Phil Parker (tigertoy) wrote,
Phil Parker
tigertoy

Too much empathy?

A friend said something in their journal about a feeling that their friends were only friends out of pity, so they had to be careful not to impose too much on them lest their annoyance outweigh their pity.

I said this in a comment there:  I've never been conscious of the feeling that people only did things with me out of pity, but I am frequently conscious of not wanting to intrude on people and of always imagining the worst case scenario of how something could turn out and letting that inhibit me from talking to someone or trying to join in an activity.  It keeps me from forming many social relationships deeper than casual recognition.

I felt that was significant enough for me that I wanted to repeat it in my own journal.  I feel that I spend a lot of time alone because I'm afraid to reach out and make connections with others, not because I'm afraid of their hurting me, but because I'm afraid of offending or hurting them by saying the wrong thing or being in the way.  It seems like most people don't take care enough about how others feel to let it influence their actions, but I feel cursed by caring too much.

Any discussion?  Insightful comments?  Mental keys to avoiding the trap of letting the imagined worst case scenario keep me from saying or doing anything?
Tags: life, philosophy, questions
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