People Who Constantly Put Others' Needs & Wants BEFORE Their Own

We're Taught to ALWAYS Put Others.......FIRST

We've been taught by parents & other adult authoritative figures that WE'RE to put OTHERS first.  It goes back to the premise that it is MORE BLESSED to give than to receive.  Selflessness & altruism have been touted as one of the higher virtues.
We've been taught by parents & other adult authoritative figures that WE'RE to put OTHERS first. It goes back to the premise that it is MORE BLESSED to give than to receive. Selflessness & altruism have been touted as one of the higher virtues.
We're relegated w/stories of selfless & altruistic people as the people we SHOULD emulate.  Such people are glorified, even deified as ideal people. It is furthermore surmised that the world would be a better place if there were MORE selfless people.
We're relegated w/stories of selfless & altruistic people as the people we SHOULD emulate. Such people are glorified, even deified as ideal people. It is furthermore surmised that the world would be a better place if there were MORE selfless people.
Not only adults but children are regularly taught that it's good to always consider others before themselves.  Children who do that are rewarded by teachers as good & likeable. They're even considered to be leaders & even popular among their peers.
Not only adults but children are regularly taught that it's good to always consider others before themselves. Children who do that are rewarded by teachers as good & likeable. They're even considered to be leaders & even popular among their peers.

The Premise of Putting OTHERS Before ONESELF



We have been taught that it is always more blessed to give than receive from our parents and other adult authoritative figures. We were further indoctrinated in the premise that to share and be altruistic towards others is quite a noble virtue. We were taught that being altruistic and unselfish are some of the higher values and virtues that one can possess. We were also inculcated ethically, morally and/or religiously that one always should consider the needs of others over that of ourselves. In our culture and society, charity towards others is considered to be one of the higher, if not the highest, of human virtues.




In fact, we are regularly relegated with stories and examples of people who routinely put others before themselves. We hear, even see how such people are viewed as heroes and/or saints to be emulated, if not gloried or deified. Such people are considered to be sterling, even stellar examples of what we should be. Some go further to remark that if the world need more selfless and altruistic people who put others before, even above themselves. They even maintain that the world would be much better place if people put others' needs and concerns before their own. They contend that it is such selfless and altruistic people which make the world a more beautiful place to live in.


Not only adults but even children are routinely told that it is always good to put others first. They are instructed that to consider others' needs and wants first makes them better individuals. They are told by parents, teachers, religious figures, and/or other authoritative adults that the world is not about them but about others. They are vastly rewarded, even being positively reinforced when they put other children's needs and concerns in precedence to theirs. Such children are deemed as popular, even leaders by their peers and teachers because they are seen as relatable, even likeable by others. The message conveyed to children and adults alike that people who put others' needs first are nice, likeable, and relatable. People are comfortable and at ease with those who are considered selfless and altruistic. They are also seen as approachable, reachable, and good all around people.



It's SELFISH To Put YOURSELF First

People have been indoctrinated that to put themselves first is akin to selfishness. The worst thing for many people is to be called selfish. As a result, any instinct that reminds people of the self is downplayed, avoided, & even suppressed.
People have been indoctrinated that to put themselves first is akin to selfishness. The worst thing for many people is to be called selfish. As a result, any instinct that reminds people of the self is downplayed, avoided, & even suppressed.
As a result of the negative inculcation regarding putting oneself first, many people feel guilt when they think about themselves instead of thinking about others.We're even told that it's  good to SACRIFICE our wants for the good of others.
As a result of the negative inculcation regarding putting oneself first, many people feel guilt when they think about themselves instead of thinking about others.We're even told that it's good to SACRIFICE our wants for the good of others.
There is also the religious mandate that the needs of others should always take precedence over one's own needs. In fact, others are elevated to a sacramental obligation of sorts.  It's believed to live for oneself is a waste & can  lead to ruin.
There is also the religious mandate that the needs of others should always take precedence over one's own needs. In fact, others are elevated to a sacramental obligation of sorts. It's believed to live for oneself is a waste & can lead to ruin.

