Sorry long post again.
Ok, it might still be that I don't understand what's the difference between them. It's very hard for me to understand that empahty could be without feeling the feeling what the other person is feeling. And that's sympathy you all say.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.
Ok, I might be wrong in saying that some other person is faking. It's just that all the pieces don't match the puzzle and that is why some people leave me cold even if they look they are sad. I just don't get the intuitive emotional reaction for some reason. It might be that they are truly sad and my perception is totally wrong. I admit that.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.
I'll have to think about the sympathy without truly understading others situatio (empathy) thing. I'll get back to this issue later, I hope.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.
Ok, I see. I'm not trying to say here that you fake your emotions. I never say to a person that I know what they feel better than they (except maybe my husband at times, poor him, lol). I might think that it doesn't feel right but I never say anything. So, everybody is free to feel what they want in my opinoin. Their feelings might not feel right to me, but that's more likely to be my problem, not theirs.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.
People (including myself) think many times that other people think/feel/react like themselves even if people usually don't. That is why MBTI can be good in recongizing that there are different ways of handling things/feeling/thinking etc.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.
It good, bad, uncomfortable is good enough for you then it should be good enough to everybody else too.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".
I can empathize you, because what you describe there is something my xNTP sister has experienced as a child of two strong Fi's and as a sibling to another strong Fi. It's been difficult for her and she is still thinking it through.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?
It's very very very important for a child to be accepted as they are, not as somebody wants them to be. That is one of my strongest "rules" for myself as a mother. Accepting my children as they are.
I'm starting to understand the empahty a little bit better after this thread and to see how strong T's can have that.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.
You are right, I'm judging according to my values. That is why I said I think it's a disgusting thought even if the torturing thing might be right. But I always do that, judge according to my values, that is because Fi is my second strongest function, sometimes it even feels that it is the strongest because it's the introverted function of mine, so kind of closest to my "heart".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.
Yes, sometimes it comes more naturally.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".