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Thread: INTP's - How do you deal with comforting issues?

  1. #1
    Nips away your dignity Array Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    Default INTP's - How do you deal with comforting issues?

    When there is someone you care about, that has a problem that seems significant to that person. But the problem wouldn't be a problem for you. It's not in issue at all in your mind.

    But you really want to comfort the person, tell them things will be ok. Show them empathy. In fact, when you're confronted with the situation, you visualise yourself doing so. But your real self just stops. Unable to move into that direction. Like an invisible wall preventing you from going there.

    Last time someone fairly close to me had an emotional fit, clearly looking for companionship and someone to lean on. I told the person "You know, I wish I could comfort you, make you feel better and tell you everything is going to be ok. But I'm not going too...", and after saying that, I barely got the words "Trust me, you'll be fine." over my lips. And that was that.

    What's up with that. I didn't really have much of a reason not to comfort the person. It wasn't a big issue. It wasn't an important issue. It didn't really clash with my principles. But it just didn't feel right. Couldn't do it, despite feeling empathy.

    All just because I didn't relate to the problem of the person.


    I think this is common amongst INTP's, that emotion. So I wondered, how do you deal with comforting people, about things you don't feel comfort is needed or justified to yourself?

    For the record. I've no problem comforting people for things that would also hurt me.
    To do or not to do. That is the... ooh, this is interesting.

  2. #2
    That chalkboard guy Array Matthew_Z's Avatar
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    To comfort people, I usually recap their situation and remind them that it's only bad in a bad context. In the grander scheme of things a problem is just one problem in a series of many problems, obstacles, failures, growths, and successes. The present situation is the result of input from the past and everything is going by some sort of system. The system (life, perhaps) peaks and valleys at many points, but the large number theorem will keep things closer to the average. Time is usually an ally and there's a leverage point to anything. All anyone needs to do is listen to the situation and respond accordingly. A panic will not assist the response.

    I usually give that little speech in some form or another. Maybe add a hug and a "I can't say it's going to be okay, but I'm going to say that you have it in you the make the best of a situation."
    If a deaf INFP falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

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    Iron Maiden Array fidelia's Avatar
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    That seems pretty cold and textbooky, Matthew (I think it's the words peaks and valleys, growths and successes, systems and leverage points)! It just seems kind of impersonal, rather than responding to someone who is obviously suffering (whether or not it particularly makes sense why they're suffering). The hug and the "I know you have it in you" part's nice though.

    Most F types need open ears to vent to (without solutions) and sympathy time first before they will be able to shift their focus to the solution. Offering the solution too quickly will just give them one more thing to be upset about, rather than alleviating the burden. Therefore, what may seem to you like them spinning their tires, actually is them trying to clear a path for a solution to travel on. You are performing a valuable service just by expressing your concern or sympathy and doing whatever seems appropriate to make them feel better.

    Fluffy - is it that you cannot actually visualize why they would be so upset, is it impatience with them making such a big deal out of something that seems minor (that usually interferes with my empathy), or is it that you just feel so uncomfortable in that context that it makes you shut down?

    Maybe it's some kind of Fi-ishness (I may be totally mistaken about that, but I think a big part of Fi is being able to fuse with someone else's pain through vividly experiencing it yourself due to similar personal experiences or envisioning what it would be like. Maybe comforting feels kind of like a sham to you if you can't identify with what they are going through. I think Fi cares more specifically too, rather than distress of those who just happen to be near at hand. Maybe this has something to do with how well you know the person?)

    EDIT: Whoops, just noticed after the fact that this was on the NT private subforum. Sorry all!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffywolf View Post
    When there is someone you care about, that has a problem that seems significant to that person. But the problem wouldn't be a problem for you. It's not in issue at all in your mind.

    But you really want to comfort the person, tell them things will be ok. Show them empathy. In fact, when you're confronted with the situation, you visualise yourself doing so. But your real self just stops. Unable to move into that direction. Like an invisible wall preventing you from going there.