To Put Oneself First......Is SELFISH

While people have been inculcated with the premise that putting others first is the height of selflessness and is noble, they have been conversely indoctrinated that to put themselves first is the height of selfishness. To be selfish is viewed as the ultimate wrong. Being selfish is even equated to evil. The self is to be downplayed, even subverted to others. To many people, the worst and/or most abhorrent thing is to be called selfish. In addition to selfishness being downplayed, it is to be avoided, even suppressed.


As a result of such negative inculcation regarding the premise of self versus other, people feel guilty if they dare to think about themselves instead of others. The word self has a less than positive connotation. As children, we are told not to be selfish but to think of others. We are even told that it is the ultimate good to subvert, even sacrifice our wants and desires for others. People who exhibit a healthy sense of self are often denigrated as selfish, self-centered, or worse. The ideal person is the one whose feelings for others take precedence over his/her feelings.

There is the religious mandate that one is to be doing, acting, and even living for others. Religions further assert that others should always be more important than the self. They emphasize the importance of self-sacrifice for the sake of others. They convey that it is morally superior for one to sacrifice himself or herself for the sake of humanity. In many religions, the altruistic or selfless person is the superior one. They maintain that there is no benefit in putting oneself first. They contend that being and living for oneself is a wasted life. They further assert that to be selfish and putting one's needs first can only lead to misery and ruin.

But..........WHY?

There ARE people who actually get a rush by putting others first.  They feel important, needed, & even validated.  Putting others first gives them a REASON for living. They feel that they are contributing to the world, making it a much better place.
There ARE people who actually get a rush by putting others first. They feel important, needed, & even validated. Putting others first gives them a REASON for living. They feel that they are contributing to the world, making it a much better place.
Some were strongly inculcated that their needs don't matter, it's OTHERS' needs who matter. Their individuality were denigrated, even dismissed. They were told that the needs of family, others, & community are MORE IMPORTANT.
Some were strongly inculcated that their needs don't matter, it's OTHERS' needs who matter. Their individuality were denigrated, even dismissed. They were told that the needs of family, others, & community are MORE IMPORTANT.
There are those who put others' first, hoping that others will put THEM first.  After all, one good turn deserves another. They may even believe that others are just as selfless & altruistic as they are.
There are those who put others' first, hoping that others will put THEM first. After all, one good turn deserves another. They may even believe that others are just as selfless & altruistic as they are.
A few put others first because by doing this, they had power over them.They maintain that by doing & acting for others, others are beholden to them.They can use what they've done for others to manipulate, even blackmail them when the occasion arises.
A few put others first because by doing this, they had power over them.They maintain that by doing & acting for others, others are beholden to them.They can use what they've done for others to manipulate, even blackmail them when the occasion arises.

What FOR?


There are people who actually exhilarated by putting others first. They feel important in the eyes of others. They even feel needed. They contend that by doing and acting for others, they have a validation to their lives. They somehow feel worthwhile, even significant in the eyes of others. They assert that by placing others before them, they have a reason to be alive. They may feel that they are contributing to society and making the world a much better place.



Some were strongly inculcated by their families that they should always think solely of others, never themselves. They were taught that their needs, uniqueness, and individuality do not count for much, if anything. They were probably denigrated, even dismissed if they voiced their own wishes and needs. They were told to subjugate their individual needs for the good of the family, others, and/or community. They were led to believe that one should always be self-abnegating, always placing others before them and to deny their own needs.


Then there are those who put others first, hoping that others would appreciate them, reciprocating in kind. They are of the belief that if they do and act for others, others will do and act for them. They contend that people are just as selfless and altruistic as they are. They really do not see putting others first as a one-way affair. They maintain that every act is a two-way street. To them, it is quite reasonable, even expected that one good turns always and should deserve another. After all, they surmise that this is a civilized and cultivated world where people ought to do for each other, not for themselves.


However, there are other people who put others first, acting and doing for them for less than altruistic reasons. They do and act for others because by doing so, they have power over others and others are beholden to them. They believe that when they put others' needs first, others must play by their rules. After all, it is they who make sacrifices for others and the latter had better take notice and be grateful for them. They are not above telling others what they have done for them. They are well aware that by putting others' needs and wishes over their own, they have influence, power, and might over the latter. They are not above manipulating, even blackmailing others, stating what they have done for the latter. They oftentimes feel superior to the others they do things for.

