Posted by: Amanda | 2009-09-23

I have no compassion

Dear CS my step father whom I dont have such a fabulous relationship with had a mild heart attack. He did have one prior to this. He is extremely overweight, eats junk, doesnt exercise and doesnt take his meds. We visited him in hospital and in front of everybody I said " Well it shouldn' t come as a suprise really with his lifestyle"  My husband was horrified and said I was selfish and had no compassion for people. I think I just said, out aloud what everybody else was thinking anyway. I wont lie I really dont feel sorry for him he brought it upon himself. Also my alcholic gran who has broken almost every part of her body once has broken her leg and I refused to go and see her in hospital I' m tired. Why wont people learn. Everybody thinks I' m an ugly person.

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Our expert says:
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OK, so he might have been able to prevent this heart attack, and may need to learn to switch to a healthier life-style. But your harsh and rather self-righteous response will understandably bother people --- it is guaranteed NOT to help him move towards a healthier life-style, and sounds more as though you were happy he is at risk of death, and glad to be able to blame him for his own problems. With someone like an alcoholic, admittedly, their repeated crises and self-inflicted woes may indeed wear out one's patience and compassion.
Are you uyouself totally without blame, leading a blameless healthy and perfect life ? If you should experience some serious health problem or risk due to some of your own behaviour, would you expect everyone to respond to you in exactly the same way you are responding to these members of your family ? Or would you expect a little more understanding and helpfulness ?
I don't think anyone should have expected you to kneel weeping at the bedside, wallowing in compassion. But couldnt you have expressed yourself more gently, expressing regret that he was experiencing this crisis, and suggesting that you'd like to help him adopt more heart-healthy ways, as his doctors were likely to suggest, understanding that such advice is easy to give and not so easy to carry out ?

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Our users say:
Posted by: almost mad | 2009-09-25

I think sometimes we too soft and I like the way you have taken a stand to be in control of how people effect your life. I just think you should be weary of not doing or saying something you will regret when the person is gone.

Reply to almost mad
Posted by: Wise Owl | 2009-09-23

I tend to agree with CS in that one cannot simply say what is on ones mind as its not socially acceptable amongst civilised adults. There is always the risk of seriousl y offending people and causes stress fior those around you, not knowing what you are going to blurt out ,even if true.

Hoewever, where I do not have compassion is where someone embarks on a dangerous reckless adventure without considering the consequences, not so much for themselves, but more importantly for those close to them. Now when that person get injured or seriousl y disabled because they wanted to experience " The Rush" , then my compassion goes out the window. What they do to themselves, they deserve for being irresponsible and self centered, but its how their problem becomes mine is what I cannot handle. That is not to say I will not assist them, but I cannot feel compassion for their behaviour

Reply to Wise Owl
Posted by: Rick | 2009-09-23

I think you have just made a huge decision in your life, where you focus on what is working for you and what is not. At a time in our lives we have to look to ourselves and do what is right for us, we have to cut out those who dont fit into what we want for our lives.

Its tough but its our lives and we have to live in our skin, no one else can judge us or critisize us, they have no right.

I dont think you are an ugly person, you are just looking out for yourself.

Reply to Rick

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