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  1. #81
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by purplesunset View Post
    Going back to the benefit of empathy that the original post referred to. Let's see how the ego can play a role in that form of empathy. "I want to help people because this will give me intense happiness." Why is your happiness so important? What if the thrill of helping goes away, and you personally start feel nothing after helping others. Although the other person would still be grateful for your help, will you stop because it no longer offers you the thrill inside?
    I do feel great happiness when I make others happy....but even more so I feel great pain when others are in pain. Endlessly giving on the surface but the mechanics are highly self centric. I think Fi is a biologically evolved tool to mirror pain and thus force the Fi user to render assistance to those in the worst need. It takes care of the bottom ten percent of the population.

    Quote Originally Posted by purplesunset View Post
    When we start destroying the ego, and stop giving undue weight to those intense feelings, we will go through some terrible, terrible growing pains as the ego is slowly destroyed. But ultimately it will lead to a more selfless form of happiness. A more selfless form of empathy. A more selfless form of love.
    Interesting. This sounds like what I felt like when I tried to develop Fe. That experience was also very reminiscent of the "detached compassion" practiced by buddhists where you are asked to give up the passions of life-one of which could be these intense emotional Fi connections to others.

  2. #82
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KLessard View Post
    I have been deeply hurt by someone recently and been bathing myself in swamps of anger, resentment, self-pity and despair from time to time.

    When I tell my story to people, they only see it as a misunderstanding, something I'm taking way too personally, I'm megasensitive, etc.

    And at some moments, I see clearly and understand it is not so tragic as I take it.

    Why do NFs need to feel upset so easily? What is the purpose of this, what's its usefulness?

    The only logical answer I find is compassion and empathy. When an event has wounded us, we remember the feelings so vividly that whenever we see someone else suffering, we want to help and listen. Does this makes sense to you?

    I have found that the moments I feel the happiest are those when I am counseling a friend and encouraging him when he opens up to me about his hardships. I am happy to help him carry the burden.

    For starters, I agree 100% with the OP, and very much relate to the first 3 paragraphs!

    I'm not sure there is a "point"...I find myself starting to reach for possible definitions of "point" in this context... However, I have heard empathy described as "your pain in my heart." If, and it's a big if, we can learn from both our positive and negative emotions, however strong they may be, and use our experiences and emotions to grow ourselves, and to help others with their painful and complex experiences, then you could say there is a point

    I've certainly been known to wallow but it is something I am working on doing less of these days. All it does is prolong the pain and make me less useful both to myself and to others. I would like to be able to process deep painful feelings quickly and move on to the part where I've learned something and can improve my life through it, and hopefully the lives of others, but I think as an INFJ the processing can take quite a long time. I'm not going to celebrate the pain and extend it, though.

    I tend to have the problem that my logic and emotions are both fully engaged, but in a painful situation they split completely and waltz off in different directions. For example, I could be fully aware logically that being out of a bad relationship is much, much better for me, but emotionally I'm still all about the "how could he do that to me", and the emotions tend to wash over me and overwhelm me, meaning the logic is just back chatter. So I am working on helping the logic to guide my emotions a bit more, and also on recognizing bad mental/emotional habits that lead me to wallow, etc. I have a long way to go, though.

    By the way, I've just recently started exploring the enneagram and it seems likely that I am a type 6. A lot of INFJs seem to be type 4 and I suspect that makes wallowing/uncontrollable emotions more likely to dominate? (sorry if that sounds at all insulting...I don't mean it that way!) However, if I am a type 6, it explains why I can't stop going over scenarios over and over again with all the attendant doubt and self-questioning, and also the attendant INFJ emotional pain...
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  3. #83
    Vaguely Precise Seymour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    I think part of my reaction to this is I'm a high agency person. Good concept to throw into the mix!
    That's interesting. I consider myself to be at least a medium agency person (that is, I have a somewhat internal locus of control). However, a lot of my sense of control comes from having some control over my internal state. Externally I probably look more passive than I feel internally.

    I agree. I can only speak from my perspective...when those periods occur for me, I have checks and balances (basically people) around me saying, 'hey you're acting out, you're tearing things apart. You're doing more harm than good. Check yourself.' If lost the ability to self-regulate and this is my reboot. As far as the OP is concerned, I wonder is if these checks and balances are being given in the form of 'you're being too sensitive, taking things too personally.' Maybe not everyone has people around them to say that, or for whatever reasons those sources are unreliable. I suppose if it becomes a pattern of this being said, then at when/if/should a person take heed?
    I think it sometimes gets lost that one strength of Fi is that it brings with it (once it matures a bit) the ability to have more control over one's emotional state. I feel very much an INFP, but I have a reputation at work for being one of the calmer, less easily ruffled people. Granted, I can still take things too personally, but I realize that's my own issue; I try to make sure I don't inflict my immediate reactions to criticism on others. I also try to make sure to get negative feedback as early and privately as possible, so that I have time to take it in and act on it.

