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Do nice people finish last?


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#1 decisionsdecisions

Posted 15 November 2019 - 04:10 PM

Having a mini life crisis and just generally peeved with the world at the moment so my question is “how do you get your head around doing the right thing and being conscientious in what you do, but never getting a leg up in life?”

This has been brought on by a whole host of big and little things, particularly seeing others do the wrong thing and seemingly getting away with it.
I am thankful for what I do have….good health, nice home, ability to pay bills, a supportive family and some lovely friendships but I can’t get myself out of this “the world is unfair and full of hypocrites” funk that I am in.  How do others cope with the injustices in life, even if just perceived injustices, as I really need to find a new frame of mind.  

Edited to remove the specifics....your responses have given me the clarity I needed. Thank you EB

Edited by decisionsdecisions, 15 November 2019 - 10:46 PM.


#2 ExpatInAsia

Posted 15 November 2019 - 04:14 PM

I think there is definitely a trend of people being all about themselves and their needs along with a trend in ‘not my precious petal”.

#3 Lunafreya

Posted 15 November 2019 - 04:21 PM

I get sad sometimes, I try to be a nice person and kind to others, but ugh, it's hard.

What brightens me is DS takes after me in this, he's a sunny kind boy, I hope I can give him help with resilience as I wasn't at all.

#4 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 15 November 2019 - 04:24 PM

bad things happen to good people all the time. bad stuff happens - going to church, being a christian, doing good deeds won’t stop that. it’s all just random- guess you can really only focus on the stuff that’s in your immediate control...try to shake the rest of it off.


#5 little lion

Posted 15 November 2019 - 04:27 PM

I’d probably be feeling similarly! But as you said, once you’re in a funk, it is easy to hook into any injustice and focus too much on it.

Your line about your kids being used by teachers to manage other kids made me think back to primary school. I hated being used in that way. I was sat beside “naughty” kids to neutralise them and made to keep quiet and allow others time to answer, when hardly any of them cared or were able. It is only now that I’m older I can see how hard it must be for teachers to balance everyone’s needs. Hopefully it made me a more compassionate person but it certainly didn’t extend me academically or help me find friends.

#6 zogee

Posted 15 November 2019 - 04:34 PM

I know what you mean OP.  
However I refuse to believe that nice people finish last. I believe you get back whatever energy you put out there, and I believe everyone is doing the best they can (even if it seems to be way below our own standards). Anything else is too depressing to contemplate. And that just ends up hurting me, at the end of the day.
If you’re interested Russell Brand has some great short videos on topics like this, and I find his style really easy to relate to.

ETA the mum with the drink driving charges, I just feel sorry for her! She clearly has an alcohol issue.

Edited by zogee, 15 November 2019 - 04:36 PM.


#7 BadCat

Posted 15 November 2019 - 04:56 PM

Basically I run my own race and vent from time to time.

#8 Dianalynch

Posted 15 November 2019 - 05:02 PM

It’s not right that people get away with stuff they shouldn’t, but I’ve never felt that happened at my expense, so I don’t feel personally aggrieved by it, but like you op I do feel it’s generally unfair

Like LB I try to focus on what’s in my control and put my energies there. Which is not always easy, as so many people do things that suck, but it’s that or go mad

Oh and that was crap about the parent no longer talking to you, just petty. You’ll be able to rise above it, but it’s still hard.

#9 lizzzard

Posted 15 November 2019 - 05:22 PM

I think you can find examples like this in life, dwell on them and start to believe the world is a terrible place. Once you start seeing things this way, so many other things seem to fit the negative pattern (a cognitive error called confirmation bias), and before you know it you’re in a very dark head space.

I’ll be honest, I am a Pollyanna. I have a tendency to interpret events and people in a positive way. I think some bad people get ahead but that doesn’t matter to me because I also think good people get ahead and I wouldn’t be happy being a ‘bad’ person anyway so what happens with them doesn’t really concern me. Sometimes I get taken advantage of, but at the end if the day I know I’m acting according to my values, and that’s the most important thing.

