Have you ever felt sorry for an object? 13 hilarious times people felt bad for items, from lonely mugs to cracking a coconut's 'skull'

Illustration. Feeling sad over her car. Photographed by tommaso79
Illustration. Feeling sad over her car. Photographed by tommaso79

We often feel sorry for strangers, and that's considered normal. However, some people take it to the next level by also feeling bad for inanimate objects - the reasons will have you in stitches.

Although it's not something that's openly discussed, these emotions are often genuine and can be explained by science.

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According to Healthline, the term empath comes from empathy, which is the ability to understand the experiences and feelings of others outside of your own perspective. “Empaths have a higher sensitivity to outside stimuli such as sounds, big personalities, and hectic environments. They bring a lot of heart and care to the world and feel things very deeply,” San Diego-based therapist, Kim Egel says.

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Answering the question: Have you ever felt empathy for an object? on Quora, this user responded:

- I feel sorry for mugs which don’t get used much, so I sometimes use them purely out of sympathy.

- I once bought a coconut — and then at the last minute, I just couldn’t bring myself to crack its skull open. So I kept it as a pet.

- When I go home to my mum’s, I feel a bit uncomfortable around my old books and toys and things. They seem so stuck in the past — so unable to move on.

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Another user answered:

- When I let my room turn into a mess I say, “sorry room i’ll clean you up when I have time.”  

- When I accidentally hit the kerb and feel the rims scrape against it I say, “I’m so so sorry Axel [the car's name].” 

“Sorry Axel I’ll feed you soon,” when my car is low on gas.

- If I’m out for a long time I always say “Hi room, how are you?” as I open the door.

- I also thank a lot of things after I use it such as a vacuum or washing machine. I know how weird it sounds. I always think ‘what if these things really do have feelings’. Obviously I know they don’t. Lol.

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We also asked a number of women to share if they feel empathy for inanimate object. Get a tissue ready because these answers are... let’s say a series of outrageous and uproarious humour.

I often feel sorry for objects, especially if I own them, but I also sometimes get angry at them. Once I left my car at work overnight and when I came back the next day it looked so lonely and sad, so I said sorry to it and gave it a small stroke. But then once I drove over a pothole and the car made an extra loud sound. I told it to stop being so dramatic, because jeez.
I feel sorry for a lot of things, but most notably, eggs. I don’t like cracking the shell because then I feel like it could have been a chicken so I usually apologise whenever I have to make eggs.
I generally feel sorry about throwing away things especially if they were used over a long period of time. They can be clothes, shoes, purses or wallets. I feel sorry for plates, glasses and cups that break. I feel like once you liked a thing, you must take time before letting it go. I just feel sorry for them and want them to feel wanted. My boyfriend recently bought a new wallet and so I took his old one because I felt so sorry that he was going to throw it away. He was surprised when I took it and will be surprised (upon reading this) that I still have it. I will throw it away eventually. I still have items of clothes that I’ve had since high school that my mom wants to throw away or give to charity and have cried when she gave others away before. I have a sneaky suspicion that she still does this (throwing old clothes away) but behind my back.
Yah! I actually do feel sorry for objects sometimes. Chairs, for example. I just feel like they deal with a lot of strain, especially when they’re loaded with too many clothes or whatever. It’s like they can’t breathe. (I know they don’t have feelings but I just can’t help but feel for them).
I have felt sorry for inanimate objects since I was a kid. I think, for me, it mostly stems from the need to feel like all of my possessions are being treated fairly and equally. For example, when I covered my dolls with a blanket to sleep (during playtime as a kid), I had to be sure that they were covered equally, or I would feel terrible. It’s something that I have carried with me into adulthood. I still feel terrible when I shut my drawer or wardrobe and my clothes get snagged. I would go back, fix them, and apologise. I’ve also apologised to a mannequin in a store for accidentally stepping on it’s toe.
I usually don’t feel sorry for objects, I don’t think they have capacity for pain so I don’t feel anything for them. I’m usually more compassionate towards plants, living or dead. Seeing plants die and not being able to nurse them back to life is heart-breaking for me.

Social Psych Online calls giving human characteristics to no-humans ‘anthropomorphizing’. Psychologists Nicholas Epley, Adam Waytz, and John Cacioppo in their study titled On seeing human: A three-factor theory of anthropomorphism, say people perceive life in inanimate objects when they know what human qualities might apply, when they want to understand the object’s behaviour, and when they crave social contact.

Here are 7 signs that you are an empath by Author Judith Orloff, MD:

Empaths are highly sensitive

Empaths can easily have their feelings hurt. Empaths are often told that they are “too sensitive” and need to toughen up.

Empaths absorb other people’s emotions

Empaths are highly attuned to other people’s moods, good and bad. They feel everything, sometimes to an extreme.

Many empaths are introverted

Empaths become overwhelmed in crowds, which can amplify their empathy. They tend to be introverted and prefer one to one contact or small groups.

Empaths are highly intuitive

It is important for empaths to develop their intuition and listen to their gut feelings about people.

Empaths need alone time

As super-responders, being around people can drain an empath so they periodically need alone time to recharge their batteries

Empaths have highly tuned senses

An empath’s nerves can get frayed by noise, smells, or excessive talking.

Empaths become replenished in nature

The hype of everyday life can be too much for an empath. The natural world nourishes and restores them.

Do you think inanimate objects have feelings? Tell us here.

Sources: QuoraSocial Psych OnlineHealthline

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