    Last time someone fairly close to me had an emotional fit, clearly looking for companionship and someone to lean on. I told the person "You know, I wish I could comfort you, make you feel better and tell you everything is going to be ok. But I'm not going too...", and after saying that, I barely got the words "Trust me, you'll be fine." over my lips. And that was that.

    What's up with that. I didn't really have much of a reason not to comfort the person. It wasn't a big issue. It wasn't an important issue. It didn't really clash with my principles. But it just didn't feel right. Couldn't do it, despite feeling empathy.

    All just because I didn't relate to the problem of the person.


    I think this is common amongst INTP's, that emotion. So I wondered, how do you deal with comforting people, about things you don't feel comfort is needed or justified to yourself?

    For the record. I've no problem comforting people for things that would also hurt me.
    I think I distance myself further from the person, when I feel like that.

  5. #5
    That chalkboard guy Array Matthew_Z's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    Most F types need open ears to vent to (without solutions) and sympathy time first before they will be able to shift their focus to the solution. Offering the solution too quickly will just make give them one more thing to be upset about, rather than alleviating the burden. Therefore, what may seem to you like them spinning their tires, actually is them trying to clear a path for a solution to travel on. You are performing a valuable service just by expressing your concern or sympathy and doing whatever seems appropriate to make them feel better.
    I've noticed that people in general, not necessarily Fs, prefer to have their venting and "getting it all out" phase before getting to the rational solution. I generally try not to deprive people of that venting period, but I'll keep in mind for my interactions with distressed people.
    If a deaf INFP falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

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    Nips away your dignity Array Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miserable View Post
    I think I distance myself further from the person, when I feel like that.
    Yeah, I've caught myself doing that too. But if I care about to person enough to empathise with them, I would like to prevent that from happening naturally.
    To do or not to do. That is the... ooh, this is interesting.

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    psicobolche Array tcda's Avatar
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    Usually this stresses me. If I want to maintian a relationship with the person (not that common for me) I usually go quiet and umm and ahh sympathetically. As NT's we think in terms of competence and adding something "useful" but many people just want to talk and for you to be the excuse. You don't have to add some great insight, just be quiet and appear to be listening.
    "Of course we spent our money in the good times. That's what you're supposed to do in good times! You can't save money in the good times. Then they wouldn't be good times, they'd be 'preparation for the bad times' times."

    "Every country in the world owes money. Everyone. So heere's what I dont get: who do they all owe it to, and why don't we just kill the bastard and relax?"

    -Tommy Tiernan, Irish comedian.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffywolf View Post
    Yeah, I've caught myself doing that too. But if I care about to person enough to empathise with them, I would like to prevent that from happening naturally.
    Are you talking about anyone?

    I've never really cared enough about anyone to care about losing them, but I imagine if I really cared about someone I would most likely do something.

    Quote Originally Posted by tcda View Post
    Usually this stresses me. If I want to maintian a relationship with the person (not that common for me) I usually go quiet and umm and ahh sympathetically. As NT's we think in terms of competence and adding something "useful" but many people just want to talk and for you to be the excuse. You don't have to add some great insight, just be quiet and appear to be listening.
    If the person only wants me to listen, then the person is probably isn't wroth listening to, for me.

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    psicobolche Array tcda's Avatar
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    That is indeed a good point.

    However mere mortals have these things called "shortcomings"...in fact it occured to me that I might even have some shortcomings, and likewise that collective efforts are worthwhile and necessarry seeing as we are dependant upon society (i.e. socially created wealth and social conditions) to survive, so therefore, in order to maintain mutually beneficial relations with people (both in a psychological and practical sense), I may have to tolerate some shortcomings just as they do with me.

    But maybe I'm just a sellout :p
    "Of course we spent our money in the good times. That's what you're supposed to do in good times! You can't save money in the good times. Then they wouldn't be good times, they'd be 'preparation for the bad times' times."

    "Every country in the world owes money. Everyone. So heere's what I dont get: who do they all owe it to, and why don't we just kill the bastard and relax?"

    -Tommy Tiernan, Irish comedian.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffywolf View Post
    OP
    I try to explain to the person why what they think is a problem isn't a problem. I try to change their feelings by changing their mind.

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