Every now and then I do get frustrated when I have a run of bad luck. I consciously avoid talking to myself about it and instead think about what I have control over and I also try to empathise with the people who have done things that seem ‘bad’. Usually it helps me get out of my funk. At some point some good luck will happen (I look out for it) and then I tell my self it’s proof the world isn’t out to get me afterall 🤣

#10 ExpatInAsia

Posted 15 November 2019 - 08:33 PM

View PostBadCat, on 15 November 2019 - 04:56 PM, said:

Basically I run my own race and vent from time to time.

I think running your own race is very important and I reinforce this to my children. There will always be someone who is smarter, richer, better looking, more athletic, wittier...  Focusing on how you don’t measure up is guaranteeing you will feel bad about yourself.

#11 -Emissary-

Posted 15 November 2019 - 08:44 PM

I run my own race.

I always try and do the right thing. How other people behave doesn’t make me change my behaviour as I work with my own moral compass.

I’m a believer in karma for myself. I’ve had a good run at life and don’t take it for granted. I’m also a believer in being the only person who can change things for myself but also recognising how lucky I am to have good health and a great network of family and friends to support me.

There will always be miserable people, undeserving people and sh*tty people. I don’t focus on their bad behaviour. I focus on the fact that their life must be pretty sh*t for them to become such a**holes. I know it doesn’t always work that way but there’s no point of me dwelling on how unfair life is that people are able to get away with that behaviour.

Focus on the positivity in your life and don’t dwell on what other people are doing unless it affects you.

In regards to your roller door, have you gone to the police? It’ll be considered a hit and run and they may be able to force a confession out of the lady.

#12 SkeptiHandsOnMum

Posted 15 November 2019 - 08:57 PM

View Post-Emissary-, on 15 November 2019 - 08:44 PM, said:

In regards to your roller door, have you gone to the police? It’ll be considered a hit and run and they may be able to force a confession out of the lady.
This can be tricky - weighing up neighbourly relations, and just hoping that the other person might do the right thing.

I say this coming from the perspective of someone who recently had a neighbour run into her son's car at 4am. When I went out to see what was going on, he was rollicking drunk, rearranging the cars in the driveway (I choose to believe). I gave it up as not worth the drama of awkward neighbourly relations (though I think he was only a visitor there). We exchanged phone numbers, but I decided I was not up for the whole thing, and would sort out the repair myself.

Cue forward and I got a text from him asking if I had a quote yet. Then another (we have been busy of late) asking for my bank details to transfer me cash (which he did - I accepted less than he offered) to cover the cost, and for me to forward him the quote if it was to cost more, but keep the balance for inconvenience if it cost less.

Okay - all rather unusual and irrelevant, but the gist of it was that I was preferring to just let it go, and was even unsure about the offered money because I felt it just now made things awkward with the neighbours (I know, I know, the fact that he was p*ssed and hit my son's car was the thing that really should be credited with making things awkward).

OP, there is a concept of confirmation bias. Generally it is around simple things such as thinking that you like a certain car model, and then seeing them everywhere, but it also works for things like deciding that nice people finish last. You start to see the things that confirm that, and disregard the things that prove it wrong. Sometimes it can be really little things. But when the "big" things seem to be piling up, it is hard to notice the rest. Hang in there. There will be something to prove you wrong eventually. It might not be as obvious or impactful as these recent events, but it will be there.

#13 JRA

Posted 15 November 2019 - 09:09 PM

Crap happens to lots of people and good things happen to lots of people

Think about it from another angle, none of those things included death of a friend, family member, someone starving or completely harmed for life. In the scheme of things that list isn’t too bad at all

As for the sh*tty people attending church. Surely everything that has come to light over the last few years, attending church is far from likely to create nice caring people.

#14 WannabeMasterchef

Posted 15 November 2019 - 09:12 PM

I think the society we live in where they government and businesses can lie to us, scam us and rip us off doesn't help issues unfortunately.  

