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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 21 2013: Might I contribute from the world of online dating? lol

    My friends and I are so impressed by kind, articulate, accomplished people who seem to love life--as written on their profiles. But sometimes, not always, when you meet these dudes, they are SO BORING. No edge. We call them spheres. Do we want them to be a-holes? Of course not. But, maybe a wicked sense of humour, dexterity in the world of irony, a healthy radar for predatory elements and the ability to deal in them is evolutionarily attractive. Just saying.

    [Sociopathic douche-y guys with no social intelligence are also appalling i.e. the Lance Armstrong sort, so take heart :) ]
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      Jan 28 2013: My question whenever I hear this comment is: are these truly nice guys, or are they just afraid. To my mind, a truly nice, sympathetic, empathetic guy needs a lot of courage, because just as he will help an old-lady across the road, he will confront a bully or challenge a racist comment. I have never seen a case where women find that kind of courageous, assertive niceness to be boring.
      True, there is a certain charm to someone whose behaviour is on the edge - they are fun to be around, life is a bit more unpredictable - but people like that are often the ones who are most dependable when you really need them.
      As for Lance, he's getting a very bad rap right now, but it's a lot more complex than people realise. It was a sport where everyone was cheating, and he just happened to be better at it (whether at cheating or at cycling) than the other cheats, and so made a lot of enemies. I'm not saying he's a saint, but to listen to the media you'd think he was like Barry Bonds, cheating outrageously in a sport that was otherwise mostly drug-free, and it's not like that. And he did raise hundreds of millions to fight cancer. Even recently, he's handled a totally impossible situation as well as could be expected. I'm not sure he'd be the first person I'd pick as lacking in social intelligence ... not that he'd be my favourite dinner guest either ...
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        Jan 29 2013: Hi Denis, I'm not entirely persuaded by your moral reasoning. Cheating in a world class sport and accepting the title of hero over and over is pretty low. I'm not sure that it should matter that it was in isolation or sport-wide. Being obnoxious about it for years just made it worse.

        Lance realized he lost his entire source of income and fortune because the jig was just up--he put his family at risk. Speaking engagements, a book, a gig etc. is about all he can do to hustle back some of his old lifestyle. I understand that his life is hard now, but he really did it to himself. All of it.

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