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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quinlan View Post
    I'm thankful that my automatic response is limited to sympathy, my ESFJ wife is like a sponge, she can't help but feel whatever the people around her are feeling. Maybe that is why ESFJs tend to go well with ISFPs? We have near bottomless optimism and positive vibes for them to soak in.
    I would completely lose my marbles if I woke up with a curse like that. I sometimes wonder if there wasn't a time when I was a serious feeler (as a small child maybe) because it makes me so completely uncomfortable to be around people in pain. It makes me feel so anxious and nauseated, I just cannot bear it.

  2. #12
    Intriguing.... Quinlan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by juggernaut View Post
    I would completely lose my marbles if I woke up with a curse like that. I sometimes wonder if there wasn't a time when I was a serious feeler (as a small child maybe) because it makes me so completely uncomfortable to be around people in pain. It makes me feel so anxious and nauseated, I just cannot bear it.
    Could be the opposite, maybe as a thinking child you avoided and never became accustomed to that feeling? Although now that I think about it, I never know what to do around someone that is very upset, I feel lost and clam up. Maybe that's weird for a feeler? Physical pain in others makes me cringe also.
    Act your age not your enneagram number.

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  3. #13
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    You know that's a very astute observation. My kookie ESFJ mom certainly didn't make emotion look pretty, and my ENTJ dad has only one speed...conquer!! Perhaps that's where the panic comes from. Then again, maybe that 13% feeling is all locked up in this sort of sicko-brand of empathy...

    No wonder I don't want to do it!

  4. #14
    Senior Member Wade Wilson's Avatar
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    It's a total on/off thing for me. For example, in a huge catastrophe, I can single out my sympathy for certain individuals while not caring about others. If a person has some quality I find redeeming I can do it. Everyone else is just meat.

    I can empathize with people but it doesn't mean I care. It just means I can try and mold their mood to my liking.
    I know a girl, she's one of a kind
    But the poor little thing, she's going out of her mind
    There's something you forgot - there's a reason why she's lost
    Cos baby she don't want to be found

  5. #15
    Senior Member Nonsensical's Avatar
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    Not for me, honestly. I've always been a very strong F. maybe even too strong at times. I've felt I've always had a natural knack for sympathy, I use it everyday non-stop. I never remember struggling with it, and never had to try to learn it. I guess someone people have it, and some don't. Everyone can develop it, though, it's not limited to Fs over Ts. Give it a Go!
    Is it that by its indefiniteness it shadows forth the heartless voids and immensities of the universe, and thus stabs us from behind with the thought of annihilation, when beholding the white depths of the milky way?

  6. #16
    Allergic to Mornings ergophobe's Avatar
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    I've been pondering this myself as I worked on my own EN?P mystery.

    Sympathy is easy -- giving people the benefit of doubt without judgment seems natural. Just appreciating them for who they are, for their flaws and for the events they encounter (a consequence of their own doing or not, most people are profoundly affected by life events).

    The empathy is a lot harder. It only happens if I have actually been in a similar position. When that is the case, it's not necessary that I want to revisit that place but it makes the empathy sincere when it emerges. See, this is what makes me think t.

  7. #17

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    That's a really hard question to answer. I don't know. I think both sympathy and empathy take a lot of effort. That's too hard of a question for a simple guy like me.

  8. #18
    Obsession. Lethe's Avatar
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    In my case, I have proficient empathy yet terrible sympathy. It's almost impossible for me to offer a comforting hand when I cannot feel their emotions. I would then resort to a pure rational standpoint to assist them instead. This does disappoint the other party if they are seeking condolences. Merely saying, "I'm sorry about your misfortunes" without empathy feels cheap and awkward. I much rather say, "Is there anything I could do when you're on leave?" Many relatives think I have an icy demeanor since I do not sympathize well. I'm just not into half-hearted attempts at emotional support.
    "I cannot expect even my own art to provide all of the answers -- only to hope it keeps asking the right questions." -- Grace Hartigan

    Enneagram: Tritype - 1w9, 5 (balanced wings), 2w3; Overall Variant: So/Sx
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    Quote Originally Posted by OneWithSoul View Post
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  9. #19
    Queen hunter Virtual ghost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quinlan View Post
    Could you elaborate? If it takes no effort why would you ever need to fake it?
    It is very simple. To some of us sympathy doesn't come naturally.
    You sympathize naturally or you don't sympathize. If you are investing alot of energy in this that would mean you are faking it.

    But in some cases you are simply forced/need to sympathize. So the easiest solution is pretending that you are emotionally concerned.

  10. #20
    12 and a half weeks BerberElla's Avatar
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    Sympathy doesn't take effort, squashing it does. Sometimes I feel sympathy for people who don't actually deserve it when measured against all the wrongs they have done anyway, and it takes alot of effort to squash my natural desire to comfort said person.

    Empathy I feel often, it's draining, very draining.
    Echo - "So are you trying to say she is Evil"

    DeWitt - "Something far worse, she's an Idealist"

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