That last one, the bad situation, is a tricky one since it involves a decision.
There's an old adage that you should only give your characters a bad choice and a worse choice when it comes down to the wire.
But what makes readers empathize with a character isn't necessarily that they have a choice to make but the decision-making process itself. We all make decisions on a daily basis and identify with that uncertain feeling.
Do I save my pennies or buy that $6 Starbucks latte?
Do I wear the red shoes or the blue shoes?
Should I quit my horrible job and marry the billionaire?
Okay, that last one might be for fictional characters only. But you get the idea. Decisions work in the writer's favor for several reasons: