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  1. #1
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Default Is this a weird reaction re tragedy/death?

    I was having a conversation with someone I know a while ago about the fact that while I was growing up in Canada, I ended up going to a lot of funerals. This was largely because my family knew a lot of elderly to extremely elderly people (we lived in a retirement town), but I mentioned that tragically some of these funerals were for people whose death was very premature – and even for a couple of suicides.

    When I mentioned the suicides, this person’s reaction was “How did they do it?”, seeming quite curious to know the answer.

    The more I think about it, the more I find this reaction weird to the point of being a bit disturbing. (I said something like “oh, I don’t want to get into that” and changed the subject, I think.) This person can be a bit flippant with morbid humour etc, but wouldn’t most people say something like “how tragic” or “that’s really sad”? There was none of that.

    I wasn’t telling the story to get pity or anything for all the funerals I had to go to…it was more just factual. Come to think of it, a mutual acquaintance of ours died (elderly, but not ancient) and we exchanged a couple of texts about this. I said “I can’t go to the funeral because I’m working during the week – honestly, I feel anyway like I’ve been to enough funerals for a lifetime.” Their response was “Yeah, funerals are pretty boring.” Again I thought this was odd. My response was something like “well, I’m thinking more about ‘sad’ than ‘boring’”, which I don’t think garnered much of a response.

    Weird/disturbing? Or just me over-sensitive?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    I dont think its either weird/disturbing or that you're over sensitive.

    Its understandable that it being within your actual experience that you would have a different reaction to someone who it is an abstract topic of conversation to.

  3. #3
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    Well, it could be for many reasons.

    I've let myself out on suicides really hurtfully in the past. I've no respect for suicide, and as harmful as it may sound, I can't help myself but think "good riddance" everytime I hear about someone suiciding. Why? Because suicide has caused me more pain than anything in my life. And naturally, I dislike it a lot.

    The annoying part is whenever I let myself out like that and there are people going "And what do you know about it!?" all angry... Because the answer to that question is something that I, particularly face to face, have a lot of trouble with answering. And so I don't.

    What I'm trying to say is, his reasons for coming of as morbidly dark about suicides, may have underlying emotions that he does not show, or does not want to show. Like a shield or wall. And he may not be as morbid as he makes himself appear at all.

    As for funerals, I dislike going to them, because I rarily share the same emotions than other people there, and I feel out of place. Sometimes to the point of disliking myself for not having any emotions that some people seem to think are important. And definatly when there are people that try to comfort me, as those attempts are utterly wasted on me.

    I've shut myself out of that a long time ago. Nowadays I go to funerals because people expect me to go. Not because I want to go. And that can't be a good thing. :P
    ~Self-depricating Megalomaniacal Superwolf

  4. #4
    Senior Member sofmarhof's Avatar
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    I would want to know how the person did it, but I wouldn't ask because obviously that's inappropriate. I assume that most people are like that. So, if I were talking about a suicide, and somebody asked me that, I would think "Wow, that's rude" more than "Wow, that's disturbing."

    So, I think your friend just doesn't have any social skills, rather than anything worse.

  5. #5
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    Weird/disturbing? Or just me over-sensitive?
    There are too many reasons that could explain why they offered this response... the most basic being that it was THEIR coping mechanism to avoid the anxiety of not knowing what to say or do in that situation. Such a comment could even be made humorously; I'd never say that to someone I didn't know, but I might say it to a friend... it's my way of breaking the tension.

    I'd be hesitant to draw working conclusions without at least other supporting evidence where they've obsessed over this angle and ignored the easier and potentially more appropriate ones.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  6. #6
    Senior Member Eckhart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I dont think its either weird/disturbing or that you're over sensitive.

    Its understandable that it being within your actual experience that you would have a different reaction to someone who it is an abstract topic of conversation to.
    I think I agree with that. I don't know how the discussion was going on, but maybe he just didn't see that you was more attached to the happenings in your discussion and asked out of curiousity, otherwise he would probably react different.

  7. #7
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Good points all of the above, thanks. It's probably not worth getting very "disturbed" about. The "no social skills" hypothesis doesn't fit so well though, simply because this is someone who generally manages to (or tries to) present a very slick social appearance. And generally they are good at saying the right thing, though I am not always sure how much they mean it. So, this really struck a weird note. (I have had some reason to doubt this person's capacity for empathy otherwise so may be building this into a grander picture for that reason.)

    It's true that the mention of something like suicide can just be too awkward/sensitive for some and they might therefore have a weird reaction, or else it's always been at too much of a distance from their lives for them to note that this could be rude and insensitive. I don't actually know whether this person has any remotely close experience of suicide, if I did know, that might explain things somewhat, maybe. In my case, one of the people was a guy I'd briefly dated a few years previously, and the other was the son of friends (I'd never actually met him.) I bet that if I had mentioned the former at least there would have been some sort of at least slightly embarrassed reaction if I'd said it after "how did they do it?". Who knows, though.

    I have to admit that before suicide came anywhere near my life, my reaction would have probably been more or less "that's terrible, but isn't suicide selfish/cowardly?" I have more understanding of the factors that can lead up to it now (though I'm hardly an expert) so I feel like I have more empathy toward people who have gone down that road. Though I can also see where Fluffywolf is coming from with despising the whole thing because it's caused so much pain.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eckhart View Post
    I think I agree with that. I don't know how the discussion was going on, but maybe he just didn't see that you was more attached to the happenings in your discussion and asked out of curiousity, otherwise he would probably react different.
    Yup.

    If you think of the reaction of the press and their readership to the deaths of celebrities, they instantly want to know the how, even before the speculation as to the why begins. So its something which isnt uncommon when its a stranger, an other of some description.

    That someone might behave that way and not think about the attachments involved doesnt surprise me.

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