Not really an "NF" topic, but I wasn't sure where to put this and figured I'd get good responses here.
When someone tells me that...they have a serious illness; a good friend just died tragically; their marriage is ending; etc, my tendency is to look at them bug-eyed and say "I'M SO SORRY." (And I mean it, too, especially if I'm close to them.)
What surprises me is that quite often, the person will look at me slightly surprised and say "It's not your fault!" or even "It's fine!". This always surprises me in return. Almost as though I said something inappropriate, or they just totally weren't expecting that. And to me it's completely the natural thing to say.
Would any of you react like that - or do you think it's an odd reaction? Or do you think it's a cultural thing? I live in England and I can't remember if anyone in Canada or Ireland reacted like that. Then again, living in England I can think of at least English and South African people who have both reacted like that...
I wonder if they might react like that because I look sincerely moved when I say it? But it's not like I burst into tears! I know though that some people are a bit uncomfortable about any display of emotion, so maybe they feel uncomfortable either that they might be exposing themselves, or that I feel so sorry about the situation. But my reaction if I told someone bad news and they said "I'm sorry" would just be "thank you."