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  1. #31
    morose bourgeoisie
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    Empathy is in everyone. Some are just more inhibited than others in expressing it.

  2. #32
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    I knew there would be one. Oh well.

    You are utilizing empathy when you know that something is going to work for everyone. It is easy to say that this isn't empathy because people always throw it at the extreme end of the spectrum. "Empathy is when you genuinely feel an emotion based on someone else!" It doesn't always get used in that extreme sense. When you do something that has no immediate impact on yourself, but works out better, I'd argue that you're using empathy. It's why people throw trash away in it's proper place when in an area they don't normally frequent. It drives the smaller mechanisms. "We dont yell in libraries." "We don't litter." all of those small things parents teach their kids is to establish a sense of social empathy. "This isn't good for the group."
    One of what??

    When I do something with no immediate impact on myself, I may be considering long-term impact on myself. I do not want to live in a world with trash in the streets or noisy libraries, so I pick up my trash and stay quiet in the library, to do my part to make the world what I want it to be. Others benefit as a by-product, and may also choose to follow my example, benefitting both of us. But I know all this, I don't necessarily feel it (back to cognitive empathy, I suppose).

    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    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 would like a dollar for every time I have tried to impress upon someone the highlighted. It is very much how I operate, though I am also very good at controlling anger to minimize content that would distract from my "rational wording". My INTP behaves just as you describe, though, and is far less successful with anger control.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  3. #33
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    One of what??

    When I do something with no immediate impact on myself, I may be considering long-term impact on myself. I do not want to live in a world with trash in the streets or noisy libraries, so I pick up my trash and stay quiet in the library, to do my part to make the world what I want it to be. Others benefit as a by-product, and may also choose to follow my example, benefitting both of us. But I know all this, I don't necessarily feel it (back to cognitive empathy, I suppose).
    One person that would try to pick apart everything so that they don't have to show that they have empathy, one that would say "I'm not a criminal and I totally never use empathy. Outrage! " .. take your pick.

    Even selfless people do selfless things with undertones of selfishness... I.E. Benefitting them via feeling better by helping the community..benefitting by having less hobos in the streets begging if they help with shelters.. etc. I still consider the things you do out of courtesy to the group (you being in the group or not) to be empathetic.

    I've seen people that completely lack empathy. They destroy their own families, friendships, relationships, and their own work environment. They don't really see what's ahead of them.. If it will directly benefit them (i.e. I don't have to do work because I know Stacy will pick up my slack, and I'm tired...) vs long term benefits (I will be known as a decent worker, I may be offered a promotion, etc.) they'll take it, regardless of others.

    When you don't lose your temper at the waitress on her first day, when you simmer down your annoyance because you realize the THIRD customer service lady you're talking to on the phone is actually trying to help you.. When you decide not to litter in a public park even though you know once a week people are hired to come clean it up.. Yeah, it benefits you in a side-ways, indirect way. It can be argued almost any good deed you do benefits you.. But when you do those things, you're displaying empathy.

    It's not a bad or weak thing to have it. It baffles me when people try to prove they don't use it so much.. Maybe my definition is a bit more broad than yours.. But I've found that many concepts in life do not fall under a single, solitary category in a neat little box. They overlap and intertwine.
    Kantgirl: Just say "I'm feminine and I'll punch anyone who says otherwise!"
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  4. #34
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MDP2525 View Post
    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.
    Extremely well said.
    Kantgirl: Just say "I'm feminine and I'll punch anyone who says otherwise!"
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  5. #35
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    It's not a bad or weak thing to have it. It baffles me when people try to prove they don't use it so much.. Maybe my definition is a bit more broad than yours.. But I've found that many concepts in life do not fall under a single, solitary category in a neat little box. They overlap and intertwine.
    I am not sure what definition you are using for empathy. I would not claim to have none by any definition, though I don't think I use it as much or as consciously as many people. I agree that empathy is a human quality that nearly all of us possess to some degree. I am aware of having other motivations, though, along the lines of what I described.

    I have always considered feelings to be at the core of empathy. We feel what someone else is feeling, or at least have some understanding of their feelings based on how we would feel in similar situations. While I often do consider the effects of my actions on other people, it rarely has much of an emotional component*. If you consider such thought-based consideration to be empathy, then I certainly do use it. I keep my temper in check most of the time, however, not out of consideration for the other person's sensibilities, but just because I know being rude and obnoxious serves no purpose and will not get me what I want.

    * No, I do not claim to have no emotions either, simply that I don't usually use them in this way.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  6. #36
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    I am not sure what definition you are using for empathy. I would not claim to have none by any definition, though I don't think I use it as much or as consciously as many people. I agree that empathy is a human quality that nearly all of us possess to some degree. I am aware of having other motivations, though, along the lines of what I described.

    I have always considered feelings to be at the core of empathy. We feel what someone else is feeling, or at least have some understanding of their feelings based on how we would feel in similar situations. While I often do consider the effects of my actions on other people, it rarely has much of an emotional component*. If you consider such thought-based consideration to be empathy, then I certainly do use it. I keep my temper in check most of the time, however, not out of consideration for the other person's sensibilities, but just because I know being rude and obnoxious serves no purpose and will not get me what I want.

    * No, I do not claim to have no emotions either, simply that I don't usually use them in this way.
    I'll have to disagree.. I think that knowing someone's emotions is a logical thing. Feelings, to me, have always implied instinct. We FEEL angry.. we feel irritated. We feel sadness.. To take the new waitress that ordered your food wrong, for example:
    You realize she is feeling nervous, and overwhelmed. You may even rekindle a memory of yourself at your first place of work feeling just as nervous.
    That understanding of emotions and what is going on with the situation is what stops you from getting mad and angry with her immediately. If you were feeling what she felt... you wouldn't be happy or calm at all. You'd be just as nervous and overwhelmed. We don't steal people emotions.. we simply understand the emotion because we have experienced it previously. Empathy is the ability to understand through experience. We understand people need help because we've needed help ourselves before. We don't FEEL like we need help.. we don't feel awful and sad because someone else is. But we understand that they are in that state.. I don't get all emotional when I donate cold weather gear to a homeless person... But it doesn't stop me from understanding that their needs are higher than my own.

    It is illogical to get mad at a waitress that's already frustrated and confused because we won't get what we want, sure. Absolutely. But we won't get what we want because the situation doesn't change.. her emotions are still there, and her instincts of fight or flight are already poised.. Understanding that, and reacting in a favorable way that will keep her quitting that very day when she could have been a great waitress with practice, will get things done.. You get your food, you keep your waitress from leaving you stranded, and you help her out tremendously in an emotional sense. Even if you're not emotional, you're helping out someone who is.

    To me, empathy is at the height of social logic. Thinking outside of yourself, and understanding the actions and decisions of others in the group and community around you gives you an entirely new perspective. It isn't putting yourself in their shoes.. It's remembering that those shoes were yours at one point in time.
    Kantgirl: Just say "I'm feminine and I'll punch anyone who says otherwise!"
    Halla74: Think your way through the world. Feel your way through life.

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    prplchknz: i don't like it

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  7. #37
    Senior Member tkae.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MDP2525 View Post
    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.
    So if I'm naturally good at soccer, but want to spend my life being a doctor, then the distinction between me and someone who wants to be a soccer player but is better at science is "useless"?

    Value isn't related to skill at the fundamental level. You can be good at something and not care about it as much as you care about something else. I have two friends who were both amazing at art in high school, and we couldn't believe that they wanted to go on to be a nurse and a vet.

    You can easily value something you're not good at more than someone else who's good at that thing values it.
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