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  1. #11
    Badoom~ Skyward's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lillyofthevalley View Post
    I'm not quite that sensitive to other people's energy except anger, I really feel that one. I might have fine tuned myself to anger from growing up with my moody father. I used to know if he was home by the feel in the air, and whether it was a safe energy or an angry energy. I do sometimes get overcome with empathy when for instance: I see a little old lady eating alone or feeding the birds, a child standing there helpless while he's being scolded by a parent...things like that. It can make my heart ache.
    This is the empathy I get on some days when the little incubator bulb in my heart is switched on. I like to walk in graveyards and wonder at the lives of the names on the headstones and smile at the headstones with gifts next to them.
    'Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and its better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.' - Marilyn Monroe

    This is who I am, escapist, paradise-seeker.
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    Anthropology Major out of Hamline University. St. Paul, Minnesota.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeyGrass View Post
    I know, right? Sometimes, it would be nice to wake up and have a blissfully ignorant and normal day to just enjoy and be happy. I envy SFs for that, sometimes. ::sigh::

    This weekend was a particularly interesting one...a friend's parents got divorced, and the dad brought his new girlfriend to a gathering. Awkward. I could feel the mom's pain from across the room, and honestly, I just wished she weren't there. And, of course, felt like a jerk for it for the rest of the day.
    It's bad to say, but I've been actively working to just focus my empathy to people that I feel are worth my time. There is the general empathy, but the "I want to help you" needs to be reserved for just some people. I had to pull back in and learn to reassess those situations. I call it my "wall". This helps me avoid going over board and make some kind value judgment if it's worth the effort. (I think this is Fi.)

  3. #13
    Junior Member StormySunshine's Avatar
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    There have been many times in my life when I've been inundated with emotions from others, but over time I've found ways to wall off those emotions. The times when they're strongest is when I'm under stress. I can't seem to keep the walls up, and everything comes at me, which in turn increases my stress all the more.

    It was particularly bad my last couple of years of college, and the year after college. I have some diary entries from that period of time that almost sound like they could have come from a crazy person, but it was just my way of trying to deal with all of the emotions I was being bombarded with.

    I tried explaining how I felt to my college roommate at one point, who I'm pretty sure is ESTJ, and he flat out told me that I was one of the most arrogant people he had ever met, and that I believed I was better than everyone else. Ironically, I had very similar feelings about him, however, him saying that really screwed me up, since that was exactly the opposite of what I was trying to tell him, and I trusted his opinions.

    To answer your original question, I'm not sure how much of a non-spiritual answer there is to INFJs and empathy. I've read that many INFJs feel they have strong links to psychic phenomena, and although I'm a bit skeptical of that, I can certainly look back and see points in my life it could be viewed that way. The only thing I know for sure is that stress causes me to Feel stronger. Whether it's reading other people's moods and body language, or something else, I don't know.

  4. #14
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    I've always been very empathetic and I enjoy that quality in myself.. even if it often irritates me.

    What I truly lack is sympathy. I don't seem to have that quality. It's either I can put myself entirely into their shoes, or I have absolutely no understanding.
    Kantgirl: Just say "I'm feminine and I'll punch anyone who says otherwise!"
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  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeyGrass View Post
    I swear some times are worse than others. At the risk of sounding like a nut job, sometimes, the emotional "noise" in a room of people is overwhelming. There are sometimes certain individuals that I'm particularly aware of their feelings (maybe very good at reading their body language?), and even certain times of the year that this trait comes out to play more. I'll be listening to them talk and be flooded with empathetic emotional response, to the point of tears. (I hardly ever cry over my own self, btw)

    Anyone have theories, assuming it's not some spiritual phenomenon?
    Hopefully this isn't too big of a necropost. I know *exactly* what you mean. I recommend training yourself to be able to clear your mind at will by focusing on something in your mind.

  6. #16
    Senior Member SciVo's Avatar
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    You know how fire works? There are exothermic redox chemical reactions that are enabled by high heat, which they conveniently produce. So, in addition to oxygen and fuel, all fire needs is an ignition source (such as a match) and then it continues by itself, generating all the heat that it needs to keep going even after the initial cause is removed.

    Well, the same can happen with stress, if the adrenaline/cortisol stress reaction is itself stressful enough to cause a stress reaction. That's what happens to me, so I finally ended up going on a mild anti-depressant (Wellbutrin) to act as a kind of emotional fire retardant. With that secret weapon in my arsenal, all I have to do is remove the metaphorical ignition source by focusing on something else and the stress goes away too.

    End result: I'm going out to a club tomorrow for some live music by local bands that I like, same as I do every week, because now I can actually enjoy it without fear of emotional combustion. I say that to encourage you, my point being that if even I can have that happy ending, then surely almost anyone can. I hope that you will find your path to peace, and that it won't require chemicals; but mostly the former.
    INFP ~ Fi/Ne/Ni/Te ~ 9-2-4 sp/so

  7. #17
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    I deleted this because I accidently posted something here that I meant to post at the end. Sorry. 'my bad'.
    Last edited by Z Buck McFate; 08-28-2009 at 10:42 PM. Reason: put it in wrong place again. sorry.
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

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  8. #18
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    This is one of those threads that reminds me that despite how many times I test as some sort of NFJ, I am definitely an N*T*J.
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
    *Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
    C.S. Lewis

  9. #19
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    *If this message turns up in more than one place, bear with me, I'm still trying to figure out all this forum business*

    I have this problem myself. I don't think there's any kind of spiritual link, per se, but I think we are all just kind of mirrors for each other. This is more true for some people than others. And I think that when I am around a group of people who are feeling/experiencing something that I either don't want to remember or don't want to accept that I can relate to (on even the slightest level) it gets too hard sometimes to not see myself in them. It's strongest (for me, the 'unpleasantness') around a group of people who are behaving selfishly, or exhibiting some behavior that I like to think I've risen above. That probably sounds pretentious but I don't know how else to say it.

    Using the mirror analogy: being in a room full of people who I have little or nothing in common with, or that I don't particularly admire, is akin to looking in a funhouse mirror. It just gets disorienting.

    Quote Originally Posted by StormySunshine View Post
    I tried explaining how I felt to my college roommate at one point, who I'm pretty sure is ESTJ, and he flat out told me that I was one of the most arrogant people he had ever met, and that I believed I was better than everyone else. Ironically, I had very similar feelings about him, however, him saying that really screwed me up, since that was exactly the opposite of what I was trying to tell him, and I trusted his opinions.
    I have had this exact problem with ESTJs myself. I've had to make the conscious decision to admire their strengths and contributions to society from afar. I haven't been able to figure out how to stay resilient to their critical reactions.
    Last edited by Z Buck McFate; 08-28-2009 at 10:54 PM. Reason: wanted to add
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

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  10. #20
    Just a statistic rhinosaur's Avatar
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    Am I the only "T" who experiences this kind of thing?

    Am I really a T?

    Could it just be me being emotionally messed up?

    Edit: On second thought I don't think it's really empathy. What I feel seems more Fi than Fe, if that makes any sense.

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