Personality Cafe banner

Tick 1 box in each category, but read opening post first.

  • Grand Scheme - Kind acts should only be done when someone genuinly cares about another.

    Votes: 14 37.8%
  • Grand Scheme - We have to "take what we can get" nowadays.

    Votes: 17 45.9%
  • (Individual - You) I only want someone altrustic doing things for me.

    Votes: 12 32.4%
  • (Individual - You) I appreciate any kind gesture regardless of motive.

    Votes: 22 59.5%
  • (Tick this box if your grand scheme conflicts with your individual view).

    Votes: 14 37.8%
1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,347 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
If you're a people watcher like me, then you likely have this seemingly contradictory fascination as you observe their interactions, yet do not wish to disturb them or bring any attention to yourself. In its own way, it's almost as if you're narrating a wildlife documentary as you try to understand what kind of people they are and explain the reasons for their behaviour.


So, how many of you have witnessed some sort of kind gesture done for another? ...Oh? You have? And you say you can think of a few occasions you've done something nice? That's great! :D I have a question for you though, why did you do it? Now you probably have a number of answers for me, "it was the right thing to do, that's just the kind of person I am, someone asked me to, I felt bad for them," etc. The real question I have for you is... does it matter?

If you're having trouble following here are some quick examples, (skippable)
* Some enjoy helping others so much that it's almost as if you did them a favour (altruism).
* Then there are people who only do it because they want to be liked.
* People only do it because it's socially perceived as 'right.' They will do it, but begrudgingly.
and naturally there's a constant interplay of all of the above or other reasons.


Nonetheless, in a world that is seemingly starved from kindness, should we care about people and their motives when they do these deeds? Or should we see a "good" gesture as something so scarce that we essentially have to "take what we can get?" If this is easy for you to answer, does your response change when you take a less worldly view and apply it to people who do kind acts for you? If they had ulterior motives, but still helped you out in some way, was it worth it? Or would you have rather struggled through the task on your own?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,458 Posts
People have an altruistic gene, or so they say. To me it just doesn't seem commonly used. I am suspicious of kind motives done for no reason, yet I also appreciate them. Me personally is a mix bag of all the options. I was raised as a Catholic at first, so any original good deeds I did were to avoid Hell. Now that I've grown out of religious boundaries I do good just to do good. No fear of an eternal punishment and not because I want social recognition. Admittedly, I sometimes grudgingly do it because someone absolutely needs help or I pity them deeply, but I don't have that attitude 90 percent of the time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
296 Posts
The person who needs help is helped. It doesn't matter the intention of the helper. Isn't there enough evil in the world without our suspecting and mistrusting acts of kindness? I feel like this question is not only idle but harmful. It's different if the person obviously wants something in return for their "help", but otherwise, what does it matter?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,458 Posts
The person who needs help is helped. It doesn't matter the intention of the helper. Isn't there enough evil in the world without our suspecting and mistrusting acts of kindness? I feel like this question is not only idle but harmful. It's different if the person obviously wants something in return for their "help", but otherwise, what does it matter?
Most people help others to help themselves. You may not want to admit that, but it is true. Helping is never harmful, even if it is just to further your ego, but does anybody actually admit that? I don't understand how you think this question is harmful. Could you explain?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
296 Posts
Most people help others to help themselves. You may not want to admit that, but it is true. Helping is never harmful, even if it is just to further your ego, but does anybody actually admit that? I don't understand how you think this question is harmful. Could you explain?
I never claimed otherwise. However, this sort of thinking easily becomes an excuse not to help. "My intentions are selfish, therefore I shouldn't try and help because it's meaningless." Also it can be an excuse to feel less grateful because "they just did it for themselves anyway." That is what I mean.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,458 Posts
I never claimed otherwise. However, this sort of thinking easily becomes an excuse not to help. "My intentions are selfish, therefore I shouldn't try and help because it's meaningless." Also it can be an excuse to feel less grateful because "they just did it for themselves anyway." That is what I mean.
I don't see any who thinks like that. If they do it to stroke their ego, they do it. If they do it just to help, then they do it. That honestly doesn't make much sense. Why would you think of helping out selfishly, then not help out because you realize you're doing it to be selfish? A selfish person wouldn't go "Hey now, I'm being selfish. I should stop this.". They usually just go on ahead and do it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
296 Posts
I don't see any who think like that. If they do it to stroke their ego, they do it. If they do it just to help, then they do it. That honestly doesn't make much sense. Why would you think of helping out selfishly, then not help out because you realize you're doing it to be selfish? A selfish person wouldn't go "Hey now, I'm being selfish. I should stop this.". They usually just go on ahead and do it.
Well it is a cynical world, where negative things get much more attention than good. In general people would much rather revile a selfish person than praise an altruistic one. So being seen as selfish is definitely cause for hesitation. Have you never thought something was a good idea then stopped because "what will people think when they see me do it"?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,458 Posts
To be honest, no. I believe if an idea is beneficial to people, it needs to be shared. Any good idea I've had personally, I'd just share with friends because I'm not a people person and don't have a large social circle.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
600 Posts
*a type 2w1 enters the thread*

