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  1. #21
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bologna View Post
    [...] to help them move forward, it helps to communicate with them on their level initially, then "guide" them to helping find a workable solution. [...] Part of an empathetic response, I'd argue, is recognizing that this is his current need and that that's what he needs help with at the moment--not the problem of "not having a job," but of dealing with the loss.

    Once he's somewhat emotionally stable, has processed his situation, and is looking to move forward, his emotional state isn't so important; here, helping him network to find another job will have a great impact.
    right - to me, the benefit of empathy comes in mostly at being able to connect with a person at their current emotional state. it's not that this is always the most useful or important or necessary thing (though in moments of emotional turmoil it can be extremely helpful), but everyone always has an emotional state, be it calm or agitated or angry or blissful, and it facilitates communication to be able to get a sense of what that state is.

    i also think there's a sort of humanistic bonding that goes along with it... again not always necessary or immediately useful, but there's a communal awareness that i imagine is probably good for humanity as a whole. NIMBY comes to mind (not in my backyard - a la putting a landfill near housing) - like if you're empathetic, you're more likely to jump to placing yourself in others' shoes and understanding how they could feel about a situation. lord knows it's one of the only things that keeps me sane at work when my manager puts unreasonable pressure on us - i know he's being pressured from higher management, too.

  2. #22
    Rainy Day Woman MDP2525's Avatar
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    I work with 90% NF's. I see them as exuding warmth. That can be endearing and comforting and may look empathetic to the receiving party. NF's tend to be (generally) uncomfortable with seeing anyone in an unhappy state. There is a drive to "settle ruffled feathers" and get that person back to a good place. I can see this coming from an empathetic place but just as often I see this as a way for the NF to decrease anxiety about how that person's reactions make them feel. Possibly it is a mix of both of those.

    In that case, T's and F's are not so different. The exception being T's tend to freeze up and take no action because of their anxiety about how to react properly, they lend an ear and F's tend to go for the tried and true: diffuse the situation/relieve unpleasantness. But neither is empathetic in my definition. I'm generalizing of course but that is, IMO, the "average" behavior of most people F and T that I have experience with.

    Empathy and compassion are higher echelons of human behavior that transcend type. I've always seen them used with confidence. There is no anxiety in empathy and compassion because it's coming from a place of understanding. The NF's might be more likely to be empathetic thing doesn't hold a lot of water.

  3. #23
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MDP2525 View Post
    There is a drive to "settle ruffled feathers" and get that person back to a good place. I can see this coming from an empathetic place but just as often I see this as a way for the NF to decrease anxiety about how that person's reactions make them feel. Possibly it is a mix of both of those.
    both, definitely... i'm not sure i always differentiate between the two.

    relatedly - i feel like it's not really fair of others to project anger or upset into the atmosphere and then feel offended when others call them out on it. it's disrupting to harmony. my INTP dad does this often and then gets upset that we are "in his business". if he's expressing those feelings in a shared space, it's not just his business anymore...

    Empathy and compassion are higher echelons of human behavior that transcend type.
    i agree with this.

  4. #24
    Senior Member tkae.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MDP2525 View Post
    I work with 90% NF's. I see them as exuding warmth. That can be endearing and comforting and may look empathetic to the receiving party. NF's tend to be (generally) uncomfortable with seeing anyone in an unhappy state. There is a drive to "settle ruffled feathers" and get that person back to a good place. I can see this coming from an empathetic place but just as often I see this as a way for the NF to decrease anxiety about how that person's reactions make them feel. Possibly it is a mix of both of those.

    In that case, T's and F's are not so different. The exception being T's tend to freeze up and take no action because of their anxiety about how to react properly, they lend an ear and F's tend to go for the tried and true: diffuse the situation/relieve unpleasantness. But neither is empathetic in my definition. I'm generalizing of course but that is, IMO, the "average" behavior of most people F and T that I have experience with.

    Empathy and compassion are higher echelons of human behavior that transcend type. I've always seen them used with confidence. There is no anxiety in empathy and compassion because it's coming from a place of understanding. The NF's might be more likely to be empathetic thing doesn't hold a lot of water.
    Yeah, but I'm not so concerned with who's more/less empathetic as I am who values empathy more and less.
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  5. #25
    Rainy Day Woman MDP2525's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    i feel like it's not really fair of others to project anger or upset into the atmosphere and then feel offended when others call them out on it. it's disrupting to harmony. my INTP dad does this often and then gets upset that we are "in his business". if he's expressing those feelings in a shared space, it's not just his business anymore...
    I never thought of it this way. What is an example of calling him out? How do you do that?

