When you think of robots, what do you really think of? Do you prefer a big group of suit-clad, fancy-spending, sleek machinery with no feelings or views, or are you a bit more solitary?

See if you agree, and then consider this question about sharing, courtesy of evolutionary psychologist Shane Ruhlen, who said: “It’s incredible that humans aren’t just more social, they’re a better choice for sharing. There is a biological mechanism behind it. Humans don’t want to share things and with isolation sometimes, we find it easier to shy away from sharing and the emotional challenges of it.”

Why are we so good at sharing? We learn most from dealing with our social skills. We’re especially good at it at school. Here is a great example of a student who is confident and constantly expertly tests his peers to see which one likes him. After a short disagreement, when they disagree, everyone gets angry — and when he calls one of his class mates a “good ol’ boy”, I can tell he’s not joking.

This is how many of us wish to share, the sense of community and support that comes from the shared world, including friendships, family, political conventions and even things like “vote last night”

Unfortunately, there are constraints. Apart from who you are, there are requirements for how these commitments will be fulfilled, not only for employers, but, if you join a company, for regulators who require companies to have policies that clearly define how they will treat workers.

The historical perspective

A part of our human culture has been to collect things from around us — that “we can pick things from the garden and eat it.” But this can also lead to the misplaced view that we’re free to collect things that we ourselves would otherwise (and now only) have used for maximum employment pleasure. The language we use to agree to these promises breeds a misconception that you have to share things if you’re so inclined, or that, if you share them with someone, you’ll get to keep them.

Proper development in this way builds trust in both individuals and companies, so you can build a wider community and make a better product, or deal with the stresses of life. If you’re happy to share things with people you’ve known for more than a decade, then you may be more likely to be satisfied with a shared capacity, not just for things you own, but for what else you want to share with others.

Although these forms of sharing aren’t necessarily good for us, they are also wonderfully socially beneficial: they may help you feel more active and make you feel better about yourself and your ability to learn, for example. Also, they bring out our best qualities in co-workers and bosses — everything that great psychologists work on to learn more about human emotions.

Support for this is important. Employees may not always want to come to their employer for ideas because they don’t have to worry about dealing with compensation issues and retention. They may not necessarily want to share resources, but it can give them a greater incentive to share.

Lastly, research from the UK suggests there’s not just a physical satisfaction, but a psychological satisfaction as well. People are more anxious if they share the need to build up an emotional support network. This is a vital factor in assessing happiness, since it may help you feel more fulfilled and confident.

This article is written by John West, Producer and Editor of the Investment News Network, New Model Adviser® and The Huffington Post.

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