I voted for options 2 and 4. Motives do not matter that much. As a 2, I'm highly aware of selfishness behind selflessness. It has always been a paradox I enjoy. I believe that one should take acts of kindness as they are. When I help someone, part of it is because it makes me feel good. That certainly doesn't mean I help just to make myself feel good, but since I derive satisfaction from the act itself, I cannot call myself selfless, can I?

Anyway, this is just my opinion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,229 Posts
I love love, and to a lesser degree, all things that can lead to love.

I'll take what I can get, when it comes to other people's say, joy or wisdom that indirectly can lead to a love perception and love is not just beneficial to me in that capacity when I "need" loved, but also in the capacity of feeling love from a sense of purpose etc....

So in short, I'm looking at feeling positive regard for something when say I'm feeling weak, but I'm also looking at feeling positive regard for myself when I'm helping someone by say, not refusing their "shallow" compliment or by even indulging in some materialistic conversation

if and only if I think it can help
 

·
Premium Member
INTP
Joined
·
11,905 Posts
I help people because I feel unsettled watching someone struggle if I can help out and ease their struggle. I don't do it just to get something in return from them, but I do benefit from no longer feeling unsettled myself and I feel good about it. If my help won't ease their struggle, I can get past feeling unsettled by it.

I do expect a degree of appreciation and respect from them for any help I provide, but it's not my motive for helping them in the first place. I don't do it for appearances sake either.

I don't like to receive help from somebody who expects something in return if what they want is something that I'm not willing or able to give. If I am willing and able, then I see it as a mutual agreement, which is OK with me.

I only want someone help me out of a sense of duty if it actually is their duty to help in that particular circumstance.

If someone helps me because their motive is to look good in the eyes of others, that's up to them and I will probably take full advantage of that.

So, I believe it's all very circumstantial depending on each individual situation.
 

·
MOTM January 2013
Joined
·
10,623 Posts
Well to turn the tables, I know someone that refuses to help anyone unless he himself actually feels like genuine in his intent, rather than feel emotionally coerced and yet if we all thought like this guy, im sure this planet would be very different. He says doing things out of selflessness is more fake because he doesn't feel the authenticity in the bottom of his heart to give. I don't know if he gives to those that could really do with the help or those that he has taken a shine to which is an extension of his ego anyway. I suppose its people's individual reasons for wanting to help others and if they don't meet our ideal, then should they been open to criticism?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,993 Posts
''Nonetheless, in a world that is seemingly starved from kindness, should we care about people and their motives when they do these deeds? Or should we see a "good" gesture as something so scarce that we essentially have to "take what we can get?" If this is easy for you to answer, does your response change when you take a less worldly view and apply it to people who do kind acts for you? If they had ulterior motives, but still helped you out in some way, was it worth it? Or would you have rather struggled through the task on your own?''

I think it depends. There are also the situations of which motives can be mixed. For example, a person may be thinking,'' I'm helping her because I feel it's the right thing to do..at the same time, later, if I feel bad about myself, I can remind me of this so that I won't get into the dumps again.'' Psychology can be a tricky thing.