What OCCURS When Others Are Placed First?

People who put others before themselves tend to be taken advantage of. It's reasoned that if they respected themselves, they would consider themselves as well as others. Others figure that such people must have low or no sense of self.
People who put others before themselves tend to be taken advantage of. It's reasoned that if they respected themselves, they would consider themselves as well as others. Others figure that such people must have low or no sense of self.
They're seen as easy marks as they can't, don't, & won't establish boundaries as to how far they would go for others.They WON'T acknowledge when enough is ENOUGH.  They're seen as doormats-here THEY come,let's see what we can ask them, they'll DO it!
They're seen as easy marks as they can't, don't, & won't establish boundaries as to how far they would go for others.They WON'T acknowledge when enough is ENOUGH. They're seen as doormats-here THEY come,let's see what we can ask them, they'll DO it!
There's also internal ramifications for always putting others first.There's a sense of anger. There could be passive-aggressiveness, using guilt on others for what they have done for the latter.They may take out their anger on their immediate family.
There's also internal ramifications for always putting others first.There's a sense of anger. There could be passive-aggressiveness, using guilt on others for what they have done for the latter.They may take out their anger on their immediate family.
They can feel unappreciated & used. They wonder why are they doing for-for what? They contend that others are after them for what the latter can get, no more no less. They give & give while others keep on taking. They can become resigned, even bitter
They can feel unappreciated & used. They wonder why are they doing for-for what? They contend that others are after them for what the latter can get, no more no less. They give & give while others keep on taking. They can become resigned, even bitter
Some will proclaim that enough is ENOUGH! They feel that putting others first only caused them psychological distress. They figure that being nice is futile so they turn a 360 degree turn in the opposite direction-it's high time to look out for SELF!
Some will proclaim that enough is ENOUGH! They feel that putting others first only caused them psychological distress. They figure that being nice is futile so they turn a 360 degree turn in the opposite direction-it's high time to look out for SELF!

The RESULTS.........Are


People who oftentimes place others' needs, desires, & concerns over their own are taken advantage of. They are perceived to have a low sense of self, even low self-esteem. It is reasoned that if they possess an iota of self-esteem, they would respect themselves to place themselves first, if not all the time but at least half of the time. People do not respect them because they do not have a healthy dose of self-love.


People see them as easy marks, because they cannot, do not, and will not establish boundaries regarding how much to do for others and when is enough, enough. They can easily be taken advantage of because of their inability to establish boundaries. They are even seen and treated as doormats. People figure that since they will not assert themselves whatever they are asked to do, they will gladly do it without question or complaint. People simply love those who are not assertive regarding establishing boundaries and would tolerate anything as far as others are concerned.

Besides the negative external ramifications of placing others' needs and wants first, there are internal ramifications. People who tend to place others' needs before their own can adopt passive-aggressive characteristics. They may be uncomfortable that others always come before them. They even feel emotionally, psychologically, and even psychically drained because they overextend themselves to others. However, instead of being assertive, stating that their needs as far as others go, they subvert their true feelings and oftentimes use guilt and other forms of manipulation on others they help. They may not use guilt on others but take out their frustrations on their immediate family.

There are those who feel unappreciated and used. They feel that they are only valued for what they can give to others. They know that they are needed for others' expediency, no more no less. They are the ones whose mantra that they treat others far better than others treat them. They can adopt the martyr, lamenting why them. They even complain to those who will listen. Mostly likely, they will internalize their feelings creating psychological and subsequently physical illness. There will be some who will continue the martyr route because it is easier for them to be in a psychological morass to assert and embrace their selfhood.


However, there are some who feel that they have overextended and stretched themselves thin for others enough. They will begin to feel that the nicer they are, the more others will exploit them and being nice to others really does not pay. So they begin to do the opposite turn and become exceedingly selfish. It is their assertion that it is far better to be selfish and only think of themselves than to waste their time and energy thinking of and doing for others which is not only thankless but foolish to say the least.

