I can't empathize with people who seem evil, because I fear that I will be contaminated by the process of absorbing them into myself. There are certain kinds of thoughts that I do not allow myself to have, because I think that it is evil even to imagine some things. To do so will weaken my conscience and create an inappropriate acceptance. That is the point where the block occurs. In order to empathize with an evil person, I would have to take in the evil thoughts that cause them to commit evil acts and imagine that such thoughts are my own until I actually feel like committing the acts, myself. It is much too dangerous to allow, because I have a lot of hurt that would explode out at the first possible opportunity if I were to let myself think such thoughts. I could easily empathize with the desire to do horrible things, but I would be damaged by it and might not be able to turn it off again. It isn't worth the risk, especially since no good can come out of my empathizing with evil.
No, if one were to empathize fully with both the victim and the attacker, one would be overwhelmed by the situation, and would feel it intensely from both sides. That is not the same as neutrality. Also, even if one has felt both positions, one will naturally have a preference for one of the positions, finding it more valid than the other. For instance, I can relate to feeling angry enough to want to commit the sinful act of forcing someone to empathize with my position by putting him in an equally vulnerable position, but I find this feeling to be morally inappropriate. Therefore, even if I could feel things from the perspective of the aggressor, that connection would have less value than being able to empathize with the victim.The first empathy leads to the observer becoming emotionally neutral to the situation, since you've felt both positions, unless the observer is only in the presence of one of the people, in which case they normally side with them until they hear/think of the other sides.
There is no neutrality, nor do I find myself capable of lacking emotion. Any judgment will naturally come from my internal value system, which is derived from a concern with the personal implications of decisions. If something doesn't relate to important values, I may be disinterested, but not cold. This mostly has to do with trivial things, like picking out what times to do things, or what shoes to wear. With any personal situation, I am almost certain to care about the outcome.Being neutral then leaves only logic and ethics, which, because of the lack of emotion for either side, make a cold impersonal judgement on the matter. (This empathy isn't used all the time, nor perfect)
This, along with Fi being so hidden and uncaring about things unrelated to its values, led to INFPs being cold I thought.
Sure, we can be forced to behave unnaturally by the painful experience of living in a world that we aren't well-suited to deal with in our original form. A left-handed person can usually be forced to use his right hand. Likewise, we can figure out what others respect and pretend to be that. We can even get quite good at it.On top of this I thought that INFPs were the least practical type generally, meaning in this day and age they learn the hard and fast that details, logic and evidence are very important. This only serves to make them more cold and distant, and view logic and evidence as incredibly important, though their use won't be as natural as it is to T's.
Desensitization isn't possible for all of us. I can't protect or turn down my emotions. I can attempt to hide them to make them more difficult targets, but the more pain I take in, the less it takes to hurt me the next time I experience a similar situation. It makes me more sensitive instead of less, like having a bruise that never heals and only gets worse every time something bumps it. No amount of pain can scar me into the shape of a T type. I will be destroyed long before that happens.With Fi's hidden/withdrawn nature, on top of the above, sensitivity and vulnerability soon leave when they learn to protect their emotions and feelings from the harsh world. By harsh I mean not what they were expecting, I don't mean they necessarily expect the world to be nice, supportive and cater to their needs or anything like that.
Yes, we can pretend not to be needy and vulnerable, but it will always be an act. It is inauthentic, but allows for survival. We are considered unacceptable and others usually don't respect any of the things that we are. Therefore, if we are to get by, we have to pretend that we aren't ourselves. If we are sincere, we are labeled weak, and many people wrongly feel justified in taking advantage of any who are perceived as weak.My personal experience has shown INFPs to definitely not be clingy, needy, vulnerable (on the outside), overly emotional (on the outside) and all that.
What you are describing as your interpretation of the hardened INFP is actually a corruption. Damaged INFPs sometimes take on T characteristics in order to protect themselves. In my opinion, authentic T types are much easier to deal with than INFPs who learn to act like Ts, because a damaged INFP can be ruthless with greater intensity. I consider such INFPs dangerous and possibly insane. The damaged version of any type can be difficult to deal with, but ruined INFPs may be some of the worst because they can be stubborn and vengeful, and are easily embittered. All of the best INFP qualities get replaced with near opposites so that a ruined INFP is no longer tolerant, merciful or forgiving, and eventually loses the capacity for empathy to the point where there is no internal block against cruelty, especially when such cruelty is rationalized for the sake of revenge.Am I just being crazy about this or something? I thought INFPs were a hard nut to crack, and what goo comes out when you do is dependent almost entirely on the individual.
I'm 4w5, if it makes a difference to anyone. My 4 and my 2 were tied, but my pathetic little 5 was still stronger than the 1 or the 3, which were both nearly non-existent. I had no 8 at all.