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Question
Posted by: G | 2007/06/21

Is this normal?

Hi CS

I guess the title for this question could have read 'no such thing as altruism?'

I am really starting to question whether there is actually something wrong with me, perhaps whether I am so maipulative that maybe it is even hidden from me?

Let me be clearer - I love doing things for other people - whether it be saying something nice or doing something nice - I really and truly get off on seeing other people happy, ESPECIALLY though (if I am 100% honest) if I have had some part in it.

When I am doing something caring for someone else my mind is only on them (which is the way it should be surely), but then afterwards I always get the thought in the back of my head that I feel like a nicer person ... I try to push it away (and even pray for it to go away even though I am not religious!) as I feel cheapened by the thought ... like I am doing it to make myself feel better but my manipulative mind kids me into thinking it is actually for the other person.

...Those thoughts make me feel horrible and like I am a bad, selfish person. Just don't know how to stop them and question if I am normal in that regard. (This all sounds a bit strange, I hope you understand). Any words of wisdon or even reassurance for me please?

Thanks.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

You sound like a nice person --- wish I ha someone like that as a neighbour ! There's absolutely nothing wrong with helping other people, even if it's becoming a rather rare behaviour. And to feel satisfied for having been helpful, even to feel good about yourself for having done so --- is normal and healthy. What, should you feel disgusted with yourself for having done something good ?
As Maria says, so long as that self-satisfaction isn't the absolutely sole and only motivation --- actually, come to think of it --- when I need help, I need it amd I'm grateful for it --- why would I be bothered if the person feels good about doing it ? Its a lot better than the folks min "helping " jobs who seem to resent you and hate their work.
In think what liar is referring to is that some people have a compulsion, not to be helpful as such, but to please other people --- to please everyone all the time. This is more undesirable ( as well as impossible ).

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

2
Our users say:
Posted by: Maria | 2007/06/21

I think it's quite normal to feel good about yourself when you've done something for someone else. As long as you don't start doing things primarily for the buzz you get, then no harm done.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: liar | 2007/06/21

you are a pleaser, nothing wrong but you have to have a balace in order to make it or this earth will chew on you and spit on you kick you and kill you..

Reply to liar

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