Adam Grant notes in his book, Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success, that people who can be considered “givers” tend to be more successful than people who are considered “takers” or “matchers.” He notes that “people who choose giving as their primary reciprocity style end up reaping rewards.”1
Some of these rewards include creating bigger networks that include influential people that they could potentially work with in the future—whether as future employees or clients—fostering feelings of good will back toward you and connecting with people you can learn from.
This is true in life and in business. Marques Ogden, executive coach, author and former NFL football player, said that giving more value to people than you can receive back is a key factor in business success.2
But giving can reap numerous rewards in your personal lives as well, including:3
- Making us feel happy. Studies have found that giving money to other people makes study participants feel happier than if they had spent it on themselves. This is called the “warm glow” effect. Turns out, altruistic behavior releases endorphins in the brain.
- Boosting our health. Research has found that elderly people who volunteered for two or more organizations were 44 percent less likely to die than non-volunteers, even controlling for factors like exercise and health habits. Researchers speculate that this is because volunteering decreases stress, which in turn decreases risk for a myriad of health problems.
- Spreading the kindness. Giving is contagious. People in your life will see you giving back and how it makes you happy and less stressed and they’ll want to do it too. Giving creates a ripple effect.
- Making us feel more connected and promoting cooperation. As Grant writes in his book, many studies find that giving to others likely leads to reciprocity. Giving also strengthens our relationships with others and our feeling of belonging and connectedness.
In the past two years while we were on lockdown during the pandemic, social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter kept us connected. We were able to swap pandemic stories and commiserate, comfort each other and swap silly memes.
But now the world is getting back into the swing of things. In-person conferences are in full effect again and The New York Times reports that travel agents and operators are seeing increased bookings and predict a nice recovery in the travel industry this summer.4
While we’ve relied on social media so heavily in recent years, it might be time to take a brief break from the networking sights. Excessive social media use has been linked to low self-esteem, loneliness and depression.5
Part of responsible social media use is taking the occasional break to connect with others in real life. If you’re feeling like social media isn’t fun anymore, you find yourself comparing yourself to others, you’re mindlessly scrolling for hours, or you feel like you need social media, versus it’s nice to have, Insider says it might be time for a break. Here are some ways to do that: 5
- Turn off notifications. If you have notifications set up on the platforms, disable them. Studies say that notifications lead to a dopamine release in our brains, leading us to get addicted to the rush of getting a notification on social media.
- Allot time for social media use. Vow to only use the sites for a certain amount of time during the day. Also, only read the content that makes you feel good while limiting exposure to the content that makes you feel bad. For example, watching funny husky videos on TikTok makes some of us feel happy, but reading comments on political stories makes some of us feel sad.
- Put your phone across the room at night. This can help you sleep better because there’s less of a chance of you doomscrolling (scrolling for hours) and you’ll be able to get to sleep earlier.
- Prioritize self-care. If you feel the urge to scroll for no reason, you can do things that are better for your soul, like going for a walk, journaling for 15 minutes or calling one of your Facebook friends.
On the flip side of limiting social media use, you might want to reconnect with people in real life. Everyday Health has some tips on how to reconnect with people who you might have lost touch with during the pandemic.6
- Reach out. Friendship doesn’t happen organically – you have to reach out to folks with whom you want to reignite or nurture a friendship with. Reach out and say, “Hey I thought of you today and wanted to say hello!”
- Make plans. If they’re comfortable, see if they’d be interested in meeting for a coffee or a meal.
- Respect physical space. Many people aren’t into hugging or shaking hands yet so when you do meet for that coffee, make sure you ask before doing either of those things.
We hope you are able to have many memorable interactions with your social networks this summer – off the screen and in real life.
Sneaky Veggie Spaghetti
Broccolini, a member of the cruciferous vegetable family that’s a cross between broccoli and Chinese kale, contains a variety of health benefits, including being an anti-inflammatory antioxidant that could help boost your heart health and control your blood sugar.7
And while we’ve offered numerous recipes for carnivores in these newsletters, here’s a good vegetarian broccolini spaghetti recipe from Delicious.8
What you’ll need:
- 3 bunches broccolini, trimmed and cut into 2-inch lengths
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup firmly packed basil leaves, plus extra leaves to serve
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
- 3/4 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated, plus extra to serve
- Finely grated zest of one lemon and juice of ½ lemon, with remaining cut into wedges to serve
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 box of dried spaghetti
How you’ll cook it:
- Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil, add the broccolini and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until al dente.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove broccolini from the water and plunge into iced water to cool completely. Drain and set aside half and place the remaining half in the bowl of a food processor along with the chickpeas, basil, extra virgin olive oil, parmesan, lemon zest and juice and garlic and season. Process until mixture is finely chopped. Place mixture in a large bowl along with the reserved broccolini.
- Cook the spaghetti according to packet instructions, then drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water.
- Add the spaghetti and its cooking water to the bowl with the pesto and broccolini. Toss to coat thoroughly.
- Divide the spaghetti among serving bowls, drizzle with extra oil and scatter with extra basil leaves and grated parmesan. Serve with the lemon wedges to squeeze over to taste.
While this recipe is vegetarian, you can easily add a baked chicken breast or some sauteed shrimp to if you’re so inclined. Enjoy!
The Social Quiz
Let’s see what we know about social media trends:
- What percentage of the population is on social media?9
- What is one major reason people keep coming back to social media sites?10
a. Possibility of a desired outcome
b. Boost self-esteem and feel a sense of belonging
c. Fear of missing out (FOMO)
d. All of the above
- How many minutes per day on average do Americans spend on social media?11
- What is the world’s most-used social platform?9
- 1. C – 58.4%
- 2. D – All of the above
- 3. D – 82
- 4. A – Facebook
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