Caring about others more than yourself

Discussion in 'Opinions, Beliefs, & Points of View' started by Inanimate, Jul 11, 2016.

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  1. Inanimate

    Inanimate Well-Known Member

    I'm just in a ranting kind of mood; it can happen after feeling particularly miserable. When people claim that they care about others more than themselves, whether they're referring to strangers or friends or family, I think it's nonsense. Maybe with the exception of their children, but is that really true, or are they merely conforming? I just don't see caring about yourself less than others as a good thing. I find that to be a sign of low self-esteem. Generally, I think people are either kidding themselves, or they're irrational. Before I get a generic "Do you have children of your own? Then you wouldn't understand--" no, I don't have children, and it's obviously a given that I don't understand, but that doesn't invalidate my opinion. Just to confirm, since ANYBODY can be reading this, I'm not a psychopath. I have loved ones, and I care about people when they're not on my shitlist, but to say that I'd die for someone... that would be far-fetched. Disregarding spur of the moment situations, would people die for others because they genuinely would rather die than have them die, or is an ulterior motive involved -- that they'd merely die for themselves because they wouldn't want to live with the guilt?

    Anyway, I was more so venting than looking for a discussion, but I welcome feedback, as long as I'm not being shit-talked. Hopefully I don't lose followers for this. :rolleyes:
  2. AlexiMarie7

    AlexiMarie7 Staff Member Safety & Support

    I have no children of my own, and I don't have low self-esteem but there are a few people I would do probably anything for, to ease their pain or make their lives better. I call these people my "heartstrings"; I just have a strong spiritual connection with them and I would help them before they even thought to ask. This to me is part of unconditional love, which I don't think is limited to one's children.

    I have other people who I love also but it is not the same as these select few--and I don't say select to say that I "chose" to love them more or that they did anything at all to "deserve it"--in fact at least one is probably 'objectively' rather undeserving but it just simply is. And I think it is quite easy to love people that love you first or in return, or are doing something for you; the great challenge is in loving persons who do not fit into this box.

    But as an aside, I am grateful to have experienced this level of love, without having children also, but I don't recommend it 0/10. It is not an easy path to love anyone unconditionally; forgiveness as they say is the final form of love and without having to have forgiven perhaps one may not even know "true" love.

    I forgot what I was actually responding to or if there was a direct question, but basically no, you do not have to have children to have this kind of love, nor do you have to have low self esteem. In fact, I believe you have to have good esteem, and first love yourself to then be able to share this kind of love with others: you can't pour from an empty cup.

    Most times when people say they would die for someone, it may just be a figure of speech to try to indicate the depth of their love. But I have offered a kidney to someone who is not even on the shortlist above, so I would likewise do that and much more if needed and I am able.

    Hope this babbling helped some :)
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  3. iam

    iam SF Supporter

    Not babbling. All makes sense to me. Hug
  4. Inanimate

    Inanimate Well-Known Member

    Thank you for your thoughtful input.

    To be clear, I'm not implying that I think unconditional love is limited to one's children, even though I might've came off that way. I also don't mean to invalidate anyone's unconditional love for another or brush it off. I don't deny that unconditional love exists, but I don't think it's entirely a good thing. I figure that it's more beneficial than unhealthy at least in some cases. I wouldn't say that all supposed unconditional love stems from low self-esteem, but I think a considerable amount of people care more for others or love others more than themselves for that reason.

    I think I can sympathize with loving people that aren't necessarily deserving of it, and not to imply that love is a choice, but I don't see the benefit or rationale in loving people who are undeserving, namely unkind strangers and the likes. In your case, I think it's understandable because you probably know them personally.

    I didn't ask any direct questions. What I did ask was rhetorical, but it's not necessarily limited to that. I agree with what you're saying, and I believe that you literally can't pour from an empty cup, but I'm not certain that the same applies to love since it's an abstract. Lol, I'm not being too serious, but nonetheless I think your perspective is an ideal one to have.

    As long as offering a kidney isn't a detriment to you, I don't see anything wrong with that. I think that's praiseworthy. Don't worry about your "babbling." Everything you had said was essential IMO. :)
  5. SinisterKid

    SinisterKid We either find a way, or make one. SF Supporter

    Does caring about other people more than oneself mean having or wanting to die for them?

    I have a granddaughter I would die for in a heartbeat, no arguments, no debates, no discussions.

    I care deeply for anyone who is suffering or in pain. If I could take that pain from them and carry it for them, I would. Nothing whatsoever to do with low self esteem, its about caring for a fellow human being and doing things that you hope others would reciprocate. But giving my life is another matter entirely.

