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  #11  
Old 05-17-2013, 05:23 PM
opalescent opalescent is offline
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I don't really get the question - I mean I understand it just fine. But on another level, I just don't get what is so wrong about being selfish. What I think people mean when they say someone is selfish is that the person is not doing something they want them to do, is not meeting their needs. Sometimes it is not possible or healthy to meet another's needs. I think it is healthy to put oneself first sometimes.

I think having a strong sense of self is essential to being a healthy person. Knowing who you are includes knowing what you want, what you can give to others and so on. If you know what you need to have your personal needs met, then that is a positive thing because you can then advocate for yourself with others - family, friends, lovers, partners, etc.

I've noticed that people who worry a lot about being considered selfish often struggle with boundaries - both setting one's own boundaries and respecting the boundaries of others. If you don't feel like you have the right to set a boundary for yourself, or don't expect others to respect your boundaries, then it can be hard to have a strong sense of self, to know where 'you' end and others begin. I consider boundary setting and respecting (as well as negotiating boundaries) to be a critical adult skill.

@choctaw103, I laughed when I read your post. I'm an only child too. I have to actively remember 'it's not all about me' when dealing with other folks.
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  #12  
Old 05-17-2013, 05:32 PM
Ssandra Ssandra is offline
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Originally Posted by opalescent View Post
I've noticed that people who worry a lot about being considered selfish often struggle with boundaries - both setting one's own boundaries and respecting the boundaries of others. If you don't feel like you have the right to set a boundary for yourself, or don't expect others to respect your boundaries, then it can be hard to have a strong sense of self, to know where 'you' end and others begin. I consider boundary setting and respecting (as well as negotiating boundaries) to be a critical adult skill .
Thank you. This posts helps a lot to make something clear to me.

So far our relationship model has been to put the needs and wants of the other person ahead of our own. This worked for us, because we both did the same thing, so it balanced out very well for us.

Adding a new person to the mix and it becomes more difficult. I realized that I'm still in the mode of putting my husbands needs and wants (and therefor hers) before my own. It is something I'll work on, because you are right, I have to set my own boundaries.
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  #13  
Old 05-17-2013, 06:57 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Originally Posted by pollyanna
I think 'do unto others'...is still a good policy.
I think "Golden rule" is a good back up policy if I don't know how to "platinum rule" the person yet. But I think it is better to ASK them so I can go with their platinum rule and "treat the person how THEY want to be treated" by me. That is even better than golden rule -- "treating the person how I want to be treated."

Because I could not assume they want, need or like the things I do. They are not ME. Part of the whole "get to know you" process.

I might like DH bringing me (coffee with cream and sugar.) But if I try to give him a golden rule (coffee, cream, sugar) because that is what I like? Instead if bringing him a platinum rule (sugar, black)? He will look at me really funny and not drink it. We are both better off if I get him a (sugar, black). Then we are both doing platinum rule toward each other. Treating the other one how THEY want to be treated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandra
So far our relationship model has been to put the needs and wants of the other person ahead of our own. This worked for us, because we both did the same thing, so it balanced out very well for us.

Adding a new person to the mix and it becomes more difficult. I realized that I'm still in the mode of putting my husbands needs and wants (and therefor hers) before my own. It is something I'll work on, because you are right, I have to set my own boundaries.
Which is why I like to operate from "Put my own oxygen mask on first, platinum rule the rest next." I can't help anyone else well if I am broken or overextending myself past my own limits. If everyone operates that way, all people are getting their wants/needs/limits met most of the time. Even me!

Quote:
Originally Posted by opalescent
What I think people mean when they say someone is selfish is that the person is not doing something they want them to do, is not meeting their needs.
Well, it is a common enough litmus move for a selfish person to call someone ELSE selfish because the word is so charged the person might rush to meet the need at their own expense to "prove" how unselfish they are. But really for the selfish person? It's a double win if they comply. They got their thing, and now they know exactly what putton to push to try to get it again next time.

Just easier to say "No. Not willing and able at this time."

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 05-17-2013 at 07:22 PM.
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  #14  
Old 05-20-2013, 05:06 PM
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Marcus Marcus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by opalescent View Post
I don't really get the question - I mean I understand it just fine. But on another level, I just don't get what is so wrong about being selfish. What I think people mean when they say someone is selfish is that the person is not doing something they want them to do, is not meeting their needs.
The idea of being selfish is kind of a broken concept in my opinion. People tend to pat themselves on the back so hard for "sacrificing" that they near throw their shoulder out. When really, what they call "sacrifice" is nothing of the sort, it is simply acting in accordance with their assessment of what is going to bring them the most pleasure and avoid the most discomfort. The idea that we can act outside of our own best interest is an odd thing to suggest.

