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Dyed All Hues

Thinker and Experimenter,

TEDCRED 30+

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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: I think we should focus on the word "overly". An "overly" unsympathetic person may be confronted with the same obstacles. I have always thought that balance is key. I try and achieve this on a daily basis. At this point I really do believe balance is a daily struggle. It is difficult to manage emotions sometimes. However, much of this comes with age and experience.

    I don't think we need to concern ourselves with other people taking advantage. Helping others isn't something we should be doing with some sort of expectation for reciprocation. Sometimes that just doesn't happen. Helping others, in my opinion, gives us a sort of external control. When we help another person it makes us feel capable and empowered. This may not be true for everyone, but generally I think the concept is valid.

    If people are taking advantage of you it may be caused by an unbalanced personality. Giving too much is not a good thing. It's kind of like the oxygen mask procedures on commercial air liners. "Put your own mask on first...you cannot help anybody if you are dead."

    "Nice guys finish last"

    This normally refers to relationships. I think the problem is we get all wrapped up in "getting the girl" that our personality becomes consumed by whatever it is we think the other people want. I can only speak from my own perspective so this may be wrong for everyone else.

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