Is Selflessness a Sign of Mental Illness?

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  1. gmwilliams profile image84
    gmwilliamsposted 13 months ago

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    Why is selflessness touted as a virtue when in fact, selflessness is considered to be an aberration?  Healthy people are selfish.  Being selfish is essential to mental well-being.   People who are selfless are oftentimes taken advantage of by others who view them as easy marks, even weak.   People who are selfish are the most successful & respected in life while those who are selfless are often mocked & derided.   These people get constantly being put upon by friends & relatives.   Selfless people have no boundaries & people see this, acting accordingly.   Is selflessness is sign of mental illness?  Should selflessness be deemed an abnormality?

    1. Castlepaloma profile image73
      Castlepalomaposted 13 months agoin reply to this

      Even though Rockefeller is a 100 years old, his greedy selfishness is not healthy for the mass majority of us.

    2. tsmog profile image79
      tsmogposted 13 months agoin reply to this

      No
      No

      1. gmwilliams profile image84
        gmwilliamsposted 13 months agoin reply to this

        Well I vehemently disagree.  Selflessness is a sign of being masochistic. People who are selfless don't know how to say no.  They are pushovers.  People view them as suckers & take advantage of them.  They are guileless & have no boundaries. People don't respect selfless people-in fact, they DESPISE them.  Selfless people end up UNHAPPY because they LIVED FOR others & they are being TAKEN FOR GRANTED.

        1. Castlepaloma profile image73
          Castlepalomaposted 13 months agoin reply to this

          Your talking two extremes.

          1. Kyler J Falk profile image90
            Kyler J Falkposted 13 months agoin reply to this

            The quality of being selfless has no spectrum, you either are, or you are not.

        2. tsmog profile image79
          tsmogposted 13 months agoin reply to this

          To be mentally healthy you need a healthy balance of both within an ebb and flow.

          1. Misbah786 profile image86
            Misbah786posted 13 months agoin reply to this

            Agreed, Sir

    3. Kyler J Falk profile image90
      Kyler J Falkposted 13 months agoin reply to this

      I've never met a selfless person who does not get taken advantage of, has never been taken advantage of, and refuses to continue to get taken advantage of to their own benefit. These same individuals always seem to gravitate toward the broken, the callous, and the most selfish. Even under the greatest duress from their partners and friends they will not budge from subservience, their slavery under selflessness.

      Though I do not find the selflessness itself to be an illness, I suppose it could be called a symptom of an illness. I say this because I have never met a selfless individual who didn't also face some form of serious trauma in the past, and that trauma has engrained that selflessness into them.

      Can we say that trauma causes the illness of selflessness? No, not with any sort of accuracy. Could we say that the illnesses caused by trauma, and subsequent coping mechanisms said illnesses manifest come in the form of selflessness? Yeah, sure, selflessness can be a symptom of illness.

      Selflessness is best viewed cynically, and as being abnormal in the literal sense. Sure, a minority will suffer for their truly selfless personalities, but it is rare to find a selfless-appearing action with truly selfless intentions. Ulterior motives are a staunch truth of existence, selflessness is the rare exception, and even the selfless have some level of expectation for returns.

      1. Castlepaloma profile image73
        Castlepalomaposted 13 months agoin reply to this

        No spectrum on selfless, mmmm.
        I don't think both you guys are tok selfish yet, more self serving

        Self-centeredness is typically viewed as the most unappealing personality trait in a potential friend or partner. Most struggle a sense of compassion and understanding toward others. They don’t take the time to understand another person’s point-of-view or feelings. Here is a look into the world of the self-centered person and an explanation of common personality traits associated with self-centeredness Cultures Narrow Viewpoints recently emphasize individualism, such as America covid dance. They fail at integrating with another person’s perspective. Cultures that emphasize interdependence. Asia, are easily able to put themselves in the shoes of others and be more empathetic. To look in the mirror and say 'I am beautiful' 100 times before coming to work or you maybe already a super model Rather japanese begin their day by telling each other 'you are beautiful'
        A American culture that applauds being self-centered? And, that individuals put themselves and their own happiness first. Being ‘self caring or self serving ’ is considered healthy. Being self-centered can grow to an mental illness of megalomaniacs. They are self-driven and more concerned with their image and materialistic things than issues that affect the entire country and even the rest of the world. Self-centered people are capable of being personable and kind upon meeting new people. Those who are self-centered know they are,, yet sometime know how unappealing the quality is. It takes serious friendship or relationship with them before it becomes explicitly clear that they are self-centered,”

