Is putting the need of others before your own really that bad for you? [adv]

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Post by Guest on Sat Jul 11, 2015 5:38 pm

I've been thinking... mostly about what me and Enail talked over PM. As you are all aware, I put the needs of others before my own, as the late Vulcan Spock said: "The needs of the many outweighs the needs of the few, or the one." I was taught to be selfless, to always worry about others. I thought that my needs come second.

Now people tell me that being too selfless is bad for you... now I am confused. Is being selfless bad or not? confused confused confused

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Post by Enail on Sat Jul 11, 2015 6:56 pm

Since I've already given some opinion on this, this may be repeating myself, but...A phrase that you hear a lot about this sort of thing is "put on your own oxygen mask before helping others with theirs" or  "don't set yourself on fire to keep someone else warm."

Although there are some dramatic situations where it's heroic to put others first with no thought for yourself, like running into a burning building to save adorable orphans, most situations aren't like that. In ordinary life, iyou think about it, even if what you want most is to help someone else, if you don't make sure to care for your own wellbeing as well, you won't be in any shape to help other people very much. It's not sustainable.

And none of us are Vulcans. Even if you decide with your head to always try and put other people first in your personal life, it won't prevent your heart from having other opinions. You have your own wants and needs, and you can't just logic away your feelings about that, so eventually you'll feel hurt or angry or resentful if your own wants/needs aren't being met. Which can make it hard for the other people in your life, who probably don't know that you have been sacrificing your own wants to try and make them happy, and didn't ask you to do that.
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Post by caliseivy on Sat Jul 11, 2015 7:14 pm

Enail is right. I've learned that lesson the hard, slow way. It's good to help people sometimes, but you definitely have to develop a balance or you'll end up tapped out and/or sick.
There's also the possibility of giving too much and being taken advantage of; something I still deal with on occasion.

So no, selflessness isn't bad in itself, it's kind of conditional.
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Post by Guest on Sat Jul 11, 2015 7:29 pm

Enail wrote:Since I've already given some opinion on this, this may be repeating myself, but...A phrase that you hear a lot about this sort of thing is "put on your own oxygen mask before helping others with theirs" or  "don't set yourself on fire to keep someone else warm."

Although there are some dramatic situations where it's heroic to put others first with no thought for yourself, like running into a burning building to save adorable orphans, most situations aren't like that. In ordinary life, iyou think about it, even if what you want most is to help someone else, if you don't make sure to care for your own wellbeing as well, you won't be in any shape to help other people very much. It's not sustainable.

And none of us are Vulcans. Even if you decide with your head to always try and put other people first in your personal life, it won't prevent your heart from having other opinions. You have your own wants and needs, and you can't just logic away your feelings about that, so eventually you'll feel hurt or angry or resentful if your own wants/needs aren't being met. Which can make it hard for the other people in your life, who probably don't know that you have been sacrificing your own wants to try and make them happy, and didn't ask you to do that.
But if I think about or tend to my own needs, I start to feel like a selfish prick, it's a strong poignant sense of guilt...
most people around me have families and better lives, I have nothing, to help others without worrying about my own health gives me that feeling of worth, even if I fall ill or even died in the process. worrying about my needs makes me feel worthless...

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Post by Enail on Sat Jul 11, 2015 9:29 pm

Well, maybe think about it this way - every person's closest relationship is with themselves. That's the only person who will be there every moment of their life, from birth to death, in happy moments and sad, even when they're sleeping. Doesn't your closest, most consistent and devoted relationship deserve your care at least as much as anyone else?
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Post by CP96 on Sun Jul 12, 2015 8:32 am

Alex1989 wrote:most people around me have families and better lives, I have nothing, to help others without worrying about my own health gives me that feeling of worth, even if I fall ill or even died in the process. worrying about my needs makes me feel worthless...

