Author Topic: When your lack of empathy astounds the people around you. UPDATE P17  (Read 27088 times)

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weeblewobble

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My husband and one of his friends, Eric, discussed this situation the other night and I am still stunned.  Eric's wife, Kelly, is not a drama queen.  She doesn't play up illnesses or injuries.  When she says she's hurt, she's hurt. 

Kelly, an avid runner, is in training for a marathon.  Her friend, Stacy, decided to join her on runs a few months ago.  Kelly thought this was strange, since Stacy had never expressed an interest in running before.  But after a few weeks, when Stacy suggested "joining up" and running with another pair of women Stacy knew through work, it became apparent that Stacy wanted to use running as an excuse to spend time with two women Stacy saw as the "cool kids" in the office. 

Kelly didn't mind running with the other ladies as they seemed pretty nice, though very focused.  But she sort of liked the fact that they set a harder pace and helped her with her endurance.  Stacy became less and less friendly toward Kelly and seemed to be working to ingratiate herself with the other women. 

Last week, Kelly and the group was running on a park trail.  The park looks nice and picturesque, but there have been muggings and other assaults there, so it's not advisable for people to run alone.  The other women pulled ahead because Stacy was having trouble with the pace.  Kelly stayed with her.  Kelly had a missed step about five miles into the ten mile run and severely injured her ankle.  It immediately started to swell and she was in a lot of pain.

The other women were nowhere in sight.  Rather than staying with Kelly and making sure she got back to her car safely, Stacy told her to just walk back to the car and they would meet her when they were done with their run.  Which would take another hour or so. 

And then she ran off, leaving Kelly on the running path by herself.  Kelly tried to hobble back to her car but it hurt too much to walk.  She eventually came across park staff, who got some sort of maintenance golf-cart thing to carry her back to her car.  (They offered to call an ambulance, but she thought she'd OK driving herself. Eric was out of town and wasn't able to get to her.)  She was able to drive herself to the emergency room and got it x-rayed. One of her bones was fractured.   

Stacy called Kelly later that night, irritated that they'd come back to where their cars were parked and Kelly wasn't there.  Kelly explained about the x-ray and that she was not happy with Stacy for running off and leaving her injured, on a trail, to fend for herself so she could run off to catch up with the other women.  Stacy says she had a good pace going and she wanted to finish her run and dismissed Kelly's feelings with a "it's no big deal!" 

The other women called Kelly later, apologizing up and down because they hadn't realized Kelly was hurt and had no idea Stacy had left her behind like that. They said Stacy had told them that Kelly didn't feel like finishing the run and turned around.   (Stacy had called them to express her indignation that Kelly was mad at her and the whole story came out.) 

Stacy continues to tell everybody who will listen that this wasn't her fault and Kelly has no right to be angry with her.  She's tried to brazen her way through Kelly being mad at her by just pretending that the incident never happened and Kelly isn't mad.  Kelly is having no part of it.   Stacy's even calling Eric to try to get him to "talk some sense" into Kelly. 

Kelly is considering a temporary cut direct, but is reluctant because they've been friends for years and this is the first time Stacy has done something like this. Other than ignoring Stacy's phone calls, is there any way Kelly can convince Stacy that she did something wrong and has damaged their friendship?
« Last Edit: October 16, 2012, 10:30:12 AM by weeblewobble »

TootsNYC

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Re: When your lack of empathy astounds the people around you.
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2012, 11:12:04 AM »
I wouldn't bother trying to convince Stacy; I'd just cool off.  Let time, and the other women's reaction, have an effect, if it's at all possible for it to.

TurtleDove

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Re: When your lack of empathy astounds the people around you.
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2012, 11:17:59 AM »
As a runner, I can sortof see where Stacy is coming from, although knowing Kelly's disposition perhaps not.  It can be irritating to run with someone who simply does not want to push herself, or who expects you to slow down or walk when you are enjoying the run.  If Stacy thought Kelly was crying wolf, I can see her thinking it was no big deal to run on ahead.  I have had several running partners (who did not last long for this reason) ask me to run ahead  because they don't want to keep up.  There is nothing "wrong" with them aside from they aren't "feeling" the run, be it the pace or distance.

