Do yourself a favour by doing someone else a favour

Oh come on, do me a favour.

Interesting, isn’t it, that when someone says this, rather than literally seeking help, they’re actually asking someone to stop doing something which is making them angry. The English language and its idioms have evolved in curious ways.


However, in a more obvious – less snarky – way, doing someone a favour can be a neat shortcut to feeling good yourself. Pro-social behaviour is good for the tribe, so it’s unquestionably handy that we’re genetically predisposed to get a kick out of doing so.

And of course, in addition to the sense of feeling good that comes from doing things for others, what goes around often comes around. Even if you don’t overtly expect it, I’ll scratch your back and you’ll scratch mine.

So how about looking for small ways to do things for others today? Here are some suggestions.

If you see someone in the street who looks lost, stop and help. Hold the door for a stranger and let them go first. Share your sandwich or chocolate bar. Praise someone in front of others, being specific about what they’ve done.

Secretly leave flowers on a neighbour’s doorstep. Or on a colleague’s desk. Bake someone a cake. Mend a puncture in their bicycle tyre. Take their dog for a walk. Offer to baby-sit to give them a night off.

Tell them you love them, and more importantly how much and why.

I know you’ll have your own thoughts, so why not embrace the spirit of generosity today? It’s in your gift.

5 thoughts on “Do yourself a favour by doing someone else a favour

  1. Brilliant, Jon . I love those images and it’s given me food for thought . Tomorrow is my husband’s birthday and I’m going to make him a card telling him why I love him….my creative juices are flowing nicely, thank you!

      1. Thank you Karen!! It’s so nice of you!! It’s good to feel extra special on your birthday, isn’t it? 🙂
        Sally x

  2. Small gestures & deeds mean so much and it not only helps others to feel special but helps me to feel better about myself too. It’s a win win gesture!!

  3. Hi Jon,

    Agreed with everything except the part about leaving flowers on a neighbour’s step.
    They may freak out and think they are being stalked, lol.
    Unless of course it comes with a note, and this will please the spouse no end, if he or she is of the green monster type.
    But yes, it helps me to help others, and what you wrote is great as always.

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