Regarding the bolded part; if you fall ill or die then you can't help people any more. If you decide that what you really want is to dedicate your life to helping others then that's great, seriously. But you need to be able to function yourself in order to do that. When they teach you first aid the first thing you do when coming across an incident is check for danger. If you can't help the casualty without putting yourself in unreasonable danger then you back off until the danger is dealt with, otherwise you simply make yourself a casualty and the overall situation has been made worse not better.
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Post by BasedBuzzed on Sun Jul 12, 2015 9:09 am

CP96 wrote:
Alex1989 wrote:most people around me have families and better lives, I have nothing, to help others without worrying about my own health gives me that feeling of worth, even if I fall ill or even died in the process. worrying about my needs makes me feel worthless...

Regarding the bolded part; if you fall ill or die then you can't help people any more. If you decide that what you really want is to dedicate your life to helping others then that's great, seriously. But you need to be able to function yourself in order to do that. When they teach you first aid the first thing you do when coming across an incident is check for danger. If you can't help the casualty without putting yourself in unreasonable danger then you back off until the danger is dealt with, otherwise you simply make yourself a casualty and the overall situation has been made worse not better.

This. For example, the simplest thing one can do the help others if one is healthy is to become a blood donor. Even if you crank up the self-flagellation to the max to the point that you start to view yourself as a living bloodbag, not harming yourself is still a condition for this. Heck, you can probably cobble together some rough evidence that treating yourself well, eating well, working on one's body, etcetera all has a beneficial effect on blood quality.

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Post by 8bitGreyscale on Sun Jul 12, 2015 1:49 pm

Alex1989 wrote: As you are all aware, I put the needs of others before my own, as the late Vulcan Spock said: "The needs of the many outweighs the needs of the few, or the one."

But the entire point of ST III is that sometimes the needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many. Heart Sometimes, all the logic in the world isn't enough. Emotions are just as essential to humanity as logic & reason; actions "characterized by tenderness, compassion, and sympathy for other beings, esp. for the suffering or distressed" are described as humane, after all.

ST II & ST III is one of my favorite story arcs* ever precisely because it explores this tension between our need for reason and our need for emotion. In both movies, the choice made (II - the needs of the many; III - the needs of the one) was the best one, despite being polar opposites. Sometimes, logic is the illogical choice.

I personally love how the arc demonstrates that McCoy is just as indispensible as Spock. Archetypally, Kirk needs both of them if he's to be an effective captain.** I've always always always always always adored McCoy and he's been my favorite since the first episode I ever watched.***


* TOS will always be my #1.

** I could blather in and on about my belief that Kirk-Spock-McCoy are a cultural reference to the Christian trinity reimagined in more humanistic terms. Instead of the supernatural or divine, the trio represent the great potential we, as humans, have in all of us. Instead of:
Father (God) + Son (Jesus) + Holy Spirit (... Holy Spirit Razz)
we have
The Body/The Physical (Kirk) + The Mind/Reason (Spock) + The Heart/Emotion (McCoy).

*** On Betamax! Laughing..
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Post by Guest on Sun Jul 12, 2015 7:00 pm

CP96 wrote:
Alex1989 wrote:most people around me have families and better lives, I have nothing, to help others without worrying about my own health gives me that feeling of worth, even if I fall ill or even died in the process. worrying about my needs makes me feel worthless...

Regarding the bolded part; if you fall ill or die then you can't help people any more. If you decide that what you really want is to dedicate your life to helping others then that's great, seriously. But you need to be able to function yourself in order to do that. When they teach you first aid the first thing you do when coming across an incident is check for danger. If you can't help the casualty without putting yourself in unreasonable danger then you back off until the danger is dealt with, otherwise you simply make yourself a casualty and the overall situation has been made worse not better.
Basic Training 101.

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Post by Guest on Sun Jul 12, 2015 7:02 pm

8bitGreyscale wrote:
Alex1989 wrote: As you are all aware, I put the needs of others before my own, as the late Vulcan Spock said: "The needs of the many outweighs the needs of the few, or the one."

