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  1. #11
    Senior Member Moiety's Avatar
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    I don't like sympathizing. It tends to be slightly condescending in that it doesn't recognize the other person's power and identity and will often feel pity towards people who don't even feel sad about a certain occurrence (usually tied to how permeable a person is to social values). There's no congruence or reasoning but a series of unrelated axioms "in this case you should feel this way" "in that case you should feel that way".

    Slightly generalizing but also slightly true.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Vamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sytpg View Post
    I don't like sympathizing. It tends to be slightly condescending in that it doesn't recognize the other person's power and identity and will often feel pity towards people who don't even feel sad about a certain occurrence (usually tied to how permeable a person is to social values). There's no congruence or reasoning but a series of unrelated axioms "in this case you should feel this way" "in that case you should feel that way".

    Slightly generalizing but also slightly true.
    I kinda feel the same way; especially about the bolded part. I always make a point to empathize, to truly understand. I hate it when people don't understand me so I really try to understand others.
    George Bernard Shaw in cartoon form.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by INTP View Post
    But the deal is that when you sympathize, you dont need to understand why the person is feeling the way he is its enough that you understand what the person feels, unlike when empathizing when you need to understand why the person feels that way, if you cant understand why someone feels certain way you wont be able to truly empathize. This is why i think sympathizing doesent require as much work as empathizing. When you empathize and understand the reason, you apply the same reasons that make the other person sad or happy(or what ever the person is feeling) to yourself and look how you would feel in the same situation. But in order to apply sympathy to someone you dont need to understand the reasons, because you wont be applying the reasons for yourself.
    Yeah, and you're speaking from inferior Fe, so it's not surprising that you're referring to the most elemental levels of sympathy. I've witnessed a much, much deeper form of sympathy in some Dom/Aux Fe people, in which they make it their business to try to think about why someone is doing something even if they don't agree with it or relate to it.

    Case #1 - the least mature of the Fe Dom/Aux people I know still amazes me because he can be ranting about how he's pissed off at someone, then all of a sudden just stop, and say "well this is probably why they're doing that..." and he'll just turn around and get a grip and see it their way. It's weird. I don't do that when someone pisses me off, at least not that quickly, if at all. He also feels obligated to make sure other people are having a good time apparently, and doesn't really take sides in other people's battles. Feels obligated to help others and defend the underdog. That's what true sympathy does on a slightly higher level.

    Case #2 - on a much higher level, another Fe Dom/Aux I know makes it a point to actually be the referree in other people's battles, actively bringing peace to situations by trying to understand everyone's point of view by not taking sides or letting her personal opinions sway her ultimate mission to bring peace to others. She'll also help her loved ones at the drop of the hat, even if that means being dragged out of bed abruptly at four a.m. She may not LIKE it, but sympathy tells her to be understanding to other people's needs.

    Case #3 - this person actively engages other people and talks with them and tries to see things the way that they see it, even when she doesn't agree with them or understand them, and also does it without feeling the need to actively interfere in some dramatic way, either. She treats everyone with almost equal, level kindness and quickly seeks to mend ANY misunderstanding, strangely without exercising a propensity to interfere or actively control the situation. Literally impressing me by example and not by any sort of nagging, which I do see in case #2.

    From my perspective, all of this does in fact take quite a bit of effort and could even go unappreciated by other people around them who take it for granted. Even if they aren't feeling the feelings of others on a gut level, their sympathy drives them in a very real way that doesn't seem "easy" to me. In fact, as an empath, it would take considerable effort for me to mimic their behavior on a daily basis, especially in cases #2 and #3.

    Yes, empathy rips me apart in a way that can shake my core. It can drive me in an indescribably deep way to love and care for other people. But it also is something that allows me to withdraw without obligation. If I get out of bed for someone abruptly at 4 A.M. they better be fucking dying.

  4. #14
    Senior Member INTP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marmalade.sunrise View Post
    Yeah, and you're speaking from inferior Fe, so it's not surprising that you're referring to the most elemental levels of sympathy. I've witnessed a much, much deeper form of sympathy in some Dom/Aux Fe people, in which they make it their business to try to think about why someone is doing something even if they don't agree with it or relate to it.

    Case #1 - the least mature of the Fe Dom/Aux people I know still amazes me because he can be ranting about how he's pissed off at someone, then all of a sudden just stop, and say "well this is probably why they're doing that..." and he'll just turn around and get a grip and see it their way. It's weird. I don't do that when someone pisses me off, at least not that quickly, if at all. He also feels obligated to make sure other people are having a good time apparently, and doesn't really take sides in other people's battles. Feels obligated to help others and defend the underdog. That's what true sympathy does on a slightly higher level.

    Case #2 - on a much higher level, another Fe Dom/Aux I know makes it a point to actually be the referree in other people's battles, actively bringing peace to situations by trying to understand everyone's point of view by not taking sides or letting her personal opinions sway her ultimate mission to bring peace to others. She'll also help her loved ones at the drop of the hat, even if that means being dragged out of bed abruptly at four a.m. She may not LIKE it, but sympathy tells her to be understanding to other people's needs.

