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  1. #21
    half mystic, half skeksis jenocyde's Avatar
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    Thanks for taking the time to sit down and read through my whole post!

    Quote Originally Posted by alcea rosea View Post
    After thinking about this overnight I think that there can be sympathy in emotional level without really understanding in thinking level where the other person stands. I mean, there can be emotional response without really understanding the situation where the person can be. I know few people who are like that, they can be very comforting to you when you feel down but you can see from their actions/words afterwards that they didn't really understand why you were feeling down.
    I think we are not speaking of the same thing. I don't need to understand every detail of why you are feeling sad in order to comfort you - I just need to understand that from your point of view, this makes you sad. Because I am empathetic, I can recognize that sadness and then I have the appropriate response of care/concern. I don't have to share in your sadness - that would be sympathy.

    Quote Originally Posted by alcea rosea View Post
    I think these emotional responses are very correct many times. I have noticed that myself, I don't react people who fake emotions. I see the emotion in them but I don't feel it. I those case there is no emotional response even the outer signs show it. It's like half of the pieces are missing in a puzzle. So, the "uncouncious" (meaning here that non rational, the intuitive) emotional reactions are very correct and people should really trust them.
    I've been often accused of faking emotions and I once never have (except that one time I got pulled over for speeding, but that's a different story). I don't express them the same way, but that doesn't mean that I don't feel them.


    Quote Originally Posted by alcea rosea View Post
    So, according to this thread, empathy is more thinking related and sympathy is more emotional-related stuff.
    If it makes it easier for you to understand it like that. I see it as the next step in a chain. You must learn the notes in order to play chords. Many learn the notes but never become skilled musicians. Both processes are learned, however.

    Quote Originally Posted by alcea rosea View Post
    Maybe they feel something you aren't recognizing in yourself? I've seen that many T's aren't really connected with their emotional side (and I don't mean empathy here). Even with the strongest emotions, some of the strong T's arent' able to even notice the feeling (even if the people around them do see it very clearly) and don't figure out why they are feeling that way.
    Everything is a possibility, I won't deny that. But when people project their feelings, it makes me nauseous. If you've read my previous threads, you'll know that nothing irritates me more than being told by someone else how I feel. (please note, I am not irritated with you now, at all!) My reason is simple. I know what it is to feel. Believe me, I do. But some people believe that because I don't react the same way that they would, that I am devoid of feeling. We all are sensitive to different things. Some are sensitive to harsh language - I am not.

    For example, I got quite a few notes expressing sympathy for the way someone spoke to me in a thread. They were shocked and offended on my behalf. Believe me, I was not offended. I know this because I know what being offended feels like and this was not it. I felt inspired, competitive, challenged and a bit of amusement. It doesn't matter how much I have explained that, some choose to simply not believe me. They believe that I am denying what I really feel - and that's what offends me, the self-righteousness.

    Also, the fact that I can't always verbalize the terms doesn't mean that I don't feel it. There are definitely times when people have helped me label my emotions, but I feel them regardless of whether I name them or not. It's just easier for me to call the feeling "good", "bad", or "uncomfortable".

    Quote Originally Posted by alcea rosea View Post
    But still, I say that some "features" in people are inborn. I say this because after observing my 3 children and seeing the one born with strong thinking but with little empathy (I've tried to teach this to my children) and very unattached to emotional side, the other one born with deep need to be true to self, the reserveness to people and the deep empathy that is not shown to outer world and the third one with huge emotional precence, with loads of empathy and sympathy towards others, the energetic presence that the other children lack.
    In my own personal life, I've been tormented by family and friends who believe that, as a woman, I have failed them in my "lack" of emotional responsiveness. It has taken me a long time to realize that I am not broken and that it is ok to be me. My family did not do this to hurt me, but they simply did not understand me and made no effort to. I can assure you that I am being true to myself, and I have a great need to do so. My honesty is forthright, and I believe that anyone who holds back because they want to spare someone else's feelings is not being true to themselves. Do you see how these perceptions can be dangerous if I were a parent to a more harmonious minded, sensitive child?

