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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:


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


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 28 2013: So the house is on fire - Who's more likely to survive the incident? The one who makes the quickest escape or the one the one who's compassion drives them to help an injured person they find on the way?

    No one in this life has their give-take balance perfectly tuned. I think that difficult or traumatic experiences early on in life can exaggerate someone's tendency to being overly or underly sympathetic to the needs of others.
    e.g Two people get beaten badly as children, one goes on to become a sadistic thug who will use violence to get their own way, the other would shield another victim with their own body just as not to see them get hurt (masochistic).

    A reasonably well balanced person will place their needs with the needs of others. Their decision to help or hurt someone will be considered and conscious, not pathological. Their ability to asses their own position from the outside will be greater - "Am I being an A-hole?" or "Am I being taken advantage of by an A-hole".

    As for a Yin Yang balance of personality types - This does seem to be the case, even on a micro level with small social environments and communities.
    As for peaks and troughs of kindness - Yes, this appears to be true + Certain situations and people may bring out the kindness in individuals (e.g the sadistic gangster that extends a lot of kindness to his family)

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