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Can't get my head around it, why does it feel so good when helping stranger without expecting anything back?

Maybe this question was asked before, or is a dumb question :-)

one day, i was looking for help in EE and then i found myself helping others whenever i get free time, believe me, it became so addictive to me in a good way, because it makes me feel so happy and joyful, when i help someone answering their question,  there maybe some sort of self interest is also involved, learning from others, however most of the time, questions look easy and repetitive something we have seen numerous times asked by different OP and still tend to answer and then it makes feel good & happy.

i have seen many experts do the same, it is not about points or anything else, i have seen a question being accepted by OP and then you see that still, experts dive in with providing with more effective and a better solution.

I woke up very early this morning, i was contemplating and got me thinking, why feel happy when helping someone you have never known without expecting anything back?, well. i do not have answer to this :-)   i mean there are lots of articles and books and religious quotes talking about altruistic behavior, but scientifically, there is no answer, or maybe there is

i was re-reading all the posts in the discussion "What inspires your participation at Experts Exchange"  very nice posts

would be nice to hear from others, what they think of this unexplained phenomenon of happiness by helping someone you never known and while expecting nothing in return.

i better stop here, i need a coffee :-)
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Rank: Genius

Author Comment

ProfessorJimJam2015-05-05 07:29 AMID: 1731310
hypercat,  just saw your profile.  you are a real mensch!   you helped many.
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Rank: Savant

Expert Comment

Bob Learned2015-05-05 08:01 AMID: 1731317
There are "touchy feely" reasons, and there are philosophical, and then there are basic personality traits.  I see something of myself in the descriptions here:

THE HELPER
Enneagram Type Two
http://www.enneagraminstitute.com/TypeTwo.asp#.VUjadPlVhBc

Twos are empathetic, sincere, and warm-hearted. They are friendly, generous, and self-sacrificing, but can also be sentimental, flattering, and people-pleasing. They are well-meaning and driven to be close to others, but can slip into doing things for others in order to be needed. They typically have problems with possessiveness and with acknowledging their own needs. At their Best: unselfish and altruistic, they have unconditional love for others.

We have named personality type Two The Helper because people of this type are either the most genuinely helpful to other people or, when they are less healthy they are the most highly invested in seeing themselves as helpful. Being generous and going out of their way for others makes Twos feel that theirs is the richest, most meaningful way to live. The love and concern they feel—and the genuine good they do—warms their hearts and makes them feel worthwhile. Twos are most interested in what they feel to be the “really, really good” things in life—love, closeness, sharing, family, and friendship.

I have noticed that my "people pleasing" was to the point of an obsession for a while, and that it distracted from my other priorities, so I have dialed it down a few notches.
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Rank: Sage

Expert Comment

bigeven20022015-05-05 07:52 PMID: 1731399
I like helping others too, but more often than not, I find myself more concerned about meeting quota.  I'm flat broke so saving myself from dues helps a lot.  Yeah, selfish, I know...  I also tend to be cautious about which questions I answer as I don't like guiding those down the wrong path.
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Rank: Genius

Expert Comment

Jamie McAllister MVP2015-05-06 12:32 AMID: 1731431
I read somewhere that helping others increases your own happiness and mental health.

Google turned up this;

"Helping others kindles happiness, as many studies have demonstrated. When researchers at the London School of Economics examined the relationship between volunteering and measures of happiness in a large group of American adults, they found the more people volunteered, the happier they were, according to a study in Social Science and Medicine. Compared with people who never volunteered, the odds of being “very happy” rose 7% among those who volunteer monthly and 12% for people who volunteer every two to four weeks. Among weekly volunteers, 16% felt very happy—a hike in happiness comparable to having an income of $75,000–$100,000 versus $20,000, say the researchers.

Adapted with permission from Simple Changes, Big Rewards: A Practical, Easy Guide for Healthy, Happy Living, a special health report published by Harvard Health Publications."
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Rank: Ace

Expert Comment

Bembi2015-05-09 06:43 PMID: 1732153
The main reason is: dopamine....
I guess, nobody can decline that it feels good to get a simple "thank you". Just the way how you get it is different. Some people need a red Ferrari, others help an old woman over the street. And others - like us - answering questions. Or we do some or all of them.

And another one: egoism...
Also nobody can decline, that there is not any kind of advantage for you to do this. Everybody here has his own list of his personal advantages, i.e to learn something (new) , to test and prove the own knowledge, the enlarge the own experience, to feel important or needed, or just some kind of success, just to get your daily dopamine dose....

The interesting part of this question is something different (for me) ....
We - I mean the community of experts here - do this without asking for any origin, race, religion, color or whatever of the asker.  We focus on the problem an try to solve it. Borders - which exists in our heads - doesn't exist, at least for the moment of the problem.

So, we are the better guys?....
No, we are not, we are like all the others, with the same needs and wishes, driven by the same instincts. Just the focus is different...
It just shows, that some topics don't have (or don't need) borders. Our enemies are IT problems and we fight with them.

What is the conclusion?
Give everybody a computer, and we have enough problems to solve, not need to create other enemies... - Smile -
As Albert Einstein put it into words: Everything is relative to our own point of view. This also includes, that nothing good is defined if the bad doesn't exist. So no IT experts are needed if computers would not exists which doesn't do what they should do.  
Answering questions makes two people happy, the experts which solve the problem and the asker, who's problem is solved, and the bad guy is the stupid computer. So, possibly not the worsest point of view, and another point onto your dopamine account....
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Rank: Genius

Author Comment

ProfessorJimJam2015-05-10 02:53 AMID: 1732202
Bembi,  very interesting and nice comment. Thank you.
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