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AIBU?

To think people on here are shockingly selfish?

104 replies

emergencyblimp · 04/09/2022 15:15

A few threads recently have made me think this. I don’t feel like an especially empathetic or generous person— I don’t have a lot to give (in a material sense) in the first place. In fact I live in an overcrowded council house on not much above minimum wage.

However, if someone is my guest, if I can help someone and it won’t make much of a difference in my life anyway, I’ll do it. Whether that be let one of the children’s friends stay for a bit if they’re having problems at home (and gasp I don’t make them pay board!); lend the neighbours some money if I can; pick up another child from school— whatever.

I’m not a doormat. If I can’t or don’t want to, I’ll say no. But it just doesn’t make sense to me how people on here can have such massive privileges and they won’t even share them with their own families, never mind neighbours or friends.

I get that sometimes situations on here have the potential to come out with a slightly negative for OP, but even so wouldn’t it be better to take a chance and really help someone, even if you do lose out a little bit?

Just really surprised by some opinions on here!

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

368 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
56%
You are NOT being unreasonable
44%
Quincythequince · 04/09/2022 15:17

Not selfish to not want to lend money to neighbours, or have someone move in, or repeatedly pick other peoples kids up.

YABVU to assume that other people are selfish because they won’t do this.

girlfriend44 · 04/09/2022 15:20

lending money is not a good idea.

mycatisannoying · 04/09/2022 15:20

I agree with you, OP. There's a lot of saying 'no' for the sake of it on here. And people who refuse to be pushed out of their comfort zone in any way.

AuntieMarys · 04/09/2022 15:21

I certainly wouldn't lend money to a neighbour! Or indeed anyone. BIL owes us money and that has taught us a lesson!

MILLYmo0se · 04/09/2022 15:22

I wouldnt risk leaving my child short or having to do with less (and thats my reality as a renter that works in childcare sector) by lending money or resources Im not certain of getting back and I ll make no apologies for that. I will help with time, advice, listening ear and yes somewhere to stay or money if things were for dire for a friend, but that would come with consequences for my child and thats just a fact.
Tbh I think a lot of what you describe as being selfish behaviour from posters is actually people reacting to the way in which help or money is being asked for. Many of the cases are people expecting or demanding and on a continual basis. We all hit a hump and need help at times in life but if you havent enough money to pay electricity because you are going out every weekend etc what am i supposed to do about it?

reallyisthisallthereis · 04/09/2022 15:22

I think you see the worst of things on here as people only post when there is a problem and they think they are being taken advantage of.
Most people are happy to help out occasionally, but it's that nagging feeling that somebody is taking the piss out of you is when you post - I assume to get a second opinion on whether you are being over sensitive etc.
it's good to be reminded that we don't always have to do things, just because somebody has asked and we have the right to say no sometimes.
There are some cheeky fuckers out there who really do take advantage of other's goodwill.

Lurkerlot · 04/09/2022 15:23

I agree, with you, it’s symptomatic of the country we have become, less tolerant, more bigoted, and entitled.

PAFMO · 04/09/2022 15:24

The ones that make me laugh are the kids playing ones. Where the mammies make notes on how many minutes the neighbour's kid has been at their house compared to their kid being round the neighbour's. It's nuts. If I've got a kid round mine, I open the bedroom door and chuck a few biscuits in every so often and thank the lord I can get on with stuff. When in MNworld I should be "livid" and telling everyone the other mum is a user.

Theyellowshorts · 04/09/2022 15:27

You've never had anyone take the piss then OP. I used to be generous when I was younger. But then you start to see a pattern. It's the same people coming to you with their hand out all the time and never repaying the favour when you need it the most.

For all of the people who don't want to help, there is someone who would quite happily bleed someone else dry before they spend a penny of their own money.

Slimfitblouse · 04/09/2022 15:27

I agree, OP.

I'm not a doormat either but I've helped neighbours out with school pick ups. I've lent my neighbour a few quid if they have been skint. I'll happily feed my kids mates and let them stay over if they need too.

MN is a different world to mine.

IncompleteSenten · 04/09/2022 15:28

It's probably those of us who have loaned money to neighbours, helped with other people's kids and been really nice and helpful and been shat upon from a great height as a result that tend to advise caution.

Great if you've loaned a neighbour twenty quid and they've paid it back. You're going to feel it's a lovely thing to do. You feel helpful. Great.

If you loaned them that twenty. Then another 20. Then a fifty cos they can't feed their kids and they're oh so desperate..
Then you never get the money back and they go round telling people you're evil and threatening them... You're less likely to get the warm and fuzzies from opening your wallet again.

Let your friend move in with you - lovely.
When that friend moves her boyfriend in and act like you're in the way - less lovely.

Doing really great things for other people can be considered selfish too you know.
You do it because it makes you feel good. You don't expect to get screwed over. You think you will do the nice thing, be made whole in the end and everyone will think you're great.

MissyB1 · 04/09/2022 15:30

Lurkerlot · 04/09/2022 15:23

I agree, with you, it’s symptomatic of the country we have become, less tolerant, more bigoted, and entitled.

This is sadly true. Society seems less kind, and more self obsessed.