    I am not as sensitive to certain things as other people are. Some people are sensitive to the cold, some to the heat... but we all know what hot and cold are.

    I don't always feel the need to show every emotion that I feel, but I am very empathetic. Sympathy is harder for me, but in reality, it's hard for most people. If it were easy, no one would ever leave the house due to how much suffering surrounds us on a daily basis.

    Quote Originally Posted by alcea rosea View Post
    That's empathizing. How would you feel? Would you like it? Even without feeling the pain emotionally it would be impossible to be empathic when torturing.
    That's because you are judging according to your values and you believe that others are like you. Victor is correct in his assessment. A torturer must know that a certain action will cause a certain emotional or physical sensation. S/he must also know that this sensation will be unpleasant. S/he does not have to feel that unpleasant sensation in order to know it exists. This is empathy and it is learned. It is learned, along with sympathy. Sympathy is what would stop someone from torturing. Neither process is inherent, they must be learned.

    When a child is 1.5 years old, he will pull your hair not knowing that it can hurt you. This is simply because he is not aware that you are a separate entity. Once he is taught that you are separate, then he must be taught that you feel things. Then he is taught to identify and express those feelings with verbal and vocal cues. Then he mimics those cues. (Actually, mimicking comes earlier, but the awareness of it happens around this time). No one is born with this knowledge. Some learn it faster than others, but life is like that. Some struggle with math, some just "get it".

  2. #22
    Senior Member wildcat's Avatar
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    Originally a pathos is a stretch.
    An unbroken line.
    They say a pathos is about suffering.

    Not exactly.
    It is long suffering.
    Suffering is simply pain.
    Long suffering is a virtue.

    Empathy does not change the original meaning.
    The empathetic stands out the suffering of another.

    Syn- on the other hand is with.
    Sympathy is to stand with the other.

    Not the other.

  3. #23
    Senior Member Snow Turtle's Avatar
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    Hm. I'm still a little fuzzy on the distinction between the two.

    So would somebody who gets upset, but never shows it to the original person be considered as sympathetic? Nevermind answered my own question. Suppose the big problem is where does the whole 'Feel bad' part fall under - empathy or sympathy? - Sympathy obviously has it but can it's origins be in empathy?

    Is it not possible for empathy to be intellectual understanding or emotional understanding? Often it's remarked that empathy is just intellectual understanding, but I don't see reason that a person can't experience the actual emotions that another is going through if they wish to subject themselves to it. Example: Person A loses a dear friend recently. Person B experiences empathy intellectually and the raw emotions because they lost a close friend recently. Then goes on to feel sorry for the person. Person C experiences empathy intellectually but is no longer attached to the raw emotions because they lost their friend a long long time ago, they've moved on. Then goes on to feel sorry for the person. (Realises this may not actually reflect reality but err... it's meant to give a rough idea of what I mean. Someone mentioned that sympathy was an action, for the other person where as empathy is just experiencing things just as it is.)

  4. #24
    Senior Member Snow Turtle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TaylorS View Post
    As an NF with Asperger's I find the claim that autism involves trouble with empathy to be very misleading. I have recently read that there is, in fact, no empathy deficit in autistic individuals, what is actually going on is that our perceptual-sensory issues interfere with getting good data about other people's thoughts and feelings via subtle body language and tone of voice, when the data is more explicit, in the form of speech and obvious emotional reactions, the supposed "empathy deficit" disappears.

    It was that info that lead me to realize that I am an INFJ instead of an INTJ or INTP. In fact, looking back on my childhood, I seemed to have developed Fe as my auxiliary BECAUSE of my Asperger's.
    I'd never have expected that. Would you consider yourself rather empathetic in that case? It's clear that you are empathy orientated however.

  5. #25
    half mystic, half skeksis jenocyde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildcat View Post
    Syn- on the other hand is with.
    Sympathy is to stand with the other.

