Yes, me too.
I deliberately try to put n=1 anecdotal stories in their proper place. It seems we're hardwired to give them way more credence than they deserve so the logical thing is to realize that they influence us perhaps unreasonably, step back, and try to consider real, large scale evidence.
Yes, and I think this is even true of groups, and maybe most importantly for me, it relates to interpretation of events.
So, it could be that a certain anecdotal experience actually has a strong factual basis - the events the person or group is describing are real. But the question of how those events are interpreted still stands, and that may or may not be the way those people interpreted them.
I remember reading people describing accounts of everyday sexism for an article, for example, which was focused on the idea that men tell women how to eat, and that this is a feature of sexism. There were all kinds of accounts of people saying things about it, and the women commenting thought they were about sexism. What I thought was - ok, I am pretty sure most of these are things that happen just as often to men - its about the way people interact and not a female thing at all. And a few were, IMO, about interactions with crazy people. I may have been right or wrong and maybe directly being there would have clarified in some of those instances, but the fact is that their interpretation of events, as a group, is also limited by their perceptions about society and what motivates people. And if that includes certain social attitudes about women, or ideas about those attitudes, that will colour the interpretation.
To my mind, the only remedy to that is to take it seriously but also to step back and try and see the larger context,a kind of vision from two directions, and too much empathy can actually be a problem, as bad as that sounds. I have a few people I know who are super-high empathizers - I think it actually causes them emotional pain to not empathize with people's stories, but it causes them a lot of problems with thinking about issues, and even problems when their empathy wants them to identify with people who seem to be opposed to each other.