    Part of being an adult isn't getting rid of all of one's issues, but learning how to work around them.

    [...]I think that a predisposition to experience emotions intensely (without modulation and context) strongly contributes to how people react to situations ranging from minor annoyances to serious setbacks. [...]
    I think the bold part is key... especially without external modulation. I'm not sure it's so bad to experience frustration, for example, but how we react to experiencing it is crucial. I hope there's a happy medium between wallowing in an emotion vs. suppressing/repressing it so much that it just builds internally until it begins to leak out in unhealthy ways.

    Personally, I feel like I may experience emotions intensely, but they are not always highly visible externally. Plus, I'm much more likely to "go deeply" into experiencing an emotion if I'm lacking understanding of either the external situation or why it's triggering the internal reaction it is. At this point, I don't feel compelled to carry every emotional experience to an extreme. I don't know if that's because my emotional responses are pretty familiar to me by now (so don't need exploration), or if it's because I tend a bit more towards an enneagram type 5 rather than a type 4.

  4. #84
    almost half a doctor phoenix13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KLessard View Post
    I have been deeply hurt by someone recently and been bathing myself in swamps of anger, resentment, self-pity and despair from time to time.

    When I tell my story to people, they only see it as a misunderstanding, something I'm taking way too personally, I'm megasensitive, etc.

    And at some moments, I see clearly and understand it is not so tragic as I take it.

    ...

    Right, the times you see clearly are when you're being rational. Often, you can bypass the anger feedback loop by stepping back and saying, "Hey, was Bob really trying to hurt my feelings, or am I making faulty assumptions?" or "Yes, Bob forgot my birthday, but he's always doing stuff to show his love for me, so I'm going to see this as it is; a memory lapse."

    As for the title of your thread: There is value in experiencing the extremes of existance. It makes you interesting and people are often inspired by passionate/intense people.

    "OMG I FEEEEEEEEEL SO INTENSELY ABOUT EVERYTHING OMG OMG OMG GET ME A XANAX" -Priam (ENFP impersonation)

  5. #85
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    I've thought a little more about how strong emotion can be beneficial. There's been a few general comments in this thread throughout, and even in other threads, on how not acting on say, sympathy, makes the feeling somewhat useless. What's the point of feeling emotion deeply for someone/something if you cannot act on it positively? Is it just tripping you up and serving no purpose?

    I've decided that is too literal and practical an angle to expect of an NF. That's completely at odds with idealism. Idealism is not about immediate practical action in response to an emotion. The emotion is processed, meaning is gleaned from it, feeling is refined, and it aids in building a larger vision of what is Good vs. what is Bad. So an intense feeling in the moment may have no positive, immediate results, but in the long run, it can help build a sort of theory for positive change in the future, and the NF may act on that. NFs are future-oriented, after all. Of course, I am coming from an NFP perspective, but I imagine it is a similar process for NFJs, as far as creating an abstract response that is not always immediate or directly connected to the initial emotional stimuli.

    And now a word from our sponsor, Carl Jung

    Quote Originally Posted by Jung on Fi
    While an extensive feeling of sympathy can express itself in appropriate words and deeds, and thus quickly gets back to normal again, an intensive sympathy, being shut off from every means of expression, gains a passionate depth that comprises a whole world of misery and is simply benumbed. It may, perhaps, break out in some extravagant form, leading to some astounding act of an almost heroic character, quite unrelated to either the subject herself or to the object that provoked the outburst.
    Often a star was waiting for you to notice it. A wave rolled toward you out of the distant past, or as you walked under an open window, a violin yielded itself to your hearing. All this was mission. But could you accomplish it? (Rilke)

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  6. #86
    Revelation Lauren Ashley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    I've thought a little more about how strong emotion can be beneficial. There's been a few general comments in this thread throughout, and even in other threads, on how not acting on say, sympathy, makes the feeling somewhat useless. What's the point of feeling emotion deeply for someone/something if you cannot act on it positively? Is it just tripping you up and serving no purpose?

    I've decided that is too literal and practical an angle to expect of an NF. That's completely at odds with idealism. Idealism is not about immediate practical action in response to an emotion. The emotion is processed, meaning is gleaned from it, feeling is refined, and it aids in building a larger vision of what is Good vs. what is Bad. So an intense feeling in the moment may have no positive, immediate results, but in the long run, it can help build a sort of theory for positive change in the future, and the NF may act on that. NFs are future-oriented, after all. Of course, I am coming from an NFP perspective, but I imagine it is a similar process for NFJs, as far as creating an abstract response that is not always immediate or directly connected to the initial emotional stimuli.
    Exactly. Stated very nicely as well.