I have had a few major bad things happen to me in the last couple of years that at the time really hit me hard and caused me a lot of pain. Its really tough at the time but you just have to focus on the good things like your loved ones and keep swimming. And perspective to be greatful for. I lost my car in an accident that wasn't my fault, but everyone in my family was safe. We are healthy. We aren't in a bushfire.

- incidently out of your examples I think the teacher one is different because I doubt the teacher is deliberately doing the wrong thing. Perhaps that's one that needs to be followed up though, depending on the age of your child.

Edited by WannabeMasterchef, 15 November 2019 - 09:13 PM.


#15 Ivy Ivy

Posted 16 November 2019 - 06:17 AM

View Postdecisionsdecisions, on 15 November 2019 - 04:10 PM, said:

... my question is “how do you get your head around doing the right thing and being conscientious in what you do, but never getting a leg up in life?”


I tend to remind myself that"

1. Life is not fair, all around the world.  In this country we have it better than 90% of the world.  I remind myself of the babies I saw whose mothers had intentionally amputated their limbs, begging on the streets of Kathmandu in Nepal.  Or the Thai woman renting a room with 15 other people who has to leave her young kids overnight with strangers in the room, while she goes and turns a few tricks as a prostitute, without condoms and with HIV rife, to feed the kids tomorrow.  In comparison, someone not losing their license seems little, and it is.  (I wish for my community's safety she wasn't on the road though.)

2.  You already have a leg up in life.  You have universal healthcare and free education till 18 and good weather and political stability and no war torn unrest and minimal crime.  You have a life expectancy of triple or quadruple what your foremothers had for the whole of human existence until recently.  You have many, many legs up.

3.  Going to church and being a moral person are 2 separate venn diagrams.  You just have to look at hundreds of years of institutionalised sexual assault of kids in the Catholic church by leaders, let alone any congregation members' faults, to know that.  Don't even bother conflating those venn diagrams, and judge people on what they do not who they try to present themselves as, would be my advice.

4.  I don't go around doing the "right thing".  I just do what feels right for me.  That way I'm always comfortable within myself.  Of course, this won't work if you are too evil or likely to break laws.  But it makes life much less work.  I treat others as I'd like to be treated, and act ethically, and that's it.

#16 darcswan

Posted 16 November 2019 - 07:04 AM

Nobody is all good, or all bad, neither are the things that happen to them. But certainly our way of thinking can influence our experience of the world.

#17 CCABW

Posted 16 November 2019 - 07:19 AM

I would rather finish last and be happy with how I conducted myself than finish first and be an a*s*hole.

#18 Romeo Void

Posted 16 November 2019 - 07:56 AM

I worked with someone like this, who'd boast about not paying tax or cheating the girl on the counter at the IGA.  Another collegue was *raging* about how unfair it was.  I pointed out what a miserable piece of sh*t this guy was, how he was universally hated and that he lived his life in a constant state of combat.  Did he *really* want his life?  That answer was a big 'hell no'.  Look below the surface and ask yourself if these people really have it so great for all their miserable cheating..

#19 night jasmine

Posted 16 November 2019 - 08:03 AM

I understand OP, I get like this sometimes too. Sometimes I despair at the greed and corruption I see everywhere, the self entitlement, and the randomness of events. There are some things you can’t change.

So I try to focus on things I can change, and there is a lot of that!

#20 Freddie'sMum

Posted 16 November 2019 - 08:26 AM

I understand too OP.

It's really hard when you see other people break the rules and get away with it, and there you are - doing your best, following the rules and still getting shat on !  It's just not fair.

So I concentrate on what I can do, with my life and my time and not to think about how other people are living their lives.  What also helps is simple things like spending time with the kids, going on walks, having time together.

#21 born.a.girl

Posted 16 November 2019 - 08:34 AM

View PostJRA, on 15 November 2019 - 09:09 PM, said:

Crap happens to lots of people and good things happen to lots of people

Think about it from another angle, none of those things included death of a friend, family member, someone starving or completely harmed for life. In the scheme of things that list isn’t too bad at all

As for the sh*tty people attending church. Surely everything that has come to light over the last few years, attending church is far from likely to create nice caring people.


