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  1. #11
    Senior Member Rebe's Avatar
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    I used to be extremely sensitive to my own emotions and others' as well. I am very aware of the energy in group dynamics and one on one. For example, I just started working and on the third day, my boss seemed a bit more stressed than usual and I thought it was my fault. I started being worried that I did something wrong, until I realized what I was doing and told myself to stop, immediately. No use spending time thinking about a remote, vague possibility when I could focus on the here and now, on what I am doing and what I have to do and when a problem comes, I will deal with it (with time) but I can't solve a problem that is not actually a problem yet. I focus very much on what I can actually do.

    I have learned to have very 'localized compassion', very specific ones and with support from Te. If I can't do anything about it, I tell myself that it makes no sense (absolutely none) to feel terrible, to make myself feel terrible because no one else is responsible for my emotional state more than I. So I ask myself, why would I willingly make myself feel terrible? Over something I can't change no matter what I do? This isn't a complete thought. If I let myself feel bad over every natural disaster that happens, bad as in I spend hours crying for the missing and the dead, then I wouldn't be able to do anything else.

    Did I feel bad about Haiti? Yes. Bad enough to cry for more than two minutes? No. Could I do something about it now aside from giving money? Realistically, no. Does it make sense to keep feeling bad and be less productive/functional? No. Does it somehow inspire me to keep going on my human rights major/infrastructure/development/politics track? Yes.

    If I am with a friend. If she feels bad, I try to give good advice, give compliments, say what I think. Sometimes my goal is to make her feel better with 'sweet' things, sometimes I get her to laugh, and sometimes I am blunt and lay out her options. I actually feel bad about myself sometimes more than the person having the problem because somehow, this is really messed up, I place myself in their shoes and feel that their situation is a possibility for me and they are handling it badly so I will handle it badly and that her X equals my X and her Y my Y and ... *explodes* Not so much that I feel bad for her.

    If it's a minor negative emotional vibe and not an outright conversation about my friend's situation, I will ask if she is okay, but I wouldn't necessarily feel so bad myself. I may feel that the connection is weaker on that particular day so I leave her be and do my own thing. And when she is ready to talk, I am there for her. Maybe this is a difference between INFPs and ENFPs? The introversion may make it easier for us to keep boundaries while ENFPs strive on others' so it is natural that they'd be unable to separate from the negatives when they enjoy the positive emotional sharing so much.

    I totally agree with Scott's two posts.

  2. #12
    Member Flutterby's Avatar
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    Hey. If you're caring for an older lady you could try singing for her. Even if you have a crap voice she might appreciate it. (I'm sure you probably sound lovely though.) You'd be really surprised how much this can lift a mood if you get a good song, and sometimes upbeat music can help also but that can be tricky with people's different preferences sometimes though.

    Taking on other people's emotions is also a problem for me, even though I've done a lot of work lately on recognising the limits of my responsibility and understanding that when other people flip out on me it actually says more about them than it does about me. My solution is to work towards an income that doesn't involve spending time with other people though, so that's probably not much help if you want to keep being a carer. I guess in the end it's not enough to intellectually understand something, if you're affected by it you're affected by it.

  3. #13
    `~~Philosoflying~~` SillySapienne's Avatar
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    ^ I actually do sing to her, some doo-wop songs, country songs, and just pretty and uplifting ones, I sing 'em along in the car while we're driving, come to think of it, this does elevate her mood.



    She'll start tapping her fingers to the beat on her cane...

    Gah, I almost started crying, right then, thinking about this.

    When she's happy and *present*, or happy and in the clouds, it's so charming and heart-warming.

    Tonight at dinner, she told me that I was so good to her, and that I gave her life meaning.... (While looking at me straight in the eyes.) fuck, now, I'm tearing up...

    She's really attached to me.

    Mixed feelings, mixed feelings.

    I could be a better caregiver.

    We hold hands now, when we walk, I don't know, this soothes me, and makes me smile.

    It's been a long week.

    And, thank you all for your replies.

    I haven't read all of them thoroughly yet, I get off of work tomorrow evening.

    So yeah,

    Keep 'em coming.

    It feels good to know I'm not the only one who struggles with this problem.