  7. #87
    Senor Membrane
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    Quote Originally Posted by KLessard View Post
    Why do NFs need to feel upset so easily? What is the purpose of this, what's its usefulness?

    The only logical answer I find is compassion and empathy. When an event has wounded us, we remember the feelings so vividly that whenever we see someone else suffering, we want to help and listen. Does this makes sense to you?
    Yes it does. But this is not all... Here, Greed put it well, it may sound a little mysterious language so it seems to me it was dismissed...

    Quote Originally Posted by greed View Post
    It's one thing to understand or comprehend something--a concept, an idea, a theory, another person. But to actually connect to it? That's a completely different game altogether, and it takes the capacity to feel deeply.

    It can be emotional movement from a piece of music that signifies that you've truly been spoken to. It can be a sudden shocking feeling and a resultant, fleeting mind-blanking that comes with touching a loved one. It can be a catharsis after some grand epiphany. Whatever it is, it's all a part of the same phenomenon.

    When you actually connect in such a fashion, you're truly feeling that you're part of something much larger than yourself, caring about and encompassing things that are so far removed from your own scope.

    It's subjective, yet very far-reaching at times. If channeled correctly, it has the ability to not only significantly impact others' lives, but also make your own life so much more enriching and.. just meaningful.
    This is the reward and it is obtainable. I can't say I have experienced it many times but the times I did, I felt very much motivated to continue my soul-searching. You said you are not a pleasure seeker, but I think this is the kind of pleasure you should be seeking. Not for it's own sake really, it is more about the way than the goal.

    The thing is, the feelings will not get any more shallow, I'd say their volume goes even higher, but, they concern more and more about things that really are important. I had a friend who used to burst into tears whenever she remembered that her cat died four years ago. That is not very useful or helpful, and I'm not even sure if it is grieving... it is absurd.

    The other end of the spectrum is not any more healthy. When you don't feel anything you are just numb and nothing is worth anything. But yeah, it isn't really a spectrum since when you get further, there is deepening of feeling, but the negative effects of feeling are lessening. It's like you are less afraid of it so you let it pass. The more you fight of feeling it with your whole self the longer it takes to get through it.

    Quote Originally Posted by KLessard View Post
    I agree with you that such deep feeling should lead to action, and in my case, I generally do try to help as much as is in my power. This is precisely why I'm asking what is the ultimate usefulness of deep feeling.
    Course of action? I'd suggest that you are a Freudian for a while, then Jungian, and then an existentialist. Going through your childhood and dreams and purpose isn't really such bull as people would like you to believe.

    Oh, and usefulness. Well, I like the idea of growth. I think my feelings are the motivation and direction on this quest. Now, if I didn't feel so deep, I'd be stuck here, and I wouldn't even feel bad about it.

    Actually, now that I think about it, there is nothing in my life that hasn't improved. All the relationships have gotten better and "easier", I am much more content with my life, my "goals" are more acceptable to me now, and it even seems like everything is helping me to achieve whatever it is I am going for. The world is a lot friendlier place.

    You should check out "overexcitabilities". I find the idea very inspirational.

  8. #88
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    Everyone feels intensely. Bad and good situations are always bad and good situations. Learning some way to deal with these things is a natural part of life.

  9. #89
    Aspiring Troens Ridder KLessard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nolla View Post

    Course of action? I'd suggest that you are a Freudian for a while, then Jungian, and then an existentialist. Going through your childhood and dreams and purpose isn't really such bull as people would like you to believe.

    Could you expand on this?

  10. #90
    man-made neptunesnet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seymour View Post
    Part of being an adult isn't getting rid of all of one's issues, but learning how to work around them.
    Or rather through. Which was the point many posters here were trying to make.

    As we have these intense emotional responses, the (mature) NF tries to understand where these emotions are coming from and why they were pertinent in that particular situation. To work around our emotional responses sounds to me like a way to discredit ourselves and our purpose. There's a reason we feel and to water it down or to "work around it" sounds like some... uh... real Prufrock oblivion, if you catch my reference. Further, I'm not suggesting that Feelers in the midst of an emotional episode should be allowed to throw temper tantrums or be obnoxiously morally superior but that properly analyzing our feelings (which I think has been paralleled with "whiny" somewhere in this thread ) to understand ourselves and the world around us would be more effective in achieving a more acute logical truth - our purpose? - than merely finding ways to downplay our own strengths or suppress them. I know that wasn't the implication in your post, Seymour. This is more generally directed. *Tangent* Feeling isn't unnecessary fluff, or icing contrary to what most of this forum presumes. It's a valid judging function that's most useful, like Thinking, when tailored in a constructive way.

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