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yankeetooter's avatar

Are kind acts diminished based on our feelings for others?

Asked by yankeetooter (8496 points ) May 7th, 2014

Does the value of kind acts change if the situation changes? Why would kind acts encouraged in the past now be viewed in a negative light because of knowledge of a situation that was just gained?

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21 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Huh? I don’t think that you have provided enough detail.

yankeetooter's avatar

Sorry…kind of wanted a theoretical answer on this one, not necessarily a situational one.

marinelife's avatar

@yankeetooter So you need to set up a better framework: Who is viewing whose acts in a negative light? What kind of knowledge was gained? Can you give an example?

yankeetooter's avatar

Okay…

Okay…more details. There’s this guy at work, really very nice and kind (to everyone, not just to me). He’s been stressed out for months because of circumstances at work, and, some time ago, my heart went out to him because of that, and I began to find ways to try and help him out.

There’s not a lot I’ve been in a position to do, and I’m sure that the bit of help I’ve been able to offer from time to time has not really put any sort of dent in his stress, but I wanted to do what I could.

Somewhere along the way, I started developing a bit of a crush on him…didn’t mean to, but it just sort of happened. The same people who gushed over every little detail of me getting to interact with him, who encouraged my continuing to do nice things for him, have now changed their tune.

See…it turns out he’s married…and none of us knew until late last week. Now nothing has happened (and it won’t), but all of a sudden they make me out to have only done things with a selfish motive (when I didn’t even develop the crush on him until more recently).

Also, now, if I follow their advice, I should stop trying to help him out…because it will be good for me. I know things aren’t going to happen…I’m no longer thinking about any of that stuff…but he’s still stressed, and I still want to help.

Is that wrong?

ibstubro's avatar

Yes, sorry, I’m with the ‘back off’ camp.
There may be a reason none of you knew her was married, as in perhaps her was hoping to attract a little attention. If so, you need to let him know you’re not the one.

You don’t have to stop helping him out entirely (and you don’t say how you were helping him out, but you probably make the offer of help and let him come to you. If her does, you can take more of a problem-solver approach than a caring-individual approach.

But thanks for noticing and trying to help in the first place.

yankeetooter's avatar

No…he (not her?) works with his hands, and probably doesn’t wear his ring for good reason. The things I was doing were things like going to pick up supplies at the building where he works instead of making him or someone in his department come out to our building to deliver them, setting up a room for a training I’m doing myself, instead of (as is typically done) having someone from his department having to take time from everything they’ve got going on to have to do that too, cleaning up a leak on the floor (on a very rainy day) when everyone else in his department had gone home and he was stuck in a meeting…just things to help him save time for other more crucial issues.

Kardamom's avatar

You tried to be a good person, you developed a crush, you did more than you needed to do, you found out he was married. Time to move on. Let someone else help him, like maybe his wife. No harm, no foul.

yankeetooter's avatar

I’m only helping out at work…not something she would be able to do.

marinelife's avatar

Woah, woman! Your motivations now are what is at question here. You do know that he is married now. You have developed a crush on a married man. It is wrong to hang out with him and do things for him. And you know it; thus your refusal to give the circumstances at first.

Perhaps you need to look at why you keep developing feelings for men who are emotionally unavailable. Therapy possible?

ibstubro's avatar

It seems to me that, at the outset, your co-workers believed you both to be single, believed you to be flirting, and were egging you on. Now that they know he’s married, they believe flirting with him further is inappropriate. Which it is. Stop, before you humiliate yourself.

yankeetooter's avatar

I’m not “hanging out with him”, @marinelife, and I am helping out his department, which is really swamped and understaffed right now. It is part of our job to work together with other departments…I cannot understand why people are expecting me to stop doing this.

@ibstubro…nobody (including me) thinks that the flirting should continue. I never said I was going to continue doing so, and I can’t stand when people respond without reading all that was said before. The problem I have with what coworkers are telling me is that they are now questioning my motives from even before we found out his status. Even before I developed a crush on him, and was solely trying to help out…even that time is being questioned motive wise.

Maybe people just cannot fathom that people can do things from an unselfish perspective…

yankeetooter's avatar

And @Kardamom…is there some rule I don’t know about that people aren’t allowed to provide extra work at their job to anyone whose married? LOL! That would certainly create a hardship for at least half of the employees.

ibstubro's avatar

Regarding “I can’t stand when people respond without reading all that was said before.”, perhaps you need to review your own comments, @yankeetooter:

” I never said I was going to continue doing so…”
Also, now, if I follow their advice, I should stop trying to help him out…because it will be good for me. I know things aren’t going to happen…I’m no longer thinking about any of that stuff…but he’s still stressed, and I still want to help.