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Originally Posted by Marcus
Example: My boyfriend is dating another girl but I don't like it. I lay awake at night when he is with her and I weep until I can't feel my face. I don't say anything because I want him to be happy... look how much I'm sacrificing, aren't I awesome??
In this scenario I am simply doing what I perceive as being in my best interest. Putting up with the consequences of letting my boyfriend date this other girl is preferable to putting up with the consequences of trying to control him or just leaving him. I have not sacrificed anything, I have done exactly what I believe is in my best interest.

Personally I try to avoid thinking in terms of selfish versus sacrifice because both concepts seem so irrational to me. Our decisions are purely a result of our own risk assessment in an attempt to promote our own well-being.
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  #15  
Old 05-20-2013, 07:11 PM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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Well Marcus, it's because "sacrifice" sounds noble, "look at what i GAVE UP FOR YOU. Now, it's YOUR TURN to give something up FOR ME." It's a convenient way of holding someone as an emotional hostage while trying to appear as if a martyr.
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  #16  
Old 05-21-2013, 12:17 AM
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nouryia nouryia is offline
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No matter what I end up wanting for, I always feel selfish for wanting it. Like I'm somehow not deserving of it or should not be expecting it. I have a really difficult time articulating my needs and usually end up holding back until it blows up.
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  #17  
Old 05-21-2013, 01:53 AM
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Originally Posted by nouryia View Post
No matter what I end up wanting for, I always feel selfish for wanting it. Like I'm somehow not deserving of it or should not be expecting it. I have a really difficult time articulating my needs and usually end up holding back until it blows up.
That sucks.

I struggle with a similar issue from time to time; it's related to my being passive about my feelings (I think). Most of the time this manifests in my agreeing to things that I really ought to say "no" to. Then I end up resenting the person for "pushing me around", but there was no pushing taking place. It is me transferring the responsibility of my actions onto someone else.

It's never a bad thing to be honest about our desires and to take full responsibility for seeing that those desires are taken care of. The idea that we are being "selfish" and therefore should not work get our needs met is just bullshit.
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  #18  
Old 05-21-2013, 11:21 AM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
I think "Golden rule" is a good back up policy if I don't know how to "platinum rule" the person yet. But I think it is better to ASK them so I can go with their platinum rule and "treat the person how THEY want to be treated" by me. That is even better than golden rule -- "treating the person how I want to be treated."

Because I could not assume they want, need or like the things I do. They are not ME. Part of the whole "get to know you" process.

I might like DH bringing me (coffee with cream and sugar.) But if I try to give him a golden rule (coffee, cream, sugar) because that is what I like? Instead if bringing him a platinum rule (sugar, black)? He will look at me really funny and not drink it. We are both better off if I get him a (sugar, black). Then we are both doing platinum rule toward each other. Treating the other one how THEY want to be treated.
What you wrote tells me that you clearly do not understand the Golden Rule. Your whole coffee analogy makes absolutely no sense to anyone who knows what the Golden Rule really means. I astounds me that anyone would interpret it the way you have.

From http://www.thinkhumanism.com/the-golden-rule.html:
"Sometimes people argue that the Golden Rule is imperfect because it makes the assumption that everyone has the same tastes and opinions and wants to be treated the same in every situation. But the Golden Rule is a general moral principle, not a hard and fast rule to be applied to every detail of life. Treating other people as we would wish to be treated ourselves does not mean making the assumption that others feel exactly as we do about everything. The treatment we all want is recognition that we are individuals, each with our own opinions and feelings and for these opinions and feelings to be afforded respect and consideration. The Golden Rule is not an injunction to impose one’s will on someone else!

Trying to live according to the Golden Rule means trying to empathise with other people, including those who may be very different from us. Empathy is at the root of kindness, compassion, understanding and respect – qualities that we all appreciate being shown, whoever we are, whatever we think and wherever we come from. And although it isn’t possible to know what it really feels like to be a different person or live in different circumstances and have different life experiences, it isn’t difficult for most of us to imagine what would cause us suffering and to try to avoid causing suffering to others. For this reason many people find the Golden Rule’s corollary – “do not treat people in a way you would not wish to be treated yourself” – more pragmatic."
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Last edited by nycindie; 05-22-2013 at 06:18 PM.
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  #19  
Old 05-21-2013, 02:58 PM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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The Jewish version of the Golden Rule is better for Real Life:

"that which is harmful to yourself, do not do to your neighbor"

It's like the last sentence in that thing nycindie quoted.
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  #20  
Old 05-22-2013, 07:29 AM
ManofDiscovery ManofDiscovery is offline
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Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
I might like DH bringing me (coffee with cream and sugar.) But if I try to give him a golden rule (coffee, cream, sugar) because that is what I like? Instead if bringing him a platinum rule (sugar, black)? He will look at me really funny and not drink it. We are both better off if I get him a (sugar, black). Then we are both doing platinum rule toward each other. Treating the other one how THEY want to be treated.
Kudos on being able to find a food analogy to make your point in any given situation. However one side effect is that you do seem to have a habit of making me hungry/thirsty.
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