In Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project she says that the nature of generosity as it relates to strengthening the bonds of friendship can be broken down into five acts.
- Help people think big: Inspire others with words of enthusiasm & confidence to tackle ambitious goals.
- Bring people together: Start a group for people of similar interests, organise a reunion for people who all did something together at the same time, start a support group for a cause you are passionate about, play cupid & set people up, help organise competitive events & introduce friends who you think should meet.
- Contribute in your way : Consider what skills you have & what you enjoy doing & look for ways you could offer to help others that may struggle in these areas.
- Cut people slack : Remember peoples lives are far more complicated than they appear from the outside, do not always view other peoples actions as a reflection of their character, recognise the pressure of circumstances & the power of the situation to influence their actions.
- Spend out: Stop hoarding, trust in abundance so that you can use things up, give things away & through things out. Stop keeping score & saving things for good, do not stint on love or generosity. Let go of the expectation of praise or appreciation when I do something generous for someone else. Spending out creates a wealth of love and tenderness, while calculation and score keeping build resentment.
Trinny and Susannah in their book What Your Clothes Say About You: How To Look Different, Act Different And Feel Deferent. say that its also important to take head of all the generous gestures you receive in a day, from people offering to help in small ways to compliments or gifts. At the same time notice many how ways you find to decline that help or bat away those compliments. They recommend you spend a week learning to accept every act of kindness that comes your way by simply say “thank you” Its harder than you think.