Also, I know this may sound idealistic and a number people may not agree with me, but I do think intentions matter. There is a quote from a movie - Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth - and I actually believe in it. Life will not often go as planned and bad things happen to the point that we need to see the good that's left, but truth still has ways of showing itself. The motives of a person always reveal themselves through time, at least from my experience it does. And if they are not revealed to me, they would be revealed to others or may have impacted my life badly in a way I didn't expect. For instance, in the far past, when I was more naive, I remember trusting a few people based on 'good gestures' they were doing to me. But for some reason I always had that little voice inside I tried to ignore that was saying,'' something isn't right'' and then I would get the subtle cues / 'signs' like them giving subtle sarcastic insults, pretending to joke around and saying things as if to note themselves more superior than me and others. Also, there would be some inconsistency - claiming to advocate principles, to the point of being so convincing that they'd write and talk about it a lot, and with emotionally convincing dramatic flair, and advocating it openly on facebook or forums whatnot - but then they would later (when they thought no one was watching) show, in the little things they do and behave, that they don't really believe in what they were saying.

In my opinion, good gestures are made more possible from good intentions and motives matter to me. Of course, bad motives may not subtract the actions themselves, but they still have their ways of harming people, making the bad outweigh the good in the long run.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
761 Posts
So, how many of you have witnessed some sort of kind gesture done for another? ...Oh? You have? And you say you can think of a few occasions you've done something nice? That's great! :D I have a question for you though, why did you do it? Now you probably have a number of answers for me, "it was the right thing to do, that's just the kind of person I am, someone asked me to, I felt bad for them," etc. The real question I have for you is... does it matter?
I've done kind things because I don't want to turn a blind eye to those in need. It's ignorant and uncaring. So many people already ignore them, they just walk by and really don't care. That's sad, people not giving a single shit for others? It matters because by doing what you believe in, you can inspire other people to change as well. It's a positive influence.

Nonetheless, in a world that is seemingly starved from kindness, should we care about people and their motives when they do these deeds?
I don't think we should question people about their motives because that makes us judgmental and prejudicial.

If this is easy for you to answer, does your response change when you take a less worldly view and apply it to people who do kind acts for you? If they had ulterior motives, but still helped you out in some way, was it worth it? Or would you have rather struggled through the task on your own?
Definitely not worth it. It's so disheartening when people have selfish ulterior motives. It's basically deceiving. I'd prefer struggling on my own over someone deceiving me, especially if it's a friend or relative. That isn't loyal.
 

·
MOTM June 2012
Joined
·
9,333 Posts
I do nice things because I'd want someone else to do a nice thing for me if the tables were reversed. I dno't get hung up about being altruistic or looking good or shit like that, and when someone does something ncie for me I don't feel bad about it. I clicked the take what you can get box, because life is short and I learned a long time ago that when good things come your way, or someone offers you something you take it without thinking twice.

It's like if you're at a party, and there's one cracker left on the tray. Some people will say oh no I couldn't, I'll leave it for someone else. News flash: You're leaving it for me, because I WILL take it! This whole mindset seems to carry over in other life situations. And no, I don't feel bad about taking the last cracker. Someone has to do it, so it might as well be me!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,993 Posts
''Nonetheless, in a world that is seemingly starved from kindness, should we care about people and their motives when they do these deeds? Or should we see a "good" gesture as something so scarce that we essentially have to "take what we can get?" If this is easy for you to answer, does your response change when you take a less worldly view and apply it to people who do kind acts for you? If they had ulterior motives, but still helped you out in some way, was it worth it? Or would you have rather struggled through the task on your own?''

I think it depends. There are also the situations of which motives can be mixed. For example, a person may be thinking,'' I'm helping her because I feel it's the right thing to do..at the same time, later, if I feel bad about myself, I can remind me of this so that I won't get into the dumps again.'' Psychology can be a tricky thing.