Putting others' first is glorified, even revered in our culture & society.  Religions expound that selflessness is an admirable trait which all should have.  People who are altruistic & selfless are viewed as heroes, even saints.
Putting others' first is glorified, even revered in our culture & society. Religions expound that selflessness is an admirable trait which all should have. People who are altruistic & selfless are viewed as heroes, even saints.
Putting oneself first is oftentimes viewed as selfish.  People don't want to be called selfish as such has quite a negative connotation. So they subvert, even deny their OWN needs so they can concentrate upon the needs of others.
Putting oneself first is oftentimes viewed as selfish. People don't want to be called selfish as such has quite a negative connotation. So they subvert, even deny their OWN needs so they can concentrate upon the needs of others.
There are external & internal ramifications for always putting others first.  One can be taken advantage off, become depressed, & some may even become extremely selfish as a reaction to overextending themselves for others.
There are external & internal ramifications for always putting others first. One can be taken advantage off, become depressed, & some may even become extremely selfish as a reaction to overextending themselves for others.
It's healthy & very important to put oneself first.  There's nothing wrong with asserting & voicing one's needs & wants. After all, if one doesn't look out for himself/herself, NO ONE else will.
It's healthy & very important to put oneself first. There's nothing wrong with asserting & voicing one's needs & wants. After all, if one doesn't look out for himself/herself, NO ONE else will.

Conclusion

Our society oftentimes glorifies, even deifies people who always put others first. Such actions are considered marks of a virtuous and noble person. People who put others first are even viewed as saints and heroes, being held as exemplary examples as to what others should aspire to. Religions and other moral teachings regularly expounds on the benefits of putting others' needs before our own.


Conversely, there are negative connotations for considering and placing oneself first. Such acts are viewed as selfish, immoral, and even evil. People have been inculcated in the premise that to think of and act upon self is self-indulgent, if not self-centered. One of the worst things that to be called is selfish which result in many people subverting and making their own needs subordinate to that of others.


However, there are negative external and internal ramifications to putting others' needs before one's own. Such people are considered to be doormats or easy marks who can be easily taken advantage of because of their inability to set and establish boundaries as to how far to go as far as others are concerned. They can also be psychologically burned out because they have overextended themselves regarding others, totally forgetting about or even neglecting themselves. There are some who even become extremely selfish because they see the futility of always putting others first.


It is really unhealthy to put others first and oneself last. People are the most effective when they possess healthy self-images. People must learn that there is nothing wrong in putting themselves first. While it is good to think of, do, and act for others, it is more important to take care, do, and act for self. If people do not put themselves first, no one else will.

© 2016 Grace Marguerite Williams

More by this Author


Comments 4 comments

kj force profile image

kj force 6 months ago from Florida

Most Women have this trait towards their husbands and children....we have been taugh...however today's generation appears to be breaking away from this tradition..which actually is healthier, due to better care of themselves both physically and mentally, which will result in a less stressful life for both..


gmwilliams profile image

gmwilliams 6 months ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York Author

Yes, most women are raised that way. It is the nice girl syndrome, always putting others first & themselves last. Well, this behavior results in being disrespected, even taken gross advantage of. It also causes passive-aggressive behavior because those women aren't overt in expressing their needs so they covertly express their needs in other, more destructive ways.


Lisa 5 months ago

Society, including men, prefer nice, good girls over mean, bad girls as to what my dad taught me. I come from a family where I have to put others needs and wants before my own and if I take care of my self and put my needs and wants first, I'm seen as rude, selfish, narcissistic, and slutty, especially when it comes to taking care of my appearance, even by my own close cousin who just got married a year ago. Yet she doesn't even take care of her appearance. She is considered unattractive and awkward and isn't very fashionable but she always puts others first before herself which my dad considers kind. It's no wonder she's never been asked to model, doesn't have many male friends, admirers, and hasn't dated much people like her awkward husband. Anyway, my dad prefers that I be like her rather than be myself because he sees me as bad while she is good. He also doesn't approve of anyone like me, either. He wants people according to his standards only.


Nudely 3 months ago

What was the point of life if you didn't live? if you didn't have fun? if you didn't accomplish the things you wanted to do? Then again, what good were you to the world if, like our two principal Presidential candidates, you lied, cheated, stole, killed, and hoodwinked your way to success? Somewhere in there there's a happy medium.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working