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primer 21st December 2017 6:04 PM

selfish people
 
Does there seem to be a lot of selfish people out there or am I just beginning to realize it?


I am that friend that always acknowledges birthdays, makes sure friends aren't sad or alone on holidays, and stand by their side when needed.


Recently I had a milestone birthday, and several of my "friends" did not even acknowledge it. Do they not care? Am I supposed to acknowledge theirs when it comes along?


I helped a friend through a divorce only to find out after the fact that she was cheating on the husband. She seemed to omit that important piece of information.


Ugh! I have become a cold and callous woman. Do you understand why?

basil67 21st December 2017 6:28 PM

It's probably because you expect people to act at your own standard instead of recognising that we all have different needs.

For instance, I'll probably forget your birthday (unless you've got a party booked). But I don't care if you forget mine. Whereas you regard birthdays of friends as a special thing. Neither is wrong - just different. I would regard those who forget birthdays as selfish only if they expected more than they give.

The friend who cheated probably didn't tell you for fear of judgement.

While it's kind of you to look out for friends in the holidays, other people are sinking under a whole lot of stuff they are already trying to juggle.

ZayKayWill 21st December 2017 6:29 PM

Nah, OP. I feel you on this completely and this is actually something I've been realizing and trying to deal with, myself. Yes. Humanity is really, really ****ing selfish. I'm the kind of person who goes out of their way to say happy birthday to all their friends as well. If they forget your birthday...I wouldn't let it get to you too bad. Sometimes people just forget. Honestly I can't count the number of birthdays I forgot...I hate to admit it but these days I just use Facebook to help me remember whose birthday it is.


So I guess what I'm trying to say is that it may SEEM like they really just don't care, but in reality they're just focusing on themselves and their lives. It's normal. Animals are selfish in general. Studies have actually backed this up. It is pretty crappy, but it's nothing to get too upset about because we all do it, whether we realize it or not...

ZayKayWill 21st December 2017 6:31 PM

It's probably because you expect people to act at your own standard instead of recognising that we all have different needs.

Exactly...it's so hard to not judge others based on your own standards and how you would 'go about it'. You assume that since you have that thought process that everyone else does, too. Pretty sure that's called the fundamental attribution error?

primer 21st December 2017 6:45 PM

Last year my lifelong friend that omitted her cheating situation was crying and depressed on Christmas. Her divorce was just finalized and the OM was with his family. I invited her over both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and she came over.


Two weeks ago was my birthday. I did not hear a peep from her.


This week I heard from her because she has nothing to do for Christmas.


Add to it: My ex that repeatedly broke up with me and I finally ended it is crying on my doorstep. This is after he was seen out with another woman more than once. He never felt so bad. He wants to see me all of the time. Blah, blah, blah. (Though I did have sex with him last weekend for my own benefit.)


My cold and callous self: I don't care. Not my problem.


Welcome to the new me.

basil67 21st December 2017 6:53 PM

Genuine generosity does not expect anything in return. It does not keep tabs. It's about giving for the sake of giving.

This friend who forgot your birthday.....are birthdays important to her in general? Did she have anything else going on in her life which distracted her from the event? I tried really hard to remember my best friend's birthday this year, but my son got sick and everything went to hell in a hand cart and I forgot.

Nilfiry 21st December 2017 7:22 PM

You are just starting to realize it.

Fact is, most people are selfish. Even the nicest person you know is probably selfish in their own way that you are probably overlooking. Love is selfish.

When a person is nice to you or you are getting along, it is not because no one is being selfish. Rather, it is because there is currently no conflict of self interest. As soon as there is a conflict of interest, people will readily bear their fangs, get angry, and show you an entirely different side. Of course, it is not always going to result in someone getting angry and fighting, but when there is a conflict of interest, you are certainly not going to be the first thing on their mind.

There are people who are not selfish around, but those are extremely rare and few. Some acts can be seen as non-selfish, but that is just with respect to the act and not the person as a whole. Most others just learn how to compromise their selfishness.

In your case, it is all about expectations. I do not care bout birthdays. People that know me know that I do not care about birthdays. When birthdays come up, we just shrug it off or plan a spontaneous outing and everyone is happy. You, however, see it as an important part of a friendship, so you expect your friends to do something about it. Technically, that makes you selfish too.

basil67 21st December 2017 8:36 PM

A degree of selfishness is also what keeps us afloat. We need to know how to juggle different expectations and demands when it all gets too much. We need to know how to say "no" when we are overwhelmed with life.

In my circle of sewing enthusiasts, there are heap of jokes and threads about how to say "no" to people who want all kinds of things from us for free. Or for a 3rd world payment. (hey, can you fix a hem for me? It's just a quick job. *hands over a circle skirt*) Those people who request things may see our "no" as being selfish, but for us, it's about not being taken advantage of.

jiten809 3rd January 2018 12:07 AM

Well, if you asked me then i would say do not expect anything from anyone. Expectation should be there in any relationship, this is my personal view. I never expect anything from people.

Ronni_W 3rd January 2018 3:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by primer (Post 7491385)
Ugh! I have become a cold and callous woman. Do you understand why?

No, I really don't understand why you would allow others to control and dictate who you are and what you do as a person. Especially if you don't like being a cold and callous person (which I take from you saying 'Ugh!' about it), then your decision to be and act like that doesn't make any sense.

