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  1. #11
    Senior Member yeghor's Avatar
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    http://www.empathy-and-listening-skills.info/

    http://www.diffen.com/difference/Empathy_vs_Sympathy

    Emotional differences

    Sympathy essentially implies a feeling of recognition of another's suffering while empathy is actually sharing another's suffering, if only briefly. Empathy is often characterized as the ability to "put oneself into another's shoes". So empathy is a deeper emotional experience.

    Empathy develops into an unspoken understanding and mutual decision making that is unquestioned, and forms the basis of tribal community. Sympathy may be positive or negative, in the sense that it attracts a perceived quality to a perceived self identity, or it gives love and assistance to the unfortunate and needy.

    I think for me as an INFJ, my Ni allows me to empathize with the person and my Fe-aux is the outlet that I offer sympathy (or contempt)...

    Thru Ni I understand where the other person is coming from, how (s)he feels, what his/her reasoning and then may decide to employ Fe to externally show sympathy and offer help or criticism depending on whether I agree or disagree with him/her...

    It is possible to be empathetic and not sympathetic at the same time.

    For example: If a person gambles and loses all his money, you may feel empathetic and try to analyze the reason for doing so but you will not be sympathetic towards him as it is his fault entirely in losing the money.

    On the other hand, you can both empathize and sympathize at the same point. If someone loses a loved one to a disease, you will feel sympathy for them and, if you have ever lost a loved one yourself, you are likely to empathize with their position.

    Another example that captures the difference between empathy and sympathy: "When I think about the abuse the serial killer endured as a child, I feel empathy, however I simply cannot sympathize with the choices he made as an adult."

    When one exhibits empathy a person doesn't necessarily have to agree with the conclusions being drawn by the person who they are empathizing with. For example, one may empathize with the loss of a loved one but may not agree with another person that the loss be avenged violently.

    So I believe it is not entirely about Fi versus Fe...

    For INFPs, Fi-dom is the reservoir of their feelings and values...If what the other person tells resonates with something within the Fi-reservoir (thru Si-tertiary perhaps?) INFP can empathize with the other person (and judge him/her since F either introverted or extraverted is a judging function?)...and then depending on the judgment perhaps may employ Ne to find ways to soothe/help the other without passing any judgment (since N either introverted or extraverted is a perceiving function?)...

    So you can empathize without sympathizing but cannot sympathize without empathizing?

    Any thoughts?

  2. #12
    Paranoid Android Video's Avatar
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    According to the above definitions, empathy and sympathy tend to stick together as far as I am concerned.

    I can empathize without being sympathetic, but the circumstance is rare and extreme. Sympathy unaccompanied by empathy is something I can't compute. Don't assume me an unconditional bleeding heart, though. Remember combination number four: no sympathy or empathy. When they're off, they're all the way off.
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  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by yeghor View Post
    So you can empathize without sympathizing but cannot sympathize without empathizing?

    Any thoughts?
    Sure you can sympathize without empathizing. Why not? I can do it. This is actually what I usually do, I recognize someone's suffering and will even try to help them but still not feel the deep sharing of the feeling that is empathy.

    For me empathizing without sympathy is what's weird Though sure it makes sense, it's just totally not what I do.

    @Misty ...does it compute for you better now?

  4. #14
    Paranoid Android Video's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valaki View Post
    Sure you can sympathize without empathizing. Why not? I can do it. This is actually what I usually do, I recognize someone's suffering and will even try to help them but still not feel the deep sharing of the feeling that is empathy.

    For me empathizing without sympathy is what's weird Though sure it makes sense, it's just totally not what I do.

    @Misty ...does it compute for you better now?
    Yes, I see. Better wording could have been that I have never experienced it that way.
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  5. #15
    As Long As It Takes.... Redbone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stansmith View Post
    Hmm, what would this example fall under?

    I was walking across a bridge earlier today when an older man noticed me taking pictures and decided to engage me in small talk...I didn't feel like talking to him, but I didn't consider it just to give him the cold-shoulder (I was also worried that ignoring him would create an unpleasant or awkward situation that would only leave me feeling guilty afterwards, however insignificant it may be in the grand scheme of things), so I decided to be receptive towards his initiative by nodding while I listened to his stories semi-attentively and answered any questions he had without revealing too much about myself (he wasn't crazy or anything, just friendly). I kept it up for maybe 10 minutes until we got to the end of the bridge and he decided to go back, since he had finished his daily walk...
    This is interesting. I find myself doing stuff like this with people except that I am very prone to abrupt disengagement when I've had enough. 10 minutes is about the limit, too. From the outside, it may look like one day I'm friendly and engaging but the next day, I have little to say so it looks fickle...ah well.

