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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 23 2013: Couldnt have responded to this subject any better than this!! Thanks.

      Be nice and do good for your own sake. Not to attain the approval and supreme satisfaction of others.
      Yes, being "overly" empathetic/sympathetic will leave a person with more disappointments.
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        Jan 24 2013: So, Maaher, if a person is disappointed, it is because of empathy/compassion/sympathy given with expectations of something in return? Perhaps then it is not genuine empathy/compassion!
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          Jan 25 2013: No Colleen, being "Overly" empathetic and Sympathetic will lead to disappointment. And the dissapointment is not due to the expectations in return but it could be due to disregard and disrespect for the efforts you may express by being so. Some people behave in a way that insults and disrespects your empathy/sympathy and compassion. Thus...
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        Jan 26 2013: Maaher,
        Personally, I do not perceive a possibility of "overly" empathetic, because there are many levels of compassion/empathy, and I do not perceive sympathy (with elements of pity/regret) as very useful. I think/feel that compassion/empthy is good....sympathy/regret/pity...not useful.

        You say..."And the dissapointment is not due to the expectations in return but it could be due to disregard and disrespect for the efforts you may express by being so. Some people behave in a way that insults and disrespects your empathy/sympathy and compassion. Thus... ".

        If a person disregards, disrespects, insults our offering of compassion/empathy, that looks to me like a person is not reacting as we "expect" him/her to react.

        I personally reject sympathy, because I see no reason for anyone to feel pity or regret for me. My perception of the life adventure is that everything is an opportunity to learn, grow and evolve, so I see no reason for sympthy, pity, regret.
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      Jan 25 2013: Hey Mike,

      Anyways is a very popular poem.......do you know the original author?.........because a while back we had a conversation on TED about it.

      Here is the link to the information. Enjoy

      http://www.paradoxicalcommandments.com/

      I think you will be pleasantly surprised.
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          Jan 25 2013: 14 years ago when a psychologist friend of mine shared this poem with me, she attributed it to Mother Theresa also.

          Then, one day, while wanting to print it out, I googled it, and lo and behold, I discover its true author.

          Kent Keith's writing is like Steven Covey's......his books are pretty easy to read, and very upbuilding.
    • Jan 25 2013: Beautiful response, Mike

      I think in essence, truly kind and gentle people also benefit from who they are.
      It's not about money or reputation, but unlike others' shallow, pretentious kindness, their heart is filled with pure joy of helping others and forgiving them.
      I'd say they are free from futile greediness.
      Seemingly, they appear to be weak, but they are indeed strong.
      They don't fall behind others, but they excel in being who they are.

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