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To feel so upset for someone I don't know?

(20 Posts)
JosieGlow Sat 23-Apr-16 22:02:38

In particular, young people who are troubled (or I think they are). It happened again today and I'm still thinking about it. I overheard a conversation between two employees at a supermarket - it sounded like one of them had been spoken to about a misdemeanor. Next thing he is walking down the aisles looking totally bemused, shellshocked even and not sure what to do. I'm guessing from his behaviour that perhaps he'd lost his job and I felt an overwhelming need to ask if he was ok but I thought it would be weird / intrusive so I didn't. I just watched him for a bit, saw him texting and hoping that he was probably arranging a lift home and he'd be ok. But I'm still thinking about it all.

1. Why do I feel this need to connect with young people and make sure they're ok when I think they look like they might need help.
2. I'm also annoyed that if he was laid off it would seem that he wasn't given time to process it or talk to anyone, and was just left to wander about the store. If that is so, then I'd certainly not wish to give them my custom anymore.

But of course all of this is my perception ot what happened. What is going on in my head? (I'm a mum with a 20 year old son btw.)

thecatfromjapan Sat 23-Apr-16 22:06:25

Because you know how vulnerable late teens and 20 year olds are?

For what it's worth, I watched an item on the news about young people and mental health and it had me in tears.

No advice from me, then, but much sympathy.

Naoko Sat 23-Apr-16 22:08:41

I think that just makes you a nice person with a strong sense of empathy. And it would've been totally alright to ask him if he was ok, if you'd wanted to - I don't get this attitude that showing any care or interest for another human being is somehow intrusive. If they say 'I'm fine thanks' or 'please leave me alone' or whatever obviously you go away and leave them to it, but just asking if they're ok and whether you can help? What's wrong with that?

samk15 Sat 23-Apr-16 22:31:18

I have a strong suspicion that you could be an Empath. Very sensitive to people's feelings. Bless you for caring thanks

eaglesreach Sat 23-Apr-16 22:40:45

You sound like a lovely person. To have that kind of empathy is not that common.

ifyoulikepinacolada Sat 23-Apr-16 22:44:16

I'm like this. It's quite difficult to deal with sometimes, isn't it?

ifyoulikepinacolada Sat 23-Apr-16 22:44:52

Aaargh sorry hit send too soon! flowers for you OP. I feel like it's better to care too much than too little.

Samcro Sat 23-Apr-16 22:45:45

cos you are a mum of a 20 something and know how hard life is for them.
I get you as I am the same

Maryz Sat 23-Apr-16 22:46:43

Because when our children get to that age we can no longer fix things for them. When our kids are little we can give them a hug and it's all ok; when they get to young adulthood we know things can still be tough but there is nothing we can do.

I find myself crying at homeless youngsters, and addicts, and even kids who have failed exams blush because every one I see could be one of mine.

HelenaJustina Sat 23-Apr-16 22:49:37

I think it is especially close to home when your own children are the same/similar age as those struggling.

SoleBizzz Sat 23-Apr-16 23:09:48

Today in Costa was an old man, all alone and liked so put of place. He was looking bewildered and lonely. Should I have sat down next to him? He had the most beautiful blue eyes. I feel tribe for not making the effort but would I have been weird? I hate to see people lonely.

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Sat 23-Apr-16 23:13:35

Have you thought of going into a career. In which you will be working with vulnerable teens/young adults. If not you should do. They'd be very lucky and honoured to have you on board

junebirthdaygirl Sun 24-Apr-16 09:02:34

I have a 20 year old in college. Every now and then here we hear stories of students going missing after mad nights out. I cry everytime. I can hardly handle it. I keep thinking of the parents. I know it's because of my guy as other deeply distressing things happen to people every day and while lm sorry lm not crying. I also notice that age guys on their own looking lost or lonely and it breaks my heart. They're probably grand. Its our mother thing rising up in side. We want to mind them all.

allegretto Sun 24-Apr-16 09:06:02

I often feel like this and I don't think it is a good way to be. I get very anxious about situations that probably won't impact ever on us (terrorism, earthquakes...) but DH doesn't understand that it is also so upsetting to hear other people have to go through it. I have no idea why people visit places like Auschwitz - just knowing about their existence is traumatic enough.

Falling270 Sun 24-Apr-16 09:15:10

I'm like this. For me it's elderly people on their own/ elderly people with mental health problems/ adults with learning difficulties. They're the groups that affect me most. I can see someone like that on public transport or out and about and I worry about them for days sometimes. It's hard to deal with isn't it. thanks

Mousefinkle Sun 24-Apr-16 09:20:07

I'm the same. I see some children sometimes that look like they need rescuing and I want to scoop them up in my arms and give them the life they deserve sad. It's hardest when I hear my mum (who works in a school) talking about the children whose only meal of the day is the school dinner which they wolf down. I always think about the weekends and school holidays, what happens then? sad. Oh I could go on and on. You're not alone with this. I do get a little natural pull towards people that look lonely/lost/like outsiders. Guess because I understand what it feels like and want to help them.

I don't really believe in woo woo but my best friend is a big follower of it all and he says it's a water sign thing, we're naturally super empathetic. I'm a Pisces so follows.

DailyFailAreABunchOfCunts Sun 24-Apr-16 09:46:26

I try and avoid sad or upsetting news stories - not because I want to stick my head in the sand and pretend the world is a la-la-la place for everyone . It's because things stick with me and get in my head and I can't switch them off. I have to avoid animal cruelty stories because I find them so profoundly upsetting and I can't 'get over' it. I read one thing on the BBC news website in the last year or so about whaling. I didn't realise what I'd clicked on and the story upset me so much that it had me in tears. Even now I still think about it. I have direct experience of farming so I am not sqeamish, if that doesn't sound contradictory! It's the suffering element that gets me and I find it so difficult to move on and let go of a thought.

I worry about people being lonely. I go to extremes of people pleasing (although I am getting a little better at this as I get older), because if someone is unhappy with me then I can't focus on anything else. I get very nervous and tense and wound up and can't settle until I have put things right, even if it's not my fault. I am hyper sensitive to others' moods. For this reason I have no 'close' friendships because I find them emotionally exhausting. I generally feel that human beings are pretty horrid and I'd rather spend time with my animals. I feel bad for people who are lonely, or unhappy or on their own. People probably think I am a standoffish cow but I have to keep a distance because I feel personally responsible for all of these things and it makes me feel pretty miserable most of the time.

Feeling a bit tearful know TBH after posting this so I don't think I will come back to this thread, because this isn't something that I ever usually talk about. YANBU but I don't know what the answer is.

katemiddletonsnudeheels Sun 24-Apr-16 09:49:00

To be honest, I worry about having children because of the reasons cited by Maryz.

JosieGlow Sat 07-May-16 09:33:11

I wanted to send you all a big HUG each, to thank you for your support and empathy. That young man's bewildered expression is still haunting me, I'll let you know if I manage to take anything forwards. Love the people who populate Mumsnet.

Lemonade1 Sat 07-May-16 09:38:24

I understand where you're coming from. I don't think it's a 'bad' thing, I think it's fairly normal for parents to feel this amount of empathy towards people of roughly their kids' ages actually (except for Daily Mail readers who find all young people baffling, objectionable and vacuous wink), I also agree you could try and channel this empathy into a career or voluntary project. You do sound nice btw smile

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