Are people getting more selfish?

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  • #26
turbo
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Yep. One thing I sometimes am not able to discern very well is how much selfishness/materialism has actually increased, and how much of it is just that I'm exposed more often now to a different socioeconomic class than that with which I grew up. I grew up around blue collar workers, though did go to school with some "spoiled rich kids" who I really disliked because they were so stuck up. A gajillion years of education later, I'm now in the white collar group, and while I'm not rich, do earn enough to be in the group of people who I considered rich when I was growing up (it's all relative I guess). So, I'm not sure if I see more selfishness because I'm surrounded by more of those "spoiled rich kids" now, or if there really is an increase in spoiled kids overall.
It's impossible to quantify, Moonie. I was a poor kid growing up in a slum on the edge of a mill-town and my father had to work every hour he could get to keep us in food and clothes. Many of my friends whose mothers had been abandoned were trying to live on town aid, and they were 'way worse off than us. An old fellow across the road gave us a hand up by offering my dad his house at a give-away price when his daughter moved out and his wife was long-dead. I got the crappiest room in the house, but I glommed onto the books that he left. Verne, Dickens, Hawthorne, Twain, etc, etc. I read myself to sleep every night with a (cheaply bound) library that was to die for.
 
  • #27
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Perhaps it is another effect of our growing population, there is a lot more of all kinds of behaviour out there.
 
  • #28
I find many people don't listen to me when I speak. I often wait patiently for several minutes as a person goes on and on about something they just told me the day before. Then once I've uttered perhaps a dozen or so words it has reminded them of something they apparently must immediately interupt me and spend the next half hour telling me about. Sometimes they even turn to someone else and start a new conversation while I'm speaking. But maybe I'm just boring. :-/

(I=6/Me=4) ;-)
 
  • #29
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I find many people don't listen to me when I speak. I often wait patiently for several minutes as a person goes on and on about something they just told me the day before. Then once I've uttered perhaps a dozen or so words it has reminded them of something they apparently must immediately interupt me and spend the next half hour telling me about. Sometimes they even turn to someone else and start a new conversation while I'm speaking. But maybe I'm just boring. :-/

(I=6/Me=4) ;-)
that person (those people) probably is (are) that way with just about every person---

listening is a talent more than talking
 
  • #30
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That study might be flawed:

Being university students, a disproportionate number of the males were not married.

:rofl:
 
  • #31
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"Stuff" is less expensive than it used to be. Add to that, credit is far easier to obtain than it used to be, even 20 years ago. So people can indulge in an overabundance of consuming and owning more "stuff" than their parents could, who, by comparison, had to save money in order purchase belongings. Add to that a society that appears to value material goods as a measure of a person's worth, and I think you have a formula for people believing they're more important than they are.
 
  • #32
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I bet if you (you, meaning me, you, anyone read this) would, or could, avoid using "I, Me, and my" for a whole day in your normal environment-----NO ONE would notice----the reason being that everyone else that you'd be talking to would be so interested in what they themselves would be saying, they wouldn't 'catch' that someone around them is 'not' using the "I, Me, my, mine"
 
  • #33
And we should all speak in E-Prime while we're at it. ;-)
Certain turns of phrase used to avoid the no no words would likely give someone the impression that you are speaking differently though perhaps most would not be able to put their finger on the difference.
 
  • #34
tgt
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I bet if you (you, meaning me, you, anyone read this) would, or could, avoid using "I, Me, and my" for a whole day in your normal environment-----NO ONE would notice----the reason being that everyone else that you'd be talking to would be so interested in what they themselves would be saying, they wouldn't 'catch' that someone around them is 'not' using the "I, Me, my, mine"
the thing is people seem to notice it a lot each time the other person uses 'I' and it's usually of an unpleasant nature.
 
  • #35
tgt
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Saying I alot doesn't mean a person is selfish, maybe just a bit self-centred! :rofl:
what's the difference?
 
  • #36
BobG
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And we should all speak in E-Prime while we're at it. ;-)
Certain turns of phrase used to avoid the no no words would likely give someone the impression that you are speaking differently though perhaps most would not be able to put their finger on the difference.
Sure. We could substitute 'we' for 'I' or talk about ourselves in the third person. Both would be equally annoying after a while.
 
