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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:

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 30 2013: I think it best to consider that empathy is only one determining factor in how you "compete" in life.In any instance it is best to look at empathy as being on a spectrum. You do not either "have it" or "not have it". One end of the spectrum makes for a highly empathetic/sympathetic person and we all know what is on the other end.
    Where you end up happiness wise is up to the individual and is not quantifiable nor should it be comparable.
    Just be awarewho you are dealing with.
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      Jan 30 2013: I agree Kieron, and will add...

      The first person we are "dealing with" is our "self". So it is important to "Know thyself", as well as knowing the "other" person as much as possible. Having genuine compassion/empathy for ourselves, helps the process of reaching out to others with authentic/genuine compassion and empathy.

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