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Altruism is an attitude or instinct to pay attention and prioritize the interests and goodness of others. Altruism is the opposite of selfishness which is more selfish
A person who practices altruism is called an altruist. All the good that an altruist does usually appears sincerely without any sense of self-worth. Although this attitude is very commendable and has a positive impact on society, the attitude possessed by people with the INFP personality can also have a negative impact on the perpetrator if done excessively.
Theories Behind Altruism
The following are some theories as to why someone commits altruism:
1. The theory of evolution
Back when natural selection was still very strong, each species would do everything in its power to survive and maintain its lineage.
For that, one way they do it is by helping each other's family members. Along with evolution, this defense mechanism remains in humans in the form of altruism.
2. Environmental theory
A study shows that interactions and good relationships in an environment have a major influence in encouraging acts of altruism in people in that environment.
For example, a child whose parents model altruism in their home environment is more likely to be altruistic in their life, both inside and outside the home.
3. Social norm theory
Doing altruism can add value to a person in society. People will naturally be more interested in working with helpful people.
On the other hand, altruism will also open debt savings. So, when an altruist needs help, other people will not hesitate to help right away.
4. Reward theory
Altruism does not result in rewards or rewards. However, in the subconscious, there are rewards in the form of feeling happy and satisfied with oneself that arise after doing good. Feelings like this make a person willing to act altruism.
In addition to what has been mentioned above, there are still several theories behind why someone would want to do altruism. One theory says altruism can release negative feelings and stress in a person, because he can feel grateful when he sees someone who is more difficult than him.
Altruism is also associated with empathy. Someone will be more motivated to do altruism if the ability to empathize is strong. Empathy in young children develops rapidly at the age of 2 years and over. This is why children under 2 years old are often possessive and don't want to share.
Is Altruism Important?
Basically, all kindness that is done selflessly for others is a form of commendable action. From some of the explanations above, it is also known that this action will bring benefits to the perpetrator, be it socially or psychologically.
In addition, altruism is also associated with better mental and physical he alth, as well as higher life expectancy.
Even so, keep in mind that the instinct to help others also needs to be balanced with the instinct to survive. When altruism is carried out without brakes, this attitude may even have a negative impact on yourself or those closest to you.
For example, you can't swim, but you force yourself to help someone who is drowning. The attitude of altruism here includes excessive and unwise. Victims who want to be saved are helpless and you too are victims.
If you feel like you've ever or often ended up losing money for helping others, maybe you need to change your mindset. Remember that yourself is also important and should take precedence over others.
However, if this habit is difficult to stop or other people even remind you that you also need to take care of yourself, you should consult this problem with a psychologist. That way, it is hoped that the act of altruism that you take remains positive, without harming yourself.