    *hugs everyone*
    `
    'Cause you can't handle me...

    "A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it." - David Stevens

    "That that is, is. That that is not, is not. Is that it? It is."

    Veritatem dies aperit

    Ride si sapis

    Intelligentle sparkles

  4. #14
    THIS bitch stringstheory's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rebe View Post
    I actually feel bad about myself sometimes more than the person having the problem because somehow, this is really messed up, I place myself in their shoes and feel that their situation is a possibility for me and they are handling it badly so I will handle it badly and that her X equals my X and her Y my Y and ... *explodes* Not so much that I feel bad for her.
    This is exactly what I do too; sometimes it goes a little too far, though, and I end up excusing someone from wronging me because it's really natural for me to just empathize with a person having a problem and how i perceive it as affecting their actions towards me.

    Sometimes it's almost sort of paralyzing, especially when I am being treated unfairly and it's far too negativity to have in my life. I had an old roommate who was just.....her perception of reality was mind baffling. I think she may have had a borderline personality, though i don't know for sure, but she had some pretty traumatizing things happen to her before she was adopted at a pretty young age.

    My constant empathizing with the things that were happening in her life made it really difficult for me when i found it necessary to remove her from my life. She betrayed me in a big way, and her constant negativity towards me when it came time to deal with important roommate relations was bringing me down a lot more than necessary.

    It's kind of funny because in situations over which I have no control, I want to badly to be able to take some kind of action to DO something and fix it. Like Haiti, or third world poverty, or whatever. And yet...when i'm in a situation where i actually CAN, this feeling is paralyzing. It really does suck sometimes.
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  5. #15
    Post-Humorously stalemate's Avatar
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    The worst for me is when I know something is bothering my wife and she will not even come out and admit to being upset. It completely takes me over and I can't focus on anything else until I get to the bottom of what is bothering her. She thinks she should just not bother me with it, and I can see why. Sometimes when she finally does tell me I will end up more distressed than she was in the first place. And then she says that's why she didn't want to tell me because it would just make me upset for no reason. Ugh.

    But at least if I know what is going on I can process it and deal with it but when I just have this vague feeling and not knowing what is about or exactly how serious it is I can't let it go.

  6. #16
    `~~Philosoflying~~` SillySapienne's Avatar
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    Sometimes I really HATE being an F!!!

    It's like being on an emotional roller coaster, all the fucking time, the highs feel great, but the lows... :sad:

    And, just why can't I be all the time, seems like a cool deal. No highs, no lows, just

    Much better than > > > :sad: > :steam: > > > > > > :sad: > > well, you get my fucking point.

    `
    'Cause you can't handle me...

    "A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it." - David Stevens

    "That that is, is. That that is not, is not. Is that it? It is."

    Veritatem dies aperit

    Ride si sapis

    Intelligentle sparkles

  7. #17
    `~~Philosoflying~~` SillySapienne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stalemate View Post
    The worst for me is when I know something is bothering my wife and she will not even come out and admit to being upset. It completely takes me over and I can't focus on anything else until I get to the bottom of what is bothering her. She thinks she should just not bother me with it, and I can see why. Sometimes when she finally does tell me I will end up more distressed than she was in the first place. And then she says that's why she didn't want to tell me because it would just make me upset for no reason. Ugh.

    But at least if I know what is going on I can process it and deal with it but when I just have this vague feeling and not knowing what is about or exactly how serious it is I can't let it go.
    ^ I feel you brother, this scenario resonates with a lot of my intimate relationships, especially with my mother, or my fill-in-the-blank, I know something is wrong, but they either don't realize it themselves, do, and are trying to deny it, or just don't want to confront it.

    I always want to get what's inside out, let it OUT, rather than let it fester and grow like an unfriendly fungus.

    `
    'Cause you can't handle me...

    "A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it." - David Stevens

    "That that is, is. That that is not, is not. Is that it? It is."

    Veritatem dies aperit

    Ride si sapis

    Intelligentle sparkles

  8. #18
    Post-Humorously stalemate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SillySapienne View Post
    they either don't realize it themselves, do, and are trying to deny it, or just don't want to confront it.
    It sounds really odd to think that you can know when something is wrong with someone and they not realize it themselves, but I am totally with you.

