Social Question

cazzie's avatar

Does it matter how the person got hurt as to how much sympathy you would expect to feel?

Asked by cazzie (24516points) August 15th, 2012

Initially, I had all the ‘oh my god’ feelings. I was very sympathetic and have been trying to help, but now, I am having a hard time with it because it was because he was riding his motorcycle (which has been a bone of contention) and also, because he was meant to be watching our son at the time, but ditched him so he could go ride. Also, it is only minor surgery on his right arm and a cast for 6 weeks. Mixed feelings of being really super pissed off at him and also feeling bad for him because he is in pain. He is making plans to go to a concert on Friday, but I have to work in the daytime and I asked him if he would look after our son, but he just gave me a look like ‘Aren’t I in enough pain?’ I figure, if he thinks he is well enough to go to a rock concert, shouldn’t he be well enough to look after his kid?

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14 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

There is a reason Dr’s refer to motorcycle people as organ donors.

cazzie's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe , so what you are saying is that if he is stupid and selfish enough to do what he did, I shouldn’t feel bad that I can’t muster up a whole lot of sympathy?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I don’t know. The daredevil part of me wants a motorcycle. The practical side of me wants no part of it. Guys are part adult and part little boys. It’s not easy being us.
Edit: He’s with you, that should be the deciding factor. They aren’t safe in a crash.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@cazzie Have you ever tried a motorcycle? It is a rush. I’m referring to dirt bikes and road bikes.

SuperMouse's avatar

In a situation such as this one I would definitely lack sympathy. I mean he shouldn’t have been riding the motorcycle to begin with because he had other commitments and he is well enough to go to a concert but not well enough to take care of his kid. Those two things would drive me absolutely crazy and would kill every ounce of sympathy I might have been able to muster.

In general I am a lot more sympathetic and patient when someone avoids whining. All anyone (including my kids) has to do is whine about how miserable they are, start with the woe is me stuff and use the injury as a way to get attention, and the sympathy spigot runs dry for me. I also tend to be less patient if it was someone’s own stupidity or really bad choice that caused the catastrophe.

marinelife's avatar

Yes, if he is well enough to go to a rock concert, he should be able to sit with your kid.

It sounds like he is immature (ditching the kid, riding a motorcycle, giving you the look).

Thammuz's avatar

Obviously yes. If you hurt yourself because it’s a cold unforgiving world and sometimes shit happens, i’ll be much more inclined to help and sympathize than if you hurt yourself because you tried to emulate jackass and were mauled by an alligator.

Judi's avatar

Is this an ex or a current SO? It sounds like someone who might resent having had to grow up and be responsible for a family. :-(
If its a current SO, you rally need to get this out and discuss it. Otherwise, both of you are going to fester resentment. Couples counseling could really help before this turns into something big.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Are you really looking for an answer to the initial question? The message between the lines in the details do not feel like that is what the intent of the question is.

If you just need to vent, I’m hear to listen. If you are truly looking for a solution to the underlying problem, then please let us know. Personally, I think you already know the answer. There are two basic options. It is just a matter of choosing one.

Trillian's avatar

”...but he just gave me a look like ‘Aren’t I in enough pain?” You’re projecting.
He ditched your kid to ride a motorcycle. Why are you still even associating with him, much less trusting him with your child’s welfare? Find a reliable sitter and stop wasting your time on a selfish loser who obviously can’t be trusted to make mature, adult decisions.

cazzie's avatar

Update: He just got out of surgery and he was being waaaaay too optimistic about being able to do anything but lay in pain for the next week. I don’t mind taking my son to work at all on Friday. He is a great helper. Now I am thinking, ‘Karma is a bitch, bro. No music festival for you this weekend unless it involves your own living room stereo.’

keobooks's avatar

I think the sympathy is a combination of how you feel about a person, what happened to them and how it happened. If two people got into the exact same accident, you’d naturally have more sympathy for the person you liked and less for the douche bag. If they both got into the accident by doing something really stupid, you’d be more forgiving of the person you cared for.

Unless the douche bag died or was REALLY REALLY hurt VERY badly, it may be hard to work up much sympathy – even then, depending on how douchy they were, you may have some issues getting weepy over it.

Off the specific topic: My mom worked with a guy who got in a serious car accident because he didn’t put his cat in the carrier. During the car ride the cat climbed up on top of his head and clawed in. He was in pain and couldn’t see a thing. He was also freaked out and started swerving the car around trying to get the cat off his head. He ended up plowing into a telephone pole and was badly injured. The cat was totally fine. He was a totally nice guy, but just about everyone at work had a hard time not laughing when they heard the story. Considering that he was a claims adjuster and he and his coworkers liked to swap weird car accident stories because that was part of the job made it even worse.

cazzie's avatar

@keobooks What a GREAT story about a claims adjuster! Brilliant. That reminds me of that movie.

keobooks's avatar

I had no idea there was a claims adjuster movie. I am now sad my grandfather is gone so he can’t see it. He was also an adjuster for years before he went into catastrophe coordination. Anyway, to this day I have a not so secret fear that I am going to die in such a way that my own mother is trying not to snicker at my funeral when she tells people how I died. I could probably write a book on all the things I dreamed up in my head ever since I was a kid. They usually involved toilets and explosions..

Anyway, you feel what you feel. You should never feel guilty for something you feel. So long as you don’t come right out and act like an a-hole because you lack sympathy, it doesn’t really matter. You can’t force yourself to feel more sympathy when you just don’t feel it.

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