But the entire point of ST III is that sometimes the needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many. Heart Sometimes, all the logic in the world isn't enough. Emotions are just as essential to humanity as logic & reason; actions "characterized by tenderness, compassion, and sympathy for other beings, esp. for the suffering or distressed" are described as humane, after all.

ST II & ST III is one of my favorite story arcs* ever precisely because it explores this tension between our need for reason and our need for emotion. In both movies, the choice made (II - the needs of the many; III - the needs of the one) was the best one, despite being polar opposites. Sometimes, logic is the illogical choice.

I personally love how the arc demonstrates that McCoy is just as indispensible as Spock. Archetypally, Kirk needs both of them if he's to be an effective captain.** I've always always always always always adored McCoy and he's been my favorite since the first episode I ever watched.***


* TOS will always be my #1.

** I could blather in and on about my belief that Kirk-Spock-McCoy are a cultural reference to the Christian trinity reimagined in more humanistic terms. Instead of the supernatural or divine, the trio represent the great potential we, as humans, have in all of us. Instead of:
Father (God) + Son (Jesus) + Holy Spirit (... Holy Spirit Razz)
we have
The Body/The Physical (Kirk) + The Mind/Reason (Spock) + The Heart/Emotion (McCoy).

*** On Betamax! Laughing..
Wow. I keep quoting STII without keeping STIII in mind.
Other than that... Wow!

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Post by Guest on Sun Jul 12, 2015 7:09 pm

BasedBuzzed wrote:
CP96 wrote:
Alex1989 wrote:most people around me have families and better lives, I have nothing, to help others without worrying about my own health gives me that feeling of worth, even if I fall ill or even died in the process. worrying about my needs makes me feel worthless...

Regarding the bolded part; if you fall ill or die then you can't help people any more. If you decide that what you really want is to dedicate your life to helping others then that's great, seriously. But you need to be able to function yourself in order to do that. When they teach you first aid the first thing you do when coming across an incident is check for danger. If you can't help the casualty without putting yourself in unreasonable danger then you back off until the danger is dealt with, otherwise you simply make yourself a casualty and the overall situation has been made worse not better.

This. For example, the simplest thing one can do the help others if one is healthy is to become a blood donor. Even if you crank up the self-flagellation to the max to the point that you start to view yourself as a living bloodbag, not harming yourself is still a condition for this. Heck, you can probably cobble together some rough evidence that treating yourself well, eating well, working on one's body, etcetera all has a beneficial effect on blood quality.
Or scavenge me for body parts... I don't see any worth of me existing if I tend to my needs, when I try, I fuck up ROYALLY. Either the need is never met, or I offend someone in the process, I can't afford to have even one person dislike me... the mere thought of offending or having someone dislike me is just too much to take. If I had to die in order to help someone, so be it. they have worth, all of you have worth, I. Have. Absolutely. Nothing.

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Post by Enail on Sun Jul 12, 2015 9:17 pm

Alex, I really think it would be good for you to talk about this with a therapist, because it's really not healthy to think of yourself this way, and even if that's not important to you for its own sake, I think having an unhealthy mindset like that will even make it harder for you to be able to help other people to your full potential.  

Just like you have to consider your physical safety if you want to rescue people in an emergency without making the situation worse, you also have to tend to your emotional wellbeing if you want to help people emotionally. That means learning to balance your respect for other people's worth with recognizing and caring for your own worth. I know that's a hard thing to do, which is why I think you should be working with an expert on it, but it will help you help other people in the long run.
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Post by reboot on Mon Jul 13, 2015 12:00 am

Enail wrote:Alex, I really think it would be good for you to talk about this with a therapist, because it's really not healthy to think of yourself this way, and even if that's not important to you for its own sake, I think having an unhealthy mindset like that will even make it harder for you to be able to help other people to your full potential.  

Just like you have to consider your physical safety if you want to rescue people in an emergency without making the situation worse, you also have to tend to your emotional wellbeing if you want to help people emotionally. That means learning to balance your respect for other people's worth with recognizing and caring for your own worth. I know that's a hard thing to do, which is why I think you should be working with an expert on it, but it will help you help other people in the long run.

