Why Caring for Others Matters More Than You Think

Caring for others is one of the foundations for a successful relationship because it makes people feel valued. And when people feel valued, they are happier and experience less stress. Whether you’re interacting with youth or adults—whether they are family, friends, or co-workers—the more you prove that you care about the other person, the better the other person will feel and the stronger the relationship will be.

There’s much anecdotal evidence that proves this theory—that caring for others increases the other person’s self-worth and is a foundation for any successful relationship. But did you know there’s also scientific backing of this too?

The Science Behind Caring for Others

The idea that communicating a caring interest to others is vital for the other person’s well-being was first documented in a classic study on human relations. Called the “Hawthorne Effect,” this idea emanated from a study that took place in the late 1920s at Western Electric’s Hawthorne plant near Chicago.

Researchers went into the factory to see if increasing room lighting for a group of employees would boost productivity. Improvements did indeed seem to increase worker output. But much to their surprise, when the researchers analyzed a comparable group with no change in the lighting, the productivity also improved.

After further study and analysis of this puzzling result, researchers uncovered something interesting. Productivity increased in all groups because the workers were delighted that management was showing an interest in them. The fact that workers knew they were receiving attention motivated them to try to improve. The workers felt that management cared about them and that they were valued.

Are You Caring for Others?

Similarly, any person, regardless of age or relationship status, reaps the benefit of the Hawthorne Effect when they simply feel valued and that the other person cares about them.

Tip: What have you done today to show others that you care about them? It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture. A kind word, an offer to help, or even a smile are small things we can all do every day to show that we care for those we interact with. Caring for others goes a long way to building mutually beneficial relationships.