    This is a stupid, trivial example, but I feel like sharing:

    The other day I had lunch with my best friend (ISTJ) and his girlfriend (ISFJ). At a certain point in the lunch, I could tell she just wasn't the same anymore. Her energy was so negative and then later while we were driving back to work (we all work together) I just kept feeling it. My bff was oblivious, and I think she was too. At some point I was like "S, are you ok?" and she's like "yeah, why?" and I'm like "well, you've just seemed off since a little while before we left lunch. She assured me nothing was wrong and my friend just kind of looked at me like "dude, wtf?"

    About 5 minutes later we are sitting at a stoplight and she turns to him and says "I hope you still aren't obsessed with that Cougar Whore Divorcee you used to date before me!"

    Then I started thinking back. The point where she changed during the lunch was when I was talking to my friend about how his brother used to date my sister and they never really seemed to get over each other even though they are both married to other people now. I guess this sent her off thinking and she got worried that my friend would still be obsessed with his ex, who is about 15 years older than his current girlfriend and has kids and has been married before (hence the 'Cougar Whore Divorcee' characterization).

  9. #19
    Senior Member Rebe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SillySapienne View Post


    Sometimes I really HATE being an F!!!

    It's like being on an emotional roller coaster, all the fucking time, the highs feel great, but the lows... :sad:

    And, just why can't I be all the time, seems like a cool deal. No highs, no lows, just

    Much better than > > > :sad: > :steam: > > > > > > :sad: > > well, you get my fucking point.

    Yes, I understand! I seriously thought I was bipolar at one point. When I feel good, I do crazy-ish things and not care. I feel emotions, don't dwell on it, jump from place to place and feel pretty good, pat myself on the back for experiencing life, tasting life.

    Then when I am in a bad/trampled mood, I mope, I dwell, I sleep all day, get all ... well you know ...

    There are days when I wish I am NT and don't feel these things, but just feel passionate about ideas and inventions and non-human things. I'd like to say that it's better than feeling 'nothing', it's better than being dead. Like when I am happy, I feel very much like a child, I don't think I will ever lose that child-like sparkle and I don't mind that. I hate seeing adults all serious and grumpy all the time. I really take to people who are very energetic and happy.

    But sometimes, it is hard. You don't know what you are going to feel tomorrow even as you try to control your feelings. It's this thing that's alive within you, something you can't control.

    I am learning how to Te-lessen my Fi though and it is very, very helpful. Some things are just negative patterns or learned traits and these need not be kept to be hurtful to us again and again.

  10. #20
    mod love baby... Lady_X's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stalemate View Post
    It sounds really odd to think that you can know when something is wrong with someone and they not realize it themselves, but I am totally with you.

    This is a stupid, trivial example, but I feel like sharing:

    The other day I had lunch with my best friend (ISTJ) and his girlfriend (ISFJ). At a certain point in the lunch, I could tell she just wasn't the same anymore. Her energy was so negative and then later while we were driving back to work (we all work together) I just kept feeling it. My bff was oblivious, and I think she was too. At some point I was like "S, are you ok?" and she's like "yeah, why?" and I'm like "well, you've just seemed off since a little while before we left lunch. She assured me nothing was wrong and my friend just kind of looked at me like "dude, wtf?"

    About 5 minutes later we are sitting at a stoplight and she turns to him and says "I hope you still aren't obsessed with that Cougar Whore Divorcee you used to date before me!"

    Then I started thinking back. The point where she changed during the lunch was when I was talking to my friend about how his brother used to date my sister and they never really seemed to get over each other even though they are both married to other people now. I guess this sent her off thinking and she got worried that my friend would still be obsessed with his ex, who is about 15 years older than his current girlfriend and has kids and has been married before (hence the 'Cougar Whore Divorcee' characterization).
    oh i have seen that kind of quiet hurt in my isfj sister. i think i recognize it because i do it too...just a lil bit differently....i don't know how to explain what i'm talking about...it's not even weird really i guess most people do that...nevermind.
    There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.
    -Jim Morrison

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