Ever wonder why some people are just too nice? Turns out they probably can’t help it. Some just-published research shows your kindness, generosity and overall positive attitude may not have as much to do with your parents as you thought.
That’s according to a new study that found that genes are at least part of the reason why some people are kind and generous.
Researchers at the University at Buffalo and the University of California, Irvine assessed the behavior of people with different versions of receptor genes for two hormones — oxytocin and vasopressin — believed to make people nicer.
“The study found that these genes combined with people’s perceptions of the world as a more- or less-threatening place, to predict generosity,” principal author Micheal Poulin, an assistant professor of psychology at the University at Buffalo, said in a university news release. “Specifically, study participants who found the world threatening were less likely to help others — unless they had versions of the receptor genes that are generally associated with niceness.”
Poulin explained that the “nicer” versions of the receptor genes “allow you to overcome feelings of the world being threatening and help other people in spite of those fears.”
The study was released online in advance of publication in an upcoming print issue of the journal Psychological Science.
Unfortunately, the rest of us have to actually work at being nice. If you’re having trouble putting that smile on your face, the first place to look is your diet. Some fresh juice in the morning can set you on the right path. Naturally, we recommend Aloe Vera juice.
Also, eat you veggies.