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Dyed All Hues

Thinker and Experimenter,

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How can overly empathetic/sympathetic people compete in this world? Do they eventually end up jaded and bitter?

The saying goes "nice guys finish last". I interpret that "nice" means overly empathetic/sympathetic people who sacrifice themselves for others happiness. Kindness seems to be a sign of weakness in that saying, as though people prey on those kind-hearted people. If it were true, then how do kind people compete in this world? Is it some kind of evolutionary Yin and Yang, where a balance of certain personalities need to exist for progress to happen or do people have peaks and troughs of kindness in them?

Update: Thought I'd share a fascinating article found in the comments below:

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/marcia-sirota/too-nice_b_946956.html

It is about the differences between being nice and being kind.

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Closing Statement from Dyed All Hues

Thank you all for your well thought comments. I have learned a lot and I hope you've all taken some knowledge from this as well.

Be mindful of those around you and tread lightly on the paths made by your brothers and sisters of humankind.

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    Jan 19 2013: Hello again Derek:>)
    First of all, I don't think anyone can be "overly empathetic/sympathetic". I agree with Greg, that we can be both kind and assertive, and as with everything in the life adventure (IMHO), it is about finding the balance, as you insightfully recognize:>)

    How we demonstrate compassion/empathy may be the underlying factor? If a person is knowingly "sacrificing themselves for others happiness", it is important to recognize in him/herself if s/he has expectations or not. If we give something to others (empathy/sympathy/compassion) freely, without expectations of anything given back to us, that is a choice we make, and people can only take advantage of it if we continue with the same behavior.

    Yes, people may take advantage of kind hearted people, and as soon as we recognize people taking advantage of us, we have the ability to alter our actions and/or feelings in ourselves....yes?

    Did you ever hear the saying...
    Fool me once, bad on you...fool me twice...bad on me......or something like that? We have the ability to learn from our experiences, and if we continue to allow people to take advantage of kindness, we can evaluate that situation in ourselves and decide if that is truly what we want. No one can take advantage of us unless we allow it.

    I don't ever perceive kindness as "weak", and in my perception, it is a wonderful strength. "Know Thyself". We are multi sensory, multi dimensional beings, and we can experience kindness, empathy, compassion, competitive, assertive, etc. all at the same time....or not.....it's a choice to recognize and experience that in our "self".....or not:>)

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