness are qualities that make us uniquely human.

They remind us that our actions have a ripple effect, that every act of kindness, however small, contributes to a larger narrative of love and compassion.

These people create a sense of community.

Their actions highlight the fact that our success as a society is dependent not just on individual achievements but on our collective efforts to support and uplift each other.

In a world that often seems divided and contentious, the selfless person stands as a beacon of hope, compassion, and unity.

How you can start being more selfless

Selflessness isn’t necessarily a trait you’re born with; it’s a quality you can cultivate with a little introspection and effort.

If you want to start the journey to being more selfless, here’s how you can do just that:

Practice active listening

Often, we’re so caught up in our own thoughts and responses that we fail to truly listen to others.

Try to focus wholly on what the other person is saying when you’re in a conversation, creating a safe space for them to express themselves.

Volunteer your time

Find a local charity or community initiative that resonates with you, and donate your time.

It’s not about the amount of time you give, but the genuine intent and effort that counts.

Perform random acts of kindness

It could be as simple as holding a door open for someone, offering your seat on a crowded bus, or buying coffee for a colleague.

Remember: The size of the act isn’t what makes it selfless, it’s the intention behind it.

Show empathy

Try to put yourself in other people’s shoes.

Understanding their feelings and perspectives can help you become more empathetic and compassionate.

Be there for others

Offer your support to friends, family, and even strangers when they’re going through tough times.

It could be a listening ear, a comforting word, or a helping hand; what matters is your willingness to stand by them.

Prioritize others’ needs

Make an effort to consider others’ needs and feelings in your decisions.

It might be as simple as letting your friend pick the movie for the night or as significant as stepping up to help a coworker with a challenging project.

Practice humility

Understand that we’re all a part of a broader community and everyone has a role to play.

Celebrate your accomplishments but remain humble, recognizing the contributions and worth of others.

Final words

Developing selflessness is a journey, not a destination.

It’s about constant growth and improvement, about making a consistent effort to be more empathetic and generous.

Remember this: Every little bit helps, and every step you take towards becoming more selfless is a step towards making the world a better place.

Picture of Gershom Mabaquiao

Gershom Mabaquiao

Gershom Mabaquiao is a scholar of psychology, oral tradition, and interpersonal relationships. His creative works have been published in Inquirer.net's Young Blood section, The Unconventional Courier, and Tint Journal. He lives in the Philippines with his best friend-turned-partner and their dog, Zuko. Gershom has plans of taking his master's degree in Clinical Psychology to help young adults heal the inner child in each of them.

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