This might seem like a weird question, but it's something I've always observed in myself and lots of other people. When a person is in a cruddy situation, I feel sorry for them. When they're in a cruddy situation and come up to me and sigh, hoping I'll put on a sad face and ask what's wrong, I stop feeling sorry for them. It's when I know they want attention and sympathy that I hate giving it! Why is that? It just doesn't seem rational!
I can give an example. A girl I know just started medication for anxiety (something I did years ago), and when I did it, it was a private affair, between me, my doctor and family members. I felt there was something wrong with sharing this with people. (Why?) But I watch this girl sigh in front of everyone, hoping they'll start rubbing her back so she can tell the same hackneyed story about how drowsy she is she's already told a thousand times. Because I'm unwilling to feed into that and answer her request for sympathy with sympathy, she is bitter I'm not taking her issues seriously, which I guess it true, since I think she's seeking a level of involvement far beyond what the situation merits.
What is going on in her mind? And why am I so unwilling to give in?