    Empathy seems more Fi.

    Sympathy seems more Fe.

  6. #16
    Stansmith
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redbone View Post
    This is interesting. I find myself doing stuff like this with people except that I am very prone to abrupt disengagement when I've had enough. 10 minutes is about the limit, too. From the outside, it may look like one day I'm friendly and engaging but the next day, I have little to say so it looks fickle...ah well.

    Empathy seems more Fi.

    Sympathy seems more Fe.
    Courtesy for (Aux and Dom) Fe users seems to be an automatic response with implicit conditions, whereas for me, it's an acknowledgement of a human being's intrinsic value, regardless of his actions or his ability to reciprocate the deed. Although obviously, there's a limit. When my ESFP or ENTJ cousins notice that I'm not in mood to talk, they go along their merry ways, allowing me to mull over my thoughts or listen to my music without inquiring further; if I were to do the same around my ISFJ mother on the other hand, she might view it as me intentionally rejecting her initiative, and would proceed to ask if there's something wrong, or even take it as an insult. Obviously, not all Fe users are like this (and I hold no grudge against my mother for it), but it's one example of how the dynamic can play out..

    Another example I can think of is from earlier today; a barber messed up my hair pretty badly, forcing me to have to get a buzz cut (which I don't necessarily mind). While I'd imagine a Fe-user would hold a more obvious grudge towards him, I just accepted it, payed him what he asked, and left without a fuss. For whatever reason, I couldn't bring myself to blame him directly for what he'd done, even though he did me an obvious disservice. Perhaps it makes me spineless, but it felt like the right thing to do and I figured if he were to end up getting fired for poor service, I didn't want to be the person to do him in, no matter how 'inconsiderate' I may have perceived his actions to be.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stansmith View Post
    Courtesy for (Aux and Dom) Fe users seems to be an automatic response with implicit conditions, whereas for me, it's an acknowledgement of a human being's intrinsic value, regardless of his actions or his ability to reciprocate the deed. Although obviously, there's a limit. When my ESFP or ENTJ cousins notice that I'm not in mood to talk, they go along their merry ways, allowing me to mull over my thoughts or listen to my music without inquiring further; if I were to do the same around my ISFJ mother on the other hand, she might view it as me intentionally rejecting her initiative, and would proceed to ask if there's something wrong, or even take it as an insult. Obviously, not all Fe users are like this (and I hold no grudge against my mother for it), but it's one example of how the dynamic can play out..
    I guess I can be like that a bit, depending on how much I originally even cared to initiate something.


    Another example I can think of is from earlier today; a barber messed up my hair pretty badly, forcing me to have to get a buzz cut (which I don't necessarily mind). While I'd imagine a Fe-user would hold a more obvious grudge towards him, I just accepted it, payed him what he asked, and left without a fuss. For whatever reason, I couldn't bring myself to blame him directly for what he'd done, even though he did me an obvious disservice. Perhaps it makes me spineless, but it felt like the right thing to do and I figured if he were to end up getting fired for poor service, I didn't want to be the person to do him in, no matter how 'inconsiderate' I may have perceived his actions to be.
    Why is that Fe, blame someone if they fuck up their job?

  8. #18
    Stansmith
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    Quote Originally Posted by valaki View Post
    I guess I can be like that a bit, depending on how much I originally even cared to initiate something.




    Why is that Fe, blame someone if they fuck up their job?
    Right, it isn't, necessarily...but the idea there is that blaming him would've been the objective emotional response to that sort of situation, which I instead chose to avoid due to my own subjective reasoning.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stansmith View Post
    Right, it isn't, necessarily...but the idea there is that blaming him would've been the objective emotional response to that sort of situation, which I instead chose to avoid due to my own subjective reasoning.
    OK, I see what you meant.

  10. #20
    mod love baby... Lady_X's Avatar
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    i think it's hard for me to be sympathetic if i can't empathize. which i think is rather fi.
    There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.
    -Jim Morrison

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