Cosigned. You need to take care of your emotional and physical health before you can help others. You would need to stop your own bleeding before stopping another person's because you could bleed out and then you both die. Emotional/mental wounds are the same. If you are in crisis, you cannot help someone else in crisis. In fact, you might even make it worse by emotionally "bleeding out"
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Post by BasedBuzzed on Mon Jul 13, 2015 3:49 am

Alex1989 wrote:
BasedBuzzed wrote:
CP96 wrote:
Alex1989 wrote:most people around me have families and better lives, I have nothing, to help others without worrying about my own health gives me that feeling of worth, even if I fall ill or even died in the process. worrying about my needs makes me feel worthless...

Regarding the bolded part; if you fall ill or die then you can't help people any more. If you decide that what you really want is to dedicate your life to helping others then that's great, seriously. But you need to be able to function yourself in order to do that. When they teach you first aid the first thing you do when coming across an incident is check for danger. If you can't help the casualty without putting yourself in unreasonable danger then you back off until the danger is dealt with, otherwise you simply make yourself a casualty and the overall situation has been made worse not better.

This. For example, the simplest thing one can do the help others if one is healthy is to become a blood donor. Even if you crank up the self-flagellation to the max to the point that you start to view yourself as a living bloodbag, not harming yourself is still a condition for this. Heck, you can probably cobble together some rough evidence that treating yourself well, eating well, working on one's body, etcetera all has a beneficial effect on blood quality.
Or scavenge me for body parts... I don't see any worth of me existing if I tend to my needs, when I try, I fuck up ROYALLY. Either the need is never met, or I offend someone in the process, I can't afford to have even one person dislike me... the mere thought of offending or having someone dislike me is just too much to take. If I had to die in order to help someone, so be it. they have worth, all of you have worth, I. Have. Absolutely. Nothing.

1)You can become an organ donor(something peeps should generally do anyway if they have no objections to it otherwise).
2)Organs degrade if they're separated from the body, if I recall correctly.
Ergo, more reason to stay alive and try to be happy.

Also, if you think everything about you is worthless that means your ability to accurately judge that must also be worthless and then who are you to tell us we're wrong if we say you're worth plenty? I know it's not possible to logic-bomb self-esteem issues out of existence, but hopefully by pointing out the inconsistencies it can gradually by chiseled away in combo with therapy.

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Post by litterature on Wed Jul 15, 2015 7:36 am

You know, Alex, the kind of solid people worth doing things for don't like to use others, unless they're really clueless, in which case they're eventually going to hurt you and themselves.

So, before doing something, you might ask yourself whether a kind person who cared about you would be fine with you doing what you're going to do. If after thinking it through the answer is still "no", then you might have some reasons to feel guilty, but I bet most of the time the answer is going to be "yes".

You also need to keep in mind that your "self" isn't a static object which simply came into existence: it's something that slowly gets constructed, so taking care of yourself is a learnt skill, not a natural one. By which I mean don't feel too bad if you screw up when taking care of yourself, because, as scary as it sounds, it's the same as when trying to learn how to deal with others.

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Post by celette482 on Wed Jul 15, 2015 9:13 am

Litterature's got a point. Some people are just looking for other humans to suck up- emotional vampires they are. Everyone else would be a bit horrified at the idea of another person being so invested in their lives without any sort of reciprocity. I mean, I rather expect my husband to give my needs priority, but I do the same for him, and really what we prioritize is the partnership's needs as a unit, which sometimes mean prioritizing one of us over the other and sometimes means seeking a compromise where both of us get some needs met and others unmet, depending on the circumstances. The only scenario where one person is wholly giving to another is the parent-minor child relationship, and even then a responsible parent will make sure to keep his or her mental, physical, and emotional life healthy by cultivating adult relationships, taking care of their own needs, etc because they have to be present and healthy to the best of their abilities for the child.

