I must seem really cold and unfeeling sometimes, I think… I can’t force myself to respond to anyone sharing something that has hurt them. Maybe it’s from too many years of doing that on the newsgroup, every day for everyone who posted it seemed sometimes… maybe it’s because I feel like a fake saying the same things that everyone else is saying… and it’s not that I don’t feel sympathetic or I don’t understand, I just hate saying that stuff… “oh, I’m sorry that happened, I hope you’re doing okay, etc.” It makes me feel fake… I just can’t bring myself to do it. So now I figure people just think I’m cold.


  • eyean

    September 15, 2000 at 9:21 am

    sometimes we can relate but we can’t sympathize. happens all the time. and then some cry on sad movies…


  • talashandy

    September 15, 2000 at 11:05 am

    I don’t think you are. =)
    I think I have gotten to the place you are. I just sit and say, “hmm…I know THAT feeling…” but just can’t get myself to say anything. I just sit and watch and nod.

  • mtbandit

    September 15, 2000 at 12:38 pm

    I know exactly what you mean. I am the same way. I don’t want to say the same comiserating things everyone else is because it starts to sound less than sincere, to my thinking. So if I can’t think of anything new to say, I say nothing. But it doesn’t mean I *don’t* feel anything for these people.

    And in some cases, the tale of woe is something so terrible, such as death of a friend or family member, I can’t think of anything at all to say that does not sound like empty platitudes. Being just another person to say “damn, I’m so sorry. that really sucks”. I mean, these are things for which mere words cannot do a thing to help. A hug, yes, because the physical comfort angle is therapeutic (well, that is unless the person has personal space issues), but reaching out in words is sort of impotent. Especially when they are the same words everyone else uses.

    • mtbandit

      September 15, 2000 at 12:41 pm

      I would like to add, though, that for certain people, people to whom I feel very close, or feel kinship with, I will not hesitate to say anything. Which, means most of the people I know only through Internet correspondence probably think I, too, am a rather cold fish.

      Maybe I am, I dunno.

    • Jenny Lee Silver

      September 15, 2000 at 1:19 pm


  • Anonymous

    September 15, 2000 at 12:59 pm


    I think it’s better to say nothing at all rather than spew out recycled sympathy (*note ‘sympathy’ not ’empathy’*). if you feel fake in your comforting, then people will also read that vibe from you. it sucks that phrases like ‘I’m sorry’ and ‘I love you’ start to lose their meaning after numerous times. we need some new words in the English language! 🙂