Why Does Everyone Secretly Hate Well-Wishers

This BBC article made me feel so disgusted with altruists that I can finally say what most of us think: unselfish people are the worst .

These walking saints are annoying, sanctimonious, totally incredible pricks. You might think I’m a man-hater, but this feeling is normal (even if we don’t usually admit it), and it could even be hardcoded into us through evolution.

The hostility towards altruists (or “conscientious belittling” as psychologists call it) is easy to observe, it spans different cultures , arises in childhood and, yes, it can be deep in human evolution. In fact, we are so against altruism that we hate it almost as much as selfishness: numerous studies of a game designed to test people’s reactions to public donations show that players will equally favor others who give too little. .or too much.

Why We Hate Benefactors

Evolutionary psychology views our motivation for hatred of altruism something like this: While generosity among, say, cavemen might have led to greater group cohesion, it also often resulted in the generous person reaching a higher status in the group. Since our ancestors apparently viewed life as a zero sum game (evolutionary psychologists make a lot of assumptions), we didn’t like seeing someone try to climb up in status, because that meant we were moving down. This may explain the innate mistrust and dislike we often have for people who seem completely disinterested.

The important word in this sentence is “seem”. We tend to dislike generous people when they remind us of their generosity, even if it’s subtle. When we see people who are clearly seeking some kind of reward for their dedication, we tend to hate them – and if we don’t know why someone is being selfless, we are at best suspicious of them.

White knights and brown noses

In the deeply sexist world of online nerds, the White Knight is an insult to men defending women online. The posters do not necessarily think there is anything wrong with the phrase “don’t sexually harass these women.” The problem, they say, lies in the White Knight’s suspicious motives. It is believed (rightly or wrongly) that their real goal is to ingratiate themselves with the woman they are protecting (which can lead to sex), or to be seen as some kind of savior. In any case, the problem is their impure motivation. (See also: “ Simp .”) Someone writes, “Don’t sexually harass her; she is my sister ”can hardly be called a white knight, since their motivation is not overshadowed by desired status or personal gain.

It’s like schoolchildren who hate class talkers: offering to help the teacher is fine, but trying to curry favor by sucking up to the teacher is deeply suspicious and disgusting behavior for the rest of the children, especially if the brown nose isn’t trying to hide it.

We tend to view the motives behind the action as important as the action itself, especially when it comes to doing something seemingly selfless, and judge people accordingly, often drawing the worst possible conclusion – even if we have no real knowledge. about what is behind the action.

Self-discovery and charity

According to a study of Internet charity fundraising conducted by Nikola Raikhani, professor of evolution and behavior at University College London, there are two types of people who can donate anonymously: the lowest and the highest. This would seem to indicate that many altruists are aware of the animosity that their gifts can cause towards others.

This brings us to another level of hatred for show-off: we think they should know better. Social interactions are complex and subtle, and someone blithely ignoring our feelings about how much they say they care about other people may seem like a paradoxical indication that they don’t really care about others at all. They definitely don’t care how we feel, right?

How does all this affect you?

If you have no motivation to help others other than “making the world a better place” (or whatever you strive for), good for you! But remember; Giving is a reward in itself, so keep quiet about your charity. Don’t announce that you are reading to orphans at lunchtime. Just do it. Don’t call your dog a “rescue dog” unless someone asks where it is from. (Even so, just say “dog pound.” This is much less pretentious). Also: do not walk around with a half smile on your face, creating the appearance of superiority. We see this shit.

If you have an ulterior motive for your generosity, then you are fine. I am not judging. Being seen as generous and kind can have real benefits, but you have to be smart about how you are perceived. Remember that motivation is important that, in the opinion of the people, you have to donate. (When Jeff Bezos gives away a billion dollars, our first guess is that he is doing it for tax reasons, which is hard to admire.) Researchers have found that non-generous people do not envy those who are rewarded for doing good. act, but they are damn jealous of people who seem to be trying to get the same award. So be careful and let others sing your praises.

For the rest of us, we must focus on the positive effects of someone’s generosity, give the giver the advantage of doubt, and not assume that they have questionable motives for giving. It may be difficult for you, but it is easy for me. You see, when you are a selfless person like me, you instinctively have compassion for others. It’s like the time I took the rescue cat. I just couldn’t see an innocent creature suffer – some of us feel very deeply – and even though I can’t afford cat food (my volunteer work with blind refugees from Nevada takes up the time I used to spend working in Best Buy), anyway, did I tell you about the funds that I created? Just a little side project to … [Editor’s note: Shut up, Steve.]

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