NO to Sympathy.

No, I am not sympathetic…

I hate sympathy. Call it pride issues, grandeur syndrome, or independence to an unhealthy extreme, but I hate the term “sympathy”… I hate the idea of anyone feeling “sorry” for me, and I refrain from sympathizing with people, especially those I love and respect…

Don’t talk to me about sympathy, let alone begging for it and jumping through hoops of humiliation and self-exposure to “earn” it from people, be it those who trigger that need in you ,or random people who could fulfill that need on the go once you tell them about your health issues, your bad marriage, your dead-end career, your lonely nights, or your linger to a loved one or your linger, period.

It’s… humiliating… it’s a desperate call for attention that sadly results in the worst kind of attention, a condescending one: sympathy

Why would anyone settle for being someone charity story… “Did you hear about him/her… let’s feel sorry for him/her…

Is that empowering? Does it solve your problems? Does it end your tragedies? Does it make you feel loved and surrounded??? Do you really think sympathy is genuine care???

To me, the way I see it, sympathy is what you feel obliged to show when you couldn’t really care less… a mutilated form of relating to someone’s misery, yet secretly telling one’s self “whew, glad to know I am not in their place”… how could that possibly be genuine…

No, I am not sympathetic…

If you show me your scars so that I feed your self-pity, I’m sorry, spare me, I have my own scars and wounds, and I take pride in them, they’re not for show; I share them when I feel safe and surrounded with genuine care…

I am compassionate…

When I feel your pain, my heart aches for you even if I had never been through your exact pain… my soul relates to the aching of yours because on some invisible level we are all humans sharing more of the intangible than the tangible…

I wish my compassion would be unconditional to include those who seek sympathy as well, but they insult me with the manipulative tactics that speak to others’ sense of relevance, guilt, tendency for depression, or gratitude for having been “spared”…

People who perceive sympathy as a sort of “alms” the rich give to the poor so that they go to heaven simply lose my compassion because feelings are intangible and uncontrollable, and they do not buy redemption because they only set our souls free only when they’re genuine and pure from guilt and self-serving purposes…

It sounds like my old “ethical-nazi” self, I know

I believe compassion, like love, is a form of giving, and that we do not assign ourselves as gods who would only give to the “worthy”, because we are all worthy… I just find my compassion turning to anger when someone is cheapening the process… I feel like I am being slapped on the face, and it makes me angry that right now the thought itself is making me shake…

If you have health problems, seek treatment and surround yourself with those who genuinely love you and care for you, those you love… you won’t even need to let them know because they will feel it, and then telling them will be rather dignified and heartwarming that it will take away from any physical pain or worry you might have…

If you’re in a bad marriage, go work it with your spouse before you discuss it with people… if your spouse has no ears for you, that’s a sign you should seek external help; I suggest counseling… if it’s a dead-end marriage, end it for God’s sake, life is too short to waste it with the wrong person… but whining over to someone who would nod sympathetically is a waste of breath, time, and words…

If your career is draining and unfulfilling, start planning a career switch… if you can’t spare the income, find something you can do passionately to fulfill yourself… unless of course your passion is whining!

If you’re lonely, trust me, exposing it for the mere sake of sympathy only makes you lonelier…

If you’re lingering for a loved one, go to them; that’s the only medicine for that kind of linger…

If you’re just lingering, then it’s for yourself that you linger… find yourself and heal it, because no one else would…

That’s how you win people’s compassion, when they see the pride you take in dealing with your problems…

Just don’t drain people with sympathy; it’s such a waste of feelings…

 

Note to the love of my life… Thank you for never allowing sympathy to exist between us; you make me breathe.

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~ by insomniac on June 9, 2011.

15 Responses to “NO to Sympathy.”

  1. me no like at all i know u dont care about how i think of ur writings but to me u sound a bit bitter more like a total ass . if this do that if this do that and if this do that . take a chill pill. may be thats ur space to vent and u dont want to be judged on how u write but from what i read u can get ur point across still in much better way .

  2. Agreed and very well written. In this society people use and depend on sympathy excessively. People refuse to take initiative or responsibility, and they use sympathy to gain attention. Criticizing this type of behavior in this society is controversial because it would be calling attention to their little dirty secret. So much so, that some might be offended, if not intimidated, by your view, even though it’s not directed at them (bat7a syndrome). It might even reduce their language skills to that of a prehistoric cave monkey.

  3. homa leh mesh 3amleen button “like” 3al comments :)

  4. I’m just one of your blog followers , just wanted to show admire to thoughts in the post .. really can’t agree more … difference between sympathy and compassion is a missing point to most people , especially when people suffers pain ..sometimes seeking attention& care can lead to the wrong path ..

    really good post :)

  5. amazing blog, very much heart felt

    “If you’re in a bad marriage, go work it with your spouse before you discuss it with people… if your spouse has no ears for you, that’s a sign you should seek external help; I suggest counseling… if it’s a dead-end marriage, end it for God’s sake, life is too short to waste it with the wrong person… but whining over to someone who would nod sympathetically is a waste of breath, time, and words…”

    WOW

  6. Came to this post from a Google search. I recently have been feeling very uncomfortable after hanging out with a certain group of women.

    For some reason it seems that one of the women always gleens something out of me and uses it to her advantage. (Or at least that is my perspective–I could perhaps be the one wanting attention???)

