Saturday Soapbox – I Feel Bad for You




Welcome to my weekly discussion feature. On Saturdays I will be posting my weekly discussion topic and a linky for you to post your weekly discussions as well. I hope you enjoy the discussions and come back every week.

If you hadn’t noticed I am celebrating this month. It is 125Pages’ 1st blogiversary! You can check out the whole schedule and enter the big giveaway here. For the month of April all Soapbox Saturdays will have a mini-giveaway of a $10 Amazon gift card for commenting, linking up or tweeting about the discussion. The giveaway will be open until the next Saturday Soapbox post.




It is April 1st as I write this. Otherwise known as April Fool’s Day. According to –

On this day in 1700, English pranksters begin popularizing the annual tradition of April Fools’ Day by playing practical jokes on each other.

Although the day, also called All Fools’ Day, has been celebrated for several centuries by different cultures, its exact origins remain a mystery. Some historians speculate that April Fools’ Day dates back to 1582, when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, as called for by the Council of Trent in 1563. People who were slow to get the news or failed to recognize that the start of the new year had moved to January 1 and continued to celebrate it during the last week of March through April 1 became the butt of jokes and hoaxes. These included having paper fish placed on their backs and being referred to as “poisson d’avril” (April fish), said to symbolize a young, easily caught fish and a gullible person.




I hate April Fool’s Day as I cannot stand to see other people made fools of. I loath pranks and just think they are mean. When I watch a TV show or movie where someone gets made fun of, either directly or indirectly, I generally cover my eyes to block it out. I get a rush of feeling in my gut, I turn red and I hate every bit of it.




My biggest problem though is in reading. I can’t close my eyes when I feel bad for a person, I can’t blindly turn the page as there is probably stuff I will miss in the story line. So what can I do? I always say I want to feel with a character, not just for them. But when a moment happens that just makes me want to die (for example in Bridget Jones’ Diary she showed up at a nice party in a Playboy bunny girl outfit because she didn’t get the message that the Tarts & Vicars theme was not happening. Actually the majority of that book killed me.) what is the correct procedure? Now, I know I am very sensitive, I cry at Hallmark commercials “She got a card!” and at the Christmas coffee commercial “He came home!”, but man does it hamper reading at times. I guess being sensitive to others feelings is not wholly bad, but it puts a different perspective on what most others find amusing. I find I will shy away from certain authors if I have felt to much awkwardness in their previous books. So knowing I cannot change how I react, I will try to find comfort in the small things in my reads and gloss over the bad as quickly as possible.




So tell me, what makes you feel sorry for a book character? How do you react and or cope?



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Posted April 1, 2016 by Laura in Blogiversary, Giveaway, Saturday Soapbox / 10 Comments

10 responses to “Saturday Soapbox – I Feel Bad for You

  1. I’m not taking part in the link-up on my blog, but I wanted to comment on your post.
    I feel the same as you do– when I used to see a therapist (for another reason) she said that I’m (too) empathetic, which goes beyond sympathetic… because you take on other people’s emotional pain. This is why I do poorly watching the evening news. I can’t do anything to help the people shown on it, but I still get distressed over the stories.

    When I’m reading, a theme that bothers me is when a young person is bullied. I just read a book in which the quirky high school boy was bullied by the football team he wasn’t good enough to play on, and they made his life miserable. I don’t close my eyes or skip pages but my heart goes out to him because my son was bullied in elementary and high school for being quirky also.

    Thanks for the discussion and the chance to win.
    Rita @ View From My Home recently posted…Month in Review: March 2016My Profile

  2. Kel

    I think betrayals of some sort make me feel the worst for a character, but I have the biggest problem reading train wrecks I see coming, especially those of the character’s own making. If anyone walking down the street could point out how badly this line of conduct will turn out, either change course now or don’t whine and expect me to feel bad when it (inevitably) blows up in your face. Great post, Laura!

  3. Oh gosh, I know what you mean! I do okay with reading for the most part, but I do often get embarrassed for characters in movies and TV shows. Probably because I’m seeing someone and everyone’s reactions; it makes it more real to me and it’s just a bit cringe-worthy. I really don’t like April Fool’s either. Some “pranks” or “tricks” are mostly cute and fine, but other ones are mean or just annoying.

    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…Follower Giveaway: Signed and Personalized Copy of IlluminaeMy Profile

  4. Honestly, I kind of hate pranks too. I don’t necessarily cover my eyes, but yeah, I am not a fan. I have never participated in April Fool’s either because I just think most pranks are a bit ridiculous. Great post!
    Cynthia @ Bingeing On Books recently posted…March Wrap-UpMy Profile