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Do people really care about the wellbeing of strangers?

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  • Do people really care about the wellbeing of strangers?

    Lets say for example I told somebody my mother was dying. Of course they'd usually say all the things one is meant to say when told sad news. But deep down if they don't know the persons involved then do they really care? I mean, what's it to them really? Do they feel upset everytime they hear someone is dying or dead? Surely most emotionally stable people have become desenstised to tragedy by the time they are adults? We only express concern because it's expected of us socially. We don't really care.
    http://familyresearched.co.uk/

  • #2
    Depends on how you define 'care'. You can feel sad about something without it being sad for you, if that makes sense. More just sad that it happened and that other people are having these negative experiences and emotions, which is my general reaction to events that I have no personal connection to, rather than it making me feel particularly sad. I guess it's the difference between empathy and feeling something personally.

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    • #3
      Yeah I kinda wonder this a lot, it definitely applies to me. If somebody has no relevance in my life then I just don't care for the most part.

      To my mind a lot of what happens to other people is bound to make you think of your own experiences, if someone has lost a relative you can relate that back to how you felt if you lost one and you might feel sad remembering how that feels, knowing the other person is going to feel that terrible.
      I guess that's empathy but is it really truly caring about this individual?

      Maybe my opinion is skewed because of the way my brain works but I think it gives me a unique perspective, because I've never had a period of mourning or anything really I find it incredibly hard to empathize with people, which makes me not really care. I can't think how their situation made me feel when it happened in my life, I don't remember those feelings.
      Therefore their troubles don't get to me, can't feel a needle in my heart from when my grandfather or grandmother died because my time of grief was like...a day.
      I can't connect to how they feel beyond the surface level "They sad because of thing, sadness bad"


      Makes me wonder how it would be for someone who's had a, for lack of a better word "perfect" life wherein which they've never lost a loved one, pet or fallen out with a friend, never for any reason experienced a period of sadness.
      Could they still empathise with another person and feel sorry for them on a deep level without having experience and understanding of how they might feel?

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      • #4
        I think most people share basic empathy and don't like to hear news like that. If you tell someone your mother is dying and they don't know her, they might feel bad for her to some degree, but I think they'd feel more sympathy for you, since they know you and you're the one telling them.

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