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Dyed All Hues

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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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  • A Z

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    Jan 29 2013: The article and some people on this thread have been a bit one sided in their reasoning. I admit that I have the issue that many here have mentioned, that of being too nice and friendly, but out of a need to please, or to manipulate in order to get what I want. I've been conscious of this only for the past few years, and its a psychological disorder that I've realized I've had all my life, and it emerges in many aspects of my life. However, it did not stem from any malicious intent.

    It comes from a sense of powerlessness, shame, self-loathing, and deep wounds that came about during childhood.

    I've spent a significant amount of time reading about the issue, going to therapy for some time (this therapist wasn't helpful), and deep contemplation regarding how I react to people, why I react that way, and how my beliefs came to be.

    I was abused as a child. Not that I angrily blame my parents for my issues, but it is where it came from. But they were young at the time, knew no better how to raise a child, and hitting and beatings were commonplace where they are from. And different people react to abuse in different ways. Being "nice" was my coping mechanism.

    As a result of this, this is what I learned to believe:

    I'm not allowed to say no. I have no right to be angry. I shouldn't ask for anything (doing so would be a burden upon them). If anyone was angry with me, it was my fault. My opinions held no significance. If there was someone or something at school bothering me, I would be the one screamed at. "Don't talk too much." And it goes on.

    So at that point what is a 6/7 year old to do? I learned to shut up. But I did realize that I could win them over by doing things for them, thinking about what the needed, and being kind. It was my saving grace, my source of worth. And unfortunately beliefs learned when you're a child propagate through everything in your life.

    google 'no more mr nice guy' by dr robert glover. it was life changing for me.
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      Jan 29 2013: A Z,

      I am sorry that you had that experience as a young person, and I'm sure you know that many people, unfortunately, had similar challenges as children. Knowing that, does not minimize our own experience in any way. It does, however, give us a little background, which will hopefully help us understand and move on. We may not have had any control of the situation or our environment as children, and as intelligent insightful adults, we do have control over how we choose to use information. I agree that our past experiences are part of our life forever. However, as thinking, feeling adults, we have choices regarding how we use the information. Change starts with awareness, and it feels like you are very insightful and aware of many different aspects of the situation.

      Thanks for sharing your story, and my thoughts and loving energy are with you in your quest.

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