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  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    OK, well there's a difference between dealing with my own hurt and sadness and someone else's. Sensitive subjects is such a broad category so it really depends on what the subject is and if I have a point of reference. If I have no frame of reference all I can do is listen, comfort, and/or sympathize. If I can relate, besides doing those things I can offer my perspective or how the similar situation affected me.

    For example, this may be morbid, but I find it comforting to talk with people who have dealt with cancer or who have a loved one who has had cancer--survived or died. I feel like that is a point of connection between me and that person and if they're willing to go there and talk about it in depth, so am I. Lately, I've found that I'm talking with some of my older coworkers (who haven't pried and been royal pains) about taking care of an sick and elderly parent. That's really something people in my age group (under 30) don't relate to. I've been talking to certain people about death. A couple of people I know have mentioned how layoffs are affecting their sense of self and value as a person, how unsteady and vulnerable this makes them feel.

    It depends on context. Like I said, if someone is real, genuine, interested and willing to go there with me, I'll go there as well.
    In an intimate situations hurt and sadness will have to be dealt with. My wife will uses fights and arguments in this sense also. We have talked about this and is when she tells me that hurt and sadness is a sign of weakness. Is this why its so important to express yourself in this manner. Not saying its a sign of weakness for you in particular, but a weakness just like its a weakness for me to be able to argue. I can handle being yelled at like you can handle someone crying on your shoulder, just not the other way around.

  2. #102
    Senior Member SciVo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    For me, one of the indications of being close to someone is the ability for both of us to show our less attractive sides as well as our good ones. (Someone seeing that I am stressed, sad, tired, busy, upset and vice-versa with them). I can afford to show my weaknesses to someone that I know I can trust not to misuse that knowledge. I will also risk conflict with them. With those I am less invested in, I do not bother. If I care about someone, I will actually risk them getting upset at me if I can see something that is going to hurt our relationship or that is going to be an ongoing problem. In addition to those "downsides" though, we have a much realer, relationship where they will see deeper into my thoughts, feelings and who I am. I will trust them with more and also invest much more heavily in being there for them. I will be more likely to impose myself on them when I see that they need support rather than waiting for them to ask. They will be the recipient of thoughtfulness, little gifts, expressions of appreciation, and unexpected humour.
    It has taken nearly a year sometimes of working in close proximity to someone for me to reach that point with them. This despite the fact that I genuinely like people in general; it's trust that isn't easy for me... but when I get there, your description fits.

    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    OK, well there's a difference between dealing with my own hurt and sadness and someone else's. Sensitive subjects is such a broad category so it really depends on what the subject is and if I have a point of reference. If I have no frame of reference all I can do is listen, comfort, and/or sympathize. If I can relate, besides doing those things I can offer my perspective or how the similar situation affected me.
    I'm still learning how to dance gracefully with other people's feelings -- how not to step on their emotional toes -- but the default frame of universal human needs is incredibly useful when I can't personally relate. I'm glad as long as I can be emotionally graceful and connect by empathizing, but it's definitely more satisfying to establish a stronger rapport through a shared experience.
    INFP ~ Fi/Ne/Ni/Te ~ 9-2-4 sp/so

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