    Quote Originally Posted by tkae. View Post
    Yeah, but I'm not so concerned with who's more/less empathetic as I am who values empathy more and less.
    I don't see the distinction. Someone values empathy more than another but doesn't utilize it themselves is going to be viewed as hypocritical. Either that, or it's not going to be an observable trait. Which makes the concern a useless one to pursue. It doesn't have an answer.
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  6. #26
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    I think everyone possess some degree and type of empathy. There are variations on how empathy is experienced because it is the intermingling of two perceptions. Someone asked about what the purpose of empathy is. Besides creating social bonds, it is information. The more perspectives we can see a situation from, the more data we have and the greater the ability to construct a complete picture. The times I have been moved by empathy correlate 100% with the times I have learned the most important things about people.
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  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    right - to me, the benefit of empathy comes in mostly at being able to connect with a person at their current emotional state. it's not that this is always the most useful or important or necessary thing (though in moments of emotional turmoil it can be extremely helpful), but everyone always has an emotional state, be it calm or agitated or angry or blissful, and it facilitates communication to be able to get a sense of what that state is.
    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    both, definitely... i'm not sure i always differentiate between the two.

    relatedly - i feel like it's not really fair of others to project anger or upset into the atmosphere and then feel offended when others call them out on it. it's disrupting to harmony. my INTP dad does this often and then gets upset that we are "in his business". if he's expressing those feelings in a shared space, it's not just his business anymore...
    Geez, yeah. Anger is probably the emotion that I have the most trouble dealing with overall, especially when it leads a person to not think clearly and spout things that they "don't actually mean." It's more difficult for me to step back and empathize with the other when there's intense anger involved. I end up having to let them process it on their own and talk to me about it later.

    A mentor of mine reminds me that anger is a secondary emotion that arises out another, such as fear. Even if I understand where it comes from, it's often difficult for me to break the other person's "anger" barrier so that we can actually deal with the person's underlying issue.

  8. #28
    Senior Member BAJ's Avatar
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    /wasn't able to finish the thread yet.

    I'm quite self-absorbed much of the time. In the past I would say that I feel envy and depression over certain things, especially observing other people's romantic success.

    I'm better now, I might say. I realized that wishing good even for enemies frees me from the oppression of my own negative emotions.

    I have empathy, however. I understand animals very well. I also understand people, and how they feel and react to a wide variety of situations; sometimes I understand them deeper than they understand themselves. Yet, mine has often been the role of tragic alien wallflower, reticent and twisted.

    I'm weird.

  9. #29
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MDP2525 View Post
    I never thought of it this way. What is an example of calling him out? How do you do that?
    usually he will speak very brusquely or emphatically to the rest of the family and slam things around... slam doors, shut cabinets quickly, stomp while he's walking, and either speak loudly and forcefully, going over the same topics again and again, or just snap at us.

    calling him out would be me saying something like, dad, i can tell you're frustrated, but don't take it out on me. that's when he gets offended and says he's not "taking it out" - which, i suppose really he's not, but he is clearly projecting the emotion he feels and not modifying it to cushion our interactions. my INTP brother seems less affected by this, but to myself and my mom (ESFJ), it's hard for us to deal with him when he's venting like that... i think it totally messes with our F processes. especially because dad tends to be quite blunt already, it often sounds to me like he's attacking us, even though he thinks he's just responding to a personal frustration. and so he says we're being intrusive, but for us it's hard to tune out the anger that's coming forth so loudly and clearly.

    learning the MBTI has helped me with this... understanding that to him the important part of the communication is his rational wording, whereas the emotional signals he's sending don't really mean anything. whereas generally to me the emotional tone is what i tend to focus on, and i have to try to ignore that when i'm talking with him, and i have to modify my own communication to be more precise about my wording and not relying on emotional subtext, as well.

  10. #30
    Rainy Day Woman MDP2525's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    usually he will speak very brusquely or emphatically to the rest of the family and slam things around... slam doors, shut cabinets quickly, stomp while he's walking, and either speak loudly and forcefully, going over the same topics again and again, or just snap at us.

    calling him out would be me saying something like, dad, i can tell you're frustrated, but don't take it out on me. that's when he gets offended and says he's not "taking it out" - which, i suppose really he's not, but he is clearly projecting the emotion he feels and not modifying it to cushion our interactions. my INTP brother seems less affected by this, but to myself and my mom (ESFJ), it's hard for us to deal with him when he's venting like that... i think it totally messes with our F processes. especially because dad tends to be quite blunt already, it often sounds to me like he's attacking us, even though he thinks he's just responding to a personal frustration. and so he says we're being intrusive, but for us it's hard to tune out the anger that's coming forth so loudly and clearly.

    learning the MBTI has helped me with this... understanding that to him the important part of the communication is his rational wording, whereas the emotional signals he's sending don't really mean anything. whereas generally to me the emotional tone is what i tend to focus on, and i have to try to ignore that when i'm talking with him, and i have to modify my own communication to be more precise about my wording and not relying on emotional subtext, as well.
    I can understand both you and your dad's POV here. Pretty cool. So, if F's are tuned into a broad emotional atmosphere, how do F's deal with unpleasant emotions toward another such as anger? Does this just never get expressed? Or does it turn passive-aggressive?
    ~luck favors the ready~


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