        Self caring or serve means that you have concern for others, but not at the expense of self. They don't take pride in being self-centered to just their needs and wants, they have freedom serving other moreso.

        1. Kyler J Falk profile image90
          Kyler J Falkposted 13 months agoin reply to this

          Selflessness as an individual trait has no spectrum, yes, you either are or you are not. We can apply, "selfless," in an obtuse way, such as to the actions of an individual, but that would be a disservice to the observation of motive if we went no further.

          You would not call President Biden a selfless man, though many would try to apply that title to him due to his many selfless actions he has taken in life. Same thing goes for any other individual. Selflessness is the rarest trait of them all, and by its own definition is quite implausible outside of special cases.

          That's why I always say that the people who care more for others should be more selfish, and seek to be less selfless. If your motives are truly concerned with others, then surely being more selfish is the way into a brighter future for everyone. Semantics are fun.

    4. Mark O Richardson profile image83
      Mark O Richardsonposted 13 months agoin reply to this

      On the contrary...I think selfishness can be a mental illness. I work with someone who I think is a narcissistic sociopath with ZERO emotional intelligence.

  2. profile image0
    ValKarasposted 13 months ago

    "Selfish" and "selfless" are rather vague concepts. You are probably talking about assertive and meek mentalities. For, "selfish" pertains to egocentric, which is nothing to admire, and "selfless" might also be interpreted as compassionate, giving, caring, "not self-absorbed".
    Even being assertive does not result with being "successful", because there are many quite "assertive" macho-types advertising their brain-muscle who don't get anywhere in life -- just like to win in arguments.
    And that also covers those who use assertiveness as a defense mechanism, while inside being very soft by nature.
    As for those of a meek mentality, you would be quite correct -- they tend to be victimized a lot by bullies of all kinds.

  3. Misbah786 profile image86
    Misbah786posted 13 months ago

    It's not an illness . Being human, all of us are selfish but selfishness do vanish with time, when you realise there is nothing a Human can grant you. I think, The time you start to walk on the path of spirituality it do vanish but need a lot of time.
    According to bible Philippians 2:3
    "Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves."
    Selflessness is something real and it exist
    It's a stain on soul, and can be washed
    Blessings to all

  4. Misbah786 profile image86
    Misbah786posted 13 months ago

    I have done my bachelor's in psychology. And you put that question to abnormal psychology. So I would love to answer it.
    We are all born with a drive to stay alive and healthy, and selfishness may be a misplaced manifestation of this. A certain degree of selfishness is normal. For example, many people would choose to ensure their own food needs are met before giving food to others. But selfishness can also be a pathological personality trait. Selfish people may prioritize their own petty needs above the significant needs of others. For example, a person is exhibiting selfishness when he or she steals money from their mother to buy a comic book.
    Some mental health problems can contribute to the development of selfishness. Many personality disorders, particularly antisocial personality disorder and narcissistic personality disorder, cause people to be so wrapped up in their own desires that they either do not notice or do not care about the needs of others. Many other mental illnesses can cause extreme self-involvement, which can contribute to selfishness.

    Some mental health problems can contribute to the development of selfishness. Many personality disorders, particularly antisocial personality disorder and narcissistic personality disorder, cause people to be so wrapped up in their own desires that they either do not notice or do not care about the needs of others. Many other mental illnesses can cause extreme self-involvement, which can contribute to selfishness. A depressed person, for example, might be so wrapped up in his or her own feelings of suffering that he/she is unable to provide for his/his children or communicate with his/her partner.