    Either way, it is really not a conscious decision on my part. It is like a subject will come up in regards to my personal life, I will therefore tell the truth of it… and the response will be “Oh… I’m sorry..” with a little sad face to go along with it. When that was kind of the last thing I was looking for and then when I do open up to this person… my feelings often come across as overly-sensitive because I am aware that this might be her response.

    It is a shame because I am the type of person that enjoys relating to another through such trials and personal-griefs. My close friends and I do not commiserate with each other, but more so shake our heads in understanding of what it is to be fully human. And that is really all I want. I just can’t stand not acknowledging my struggles in some way.

    I hate sympathy, however. It makes me want to run away. It feels like the largest form of condescension and I really despise the person giving it, because it seems to give her a huge ego-boost– as if she has fulfilled her daily quota for kindness. I am not sure what to get out of this situation, or how to turn it around. She asks very personal questions and is a good-listener, but it always feels like she is kind of manipulative.

  7. I don’t know who you are or where you came from, but what you’ve written here screams to me. I feel the exact same way. I occasionally get depressed and I constantly work hard to achieve my goals. I like my independence and maybe I do have a bit of an ego, but who doesn’t? I don’t like sharing any of my sorrows or woes to anyone. It’s my problem I’ll deal with it. Don’t feel sorry for me. No “awh” or ” poor you” is welcome. That’s it.

    • :)

      it’s been over 4 months since i posted something here… and it’s almost been 2 years since i posted this one!! it brought back memories, unresolved anger, and love, and disappointment, and sadness…

      makes me wonder why today, why this particular post with those particular comments..

      thank you..

  8. I just googled, ” why do I hate sympathy” and your post came up. Thank you. I cringe when I am just stating my experience and I hear that sympathetic tone. I want to scream, “I am not looking for sympathy!” Sympathy demeans our humanity. Sometimes, it is important to have another human hear the reality of our life at any given time. “My mother has Alzheimer’s” is simply a statement of fact. She is the last person who would want sympathy. It is part of her journey in this life. Sympathy stops communication in its tracks. It assumes one knows the experience of another. It prevents the opening that comes when we are present with eacother. I am grateful to hsve a place to make this statement.

    • i completely agree with what you said about sympathy demeaning humanity and patronizes an experience or as you put it “one’s journey”…

      i think some people need to “reply” to what you have to say when you share what you have, and they think sympathy is it… and i sort of blame those who beg for sympathy… they circulated that culture i suppose, they created a market for sympathy…

      compassion on the other hand provides the kind of togetherness one seeks when they share their experience…

      thank you for commenting, i really appreciate it as i do appreciate every comment here… each comment on this particular post sort of renews my decayed faith in mankind; there are actually people out there who know the difference…

      :)

  9. I did wondered some time ago if there were more people like me who dislike sympathy, glad to find out there are plenty of them.

    The reason why i searched on google for the hate on sympathy is that i got denied by a girl and immediately said she was sorry, no need to feel sorry for that :D.
    But i tried to ask through why she was sorry, i finally hoped to get the answer and the understanding what the goal is of sympathy, as expected i didnt got any further then “I just tried to make you feel better”. As frustration raised further and further, I left hoping that i myself would find out the answer to my question, this blog helped me with that because after all: my ideology on sympathy has never been wrong.

    I have had my aversion to sympathy and empathy since I was 7 years old, that was the year my mother died. I did receive alot of empathy and sympathy on the funeral. The years after that i did some thinking about why they where so sorry, my thought was “how can people be sorry if they havent lived youre life”. Thats when the line of sympathy and empathy dissapeard for me, nobody can feel the same as me not even my brother if my would die.

    Im really glad i found this, and to write down a couple of my thoughts from this week and longer ago!

  10. This is an old article, but I’m glad to have stumbled upon it. Sympathy is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. More than one person in my life has become affected by depression or other mood disorders and my tolerance for giving/receiving sympathy is very low. I’m not sure if sympathy and depression go hand in hand, and sometimes feel that these people are trying to manipulate me through guilt, or if it’s my aversion to attachment that’s giving rise to these feelings.

    I wonder if people who claim depression and have a severe and aggressive need for attention and sympathy are truly depressed, and if they are, if these the aggression for sympathy is related to another disorder.

    I’m grateful for this place to voice my thoughts. I rare do, because when I have, I became a target, being called immature, insecure, a psychopath, heartless, depressed, vile,…and so on.

    I’m disoriented for all this demand for sympathy around me and wondering if something is wrong with me. I don’t believe so, but sympathy, the need for it…is so abundant. It’s debilitating.

  11. I think your image of sympathy is a tad off… It might be more powerful than you may think, at least more than just “feeling sorry” for someone, and in many ways related with compassion. It’s about letting them know that you’re there for them, about comforting them and being willing to talk with them about their problems if they have to, and doing your best to help out and bring up their spirits, to give them the hope and strenght to keep pushing on till they’re there, and not being afraid to offer a comforting hug or similar. If that Isn’t genuine care I don’t know what is.

    Even if it was just feeling sorry for someone, call me stupid, i still don’t see what’s wrong with that. It shows that despite not being able to help, you hope that the person in question will manage to solve his/her problems and that you wish him/her all the best. How is that not caring?

  12. I understand with your point of view. I think that why people who are suffering hate sympathy because chances are, that the person giving sympathy do not understand pain as much as the person who is suffering. Hearing ‘I am so sorry for you’ is like an insult to people who suffered. Although I have to admit that, I do not think sympathy is very bad to the core. I just think that people who give sympathy should just admit the fact that they do not know how the other party feel much and just wish them the best instead of saying ‘I am sorry’.

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