As others have already pointed out, it's about changing your own expectations, and it's also about developing a realistic but non-judgmental (non-hostile) view of others.

HiCrunchy 3rd January 2018 4:39 PM

Being selfish is the core of human existence.

There is no such thing as altruism. At the end of the day, it is just a way that helps us feel good. Helping someone is just a side effect of that.

Ronni_W 3rd January 2018 6:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HiCrunchy (Post 7501997)
Being selfish is the core of human existence.

It depends how you define 'selfish'. As basil67 said, people who are not getting their own way will define the self-respecting actions of others as 'selfish' - but that kind of labeling is only an attempt to make people feel ashamed or guilty so that they will fall back in line, and be obedient, and give up their own personal and spiritual dreams and goals to serve the person who wants them to feel ashamed or guilty.

There is nothing wrong with feeling good about trying to truly help someone else feel personally and/or spiritually fulfilled. There is nothing wrong with wanting to feel good in life and about life. And there is nothing wrong with cutting out inconsiderate and insensitive (selfish) people from one's life.

Being inconsiderate and not caring about kind and considerate people's feelings, fulfillment, etc., is selfish - and this is NOT the core of basic humanity...although selfish people tell themselves that it is...but only so that they can feel good about themselves. (They should try volunteering or doing something kind for someone else, instead.)

snowboy91 3rd January 2018 7:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by basil67 (Post 7491463)
A degree of selfishness is also what keeps us afloat. We need to know how to juggle different expectations and demands when it all gets too much. We need to know how to say "no" when we are overwhelmed with life.

Agree with this. If we consider the opposite of selfish (always being selfless, helping others before yourself), we might be trying to be noble but always end up feeling drained as others act more "selfish" (I'm using it in a relative sense here).

OP I think you're now starting to notice that you are drained by giving yourself up to others constantly (wishes on birthdays as an example), while not receiving anything in return. I think your version of "cold and callous" may be close to "normal" for most people, so if you start saying no it will give you the space you need to look after your own needs. As they say, in order to fill other's glasses you must first fill your own...

HiCrunchy 3rd January 2018 9:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ronni_W (Post 7502121)
It depends how you define 'selfish'. As basil67 said, people who are not getting their own way will define the self-respecting actions of others as 'selfish' - but that kind of labeling is only an attempt to make people feel ashamed or guilty so that they will fall back in line, and be obedient, and give up their own personal and spiritual dreams and goals to serve the person who wants them to feel ashamed or guilty.

There is nothing wrong with feeling good about trying to truly help someone else feel personally and/or spiritually fulfilled. There is nothing wrong with wanting to feel good in life and about life. And there is nothing wrong with cutting out inconsiderate and insensitive (selfish) people from one's life.

Being inconsiderate and not caring about kind and considerate people's feelings, fulfillment, etc., is selfish - and this is NOT the core of basic humanity...although selfish people tell themselves that it is...but only so that they can feel good about themselves. (They should try volunteering or doing something kind for someone else, instead.)

Selfishness is to serve one-self. Acting on one's self interest. period.
The person setting boundaries, the person pushing those boundaries are both self-serving. There is no difference. None.

My point is that altruism isn't real because everyone is acting at their own self interest. Always. Every relationship we have, interaction with people are all done to serve a need we have as people. A need for love, affection, companionship, etc.

When people do something out of the "goodness of their heart", their brain gives them a reward for doing so. This is why we do good things, for this reward. We want to fulfill that desire to feel good, because as humans we like to feel good. To feel like we are moral and good people, because that makes us feel good about ourselves. Altruism is selfishness.

Altruism as we see it in the world is selfish but helps in groups dynamics so people see it as goodness. Which is fine, but it is still selfish. True altruism doesn't exist.

skywriter 9th January 2018 11:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by primer (Post 7491385)
Does there seem to be a lot of selfish people out there or am I just beginning to realize it?


I am that friend that always acknowledges birthdays, makes sure friends aren't sad or alone on holidays, and stand by their side when needed.


Recently I had a milestone birthday, and several of my "friends" did not even acknowledge it. Do they not care? Am I supposed to acknowledge theirs when it comes along?


I helped a friend through a divorce only to find out after the fact that she was cheating on the husband. She seemed to omit that important piece of information.


Ugh! I have become a cold and callous woman. Do you understand why?


I completely understand what you are expressing here.

My boyfriend and I decided this year we were gonna have to scale back a bit on always thinking about our friends. They've started to expect it all the time. It's not that we don't love them and want to think of them, and yes, you do things expecting nothing in return, however, after a while you feel drained and to some point as if it's all one sided.

For example, you think as long as the good time, food drink, etc is provided, I've got friends. Now say you take all those comforts and all they have is you, they move along to something or someone else and you are long forgotten.

I hear exactly what you are saying about birthdays, because that was me. I was going to my girlfriends kids birthday at Chucky Cheese to provide her child a gift. Then when my birthday came, we had a nice adult set up, invited this same person, well they stopped in long enough to get food and say, we don't have the kids, we need alone time tonight and off they went.

We said, , done with going to our friends, kids birthday parties in the future. Done, making our house the comfort zone that provides, food and drink to all.

You aren't selfish for expecting your so called friends to think of you back. There is nothing wrong with wanting an equal friendship. For me it's been a life learning experience finding out who my true friends are and who are opportunists. My friends list has become very short in the past five years.


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