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09 January 2004 @ 11:19 pm
Something important  
Recently someone said something to me which I now realize was more important that I thought.

If you do something considerate for someone for which they have not asked, they are not obligated to notice or acknowledge said act, nor do they suffer from an obligation to return the kindness in any way.

In other words, there really are no brownie points for being a nice person? Why bother? What benefits accrue from from such behavior? When should you stop being thoughtful towards a person? Or people in general? At what point do you give up on an individual? When does the cost outweigh the benefit? Is the best strategy always to be cool and distant and only enter into situations which present a clear personal benefit?

Something to think about. This needs perspective.

-the redhead-
...going back to sleep now...
Tags: ,
Why would you do that?chromeangel on January 10th, 2004 12:58 am (UTC)
it has been my expirence that if you do something out of the kindness of your heart you are not doing it for anyone but yourself.

Giving of myself is one of the most fufilling things I have found in my life.
but then again I am weird just ask anyone.
Musings from the CZ unitcz_unit on January 10th, 2004 06:26 am (UTC)
Well, remember: In a single encounter game, where you will never meet the person again and the encounter is truly a one-shot deal, the best strategy is to defect/not act nice. This is borne out by the Nash equilibrium functions (min/max) and is a basic fact.

If you're going to interact again, then the usualy strategy is titfortat. However the great problem with TFT is that if someone makes a mistake then it goes to mutual defection all the time. Which is a crying shame, as both parties are trying to feel each other out/trying to do the right thing. But sometimes outside issues (communication, lost messages, time to warm up, etc) gets in the way.

It is because of this that being nice works out better in the real world. Not nice to people that obviously are trying to simply screw you over, but being nice to people who you feel are worth it. Especially if they are acting "neutral" as opposed to down-right nasty. Over time, the acts of kindness might be reciprocated, leading to a true nice-nice relationship.

Even with people who are being nasty to me, I sometimes play nice. And I don't *expect* them to play nice in return. But it would be good if they did; perhaps they are playing nasty because of a serious miscommunication or they just don't understand but I feel they are worth it.

Neutral (neither nice or nasty) is a stepping stone to nice. Worth encouraging.

This might help expain why the statement "be nice sometimes, and don't *expect* things in return" works in the real world. And why there *are* brownie points for such an event. Perhaps not in the transaction being played out, but in the long run, with multiple transactions, the benefits appear.

Just some random thoughts.