How can you make someone happy? By giving.
This is the common mantra. The superstition that giving makes other people happy. Giving even makes you happy.
But giving and happiness are not necessarily and inextricably connected. Not alwaysat any rate.
Giving is not the same as making other people happy. Giving cannot guarantee that you will be loved or accepted.
Your style of giving is important.
Depending on the way you give, your giving can even create resentment in your beneficiaries.
You need to know how to give. Giving can generate happiness. It can foster attachment and bonding. It can bring cheer and joy all around.
But it rarely does.
And the reason is that most people give ostentatiously, grandiosely. And by giving this way, visibly, conspicuously, they humiliate the recipients. This is a humiliating kind of giving.
And the other type of prevalent giving is transactional giving. Transactional giving is often perceived by its beneficiaries as a form of blackmail.
I'm giving you so that you end up giving me, give and take.
Truer giving is hidden, secret, unconditional. Truer giving is anonymous. True giving is not strings attached. True giving comes from the heart, never from the wallet.
True giving is about helping others, not buttressing your sense of well-being or grandiose self-perception.
True giving is about lifting other people and uplifting them. True giving is altruistic and empathic.
All the other kinds of giving are manipulative and wrong and are likely to result in outcomes which are adverse to the giver.