And my direct comments to your concerns:

”...they are now questioning my motives from even before we found out his status.
“It seems to me that, at the outset, your co-workers believed you both to be single, believed you to be flirting, and were egging you on.”

I don’t see a lot of ambiguity there, personally. I suspect it’s your defensiveness that your co-workers are responding too, more than anything. I’f you’d just stopped and laughed it off with them, all would be well. If you’re taking the same attitude at work as you’re taking here, expect to continue to feel the heat.

yankeetooter's avatar

@ibstubro…you are misquoting me.

” I never said I was going to continue doing so…”
”Also, now, if I follow their advice, I should stop trying to help him out…because it will be good for me. I know things aren’t going to happen…I’m no longer thinking about any of that stuff…but he’s still stressed, and I still want to help.”

I never said I was going to continue flirting with him…I said nothing about not trying to still be helpful.

And my direct comments to your concerns:

”...they are now questioning my motives from even before we found out his status.”
“It seems to me that, at the outset, your co-workers believed you both to be single, believed you to be flirting, and were egging you on.”

Even before I started liking him, I just wanted to help out to take some of the burden out, but those motives are now being questioned too.

ibstubro's avatar

Does the value of kind acts change if the situation changes? Why would kind acts encouraged in the past now be viewed in a negative light because of knowledge of a situation that was just gained?

Yes, the value can. Because your co-workers never believed you were doing anything but flirting from the outset, whether that was your intention of not. Now that they know he is a married man, they believe you should stop ‘helping him our”, i.e. flirting.

I never said I was going to continue flirting with him…I said nothing about not trying to still be helpful.
Is disingenuous in that you’re trying to separate the two when your co-workers obviously never have, and then feigning innocence. You seem to have some here seeking enabling, and so far it’s been unanimously declined.

yankeetooter's avatar

Flirting and helping someone out is not the same thing…

Kardamom's avatar

@yankeetooter of course there is no rule about helping out people who are married. But in this particular situation, and knowing your past history of becoming obsessed with people who are unavailable to you, it is a bad idea for you to continue to help this particular man.

Let someone else help him, or let him go without help as probably lots of others at this school go without help. Don’t be a schmuck and don’t try to convince us that you are only helping him now out of pure selflessness.

I’m going to agree with @marinelife and suggest that you seek some therapy, for the umpteenth time.

I hope you don’t plan to run to the mods and say that everyone is picking on you again

Re-read most of your “relationship” questions again and you’ll notice there is a pattern of you falling in love with people who can’t reciprocate and then you obsess over them to the point of making yourself sick and making those people try to avoid you. That’s why you need some therapy, not because you are a bad person, not because you don’t try your best to be helpful, but because you have unrealistic expectations and you continue to try to justify your continued actions that continue to hurt you.

The easy answer to this question is simply move on.

The more difficult, but probably necessary answer is please seek therapy for your problems.

chyna's avatar

cleaning up a leak on the floor (on a very rainy day) when everyone else in his department had gone home and he was stuck in a meeting…just things to help him
Ok, so you are doing janitorial work just to help him? If you work in another building, and everyone was gone, how did you know there was a leak? It seems stalkerish that you know these things. Please, look at what you are doing and realize you are not endearing yourself to him, nor are you “just helping him because he is stressed.” You are really coming off as stalking this guy and all of your co-workers know this and are trying to tell you. I am not wanting to be mean, but you keep having this same pattern over and over. Maybe it is time to step back and analyze what you are doing.

yankeetooter's avatar

I have to go over to that building for meetings and such from time to time. The assumptions people make on this site are so ridiculous! I was on my way out the door, when I came to another area with a lot of water on the floor. Not wanting anyone to slip and fall, I cleaned it up…

ibstubro's avatar

“The assumptions people make on this site are so ridiculous!”

Step back, @yankeetooter.

”...people who gushed over every little detail of me getting to interact with him, who encouraged my continuing to do nice things for him, have now changed their tune.”

It’s hard to pretend altruism after you’ve shared ’every little detail of getting to interact with him’ with your co-workers. Now that they know he’s married, they find you stalking him repulsive. That seems straightforward enough to me?

yankeetooter's avatar

I was never stalking him…how do you reach this assumption?

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