Between adults who are ostensibly equals, the only time you get that close is in a marriage/committed life partnership.
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Post by Kaz on Wed Jul 15, 2015 6:50 pm

litterature wrote:You know, Alex, the kind of solid people worth doing things for don't like to use others, unless they're really clueless, in which case they're eventually going to hurt you and themselves.

So, before doing something, you might ask yourself whether a kind person who cared about you would be fine with you doing what you're going to do. If after thinking it through the answer is still "no", then you might have some reasons to feel guilty, but I bet most of the time the answer is going to be "yes".

You also need to keep in mind that your "self" isn't a static object which simply came into existence: it's something that slowly gets constructed, so taking care of yourself is a learnt skill, not a natural one. By which I mean don't feel too bad if you screw up when taking care of yourself, because, as scary as it sounds, it's the same as when trying to learn how to deal with others.

This was actually something I was thinking about pointing out, but couldn't quite figure out how to word it.

The thing is that any halfway decent person will not want someone else to destroy themselves for their sake out of some misguided notion of altruism. So for instance... part of the social contract of friendship, IMO, is that friends weigh their own needs vs their friends' needs and make healthy decisions based on that. If a friend offers me help, I should be able to trust that they have assessed whether this is help that they should really give and accept it without needing to think on that further. If a friend *doesn't* do that, then *I'm* the one who has to figure out whether the help they're offering is actually help they can safely give and accept or reject it on that basis... because if I don't do that I run a huge risk of causing harm to my friend, who I love and really don't want to hurt. It's stressful, it feels like they're forcing me to do their job for them and I don't appreciate it at all.

I'm afraid this may have come off as harsh... I do think wanting to help others is an admirable trait. But taking that to extremes and ignoring your own needs does no one any favours. Also, I've recently been on the receiving end of this sort of help - the highlight being when my friend lied to me about something, leading me to accept help from her I would not have had I known the truth - which is probably why I feel quite strongly about this.

ETA: thought about this and maybe a better example is asking someone for help. In order to ask a friend for help, I need to trust that they'll say no if I'm asking too much from them. The bigger the favour I want to ask, the surer I have to be. A "selfless" friend, where I can't trust them to have boundaries? Fat chance I'm asking them for help except in very small ways. The big favours I'll only ever ask - or accept if offered - from a friend where I know they have limits to how far they'll go for me and are willing to enforce those. So extreme selflessness isn't even very effective!

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Post by nearly_takuan on Thu Jul 16, 2015 2:39 am

I have some trouble with this as well. Thoughts, in the order they're going to spill out:

Each individual person you help is no more "the many" and no less "the one" than you are. Treating other people that differently from yourself implies (therefore brings into being) distance, barriers, alienation, whatever you want to call it, between yourself and those "others". People are individuals. An individual's needs are not in any objective way more or less important than another individual's. Fortunately, we have the capacity to be much more arbitrary in our decision-making. We can decide that some individuals are (for any reason, or none) more deserving of our attention than others. Or less. We can try to give everyone a starting point, preferably an equal one (though the reality on that side is far less happy-positive), but we then adjust our expectations and our own behaviors on individual bases.

If you're paying enough attention, it's not hard to figure out what people need before they ask. Part of this is that a lot of people actually kind of hate having to ask for things (admit they need help) but are very willing to drop not-at-all-subtle hints from time to time. And even without those...a lot of needs are just common enough that you can tell when someone's not getting that met. Sometimes you can help easily. Sometimes you can't. Sometimes you theoretically could, if you gave up this or that....

The thing is it's just not possible to reach everyone, or solve all the problems. Getting too fixed on the unsolvable stuff is...a fantastic way to become totally nuts.

And even the solvable problems have consequences. You may or may not recall that a while back I helped a friend out with some major financial problems. Apparently this also had a hand in her last-second change of plans when she almost attempted suicide, and I continue to be really really glad that I helped out when I did. But it's thereafter become a strain on our actual friendship, because there's no quantifiable way for her to repay the debt and no sufficiently dramatic way for her to do something she'll view as "enough". Consequences.

