What is Emotional Generosity, and Why Does it Matter for Relationships?

By Rachel Puryear

We all appreciate it when others are generous with us. There are many kinds of generosity that we appreciate in others – including generosity of time, money, and efforts on behalf of people and various causes.

However, there’s another kind of generosity that’s just as critical for healthy relationships and caring for others, even though we tend to recognize it much less – that kind is emotional generosity.

So, what does it mean for someone to be emotionally generous? Furthermore, what does a lack of emotional generosity look like? Emotional generosity – or a lack thereof – is a critically important component of human character, and how they will tend to relate to others.

As empathic personalities tend to be emotionally generous people, understanding more about emotional generosity and how that varies amongst different humans helps empaths also better understand themselves.

A hand holding a lit white candle, and lighting another white candle with it, and the flames are glowing brightly.

Emotionally generous people tend to do the following things:

  • Listen well to others, without excessive interruptions.
  • Empathize with others.
  • Show affection and kindness where appropriate, unless there is a good reason not to.
  • Are happy for others’ success, and recognize where others have earned their success.
  • Tend to be understanding, as they often imagine themselves in other people’s shoes, and try to understand where others are coming from rather than rushing to quick judgments.
  • Tend to give others the benefit of the doubt, unless there is a good reason not to do so.
  • Tend to be merciful, and relatively forgiving towards others’ mistakes and transgressions, even if the other person did screw up – particularly if they believe that the other person is sorry for what they did, and tries to make it right.
  • Tend to be compassionate towards others, and sympathize with the difficult circumstances of others.
  • Tend to help others in need, especially people they love, and to the extent that they can; unless there is a good reason not to.
  • Tend to see and acknowledge their own mistakes, so long as they are aware of such mistakes, rather than rushing to blame others instead.
  • Make an effort to meet emotional needs of others in difficult moments – perhaps even when they are in an argument, rather than focusing solely on themselves.

Emotionally stingy people – those who lack in emotional generosity – tend to do the following things:

  • Talk a more than they listen, don’t listen well, and often interrupt others.
  • Have difficulty empathizing with others.
  • Show little or no affection or kindness to others – unless it gets them something in return, maybe.
  • Are jealous of others’ success, and assume that successful people must have had things easy.
  • Are judgmental and quick to look down on others, and are not interested in understanding viewpoints different from their own.
  • Rarely give the benefit of the doubt, and quickly assume the worst about people – even where cutting some slack is clearly warranted.
  • Are harsh and unforgiving for mistakes and transgressions of others, even where someone did not intend harm, did their best to make amends, no serious harm was done, and the person apologized.
  • Lack compassion, and have difficulty sympathizing with challenges of other people.
  • Are unwilling to help others in need, even when they could do so without hardship.
  • Rarely acknowledge or take responsibility for mistakes, instead blaming others for everything – yet, they are quick to notice and point out the mistakes of others.
  • Are selfish during difficult moments, disregarding others’ emotional needs, and failing to offer support even when they are able to do so.

Emotional generosity – as well as the lack thereof in emotional stinginess – is an important subject. It’s one I have come to appreciate more about lately, and believe that everyone should know more about it as well. Accordingly, while this post was an introduction to it, there is much more to be said about it. Therefore, future posts will continue to cover it in more depth, and it will become a recurring theme for this blog, and fits in well with the overall subjects within this blog.

Thank you, dear readers, for reading, following, and sharing. Here’s to greater emotional generosity. If you enjoyed this content and want to see more of it, please hit “like” and subscribe, if you have not done so already. xoxo

One response to “What is Emotional Generosity, and Why Does it Matter for Relationships?”

  1. […] or taking care of you while you’re sick rather than going out and having fun without you, and listening when you need to be heard even when it’s uncomfortable for them (and again, hopefully you’re also doing these same things, too, for someone else who cares […]


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