    There are people who self sacrifice for other for example parents for their children. Many parents would give up their own lives for the lives of their children.
    A dad sacrifice his time and work hard to meet the needs of their children. It is selflessness. A mother sleeping empty stomach to feed her children is selflessness. I think being selfish, thinking more about yourself than you actually need to is selfishness and that actually is something abnormal and can be counted as Illness.
    (Note: there's a difference in being self caring person and selfish person)
    Blessings and Peace

    1. Kyler J Falk profile image90
      Kyler J Falkposted 13 months agoin reply to this

      The topic is selflessness as an illness, not self-caring as an alternative to selflessness or selfishness. Anyone could argue from a stronger angle, but gmwilliams' angle is that of attacking selflessness as a presentation of illness.

      1. Misbah786 profile image86
        Misbah786posted 13 months agoin reply to this

        I think, I am not giving an alternative to anything

        1. Kyler J Falk profile image90
          Kyler J Falkposted 13 months agoin reply to this

          I'm just saying you chose a stronger angle, one different from the angle of the original post. What you have said is completely valid and relevant, but a different angle nonetheless. It's both a compliment, and an observation on my part, Misbah.

          Basically, you answered the question with your first post, which was, "no," and I completely agree. With this post, however, you veered off into selfishness as the focus. I want to see you expand upon the original angle in this same way, and drop some hard facts on, "selflessness as a manifestation of illness."

          People of victim-status would be a great place to start with as far as psychology goes.

        2. Castlepaloma profile image73
          Castlepalomaposted 13 months agoin reply to this

          There seems to be an overload on too many selfish label boxes these days.

          1. Misbah786 profile image86
            Misbah786posted 13 months agoin reply to this

            @Castlepaloma, I think everything in this Universe is interlinked. If we will be discussing only one point of view, then there is no need for the discussion.
            Blessings and Peace

            1. Castlepaloma profile image73
              Castlepalomaposted 13 months agoin reply to this

              Ying Yang

              1. Misbah786 profile image86
                Misbah786posted 13 months agoin reply to this

                The balance of yin and yang is important smile
                Blessings and Peace

            2. Kyler J Falk profile image90
              Kyler J Falkposted 12 months agoin reply to this

              Late reply, was banned, so sorry in advance.

              I wasn't saying to only discuss one point of view, Misbah, that would be lame. What I was trying to say is that you expertly refuted a point that wasn't being made, and I wanted you to do the same to the point that the OP was trying to make with the same skill. It was a compliment, but I guess I just suck at giving compliments.

              1. Misbah786 profile image86
                Misbah786posted 12 months agoin reply to this

                Don't do stuff that keeps you banned for so long, Kyler. Lol smile
                Ha-ha, I’m so proud of you for sticking with the ban for so long!
                Blessings

                1. Kyler J Falk profile image90
                  Kyler J Falkposted 12 months agoin reply to this

                  I didn't actually do anything banworthy by the perceptions of the majority, but our overlords disagreed. Sometimes you must respect the fragility of people and things, walk on eggshells if you will, so as not to be punished unsportingly by those playing silly games.

                  1. Misbah786 profile image86
                    Misbah786posted 12 months agoin reply to this

                    Sometimes you must respect the fragility of people and things. Sometimes? No, actually every time... lol
                    BTW Nice to see you back

  5. profile image0
    ValKarasposted 13 months ago

    "Self-caring" was never mentioned in my comment, but assertiveness as not necessarily spelling "success" in life.

    1. Kyler J Falk profile image90
      Kyler J Falkposted 13 months agoin reply to this

      No one is talking to you yet, Val, lol. Though you took a different angle just like Misbah did. As relevant as it is, it isn't attacking from the same angle that gmwilliams was presenting. It's a stronger angle, but straw men are straw men.

      Think women being beaten by their partners and only becoming more loyal, at least for a time. In that case it is a coping mechanism for an illness, and that could be misconstrued as a mental illness, but rightfully called abnormal in the colloquial sense.

