I recently dropped my wallet while shopping, reached out among local lost-and-found groups on Facebook, made contact with someone who found it and made arrangements with them to meet up so they can give it back to me. There was nothing of value in the wallet so there's no issue there, but I do want the wallet itself back.
The issue is, the person in question has apparently decided that I'm her new friend. Now that she has my phone number, she's been sending me long texts and voicemails telling me way more about her life than I need to know. I feel like our contact should have been as simple as 'Thank you for finding my wallet, where and when can we meet?'; 'X street at 2 o'clock?'; 'Perfect, see you then'. I get the impression that she is someone with a lot of problems - abusive relationship, serious illness in the family, etc, and that she has been dying for someone to talk to. But she has also mentioned that she's already seeing the proper authorities/supports about these things so it's not like I can give her a useful phone number either, I think she just needs a buddy.
I'm not without compassion and certainly don't want to do any damage to someone who is clearly quite vulnerable, but I never volunteered to be this person for her and she's a total stranger to me.
On the phone I can be noncommital or express a quick note of sympathy but quickly change the subject back to making arrangements to hand over the wallet (which I have to do many times, she is very quick to bring the conversation back to her problems). But we're due to meet in person tomorrow so how do I stop her talking my ear off, again without doing her any damage because she is clearly in a bad place, but also without volunteering to be her new support system?
For cultural context, Ireland is a place where kindness towards strangers is highly valued, where cutting someone off when they're talking is considered very rude (and similarly you're expected to notice when the person you're talking to is politely trying to get away, which this person does not), and using phrases like 'sorry you have this problem but it is your problem' may well get you stoned in the street!!