Yesterday I dropped everything to go spend much of the day with a friend who'd had a sudden and tragic bereavement. We cried together, made each other tea, talked, she spoke with other friends and family of the person who'd died, etc.
It's a really sad situation and I felt awful for her. She's gone through a lot in her life and this is just another very bad thing, so I really feel pain for her. It wasn't just a friend, it was an ex-boyfriend who wasn't 100% "ex" and she was still completely in love with him.
I started thinking, though - I sometimes feel like it's much easier for me to handle other people's problems than my own. I'm generalising/speculating here, but I would guess that for instance NTs and SPs find their own problems easier to deal with than those of others. They're more likely to apply detachment/logic/moving on to their own problems, whereas strong painful emotions of others might be too frightening or intimidating.
But for me...I try to use empathy to reach out to others and help with their problems, even if I don't know quite what to say or do, and it usually seems to help. I become quite competent when helping others and I think I even detach a bit so I feel their pain but I'm not overwhelmed by it. But my own problems? They just seem to stay painful for so long, with a never-ending loop of thoughts and emotions running through my head, and it feels like some things stay unresolved forever. Like I'm too close to my own problems to free myself from those destructive thought/feeling patterns. I'll try to apply logic to my own problems, but often the emotions or hurt are too overwhelming and the still small voice of logic is drowned by all the screaming howling emotion.
I don't know, I'm just speculating. Maybe this is more of an individual thing than type-related.
EDIT: Seriously, I feel like I would make a very good therapist...who would then have to go for therapy herself... Is that common?