    Not the other.
    Not sure I understand what you are trying to say - can you explain further?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kai View Post
    Hm. I'm still a little fuzzy on the distinction between the two.
    Quote Originally Posted by jenocyde View Post
    Dr. Baron-Cohen also wrote in "The Empathy Quotient: An Investigation of Adults with Asperger Syndrome or High Functioning Autism,
    and Normal Sex Differences", 2004
    "To give an example, if you walk past a homeless person in winter and you are “moved”or “touched” (both interesting metaphors) to want to help them, this would count as sympathy. You may do nothing more.
    ...

    If, however, you experienced an appropriate emotion (e.g., pity) to the homeless person’s emotion (e.g., hopelessness), but you did not experience any desire to take action to alleviate his or her suffering, then this would count as empathy, but not sympathy."

    An appropriate emotional response can be concern, pity or identification. Please note that he does not say that we must feel the same emotion, only an emotion, for it to count as empathy. You can express concern.

  6. #26
    Senior Member Snow Turtle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jenocyde View Post
    An appropriate emotional response can be concern, pity or identification. Please note that he does not say that we must feel the same emotion, only an emotion, for it to count as empathy. You can express concern.
    It's odd thinking that somebody can experience concern without wanting to reach out to another individual. Thanks for the clarification however - it seems to run similar to what I believe but when I read discussions here it doesn't seem correct either.

  7. #27
    half mystic, half skeksis jenocyde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kai View Post
    It's odd thinking that somebody can experience concern without wanting to reach out to another individual. Thanks for the clarification however - it seems to run similar to what I believe but when I read discussions here it doesn't seem correct either.
    And THIS is the reason why I love you F types. (I know I often bash, and I'm sorry).

  8. #28
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jenocyde View Post
    And THIS is the reason why I love you F types. (I know I often bash, and I'm sorry).
    Oh, how we need the love...

    I think Kai may have a good point. For Fi, for me, cant speak for others, if I allow myself to be open to another's perceived pain, I cannot help but have a reflected, physiological response to that pain. My perception could be wildly inaccurate, totally off base, completely misinterrpreted but it very real for me all the same.

    I really "feel" pain and then am motivated to help that person to make my own reflected discomfort go away.

    I can choose not to feel anything, and function with what bits of analytical reasoning I have but then I am left not feeling happy or sad, just empty and hollow. Then I can sort of make a half hearted attempt at sympathy, but the real deal is all or none.

    Perhaps for certain types of Fs it is very difficult to seperate sympathy from empathy, not because it is not a good idea and a valuable skill, but just becuase we can't. So what is very normal and healthy for a T is actually not healthy for an F in the same scenario???

  9. #29
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    I like sympathy but I like empathy best.

    I like empathy best because I want to be understood.

    And I particularly want to be understood when I am happy.

    If you understand me when I am happy, my happiness is increased.

    And if you understand me when I am happy, my happiness can run its natural course.

    And all feelings, including happiness, have a life of their own. No feeling lasts forever, but while it is alive, it wants to express itself. And it wants to express itself to you.

    All my life I have been fascinated by brick walls. And important parts of my life have been marked by brick walls.

    Sometimes I have just stared at a brick wall; sometimes I have wanted to tear down a brick wall; and sometimes I have planted a garden in front of a brick wall.

    And of course a brick wall is a symbol of someone blocking my feelings. And I think it was my mother.

    My mother looked after my sister and myself very well materially, but was unable to look after us so well emotionally.

    Of course we loved our mother and our mother loved us, but on the emotional level, and quite unconsciously, we were expected in some way to look after our mother emotionally. And of course we did our best, but it was not something we could really do as children. In fact it is the other way around, and mothers are supposed to look after their children. Fortunately our father was able to relate to us more emotionally.

    So I still have a longing to be understood emotionally. I have a longing for empathy.

    And because I am a happy person, I want my happiness understood.

    I don't necessarily want you to be happy with me, although that is nice, but I do want you to understand when I am happy. And let my happiness run its course. Until I am tired and happy and want to rest. Until the next time.

    So my happiness keeps bubbling up and resting. And although I don't have to share it, I do want it understood.

  10. #30
    half mystic, half skeksis jenocyde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    So my happiness keeps bubbling up and resting. And although I don't have to share it, I do want it understood.
    Yes, Victor - that longing to be understood. Very beautifully written. Thanks.

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