Here, it seems Kelly was legitimately physically hurt....but Stacey probably did not realize it.  I also didn't see that Kelly fully asked Stacey to stay with her or help her.  Kelly is hurt emotionally, but I think the best approach would be to explain to Stacy why she is upset and then drop it.  It's one incident in a longterm friendship. 

In my experience, runners who regularly run 10 miles are able to handle situations like this, either by carrying a cell phone (I always do) or being clear that they need help.  I don't see that Kelly did this.

gramma dishes

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Re: When your lack of empathy astounds the people around you.
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2012, 11:22:47 AM »
...    is there any way Kelly can convince Stacy that she did something wrong and has damaged their friendship?

Stacy has indeed damaged their friendship.  You don't do that kind of thing to friends and clearly Stacy felt the other two women were far more important than her long time "friend" Kelly. 

If I were Kelly, I don't know that I'd actually do a cut direct but I'd certainly be a little frostier toward her and most definitely would not include her on any future runs or other activities.  It might be different if Stacy had actually realized after the fact that her behavior was extremely inappropriate, but clearly she doesn't feel that way.  What's that saying "When someone shows you who they are, believe them"?  I think Stacy has shown that although she may not be an "enemy",  she also is not a friend.

Zilla

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Re: When your lack of empathy astounds the people around you.
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2012, 11:23:19 AM »
This isn't a lack of empathy but sheer selfishness and uncaring.  Taking out all the BG in the story it boils down to this: Person got hurt and was abandoned by her friend.  End of story.


I would stay out of it but be blunt on what you would do.  If you would stay friends or not.  I personally would not. 

TurtleDove

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Re: When your lack of empathy astounds the people around you.
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2012, 11:25:08 AM »
Can the OP clarify?  The way I read this, Kelly did NOT ask Stacey to stay with her or get her help and then Stacey refused.  That scenario I would agree Stacey was rude.

But if Kelly did not ask Stacey to stay or get her help, I can absolutely understand Stacey continuing on her run.  Kelly is an experienced runner and since she didn't ask for help I think it is normal for Stacey to have run ahead.

bloo

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Re: When your lack of empathy astounds the people around you.
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2012, 11:25:22 AM »
...    is there any way Kelly can convince Stacy that she did something wrong and has damaged their friendship?

Stacy has indeed damaged their friendship.  You don't do that kind of thing to friends and clearly Stacy felt the other two women were far more important than her long time "friend" Kelly. 

If I were Kelly, I don't know that I'd actually do a cut direct but I'd certainly be a little frostier toward her and most definitely would not include her on any future runs or other activities.  It might be different if Stacy had actually realized after the fact that her behavior was extremely inappropriate, but clearly she doesn't feel that way.  What's that saying "When someone shows you who they are, believe them"?  I think Stacy has shown that although she may not be an "enemy",  she also is not a friend.

This. I totally agree.

gramma dishes

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Re: When your lack of empathy astounds the people around you.
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2012, 11:26:12 AM »
As a runner, I can sortof see where Stacy is coming from, although knowing Kelly's disposition perhaps not.  It can be irritating to run with someone who simply does not want to push herself, or who expects you to slow down or walk when you are enjoying the run.  ...

Keep in mind though that according to the story, Kelly stayed behind for Stacy because it was Stacy who couldn't keep up the pace!

Zilla

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Re: When your lack of empathy astounds the people around you.
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2012, 11:26:20 AM »
As a runner, I can sortof see where Stacy is coming from, although knowing Kelly's disposition perhaps not.  It can be irritating to run with someone who simply does not want to push herself, or who expects you to slow down or walk when you are enjoying the run.  If Stacy thought Kelly was crying wolf, I can see her thinking it was no big deal to run on ahead.  I have had several running partners (who did not last long for this reason) ask me to run ahead  because they don't want to keep up.  There is nothing "wrong" with them aside from they aren't "feeling" the run, be it the pace or distance.