    2. Misbah786 profile image86
      Misbah786posted 13 months agoin reply to this

      If it's about success, we may not achieve success in both cases. Being selfish can never lead to a successful life.
      And being selfless also have possibilities of getting hurt more than any other person. Life is not just a science but it has aspects of spirituality as well.
      One may find that they will get hurt if they will be selfless but others may find it as a relief for the world hereafter.
      It's all about our own mentality. (I think beliefs plays the biggest role in our lives)

  6. profile image0
    ValKarasposted 13 months ago

    Except for psychoses, where mental sickness is evident by a single feature of behavior, in the spectrum of neurotic behaviors it takes more than one symptom to diagnose an illness. So, someone being heavily introvert or socially maladapted, doesn't mean that they are mentally sick. Likewise, even those "pushovers" don't call for that diagnosis unless they are suffering for it, or those in their life are affected. Also, success is not a marker of happiness, since there are some billionaires who are quite miserable humans living in dysfunctional marriages and alienated from  their kids.
    All in all, complexity of human nature can't allow for a superficial observation -- otherwise, everyone we are calling "crazy" would be that, right?

    1. Misbah786 profile image86
      Misbah786posted 13 months agoin reply to this

      Agreed, Sir

      1. Castlepaloma profile image73
        Castlepalomaposted 13 months agoin reply to this

        +++

  7. Urwa786 profile image61
    Urwa786posted 13 months ago

    I think selflessness is being concerned more with the needs and wishes of others than with one's own. Moreover, it can be as having or showing great concern for other people and little or no concern at all for yourself or oneself.

    1. Mark O Richardson profile image83
      Mark O Richardsonposted 12 months agoin reply to this

      Any good thing can be bad if taken too far, so I understand the reason for this forum. I think it is better to be selfless, than selfish, however

  8. Kathryn L Hill profile image76
    Kathryn L Hillposted 12 months ago

    Self is a good thing. Self saves you. Self gives you care for others.
    Self-fulness includes oneself and all others as well.

    Yay for self-fullness!

    1. Mark O Richardson profile image83
      Mark O Richardsonposted 12 months agoin reply to this

      Yes, know thyself. But I work with a narcissistic sociopath who has a talent for making every conversation about her. Very sarcastic, opinionated and hard to work with.

      1. Kathryn L Hill profile image76
        Kathryn L Hillposted 12 months agoin reply to this

        That person is not coming from a place of Self-fullness.
        She is coming from a place of Self-avoidance.
        Self-vacancy
        In it's place is extreme Egotism.

        Self and Ego are not the same.

        True Self is connected with one's Soul through Self-awareness on a real level. This soul-Self has compassion and empathy. It has sensitivity to reality feedback from within.

        Ego is connected to a false self, a made-up self, a greedy self, an arrogant self which is only in touch with the outer self. It is a demanding, self-righteous self.

        Once, I saw a video of Marilyn Monroe saying she would stare at herself in the mirror and wonder who was starring back at her.

        I recently heard that she had many facial/cosmetic surgeries. Perhaps that explains why she did not know who she was, because she lived out her outer fantasy-self through the facial image she saw in the mirror. I also spoke to a man who, as a boy, would watch Marilyn drive by on her way to visit her mother ... up a long road to the sanitarium where her mother was staying, (in the foothills of L.A.) One time she stopped to talk to him and she gave him a wrapped present. Perhaps, in time, she had lost touch with her true self through a habit of identifying with her outer, ego self.

        1. Mark O Richardson profile image83
          Mark O Richardsonposted 12 months agoin reply to this

          Yes, I think she is actually insecure. While she has been unkind to me, I actually feel bad for her. She must have had a bad childhood. She is into fashion & fitness, so looks can be deceiving because she is much different on the inside.

  9. erorantes profile image60
    erorantesposted 12 months ago

    Some people offer services to others. They are selflessness because they get paid for the attentions to others. At the end of the business. They end up stress out. I hope with a lot of money.

    1. Kathryn L Hill profile image76
      Kathryn L Hillposted 12 months agoin reply to this

      This is a confusing and sad post to me.
      I hope not true.

 
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