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When we do something nice, we except the recipient to be grateful. We expect this so strongly we will often regret being kind at all if no appreciation is shown. This illustrates a little-recognized truth: mostly we help others to make ourselves feel good. If they don’t do their part and show gratitude, we feel cheated.

Knowing this, it’s worth considering why you are inclined to help someone in the first place. Is your intervention designed to actually improve their circumstances? Or are you just chasing the feeling of being a good person?

It it’s the former, you’ll find gratitude is not actually required to make a good deed worth doing.

If it’s the latter, the world could probably use a little less of your help.