Also, I know this may sound idealistic and a number people may not agree with me, but I do think intentions matter. There is a quote from a movie - Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth - and I actually believe in it. Life will not often go as planned and bad things happen to the point that we need to see the good that's left, but truth still has ways of showing itself. The motives of a person always reveal themselves through time, at least from my experience it does. And if they are not revealed to me, they would be revealed to others or may have impacted my life badly in a way I didn't expect. For instance, in the far past, when I was more naive, I remember trusting a few people based on 'good gestures' they were doing to me. But for some reason I always had that little voice inside I tried to ignore that was saying,'' something isn't right'' and then I would get the subtle cues / 'signs' like them giving subtle sarcastic insults, pretending to joke around and saying things as if to note themselves more superior than me and others. Also, there would be some inconsistency - claiming to advocate principles, to the point of being so convincing that they'd write and talk about it a lot, and with emotionally convincing dramatic flair, and advocating it openly on facebook or forums whatnot - but then they would later (when they thought no one was watching) show, in the little things they do and behave, that they don't really believe in what they were saying.

In my opinion, good gestures are made more possible from good intentions and motives matter to me. Of course, bad motives may not subtract the actions themselves, but they still have their ways of harming people, making the bad outweigh the good in the long run.
Sorry for some reason I felt the need to further explain XD

I believe about human motives having a way of revealing themselves and impacting others in the long run..I also mentioned about psychology being a tricky thing, I believe compassion and cruelty can co-exist in a person, but it is a matter of which one outweigh the other.

''In my opinion, good gestures are made more possible from good intentions and motives matter to me. Of course, bad motives may not subtract the actions themselves, but they still have their ways of harming people, making the bad outweigh the good in the long run'' As I mentioned keyword : outweigh

It can be a complicated explanation because people with certain honorable motives tend to feel remorse, regret after doing some bad actions. However there are certain people with bad motives who don't feel regret for tearing others down and yet continue doing 'good gestures' only to show off. Those are just two minor examples.
 

·
MOTM January 2013
Joined
·
10,623 Posts
I have not read other responses. Im a bit stuck on the option of appreciating a kindness act even though there could be manipulative tactics being used. But then if we all only commited acts of kindness because we felt 100% in the bottom of our hearts genuine about it, that would create a smaller section of people who would recieve the kindness or would it? I would happily donate large sums of money to a downtrodden country of people whom i've never met than to a wealthy family member.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,842 Posts
Kind gestures should be done only when heartfelt, but I would hope such heartfelt feelings are commonplace. Realistically, though, not all people are selflessly kind, or do great deeds because they really want to help others.

I appreciate all kind gestures, even those who do it out of duty or due to societal expectations, but not because I believe it's good to be fake (I don't), but because it's the lesser of two evils (not doing anything kind at all.)

I didn't click on the conflict box because although the above may seem contradictory, to me it isn't at all. I appreciate better kind gestures that are done humbly, without much fanfarre, and that come from the heart, but I like for people to be helped, even if the helper isn't authentic/sincere/selfless in his/her motivations.

I guess I apply the first principle to me-I must be authentic if I am going to help psomebody, which I ALWAYS am. But if others feign "kindness" just for show, at least they are helping somebody; however, I won't be impressed with THEM as individuals, even though I appreciate the fact that somebody is being helped, despite their motives.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
I definitely believe that the motive behind any act is very important. I would say that a kind act that was done to me simply because the person enjoyed helping me has a much much bigger value to me than a kind act done out of an ulterior motive.

Whether we should always act from the bottom of our heart I am not so sure about. I think that it depends very much on what kind of help or act we are talking about; when it comes to smaller matters I believe it is necessary to help or be kind even if it is not heartfelt. But when it comes to bigger deeds of help, I believe it to be important to be sincere and honest about the motives you have. Otherwise the person you helped may sometime in the future realize that your help never came from your heart and begins to question any good act that is done to him or her (it is important to remember that not every person is good at "feeling" whether someone is being sincere or not).
When someone begins to question any good deed and ends up believing that any act is done out of ulterior motives, he or she ends up not having any desire to help people anymore, and the help he or she offers to other people will always be because of ulterior motives.

At least that is how I believe it works :proud:.
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top