Indeed, perspective is important.

I'm reminded of the mother of the young  American woman shot dead (along with her Australian boyfriend) in Canada recently, in a completely random act.

Her mother thought the worst thing that could happen was that her daughter would move to Australia to live with her boyfriend.

It's why I've come to hate the phrase 'there's nothing worse than', because generally ,there are about a million things 'worse than', and it's a glass half empty approach to life.

I/we have some significant challenges regarding our adult daughter (challenges she faces which affect us) - significant in terms of what the average person experiences.  I then just have to read Tokra's thread (and the experiences of two other parents sharing in that thread) to put it very much in perspective.

#22 JBH

Posted 16 November 2019 - 08:38 AM

Sometimes I think it helps to think what I really want out of life. Not the fripperies i’d like in terms of material things, not the small pieces of life i’d Like to improve, but overall, the reason I want those things. For me, that’s contentment. I’m far more likely to achieve that if I am comfortable with my own actions than if I compromise my own behaviour for short term gains. So I try my best (which isn’t perfect) to do the right thing, and when I get frustrated about others’ behaviour I try to reflect on what is in my control to change and let the other stuff go. It’s a work in progress, but a helpful perspective.

#23 WannabeMasterchef

Posted 16 November 2019 - 08:55 AM

View PostCCABW, on 16 November 2019 - 07:19 AM, said:

I would rather finish last and be happy with how I conducted myself than finish first and be an a*s*hole.

I love this. Im going to try to remember it :)

#24 Kallie88

Posted 16 November 2019 - 12:36 PM

Tbh I grew up with someone that acted horribly and got away with a lot, and I saw how he justified everything to make himself the good guy in his mind and everything wrong was everyone else's fault. His mistakes weren't his responsibility as far as he was concerned.

I wouldn't want to be like that. Even if it does mean finishing last. But as far as I'm concerned i've got a good life, it can be hard and stressful, but in the end it's good, I have a lot to be grateful for, so I don't think i've finished last at all.

#25 ExpatInAsia

Posted 16 November 2019 - 12:55 PM

View PostIvy Ivy, on 16 November 2019 - 06:17 AM, said:



I tend to remind myself that"

1. Life is not fair, all around the world.  In this country we have it better than 90% of the world.  I remind myself of the babies I saw whose mothers had intentionally amputated their limbs, begging on the streets of Kathmandu in Nepal.  Or the Thai woman renting a room with 15 other people who has to leave her young kids overnight with strangers in the room, while she goes and turns a few tricks as a prostitute, without condoms and with HIV rife, to feed the kids tomorrow.  In comparison, someone not losing their license seems little, and it is.  (I wish for my community's safety she wasn't on the road though.)

2.  You already have a leg up in life.  You have universal healthcare and free education till 18 and good weather and political stability and no war torn unrest and minimal crime.  You have a life expectancy of triple or quadruple what your foremothers had for the whole of human existence until recently.  You have many, many legs up.

3.  Going to church and being a moral person are 2 separate venn diagrams.  You just have to look at hundreds of years of institutionalised sexual assault of kids in the Catholic church by leaders, let alone any congregation members' faults, to know that.  Don't even bother conflating those venn diagrams, and judge people on what they do not who they try to present themselves as, would be my advice.

4.  I don't go around doing the "right thing".  I just do what feels right for me.  That way I'm always comfortable within myself.  Of course, this won't work if you are too evil or likely to break laws.  But it makes life much less work.  I treat others as I'd like to be treated, and act ethically, and that's it.

Perspective is so important. The more time I spend living overseas the more frustrating I find it when I come home and hear people whining over petty crap.

Even the worst off in Australia are so much better off than many in the world. It seems the better off people are the more they complain about their lot in life.

Edited by ExpatInAsia, 16 November 2019 - 12:56 PM.





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