    But generally speaking, I do care for others as much, if not more than I care for myself. I am not kidding myself with that, but it is entirely possible that its irrational.
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  6. Inanimate

    Inanimate Well-Known Member

    Well, if you care about others more than yourself, I don't see why you wouldn't die for them.

    I'm just a bit perplexed now. If you consider few or several or maybe more people in your life to be worth more than yourself, what does that mean if not you having low self-esteem? I get that people might see that as loving unconditionally and nothing else, but I guess my question is how isn't that also related to low self-esteem? It's not a rhetorical question; I'm open to hearing people out on this. The key word is unconditional, and to me, loving without condition affects one's self-esteem, especially if you're willing to die for them. Maybe my outlook on self-esteem is distorted -- maybe, but I don't see how. I can also see why people wouldn't think their self-esteem is low if they're generally worth more to themselves, but I don't think low self-esteem is limited to extremes. I think that to a degree, your self-esteem is low if you place certain people in your life on a pedestal.
  7. SinisterKid

    SinisterKid We either find a way, or make one. SF Supporter

    I think maybe you are getting slightly confused between care and love which are two entirely different things. I care about a great many people, that does not mean I would die for them. I love a few people and would instantly give my own life to save theirs. Not because I think their life is more valuable than my own, but because I WANT their life to continue more than my own. I have that choice. There is a huge difference there if you are able to see the context and not get bogged down in semantics. That has nothing to do with self esteem in my opinion. I respect myself and my abilities [when I am rational and not ill].

    So maybe its just a different viewpoint revolving around unconditional and love and care and what that means to the individual concerned.
  8. AlexiMarie7

    AlexiMarie7 Staff Member Safety & Support

    This is getting complex, though interesting.

    I don't think even if you care about someone 'more' than yourself that automatically means you must be willing to give up your life. Maybe you are willing to give them your life savings, organ, sacrifice your vacation for them, work two more jobs or whatever; it may or may not go as far as giving up your life. I don't think that's ultimate proof, and only very few would ever actually have to put it to proof anyway so it is more likely that it would be shown, while you have life, not just in sacrificing your life.

    The simple (ish) response really is that love just is. And love is infinite, so I don't have to love me less to love you more; loving you more or loving many people doesn't take away from my own 'share' of love for me as well and it isn't a competition.

    I actually think comparison may be the root or a symptom of low self-esteem. If you are getting bogged down in whether you love them more than you, or if she is prettier than you, or is he smarter/richer than me etc.

    It's getting into the area of "ego" versus love so to speak. Actually, this is getting beyond my ken probably :)
  9. Inanimate

    Inanimate Well-Known Member

    If love and care are two entirely different things, wouldn't that mean you don't care about the people that you love? I don't think they're mutually exclusive terms. Maybe in the sense that you don't necessarily have to love someone to care about them, but not vice versa. I wasn't saying that to care about someone you'd have to be willing to die for them, but to say that you care about someone more than yourself and not be willing to die for them is contradictory... IMO. Sure, you might want to take their pain away as you said, but that just means you're willing to do what you're able to bear for the sake of others as long as it's not at the expense of your life.
    You might not think that those people are intrinsically more valuable, but their lives are more valuable to you than your own, but that's just my perspective I guess. You do have that choice -- I'm not trying to tell anybody how to live their life, but I'm not convinced that doesn't have anything to do with self-esteem. I guess I choose to get bogged down in semantics.
  10. Inanimate

    Inanimate Well-Known Member

    I could just be some ostentatious fuck that actually doesn't know what he's talking about ;). I'll get back to this later, lol. I need NOURISHMENT.
  11. Inanimate

    Inanimate Well-Known Member

    Okay. I can understand why people wouldn't think that loving unconditionally and putting certain people on a pedestal isn't partly a self-esteem issue -- because it's so common. It's a norm, so it's probably not often questioned.
    That is a good way of looking at it. I don't think I need to love myself less to love others more, but if I'm loving people more than myself, whether or not it's partly a self-esteem issue is still open to interpretation. I can see why that wouldn't necessarily be the case, but I still see why it would be the case. It depends on what having a good self-esteem entails, which, even so, is subjective.
  12. Louise K

    Louise K Active Member

    I find supporting someone else with their problems can be a good thing in that it pushes your problems to the back of your mind. Though there is the problem off burn-out if you take on too much

    I attended an open day at my local Samaritans branch last year with the view to becoming a Samaritan. Out of the two referees I provided on the application form, one replied I would not currently make a good Samaritan, as I would take home with me at the end of shift the problems the callers had confided in me. That is one of my problems; my ability not to be able to leave those problems at work not bringing them home. But having said that I would prefer that than to be a heartless so & so
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