MeanderingGently · 04/09/2022 15:31

I disagree. I'm amazed at the number of people on MN who feel they "have" to lend money or hand over their home to family just because there's more space, or who are afraid to say no to quite cheeky requests from friends, neighbours, workmates or adult children.

The answer is no. It isn't selfish; most people will help out where they can but there are limits and no-one "owes" anyone else anything just because of a difference in situations. I'm also amazed at the number of people who feel they have to have a reasonable excuse or valid reason to say no....you don't. If it doesn't work for you, it doesn't work. End.

It seems to me that many posters need to gain confidence in their own decisions, and that won't come from other posters branding them as 'selfish'.

alanabennett · 04/09/2022 15:31

mycatisannoying · 04/09/2022 15:20

I agree with you, OP. There's a lot of saying 'no' for the sake of it on here. And people who refuse to be pushed out of their comfort zone in any way.

Completely agree. Particularly when it comes to really small things like giving someone a lift or collecting someone's child from school. Not regular commitments but one-offs.

Then again, think of the number of people here who won't answer their doors unless they are expecting visitors, and who actively resent any attempts at neighborly friendliness. I remember one thread where a woman moved into a new house and had an issue with her front door not closing. IIRC someone suggested asking the people across the road to keep an eye out while she ran to the hardware store and people responded with horror at the outrageous imposition of someone asking a neighbor to help out for a few minutes.

It actually makes me sad.

Doingprettywellthanks · 04/09/2022 15:31

ah that word “selfish”

the most overused one since covid started

along with “unprecedented”

Doingprettywellthanks · 04/09/2022 15:33

You changed your name to start this thread op

why?

been whinging about a neighbour asking you for a loan? Or school mum asking you for a lift? 😂

alanabennett · 04/09/2022 15:33

PAFMO · 04/09/2022 15:24

The ones that make me laugh are the kids playing ones. Where the mammies make notes on how many minutes the neighbour's kid has been at their house compared to their kid being round the neighbour's. It's nuts. If I've got a kid round mine, I open the bedroom door and chuck a few biscuits in every so often and thank the lord I can get on with stuff. When in MNworld I should be "livid" and telling everyone the other mum is a user.

Yes!!! I welcome any kids - don't care who they are 😂 - because it means that mine will put their screens down and actually play! Big bag of crisps, Vimto - job done!

OGLittlePickerWithTheMassiveKnickers · 04/09/2022 15:35

YABVU to assume you know anything about anyone else’s life or decisions. Also for epic virtue signalling. I’m

antelopevalley · 04/09/2022 15:36

OP I agree with you. But in general the richer people are, the more selfish they seem to be.

pictish · 04/09/2022 15:36

I think the skewed work/life balance has a lot to do with how much people are willing to give or be involved. Many of us are worn the fuck out and struggling to make ends meet. To make it to the end of the day covering the basics is sometimes all we can do.

So good for you Pollyanna.

Slimfitblouse · 04/09/2022 15:36

alanabennett · 04/09/2022 15:33

Yes!!! I welcome any kids - don't care who they are 😂 - because it means that mine will put their screens down and actually play! Big bag of crisps, Vimto - job done!

Same. I didn't give a toss if they were never invited back to their mates houses.

MissLucyEyelesbarrow · 04/09/2022 15:36

PAFMO · 04/09/2022 15:24

The ones that make me laugh are the kids playing ones. Where the mammies make notes on how many minutes the neighbour's kid has been at their house compared to their kid being round the neighbour's. It's nuts. If I've got a kid round mine, I open the bedroom door and chuck a few biscuits in every so often and thank the lord I can get on with stuff. When in MNworld I should be "livid" and telling everyone the other mum is a user.

Agree. There are always one or two nightmare friends to be avoided at all costs but, as long as you choose wisely, play dates from about 7 upwards are a bonus and often have the miraculous effect of making your own DC play nicely together.

Nidan2Sandan · 04/09/2022 15:36

I'll help anyone, gladly! But I wont lend money!

I happily took in friends kids on snow days when I was a sahm, and never considered it taking the piss.

The oddest MN behaviour for me is refusing to answer the door, and being horrified by people popping by without giving 6 weeks notice first. Utterly bizarre!

Daisy38 · 04/09/2022 15:37

reallyisthisallthereis · 04/09/2022 15:22

I think you see the worst of things on here as people only post when there is a problem and they think they are being taken advantage of.
Most people are happy to help out occasionally, but it's that nagging feeling that somebody is taking the piss out of you is when you post - I assume to get a second opinion on whether you are being over sensitive etc.
it's good to be reminded that we don't always have to do things, just because somebody has asked and we have the right to say no sometimes.
There are some cheeky fuckers out there who really do take advantage of other's goodwill.

I agree with this. Most people are happy to help with a genuine need but there’s nothing wrong with setting firm boundaries with certain people and not letting them take advantage of you. It’s awful to be accused of being selfish when it’s really a case of someone not taking responsibility for themselves but expecting others to pick up the pieces.

Fairislefandango · 04/09/2022 15:37

Well I certainly wouldn't do either of the first two examples in your OP, but more minor things like your third example of giving a child a lift to school- yes sure, I'd definitely do that if someone really needed help and I could. I can't say I've noticed that MNers seem particularly selfish tbh.

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