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wundayatta's avatar

When have you felt justified in doing something for yourself at the expense of someone else?

Asked by wundayatta (58377 points ) January 24th, 2013

There must be times when you weigh the harm to others compared to the benefit to yourself. What kinds of things have you decided to let yourself do or have even knowing it might harm others? What kind of harm to others did you foresee? Were there times when you did not foresee harm, and it turned out there was some?

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7 Answers

DigitalBlue's avatar

When I quit working. We really couldn’t afford it, but I didn’t see an alternative. I had to stop, I had to take care of myself, and although it made things very difficult for us financially, I knew that it was something that I had to do.

YARNLADY's avatar

Every single day of the year. 20,000 men, women and children starve to death every single day and I mindlessly eat at the top of the food chain. There are people with no running water or toilet facilities, and I let my faucet run until the hot water comes through.

I have totally given up trying to change the inequities in the world.

Coloma's avatar

I have let go of a handful of people in my life in the last 10 years, for myself and the sake of being true to myself and my mental/emotional health.
I am sure these people felt my dumping them was unjustified but, too bad. Yes, I DO come first and now that I have fulfilled my parenting duties I plan on keeping it that way.

burntbonez's avatar

This may sound ridiculous, but I have always had a sense of fair play, so even when I am in competition with someone, say, for a job, I try to see things from my competitor’s position and to be fair to them. As you might imagine, this isn’t so good when I’m competing for a promotion.

A few years ago, I was up against a colleague—a divorced woman with several kids. Normally, I would have felt that she needed the job more than I did. I don’t need the money. It’s just me. I would not have really tried that hard. But, for whatever reason, I decided I really wanted the promotion, and I promoted the hell out of myself. I just didn’t care what happened to her and her kids. It wasn’t relevant.

It didn’t really matter, in the end, as she was offered a much better position closer to where her parents and the rest of her family lived, and she took that. Worse, for me, the company was acquired by another, and in the process, they eliminated my position. Well, the whole department, actually. It’s tempting to look on that as karmic in nature. I just sort of think life has a way of making us look silly whenever we try to carry out a big plan.

downtide's avatar

I had a friend whose mental health issues and neediness were driving me round the bend. I had to break off contact with her for the sake of my own mental health.

hearkat's avatar

Splitting up with my ex-husband for the sake of my son and myself. The same with the choice to end the seven-year relationship after the divorce.

Mariah's avatar

I definitely have a guilty conscience when I take resources that could be used elsewhere. The biggie for me is the 11 pints of blood I’ve taken. I deal with these thoughts by reminding myself that life’s not over yet and there’s time to pay it forward. Donating blood is on my bucket list.

But I’m learning to respect my needs; there is no intrinsic reason why another person would have deserved those resources more than I did.

One good example is ditching people when they bring me down. I can’t deal with pessimists in my life. It always feels bad to cut off a friendship, but I’m not going to sacrifice any amount of my happiness to try and lift you up.

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