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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know someone who is overly sympathetic and it drives me nuts. No matter what I say, if it has any possible negative connotation she will say "Awe....I'm so sorry". She will do this is both appropriate and what I consider entirely innappropriate situations, and she is 100% sincere every time.


I got fired today.

"Awe....I'm sorry."

My car exploded

"Awe....I'm sorry."

My dog died.

"Awe....I'm sorry."

I'm out of clean socks

"Awe....I'm sorry."

It was cloudy yesteday

"Awe....I'm sorry."

I can't find my pencil

"Awe....I'm sorry."

She is a very nice person and means well but I find this annoying and somewhat intrusive. When someone is sympathetic you should be warm and thankful, and I'm not when the situation is so minor as to be laughable. I almost resent this excessive sympathy.

Is there any way to stop it? I don't think there is...
 
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haha yeap I know the type! It can feel a bit patronising, I guess they want to express their care but you can make a joke out of it, really exaggerate your problem if its about stupid thing like finding your pencil lol
i dunno you could say "awwww thank you so much!! i'm just so afraid right now, everything's dark... how am i going to go on living without MY PENCIL!!! can I get a hug?!" in a cheesy way :p
 

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Oh gosh, yeah, that really annoys me too :S
I'm not sure how to make it stop...make her cry? Just kidding. Don't do that. Pretend I didn't say that. I'M SO SORRY!
 

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Perhaps you should phrase the things you're telling her in such a way as to invite her to help in solving the problem, e.g. if you're going to say something like, "I can't find my pencil," quickly follow up with, "Could you help me find it?" or "May I borrow yours?" That way you're sort of shifting her mindset from "oh no, something bad happened and I need to show sympathy" to "here, let me help."
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
haha yeap I know the type! It can feel a bit patronising, I guess they want to express their care but you can make a joke out of it, really exaggerate your problem if its about stupid thing like finding your pencil lol
i dunno you could say "awwww thank you so much!! i'm just so afraid right now, everything's dark... how am i going to go on living without MY PENCIL!!! can I get a hug?!" in a cheesy way :p
I like this idea, it fits with my sarcastic nature. If she is going to troll me for warmth and appreciation, I'll troll right back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If you don't want sympathy, then why are you sharing? Unless you communicate that you want the person to do something about it, I don't know what you'd expect.
These are things that just come up in normal conversation. I never want sympathy for trivial, insignificant matters. I only mention them in passing because they are so insignificant.

What are you doing? I'm looking for my pencil. Oh crap, I shouldn't have said that now here comes the gush
of misplaced sympathy. Things that are just part of every normal day become cause for her to feel way too sorry for me. Its annoying. Sometimes feel like I shouldn't say anything at all because it will be misconstrued as needing sympathy.
 

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These are things that just come up in normal conversation. I never want sympathy for trivial, insignificant matters. I only mention them in passing because they are so insignificant. What are you doing? I'm looking for my pencil. Oh crap, I shouldn't have said that now here comes the gush of misplaced sympathy. Things that are just part of every normal day become cause for her to feel way too sorry for me. Its annoying. Sometimes feel like I shouldn't say anything at all because it will be misconstrued as needing sympathy.
So this person would say "I'm sorry you lost your pencil" instead of "Would you like me to help you find it?" or "Here, take mine." ? If that's the case, I can see how that would get annoying.
 

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Want to hear something funny? Our friend’s mom thought “lol” stood for “lots of love”. In a lot of cases this worked so she got away with it. Then this came up in texts:
“Mom, I lost my job.”
“LOL”
And when the next one happened they had to have an intervention:
“Mom, my wife’s dad died today.”
“ Oh I’m so sorry...“LOL”
 

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Sincere sympathy is so rare, people can only strive for it. Trueling forgetting yourself to give to others requires openness and benevolence. Most people are usually empathetic and that's good enough.
 
