Why do I feed bad for not helping someone?
updated by @tigerlily: 12/24/17 08:48:29PM
I usually fail at this as even though i try to push others away, i generally end up listening and absorbing their pain. Even on the few occasions that i have avoided a situation, i have still felt the pain lingering on the fringes for a bit afterwords. Think its just part of how we are. In your situation, since avoiding is almost impossible at such close range, maybe you have to bite the bullet and take the pain. It's always left me hollow and hurt after experiences such as this, but sometimes i have seen those whom were unloading on me become better, all be it sometimes only temporarily. This in turn changes the environment around me and over time might lessen some of the residual. Just don't let them become dependent on you and afterwords find somewhere, I preferably try to make sure i'm alone, and let that pain out of you to the best of your ability. I find cursing at a punching bag helps me a little (hence finding the alone spot so you don't get to many eyes on you)
Like you said, he's you coworker. He's not one of your chosen friends. It's sad he's having intense personal issues, but you are not his paid counsellor. If he was a close friend you might be prepared to be supportive, but even then you'd be wrecked by it and have to have your limits.
The fact that we get physically affected by their stuff would be incomprehensible to someone in his state. I find myself in this position a lot, where I feel mean and they're telling me I am mean, for not getting involved and 'helping'/dying for them - but I just can't do it to myself any more.
Keep up your own happiness and protective energies. Tell him to talk to a counsellor, or if it's a big company do they have an HR person or something? His stuff is not yours to fix.