    Case #3 - this person actively engages other people and talks with them and tries to see things the way that they see it, even when she doesn't agree with them or understand them, and also does it without feeling the need to actively interfere in some dramatic way, either. She treats everyone with almost equal, level kindness and quickly seeks to mend ANY misunderstanding, strangely without exercising a propensity to interfere or actively control the situation. Literally impressing me by example and not by any sort of nagging, which I do see in case #2.

    From my perspective, all of this does in fact take quite a bit of effort and could even go unappreciated by other people around them who take it for granted. Even if they aren't feeling the feelings of others on a gut level, their sympathy drives them in a very real way that doesn't seem "easy" to me. In fact, as an empath, it would take considerable effort for me to mimic their behavior on a daily basis, especially in cases #2 and #3.

    Yes, empathy rips me apart in a way that can shake my core. It can drive me in an indescribably deep way to love and care for other people. But it also is something that allows me to withdraw without obligation. If I get out of bed for someone abruptly at 4 A.M. they better be fucking dying.
    People who have dom/aux Fe also have shadow Fi closer than inferior Fe users, not to mention that they use Ti while of aux/dom Fi users use Te. At the first case that sudden realization from other guys point of view looks like it comes from Ti or Fi. Most likely since using only Fe isnt giving any new ideas, he takes look on it from Ti point of view, witch gives an objective point of view where Fe can feel from introverted point of view and therefore it is resembling Fi and working kind of like empathizing instead of sympathizing that he was doing before. This doesent mean that he understands/feels the person from his point of view, but he understands the person from objective point of view, instead when Fi user would understand other persons subjective point of view.
    You know when you are thinking about something you are using multiple functions in the thought process, its not like you would only use one function at the time.
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  5. #15
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    I use both A LOT. I feel for people but I detach from them when they are emotionally draining and we aren't close. Other times, I internalize people's emotions as my own but I still tend to detach if it's too much and can come off cold, uncaring, and very solution oriented. For me, it's about self-protection.

    The funny thing about what the ENFPs were saying about pity is that on the other side, I hate when people think or assume that they know how I feel. That's what I don't like about empathy. Both sides of the coin feel icky to me sometimes. Pity (sympathy) and projection (empathy) can be quite irritating.

    I have noticed that on some things I will sympathize with people and my mom (INFP) will empathize with the same people and vice versa. It really depends on the context, values, experiences, etc. It is not mainly function contingent.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pitseleh View Post
    Pity (sympathy) and projection (empathy) can be quite irritating.
    so true.

    projection is a classic counseling mistake - to say something like "i understand exactly how you feel, how difficult" instead of something like "i can imagine that'd be a really difficult situation."

    Quote Originally Posted by marmalade.sunrise
    Yes, empathy rips me apart in a way that can shake my core. It can drive me in an indescribably deep way to love and care for other people. But it also is something that allows me to withdraw without obligation. If I get out of bed for someone abruptly at 4 A.M. they better be fucking dying.
    yup

  7. #17
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    There have been many threads about sympathy and empathy here and which Feeling function engages in which. This is my opinion on the matter.

    NFP types claim they empathize more. NFJ types claim they do both. SFs and Thinkers are left out of the picture totally. Since empathy has the greater emotional and social value, it's usually a tug of war to claim who has more of it. In the end, it tends to turn into a Fe vs. Fi thing as people are already doing now.
    Relationships have normal ebbs and flows. They do not automatically get better and better when the participants learn more and more about each other. Instead, the participants have to work through the tensions of the relationship (the dialectic) while they learn and group themselves and a parties in a relationships. At times the relationships is very open and sharing. Other time, one or both parties to the relationship need their space, or have other concerns, and the relationship is less open. The theory posits that these cycles occur throughout the life of the relationship as the persons try to balance their needs for privacy and open relationship.
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  8. #18
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    There have been many threads about sympathy and empathy here and which Feeling function engages in which. This is my opinion on the matter.

    NFP types claim they empathize more. NFJ types claim they do both. SFs and Thinkers are left out of the picture totally. Since empathy has the greater emotional and social value, it's usually a tug of war to claim who has more of it. In the end, it tends to turn into a Fe vs. Fi thing as people are already doing now.
    +1 Exactly.
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  9. #19
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    I've seen empathy described as "your pain in my heart", which I found quite touching and true.
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  10. #20
    Senior Member Moiety's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    There have been many threads about sympathy and empathy here and which Feeling function engages in which. This is my opinion on the matter.

    NFP types claim they empathize more. NFJ types claim they do both. SFs and Thinkers are left out of the picture totally. Since empathy has the greater emotional and social value, it's usually a tug of war to claim who has more of it. In the end, it tends to turn into a Fe vs. Fi thing as people are already doing now.
    And Fi wins because it IS empathy.

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