Do you find that unless someone has something life-changing e.g marriage breakdown, major illness, that your sympathy/empathy levels have decreased since having a diagnosis of MS.....I know that this is not a good attribute to have but now think that this is my case and that I should not be using my MS as a barometer for others concerns?
I absolutely don’t subscribe to the “poor me” syndrome but I sometimes get irritated by people moaning about how bad their situation is. I’m not proud of it and I do try to tamp it down but I have to admit to thinking that a day in my shoes might give folk a bit of perspective.
It sounds as though I’m miserable with my lot – which I’m not – but honestly, it’s hard to dredge up too much sympathy for some people.
I've never had much truck with moaning though - I don't do it and I damn well don't want to listen to it.
My sympathy levels are rock bottom, unless, as you say, they have something really awful to complain about. I try not to moan about my situation as a young widow with MS (I would get bored listening to it, so I don't subject others), so maybe people don't really think that the situation is that bad? Also, it's all relative - what seems trivial to me is a major deal for another, and I try to think about that before judging people. Having said that, there are some people who just like to moan about everything, but I try to avoid them if I can - people like that seem to bring everybody else down too.
I never think poor me or anything but when I hear people say the're tired or sore and just moaning and its just because they where out late and drank to much or something, and you know If they took a couple of pain killers and lay down a while they'd be fine, there's no way I got offer sympathy for that try living with MS but I'd never say that to them.
I think people that are really ill you never seem to hear them complain.
No, with me quite the opposite.
People I know, do not really understand how MS makes me feel. No matter what they say...!
Therefore I like to think that a person's problem, however small I may think it is, is a big deal to them and perhaps make them feel as badly as I do. Either emotionally or physically.
Everyone has issues in their life. Each person feels it's the biggest thing in the world.
I don't like to think MS has effected my empathy.
Do you find that unless someone has something life-changing e.g marriage breakdown, major illness, that your sympathy/empathy levels have decreased since having a diagnosis of MS…I know that this is not a good attribute to have but now think that this is my case and that I should not be using my MS as a barometer for others concerns?
Hello Rose, I know exactly how you feel. I have a friend who used to visit me when I was first diagnosed & all she talked about was work & the problems she was having with certain people. Having worked with her before I knew that the situation she was complaining about had a lot to do with the way she was when working with certain people. But I just listened without making any comment. I just felt like saying well at least you are still able to work.
She never once asked me how I was feeling or if I needed anything from the shops or anything doing around the house. I am one of those people with MS that unless I try to stand up & walk you will think there is not much wrong with me & I do not complain about my symptoms. However I cannot leave the house by myself , I fall over several times a day & everything I try to do around the house leaves me exhauted. I have been told by the social worker that my MS is only “moderate” so I do not qualify for any help. I suppose eventually my condition will become severe enough to qualify for help as I have SPMS, but even when this does happen i’m sure that certain people will still complain about things that are happening in their life.
I have been heard to say, "I don't want sympathy, but I'll take a cheque".
Lol! My OH did say to me a few months ago, gosh, I feel like I’m not allowed to be ill anymore. He is very wise, when I thought about it at the time I was very angry, but I appreciate that people still get Ill, just because they haven’t got MS it doesn’t mean they don’t deserve sympathy. I still moan when I’m hungover! I get a bit angry when people give me sympathy, or tell me I shouldn’t be doing something just because I have MS. While I’m still capable I will do. When I’m not, I won’t happy new year everyone x
I thought that I'd lost frivolous and joy but I have not. I just get on with life, take care, M
No, not to me.............I regularly see folk with much worse conditions than mine.
I can still empathise with others, whatever their problem is.
The only time I wish bad luck on anyone, is when a criminal hurts someone who didn`t deserve it.
Happy New Year.
No, with me quite the opposite.
People I know, do not really understand how MS makes me feel. No matter what they say…!
Therefore I like to think that a person’s problem, however small I may think it is, is a big deal to them and perhaps make them feel as badly as I do. Either emotionally or physically.
Everyone has issues in their life. Each person feels it’s the biggest thing in the world.
I don’t like to think MS has effected my empathy.
[/quote] Hi fififlower Yes this is exactly how I feel, Teresa xx
Absolutely agree with you, unless it’s a child or someone with a terminal disease I find it hard to sympathise as I used to. It’s not cause of me you understand it’s what I’ve seen people go through with MS. People who are under 50 or anyway not what I’d call old. I still have understanding of people up to a point but where as I used to put other people’s needs first I certainly don’t any more.
My friend who has continual marital problems and who I advised not to marry the chap, well she doesn’t even try and lay her problems on my any more; as she had a boss with MS so she knows how bad it can be. Also do’t have a lot of time for elderly people who make life difficult for relatives by refusing to use a wheel chair or have their home adapted. Sorry you’ve hit a sore point with me at present but good post!
I don't feel sorry for myself, and I know a heck of a lot of other people who are in far worse positions than I am anyway. I do show sympathy to others, and I have noticed that others do share their problems with me because I do listen. I think that I do listen & feel empathy for others (even ingrown toenails and deceased goldfish) which I am relieved about really because I have had MS for most of my life. Hopefully I never tire of listening to others.
Happy new year all!
If anything my tolerance/sympathy/patience for others has increased.
I like Marks answer re ill folk and also Moira's re deceased goldfish!
Someones goldfish may well be very important to them-who am I to decide how upset they should be?
Folk that are very ill have usually found their own coping mechanism-found something that works for them (cos its different for us all).
So to answer your original question-no, I dont find myself being less sympathetic. What I have found is that I am more assertive and have a genuine interest in helping others-its not for me to decide how any issue/problem would affect another human. We all have different levels of tolerance but that doesnt make everyone one else wrong. I dont see life a a competition-who has it the hardest-but how can I support someone who is suffering (that means differnt things to us all!)
I wish you all the best for 2012!
No of course not. Why would I become less sympathetic? I'd hate to think I was so wrapped up in myself that I couldn't see if someone else was in trouble.
Everyone has problems but it's not a competition as to who is having the worst time. No, if anything it has made me more aware of anyone having a tough time for whatever reason.
Thank you all for your replies...definately food for thought!
I am certainly less tolerant of whingers who don't really have a lot to complain about except silly self-inflicted stuff. I know of one girl who complains about a relative who has a mental health disorder so I am not tolerant of her moaning and I am trying to teach her to be more tolerant of the mental health issue because it is an illness like any other. Just because it is invisible, doesn't mean it isn't there!
If someone has a genuine problem, then I like to think I am still understanding and approachable but I am aware that there are days when my tolerance levels are very low so I do have to work at it! Perhaps I just need more time ........