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I know someone who is overly sympathetic and it drives me nuts. No matter what I say, if it has any possible negative connotation she will say "Awe....I'm so sorry". She will do this is both appropriate and what I consider entirely innappropriate situations, and she is 100% sincere every time.


I got fired today.

"Awe....I'm sorry."

My car exploded

"Awe....I'm sorry."

My dog died.

"Awe....I'm sorry."

I'm out of clean socks

"Awe....I'm sorry."

It was cloudy yesteday

"Awe....I'm sorry."

I can't find my pencil

"Awe....I'm sorry."

She is a very nice person and means well but I find this annoying and somewhat intrusive. When someone is sympathetic you should be warm and thankful, and I'm not when the situation is so minor as to be laughable. I almost resent this excessive sympathy.

Is there any way to stop it? I don't think there is...
Sounds like she has read some kind of a book about people skills XD .
 

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When she has sympathy for a small thing, you could ask her if she's really sorry. Wait until you're both in a good mood and in a good place though. You could see if a mutual friend notices too, and you could even bring it up when all of you are talking with each other. Even if the sympathizer doesn't have an answer, it will get her thinking about it.
 

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Honestly, I would just laugh a little and say, "No need to be sorry; it's just a pencil!" It gently highlights the ridiculousness of what's going on in a way that will probably make her smile or at the very least, prevent her from feeling like she's being chastised.
 

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I'm like that person, and I have a friend like you who finds it irritating, but what on earth else am I supposed to say? "That's nice." "I'm glad you're experiencing this minor frustration." "Why are you telling me this? I don't care if you have minor frustrations?" But I do care, I mean sure it's not a LOT for something small but still. It rather hurts when my friend seems to be saying she doesn't want me to care about her in small ways.

Now I can understand complaining about someone only saying sympathetic things but never taking it any further - like offering to help find your pencil or whatever, but I really don't understand why it would be a bad thing that a friend would share in your minor unhappinesses as well as the major ones. *scratching head* I understand that some people don't like this, it's just not something I can truly make sense of.

You can always let her know that you find that phrase irritating and maybe she'll try to remember that for you not expressing it is nicer than doing so.
 

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I'm like that person, and I have a friend like you who finds it irritating, but what on earth else am I supposed to say? "That's nice." "I'm glad you're experiencing this minor frustration." "Why are you telling me this? I don't care if you have minor frustrations?" But I do care, I mean sure it's not a LOT for something small but still. It rather hurts when my friend seems to be saying she doesn't want me to care about her in small ways.

Now I can understand complaining about someone only saying sympathetic things but never taking it any further - like offering to help find your pencil or whatever, but I really don't understand why it would be a bad thing that a friend would share in your minor unhappinesses as well as the major ones. *scratching head* I understand that some people don't like this, it's just not something I can truly make sense of.

You can always let her know that you find that phrase irritating and maybe she'll try to remember that for you not expressing it is nicer than doing so.
Showing sympathy for small frustrations isn't the problem - you really should do that. The problem is in how.

Person 1: "I lost my pencil"
Person 2: "Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that!"

That's weird and over-the-top.

Person 1: "I lost my pencil"
Person 2: "Lame"

Much more preferable to me.

Basically, people want sympathy but they want it to be expressed in a way that's proportionate to the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Update: I was looking for a place to rent (I have rented a room from her in the past) and she apologized repeatedly and deeply and sorrowfully because her place was already rented by someone else. My thoughts were, ok, I will find another place no big deal, I already had several alternates lined up. No apology was necessary at all and this huge oozing overwhelming apology comes gushing out (as if she owes me a place to stay or something? I just don't get her reaction...). Anyway it was so over the top it made me feel like she thought I was pathetic and homeless, and I finally came right out and told her so.

She was really surprised and I thought maybe she'd get all offended but she didn't. So far, it hasn't happened again. It felt good to get it out there that she was crossing my boundaries.
 
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