I think most people have a need to feel useful, valued, and accepted. Being obnoxiously helpful and considerate toward others is a shortcut to small doses of all of those, and sometimes it's the only route. But it doesn't end. It's not...permanent. You can't really feel like people like you if you have reason to believe they're only valuing what you've done for them lately...and if you're constantly being the Helper, you're only creating more of those reasons. Counterproductive in the long run.

I'm certainly not saying you shouldn't be helpful and kind to people. Just...sometimes, it may be worth considering additional variables, and running some internal diagnostics (sorry, I don't know any military idioms for this) before rushing into things too much.
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Post by nearly_takuan on Thu Jul 16, 2015 2:45 am

Kaz wrote:
ETA: thought about this and maybe a better example is asking someone for help. In order to ask a friend for help, I need to trust that they'll say no if I'm asking too much from them. The bigger the favour I want to ask, the surer I have to be. A "selfless" friend, where I can't trust them to have boundaries? Fat chance I'm asking them for help except in very small ways. The big favours I'll only ever ask - or accept if offered - from a friend where I know they have limits to how far they'll go for me and are willing to enforce those. So extreme selflessness isn't even very effective!

Y'know, one of the most encouraging things I've heard lately was a friend describing me as someone who will gladly help pretty much anyone without a lot of persuading...unless I can't or don't want to, in which case I'll say no. Either I've gotten better at boundaries in general, or I've gotten better at making them visible. Probably some of each. But yeah, sort of a "have you been working out?" kind of comment, at least to my ears. Lifting weights
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Post by Guest on Thu Jul 16, 2015 1:47 pm

nearly_takuan wrote:
Kaz wrote:
ETA: thought about this and maybe a better example is asking someone for help. In order to ask a friend for help, I need to trust that they'll say no if I'm asking too much from them. The bigger the favour I want to ask, the surer I have to be. A "selfless" friend, where I can't trust them to have boundaries? Fat chance I'm asking them for help except in very small ways. The big favours I'll only ever ask - or accept if offered - from a friend where I know they have limits to how far they'll go for me and are willing to enforce those. So extreme selflessness isn't even very effective!

Y'know, one of the most encouraging things I've heard lately was a friend describing me as someone who will gladly help pretty much anyone without a lot of persuading...unless I can't or don't want to, in which case I'll say no. Either I've gotten better at boundaries in general, or I've gotten better at making them visible. Probably some of each. But yeah, sort of a "have you been working out?" kind of comment, at least to my ears. Lifting weights
.....

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Post by Guest on Thu Jul 16, 2015 1:48 pm

nearly_takuan wrote:I have some trouble with this as well. Thoughts, in the order they're going to spill out:

Each individual person you help is no more "the many" and no less "the one" than you are. Treating other people that differently from yourself implies (therefore brings into being) distance, barriers, alienation, whatever you want to call it, between yourself and those "others". People are individuals. An individual's needs are not in any objective way more or less important than another individual's. Fortunately, we have the capacity to be much more arbitrary in our decision-making. We can decide that some individuals are (for any reason, or none) more deserving of our attention than others. Or less. We can try to give everyone a starting point, preferably an equal one (though the reality on that side is far less happy-positive), but we then adjust our expectations and our own behaviors on individual bases.

If you're paying enough attention, it's not hard to figure out what people need before they ask. Part of this is that a lot of people actually kind of hate having to ask for things (admit they need help) but are very willing to drop not-at-all-subtle hints from time to time. And even without those...a lot of needs are just common enough that you can tell when someone's not getting that met. Sometimes you can help easily. Sometimes you can't. Sometimes you theoretically could, if you gave up this or that....

The thing is it's just not possible to reach everyone, or solve all the problems. Getting too fixed on the unsolvable stuff is...a fantastic way to become totally nuts.

