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Post Reply How do I stop caring about others?
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19 / F / Germany
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Posted 8/9/17
As melodramatic as the title may seem, I was unable to come up with another way of expressing the first thought that came to mind. What I am actually referring to is the idea of expecting others to treat you the way you treat them. That sounds like a good idea, doesn't it? Well, things often do not work that way in life. To be more specific, I am talking about this in the context of (close) friendships.

Whenever I meet someone in life, I am willing to dedicate my time to listening to their concerns and the issues they are facing. I assume I do so because it makes me feel good, which is why I am immediately discarding the idea that I am a good Samaritan who sacrifices their precious time to listen to others. The problem I often face is that the person I listen to in such situations is not particularly eager to return the favour. I completely understand the many reasons for that. Some individuals do not feel comfortable talking about "depressing" topics, others are incapable of giving proper advice and therefore think that they would make matters worse. Then there are also people who simply do not care.

Now, that does make me question the emotional bond that I share with the person in question. If they are unwilling to help me in times of need, are they really a friend of mine? Would it be better if I dedicated my time to finding people who are willing to listen to my issues and make me feel good about myself? Or should I just stop caring because this is obviously a non-issue? What do you guys think?
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Mᴇᴡɴɪ
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Posted 8/9/17

I think that not everyone is capable of comforting others the same way they are comforted. I still think they could put effort and you should see that as well. It bends both ways. My best friend has never been very good at discussing depressing and serious topics but is still there for me in different ways. It's not always easy expressing things the way you want especially if it is only online. I don't think my best friend would be my friend if it was strictly online.

From experience in this myself, some people don't know how to give advice until they learn how to be able to sympathize and be empathetic rather than think that their advice is matter-of-fact. I know of people to become angry while giving advice if it's not taken. Some people just aren't exactly understanding and on the same level of awareness as people around them.
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28 / M
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Posted 8/9/17
If the person vents to you but can't be bothered to listen to you vent?

That's kind of selfish as long as you are not the one fishing for feels and trying to be all Oprah, trying to fix things.

I don't know, find someone who'll give you what you want? If venting is constant I wouldn't want to be in friendship like that. It's rooted in misery. So maybe try to balance it with some fun stuff to talk about. Recognize some people just don't want to talk about some issues.

You also gotta recognize if that person is cool with being a sob pillow. If they are not and the only time you call them up is to vent they'll associate your number or message as a burden they'd rather not deal with right now, even if they care about you. Which case you ask if they are okay with you going on rants. Put the onus them to say what they think before it gets to the step below.

Now if you listen to them vent and then they blow you off next time you try to talk to them, say a silent prayer. One I use is "well fuck you then" and then move on to someone who will give you the time of day.

Tl:dr talk it out and see where the other person stands, don't just assume.
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26 / M / Canada
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Posted 8/9/17 , edited 8/9/17
I can relate to what you're experiencing. It's a burden listening to everyone's problems, but the reason they confide in you is because they trust you and appreciate your opinion. The thing they don't realize is that you especially need to talk about what's going on in your life and how you feel.

When you are listening and offering advise you are most likely empathizing, and by doing so experiencing their pain. Empathy is a gift but too much of it can be a curse, don't let their problems become yours.

If the friends that you helped in a time of their need don't return the favor, they aren't good friends but they're still friends. If you're unable to find a friend that will listen to you, you could always talk to a sibling, parent, or shrink.

“Do not do to others what angers you if done to you by others.” ― Socrates
Ejanss 
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Posted 8/9/17 , edited 8/9/17

Nalaniel wrote:\Now, that does make me question the emotional bond that I share with the person in question. If they are unwilling to help me in times of need, are they really a friend of mine? Would it be better if I dedicated my time to finding people who are willing to listen to my issues and make me feel good about myself? Or should I just stop caring because this is obviously a non-issue? What do you guys think?


If you want to take the issue theologically, how about not caring what they think or "what's in it for you" that you get out of it in return?

A little idealized, yes, but it does seem to be the root of the problem of everyone else putting themselves too first to care.
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22 / O / Brazil/Portugal
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Posted 8/9/17
At least for those that can't help because they either simply can't or don't know how, I wouldn't say you have to cut ties with them, but do not count on them and limit how much you 'give'. There's nothing bad with putting yourself first. No one has to put anyone else's well-being above their own (unless on a parent-child relationship, because it was the parents decision to have a child - even if it were a mistake, the kid is not at fault)

For those that do not care, don't care about them either. Remember that you can't control how you feel, but can control how you act. 'Treat others how you would like to be treated' goes both ways, so if you're being nice to them only to get fucked, stop going out of your way to be nice to them.
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34 / M / Melbourne
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Posted 8/9/17
It's an easily usable switch for me, though it has to be flipped upwards in order to initiate care factor mode and sometimes I just cbf fighting gravity.
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M
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Posted 8/9/17
I would suggest not correlating "helping you in a time of need" to friendship, first and foremost.
Not all friendships follow this dynamic when it comes to listening to someone else's problems.
The quotation marks are to show that listening to you vent isn't exactly a "time of need" that is required.
If there's a moment where you have a flat tire, or maybe needing a few dollars, or just needing to chill for a few hours - see if these friends take you up on these (without venting about your problems).

