The average Brit does just 12 good deeds a month, three of which are in the hope of getting something in return, according to a new study.
In a poll of 2,000 people, researchers discovered the most common good deeds are holding a door open and taking in a neighbour’s parcel.
Helping someone carry their bags, letting another driver out of a junction and putting the kettle on also made the list.
Other regular kind gestures include checking up on someone if they seem upset, babysitting for a friend or giving up a seat on a bus or train.
The research also revealed almost half Brits say a lack of time prevents them from doing more good deeds.
Those who do find time said the ‘warm, fuzzy feeling’ they get after doing a nice thing lasts more than a day, on average.
Laura McIntosh from Whitworths, which commissioned the research to launch its Do Good Feel Good campaign, said:
We lead busy lives, but it’s important to find the time to do good deeds for others and help people out.
That’s why we’re challenging the nation to give it a shot and do a good deed, whether giving up a seat on public transport, letting someone out in traffic or simply saying hello to a shop assistant.
Not only does it brighten their day, but it will also make you feel good too, so it’s a win-win for everyone!
Although three quarters of Brits said they often do nice things for other people, just 63 per cent reckon they are the sort of person who does ‘good deeds’.
Fewer than one in 10 would typically carry out thoughtful gestures for strangers in need.
The research also found one quarter of people asked will help out their community by attending sponsored events and one fifth will volunteer their time for local school or church events.
When thinking about the last time they did a good deed, three in 10 said they have done something nice for someone else in the last week, but one in 20 haven’t done so for a month or longer.
Yet 85 per cent reckoned they could do more ‘good deeds’, with one fifth saying they don’t do more because they have enough of their own problems.
Four in 10 don’t have the money to do more good deeds, with 44 per cent saying they don’t have the time.
And more than two fifths agreed they only really do good deeds for others in the hope their kindness will be reciprocated.
The study also found 68 per cent think good deeds often go unnoticed by people around them.
Laura McIntosh added:
We carried out this research as part of a campaign to encourage people to Do Good and Feel Good.
Top 10 Most Common Good Deeds:
1. Hold a door open for someone
2. Take in a neighbour’s parcel
3. Ask a loved one about their day
4. Let someone have your seat on the train/bus
5. Give someone a lift
6. Let another driver out of a junction
7. Help someone carry their bags
8. Check on someone who seems upset, to find out why
9. Donate to charity
10. Make a colleague a cup of tea
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.