And even the solvable problems have consequences. You may or may not recall that a while back I helped a friend out with some major financial problems. Apparently this also had a hand in her last-second change of plans when she almost attempted suicide, and I continue to be really really glad that I helped out when I did. But it's thereafter become a strain on our actual friendship, because there's no quantifiable way for her to repay the debt and no sufficiently dramatic way for her to do something she'll view as "enough". Consequences.

I think most people have a need to feel useful, valued, and accepted. Being obnoxiously helpful and considerate toward others is a shortcut to small doses of all of those, and sometimes it's the only route. But it doesn't end. It's not...permanent. You can't really feel like people like you if you have reason to believe they're only valuing what you've done for them lately...and if you're constantly being the Helper, you're only creating more of those reasons. Counterproductive in the long run.

I'm certainly not saying you shouldn't be helpful and kind to people. Just...sometimes, it may be worth considering additional variables, and running some internal diagnostics (sorry, I don't know any military idioms for this) before rushing into things too much.
Now they tell me...

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Post by nearly_takuan on Thu Jul 16, 2015 3:34 pm

Alex1989 wrote:.....

Sorry. I did have a point, and then forgot to actually say anything about it. Wasn't supposed to stop with the boast. Razz

The idea was supposed to be that (A) it is possible to make that kind of change, (B) people do take notice when you are able to assert some boundaries, (C) your boundaries can be as fuzzy as you like, as big or small as you like, so long as you enforce them, (D) it can be rewarding to do these things. YMMV, of course.

Can you recount/describe some specific examples of when you think you might have been "too selfless"? (Another reason that form of selflessness may end up being harmful is that you can feel resentful about it and just sort of oscillate between toxic-selfless and toxic-selfish.) Maybe you'll be able to get some more concrete input on how to react to similar situations in the future, so you can learn to demonstrate boundaries and such? Though to be honest, it's probably mostly the sort of thing you have to intentionally think about at the right times and train yourself into.
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Post by Guest on Thu Jul 16, 2015 4:30 pm

nearly_takuan wrote:
Alex1989 wrote:.....

Sorry. I did have a point, and then forgot to actually say anything about it. Wasn't supposed to stop with the boast. Razz

The idea was supposed to be that (A) it is possible to make that kind of change, (B) people do take notice when you are able to assert some boundaries, (C) your boundaries can be as fuzzy as you like, as big or small as you like, so long as you enforce them, (D) it can be rewarding to do these things. YMMV, of course.

Can you recount/describe some specific examples of when you think you might have been "too selfless"? (Another reason that form of selflessness may end up being harmful is that you can feel resentful about it and just sort of oscillate between toxic-selfless and toxic-selfish.) Maybe you'll be able to get some more concrete input on how to react to similar situations in the future, so you can learn to demonstrate boundaries and such? Though to be honest, it's probably mostly the sort of thing you have to intentionally think about at the right times and train yourself into.
I can't have boundaries, people don't like boundaries.

I can't recount an example of extreme selflessness, but I can tell you why I can't have boundaries: I was getting ready to go on duty, when my mother asked me to clean after the dog, I could not, I was in uniform and my was going to pick me up in 2 minutes, I told her I couldn't, we argued and in the heat of the argument she slapped me across the face, HARD, Enough to knock me off my feet. It was weapons training that day, I spent the whole day thinking whether put the barrel of an M4 carbine in my mouth and pull the trigger.

If I enforce boundaries, people will hate me... my mom did...

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Post by nearly_takuan on Thu Jul 16, 2015 4:35 pm

Not everyone is like your controlling and abusive mother, Alex. I hope....
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Post by Guest on Thu Jul 16, 2015 4:40 pm

nearly_takuan wrote:Not everyone is like your controlling and abusive mother, Alex. I hope....
They are... in PR, they are.

That's why if I want to have a chance of happiness with someone, I can never refuse their requests. I would rather be someones love slave than be single for the rest of my natural life, even if it is degrading.

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