  • #37
tgt
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Sure. We could substitute 'we' for 'I' or talk about ourselves in the third person. Both would be equally annoying after a while.
It's better to not talk about the self at all in my opinion.
 
  • #38
Moonbear
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I bet if you (you, meaning me, you, anyone read this) would, or could, avoid using "I, Me, and my" for a whole day in your normal environment-----NO ONE would notice----the reason being that everyone else that you'd be talking to would be so interested in what they themselves would be saying, they wouldn't 'catch' that someone around them is 'not' using the "I, Me, my, mine"
Moonbear is pretty sure that if she began talking about herself in the third person, other people would notice and consider her quite insane. Although, she's not sure if that would actually be a change in people's opinion of her, or just another reason to confirm the opinion they already hold. :biggrin:
 
  • #39
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It's better to not talk about the self at all in my opinion.
Mine too.
 
  • #40
JasonRox
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Moonbear is pretty sure that if she began talking about herself in the third person, other people would notice and consider her quite insane. Although, she's not sure if that would actually be a change in people's opinion of her, or just another reason to confirm the opinion they already hold. :biggrin:
I guess Moonbear's cat took over her account.
 
  • #41
BobG
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Moonbear is pretty sure that if she began talking about herself in the third person, other people would notice and consider her quite insane. Although, she's not sure if that would actually be a change in people's opinion of her, or just another reason to confirm the opinion they already hold. :biggrin:
You sound like Miss Manners, which isn't all bad. I love her column:

Dear Miss Manners,
I have a friend whose sister was recently sentenced to a life sentence for murdering someone. I live a thousand miles away, and don't see my friend very often, but he did tell me of the upcoming trial when I last saw him. He told me that his sister had drifted away from the family years ago and that they weren't close.

I just heard the news about the life sentence, and my instinct is not to contact him about it. I'm certain he doesn't care to talk about it. Part of me wonders, however, if I should offer condolences or make a call. Your advice?

Gentle Reader,
Whether or not your friend wants to talk about this, you may be sure that he is aware that other people are doing so. A murder is not something that escapes notice.

Many of them will be pestering the family with questions and opinions about the matter, and Miss Manners appreciates your delicacy in refraining from such hurtful indulgence of curiosity. But you also do not want to appear to be one of those who will cause hurt by distancing themselves, as if your friend were now tainted by the association.

A letter saying merely that you are thinking of him and wishing him well would be kind. Then you won't need to clap your hand over your mouth when you next see him and innocently ask, "How's the family?"
 
  • #42
Gokul43201
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  • #43
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I'm not quite sure when the "Me" generation was, but 'their' children may be in their teens and twenties now-----or, what the children of the 'me' generation are called (tweeners, 'X', whatever)---but, what doesn't help, IMO, is when I happened to flip to different sit-coms, a lot of them (the characters, that is) present themselves quite selfishly (sons and daughters of the 'me' generation).

Of course, this is what 'makes' most of those shows 'interesting' (the dilemmas of what happens those people think only of themselves), but it has to rub off on those watching to 'some' degree.
 
  • #44
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I am the ninth letter of the alphabet. (from the May 2008 issue of Reader's Digest)
 
  • #45
tgt
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I'm not quite sure when the "Me" generation was, but 'their' children may be in their teens and twenties now-----or, what the children of the 'me' generation are called (tweeners, 'X', whatever)---but, what doesn't help, IMO, is when I happened to flip to different sit-coms, a lot of them (the characters, that is) present themselves quite selfishly (sons and daughters of the 'me' generation).

Of course, this is what 'makes' most of those shows 'interesting' (the dilemmas of what happens those people think only of themselves), but it has to rub off on those watching to 'some' degree.
That is the thing. The generations after the "Me" generation. It can only get more selfish. I really don't like to imagine the generation after mine.
 
  • #46
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Question: Who am I?

I was born before those I am considering.
I think they have it all.
I respected my elders while they do not.
They are clearly more selfish while I was not.
I believe this wave of immigrants does not respect the culture.
I probably arrived during an earlier immigration wave and bothered the existing population.
I think things were better back then.
I am unaware of my feelings blinding me in regard to these considerations.

Answer: I am the generation before another.
 

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