Here, it seems Kelly was legitimately physically hurt....but Stacey probably did not realize it.  I also didn't see that Kelly fully asked Stacey to stay with her or help her.  Kelly is hurt emotionally, but I think the best approach would be to explain to Stacy why she is upset and then drop it.  It's one incident in a longterm friendship. 

In my experience, runners who regularly run 10 miles are able to handle situations like this, either by carrying a cell phone (I always do) or being clear that they need help.  I don't see that Kelly did this.


I think you misread the OP.  Stacy was not the avid or good runner.  Kelly was and stayed behind to run with Stacy who wasn't keeping up.  Then Kelly got hurt.  Stacy left her.  And while it's smart to have a cellphone, who is she going to call when her friend should have helped her. 

bloo

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Re: When your lack of empathy astounds the people around you.
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2012, 11:27:46 AM »
Can the OP clarify?  The way I read this, Kelly did NOT ask Stacey to stay with her or get her help and then Stacey refused.  That scenario I would agree Stacey was rude.

But if Kelly did not ask Stacey to stay or get her help, I can absolutely understand Stacey continuing on her run.  Kelly is an experienced runner and since she didn't ask for help I think it is normal for Stacey to have run ahead.

I agree with you but when Stacy finished and realized Kelly was gone her reaction was to get irritated with Kelly? I'd have assumed something was seriously wrong if my friend up and left me. Once Stacy found out what happened, groveling apologies should commence, not continued justifications and pretending nothing was wrong. THAT is what is probably ticking Kelly off.

TurtleDove

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Re: When your lack of empathy astounds the people around you.
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2012, 11:27:57 AM »
I am wondering if the differences in how some of us see this depends on how we see the purpose of the run.  If it was "girl time," then yes, it was rude for Stacey to run ahead (and also rude of the other two women).  If the purpose was to get in a 10 mile run, I do not think any of them were rude.  If I were Kelly, EVEN IF I WERE HURT, I would have expected the other women to continue the run unless I clearly asked them for help.

bloo

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Re: When your lack of empathy astounds the people around you.
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2012, 11:32:06 AM »
I am wondering if the differences in how some of us see this depends on how we see the purpose of the run.  If it was "girl time," then yes, it was rude for Stacey to run ahead (and also rude of the other two women).  If the purpose was to get in a 10 mile run, I do not think any of them were rude.  If I were Kelly, EVEN IF I WERE HURT, I would have expected the other women to continue the run unless I clearly asked them for help.

I dunno. I'm a long-distance runner too but for personal pleasure not for marathons. I'd stop my run in a heartbeat if someone needed help. I have actually done that (stopped to help someone move furniture and to use my cell when their car I was running by broke down).

And in this case it simply wasn't possible for Kelly or Stacy to let the other women know right when it happened.

TurtleDove

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Re: When your lack of empathy astounds the people around you.
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2012, 11:32:41 AM »
I think you misread the OP.  Stacy was not the avid or good runner.  Kelly was and stayed behind to run with Stacy who wasn't keeping up.  Then Kelly got hurt.  Stacy left her.  And while it's smart to have a cellphone, who is she going to call when her friend should have helped her.

No, I read it right.  I did not see that Kelly made it clear to Stacey that she wanted her to stay.  As the more experienced runner, I would have expected Kelly to do so if that is what she wanted.

TurtleDove

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Re: When your lack of empathy astounds the people around you.
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2012, 11:33:53 AM »
I dunno. I'm a long-distance runner too but for personal pleasure not for marathons. I'd stop my run in a heartbeat if someone needed help. I have actually done that (stopped to help someone move furniture and to use my cell when their car I was running by broke down).

And in this case it simply wasn't possible for Kelly or Stacy to let the other women know right when it happened.

To the bolded, I would too.  What I keep saying, however, is that I did not see that Kelly made it clear to Stacey that she needed help.

wolfie

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Re: When your lack of empathy astounds the people around you.
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2012, 11:34:49 AM »
I think Stacey knew something was wrong otherwise she wouldn't have told the other women that Kelley got bored and wanted to go home, vs she got a minor injury and decided to go home.