Is it selfish of them not to return the favor? Maybe. That's not up to me to say.
I'm the type that will listen to someone else's venting about their own problems but never expect the same treatment in return.
I understand that listening to someone else's problems when you have problems of your own isn't exactly something they want to deal with.
It sounds like these friendships were formed upon the dynamic that you listened to them vent and there weren't any behavior-correcting techniques applied and you're stuck with friends like these.
They're still your friends, as the dynamic hasn't really changed from the get-go.

It's not really an issue.
People are different. Not everyone has the same threshold of another person's problems as you do.
That ends up being the root of your complaint.
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Posted 8/9/17
Different expectations coming into a friendship always leads to shambles. On another note, you seem down, how about a game of town of salem or chess to calm your nerves?
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31 / M
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Posted 8/9/17
You can still be a friend even if you don't always spend your time with another person and confide with him or her. Simply keep that person at a little more of a distance while still showing respect.

You can only have a conversation or disagree constructively with another person if they're interested. People who can do that and treat others with respect are rare, and you should keep in touch with people like that even if you get separated. For people you can't do that with, just try to be friendly, in a way both of you can accept. This is one of those cases in the real world where you have to be selective about who you are 100% honest to. You have to consider the effect of what you might say before just telling others what you really think. Try as much as you can, but the knack to most things is in coming back to them at regular intervals while making the right kind of effort. Things don't change overnight. It takes patience.

There're few absolute rules for how to keep the balance between caring for others and caring for yourself. Something I realized some time ago was that you can only really help other people as an adult if you're content and healthy first. Otherwise, you just make their problems worse. So there is always an absolute minimum for looking out for yourself before you can help others. Once you've met that bare minimum, how much you want to give others while getting nothing in return is up to you. Remember that what you think is helping other people, they might not appreciate. Think about helping them the way they would choose, or the backlash from them will undo what you tried to do.

For most people, generosity is only possible when people are relatively well off. And even then, people can be selfish if they are on their own in the world. Do what you can.
nxvb 
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21 / M / Somewhere to my l...
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Posted 8/9/17

Nalaniel wrote:

As melodramatic as the title may seem, I was unable to come up with another way of expressing the first thought that came to mind. What I am actually referring to is the idea of expecting others to treat you the way you treat them. That sounds like a good idea, doesn't it? Well, things often do not work that way in life. To be more specific, I am talking about this in the context of (close) friendships.

Whenever I meet someone in life, I am willing to dedicate my time to listening to their concerns and the issues they are facing. I assume I do so because it makes me feel good, which is why I am immediately discarding the idea that I am a good Samaritan who sacrifices their precious time to listen to others. The problem I often face is that the person I listen to in such situations is not particularly eager to return the favour. I completely understand the many reasons for that. Some individuals do not feel comfortable talking about "depressing" topics, others are incapable of giving proper advice and therefore think that they would make matters worse. Then there are also people who simply do not care.

Now, that does make me question the emotional bond that I share with the person in question. If they are unwilling to help me in times of need, are they really a friend of mine? Would it be better if I dedicated my time to finding people who are willing to listen to my issues and make me feel good about myself? Or should I just stop caring because this is obviously a non-issue? What do you guys think?


Ideally yes, it would be better to dedicate your time to finding those who will listen to you in times of need. But realistically, not everyone will be that listening person that you'd want. In my opinion, just help others to help others, without expecting something in return. Help them because you want to, not for any sort of prize.
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23 / M / La
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Posted 8/9/17
Don't talk to people and don't make friends
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41 / M / California
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Posted 8/9/17 , edited 8/9/17
Just stop caring, it works for most of us
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21 / M / Oppai Hell
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Posted 8/9/17
People with their own problems tend to be problematic themselves, especially if they have the urge to complain a little bit too much, depending on their circumstances. That being said, it is harder to be the listener than to be the talker for some, especially when it concerns topics they do not have any experience in alongside the expectation that they will provide advice.

I could bitch all day, but when it comes to listening to others, I feel so much worst when I am just a voice on a computer, a face they never seen, a person they will never meet. I want to help, but what can I say? I am not that smart, and life is not that easy. Bear with it seems like hardly the best thing to suggest, but it seems to be the only thing.

That being said, some people feel entitled to an audience, and those who wallow too much in their self aggrandized suffering are the self centered "woe is me", looking for sympathy in a situation that requires them to act, hoping that the third option of guilt inducing will allow for help from others to change their circumstance. There will eventually be a situation where they want someone to pull them up, but complaining is just a band aid, really. They have to accept the circumstances of their reality, especially if the choice is of their own undoing.

Some people cannot accept the presence of limited choices, and I would honestly give them advice.

Tip: While you could act as a shoulder for someone you barely know, such as a Discord, beware of it happening consistently. One of thhe worst thing you can do is to build a friendship's foundation be based on venting and negativity in general, or expect those friendships to turn into anything fulfilling.

I would say walk away if the person isn't interest in taking their own actions within reason.

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21 / M / US
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Posted 8/10/17
Yeah, I don't have a more legit response that someone else hasn't already said, so have these

https://youtu.be/Ye2u1za7Pac?t=520

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