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  1. #51
    Senior Member substitute's Avatar
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    example: I know a woman who's struggling with her first baby. The baby won't sleep and cries all the time if she goes more than a foot away from him. And when he cries, she picks him up and comforts him, every time. She can't bring herself to let him cry and get used to not being comforted every time. Even though everyone in the universe, practically, has told her she's making a rod for her back, and even though she's now always so tired and desperate, she still won't stop picking him up all the time and she won't even let her parents have him for a night because she knows he cries when she leaves him. So she's completely put herself in this position by refusing to do the common sense thing. She knows fully well what she has to do and surely must know, by the fact that everyone else does it, that it's not going to traumatise the baby. But she still won't do it. The result being that she's so exhausted and depressed that she's on the verge of tears all the time.

    I sympathize - I know it's hard for some people to just let their baby cry. I know how hard it is to have babies, having raised two myself, alone. I know how exhausted she feels and that she needs help. But I also know that there's really nothing anyone can do, if she's not going to follow any of the advice she's given.

    I find it very difficult to know how to express my sympathy in this situation, or to gauge whether to even express it at all.
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  2. #52
    Artisan Conquerer Halla74's Avatar
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    Maybe I'm bi-polar with regard to sympathy, because:

    (1) Many times I have offered to listen to a person in need of an ear to talk to, and I might even validate the parts of their situation that I think "suck" or are difficult for them to bear...

    BUT

    (2) I also believe in tough love and "brutal honesty" so I cannot help but be prone to telling them in the same conversation what parts of their dilemma are "self-induced" and offer some what if scenarios for mitigation of similar future circumstances.

    I never GIVE advice, or tell people what to do, I just think out loud from the perspective "If it were me, and I didn't want this shit to happen again, I would/wouldn't...yadda, yadda, yadda."

    Some people live for sympathy. Even histrionics will take on the role of a victim so they can have an audience of people to cry to and complain to so they are on their own little pity party stage. I think such behavior is the equivalent of "negative attention seeking" in adults. But I know who these people are in my life, and I am less prone to offering them the same amount of empathy and correpsonding supportive advice than I would to any of my friends who are good people but can end up going through a tough situation every once in awhile.

  3. #53
    12 and a half weeks BerberElla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by substitute View Post
    example: I know a woman who's struggling with her first baby. The baby won't sleep and cries all the time if she goes more than a foot away from him. And when he cries, she picks him up and comforts him, every time. She can't bring herself to let him cry and get used to not being comforted every time. Even though everyone in the universe, practically, has told her she's making a rod for her back, and even though she's now always so tired and desperate, she still won't stop picking him up all the time and she won't even let her parents have him for a night because she knows he cries when she leaves him. So she's completely put herself in this position by refusing to do the common sense thing. She knows fully well what she has to do and surely must know, by the fact that everyone else does it, that it's not going to traumatise the baby. But she still won't do it. The result being that she's so exhausted and depressed that she's on the verge of tears all the time.

    I sympathize - I know it's hard for some people to just let their baby cry. I know how hard it is to have babies, having raised two myself, alone. I know how exhausted she feels and that she needs help. But I also know that there's really nothing anyone can do, if she's not going to follow any of the advice she's given.

    I find it very difficult to know how to express my sympathy in this situation, or to gauge whether to even express it at all.

    I just hug my isfj friend at the moment when she feels that way, again it's her own fault that the baby is used to being held all the time and won't accept being put down without screaming at the top of her little lungs, but it's her choice, I just give her a hug, remind her that she needs to put the baby down more often, and accept that she isn't going to.
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  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by substitute View Post
    example: I know a woman who's struggling with her first baby. The baby won't sleep and cries all the time if she goes more than a foot away from him.
    I know this isn't the point of the conversation, but just as a quick side note, you could get her the book, "The No Cry Sleep Solution" by Elizabeth Pantley. It's got helpful solutions for parents who don't prefer to let their babies "cry it out" but need to get them to sleep. She might find it helpful.

    (Or PM me your address and I'll send my copy, since I don't need it anymore and would love someone else to get some use out of it. That is ... if I can find it. It might take me a day or two. But it's definitely around here somewhere. )
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  5. #55
    Senior Member substitute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BerberElla View Post
    I just hug my isfj friend at the moment when she feels that way, again it's her own fault that the baby is used to being held all the time and won't accept being put down without screaming at the top of her little lungs, but it's her choice, I just give her a hug, remind her that she needs to put the baby down more often, and accept that she isn't going to.
    Yeah, it's that last part that I find very, very challenging. It seriously offends my Ti. It's the T equivalent of hurt feelings - hurt 'Thought'! Makes it very difficult for me to be around her. I can accept it, but to be faced with it all the time is... difficult. It'd be like saying you forgive an ex that cheated or whatever - you still wouldn't want to see them with the one they ran off with living across the road from you all the time, would you? Like I say, it's totally equivalent for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jewelchild View Post
    I know this isn't the point of the conversation, but just as a quick side note, you could get her the book, "The No Cry Sleep Solution" by Elizabeth Pantley. It's got helpful solutions for parents who don't prefer to let their babies "cry it out" but need to get them to sleep. She might find it helpful.
    Thanks, I'll suggest it to her
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  6. #56
    Senior Member Synapse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by substitute View Post
    I wouldn't say that was my experience of INTJ's at all. I do know an INFP though who's just as likely to say "you only have yourself to blame, I've no sympathy for you!" as your suggestion there...
    INTJ family members, cold abrupt souls. Actually its only my experience, overall helpful just cold. By in large depends on what lingo a person has in their language, my family have a potty mouth like its the colours of the rainbow.

    The infp remark made me imagine what an infj response could be like too.

  7. #57
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    Once you start focusing on sympathy, you start doing it without even thinking about it.

  8. #58
    lab rat extraordinaire CrystalViolet's Avatar
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    I'm thinking sympathy is easier than empathy, as many more people are comfortable with giving sympathy than empathy.
    I also think you can have empathy without sympanthy. I may feel for you but I don't feel sorry for you.
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