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  1. #31
    Senior Member Snail's Avatar
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    Default An Adaptation, or a Corruption?

    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    I think most, if not all, INFPs possess and use empathy a lot. However, in the case of some person beating a someone else to death, I thought empathy meant you understood/feel both the victim's position and the murderer's position. Instead of selective empathy (which I though was Fe's speciality used to keep the peace) where normally you only feel/care about the victim's position.
    Actually, it is almost impossible for me to feel empathy for someone who lacks empathy unless the tables are turned and that person is being victimized. I can only empathize with victims. If a bully is being harmed, that person gains victim status, and that is part of the reason that I am not capable of revenge. I can't even imagine being able to cause intentional harm, hurting someone who is showing obvious signs of submission through tears, begging for mercy, or expressing fear in any way. The closest I can come to having empathy for a bully is when I try to imagine how that individual may have been victimized in the past. Then, in order to gain perspective, I will try to empathize with the idea of having been driven insane by past suffering.

    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.

    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.
    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.

    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.
    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.

    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.
    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.

    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.
    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.

    My personal experience has shown INFPs to definitely not be clingy, needy, vulnerable (on the outside), overly emotional (on the outside) and all 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.

    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.
    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.

    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.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by OneWithSoul View Post
    Let's put it this way, and I don't want to narrow it down to just INFPs, but NFs and maybe even F's, abroad, but whenever I feel an emotion, anger, fear, anxiety, excitement, peacefulness, etc. I feel it very very strongly, even though it may be hard to tell. One example is if I get frustrated, then I get very very frustrated, even if my case is wrong. It's not just about feeling sympathetic, but letting your emotions control you, even in the bad ways.

    So I don't know if any other INFPs, NFs, or even Fs, get this feeling of not just being sympathetic, but letting your emotions gain complete control over your actions, even if they are negative..and not saying that we go out and hurt people if we are mad..but you get the point.
    I learnt that when my emotions are storming, I loose control and become likely to break one of my values. Thus I have trained and still am training myself to keep it inside and under control, so I can always act on my values successfully.

    Like this:-

    Quote Originally Posted by Delphyne View Post
    Economy of emotional expression - The more emotional people will express their feeling values, the colder I will get. Being overtly emotional feels kind of fake to me and I canīt go along.
    Quote Originally Posted by Snail View Post
    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.
    Speculation:-

    I would actually turn that around on you. According to all the Fi and most the INFP descriptions they are very distanced and cold, only having a great capacity for caring if you are close to them. This is why I got so annoyed at some of the descriptions and a lot of people's views of them because they seem to forget what Jung and all the others said about them. Also the descriptions seem to emphasise the caring part so the average reader overlooks the "can be caring if" part.

    As for the emotional neutrality, I meant a net neutrality. Yes the empathy is intense, but it is in conflict as it realises there are two people in the scenario and in that particular case someone would be hurt no matter what action you take. I myself always realised that the murderer is just doing what their desires are pushing them towards, like myself and everyone else.

    The empathy takes on a sort of psychiatrist role, caring for both the murderer and the victim, as well as any other views regarding the situation that on can think of. All-embracing is definitely a good word to describe it. I find it hard to demonize someone, no matter their actions and views, and always view them as another person with differing viewpoints. In fact, I often find myself regarding non-human objects as human, because my empathy tries to relate to everything I think of.

    This empathy means they can agree with any point of view presented to them, especially if they can't perceive others at that point in time. This can lead to them being quite fickle.

    I thought this was an INFP strength, seeing as how it is what helps them see all sides to a conflict. This, I thought, meant INFPs were quite naturally open minded, refusing to close off sides and always feeling the pain no matter what decision they make. However, this empathy doesn't always function like this, that would be overwhelming, so this leads to even more distance and coldness as they learn to cope with having such a spectrum of views and switch it off on unimportant decisions (hence not caring about them).

    As for being needy and vulnerable. I thought most INFPs would realise how ineffective this is, and how difficult moving towards an ideal self is if one is needy and vulnerable. I assumed it was only human to discard these traits, or at least attempt to do so, unless one has been extremely sheltered and never seen the disadvantage to having them. Like I said, it all comes out like a flood gate to those they are close to, possibly because they guard their feelings stronger than any other type and as it is not possible to truly discard them, only control when and where they are showing (normally on the inside).

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_in_Orbit View Post
    Strong dislike for conflict: Um, no. I don't like conflict with myself and someone I am uncomfortable with/don't know but I am notorious for arguing with my friends about their beliefs and calling them out when they are inconsistent...I even secretly enjoy getting into conflicts with friends about things because after it is over we become closer as friends.
    I also like that, and getting into insult matches with them as well. However, by conflict I meant genuine external and all internal conflict.

    Basically this:-

    Quote Originally Posted by Delphyne View Post
    Inner harmony explains to me why I sometimes like to start conflicts. The outer harmony isnīt really important to me, but inside I need to be in harmony. If Iīm not sure about someoneīs motives or my values get attacked I will bring my inner conflict outside. By starting a conflict with someone I try to gain inner harmony.
    EDIT: I suppose I should point out I'm not saying INFPs in general support murder or anything! I'm saying their ethics, which develop outside of empathy, based on internal feelings, take control and normally side with the victim.

  3. #33
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    Wow, Snail, that was one helluva post! That is about everything I could have said about this matter (after two weeks of contemplation)... There's one thing I feel slightly different about, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Snail View Post
    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.
    What I feel for attackers is partly pity for their lives will get very intolerable if they aren't that already. I've seen some basically good but confused people turn into corpses full of hate, and it isn't pretty. On the other hand I hope they will get better, but the fact they might be just fine, and nice people after ten years of growing up, doesn't erase the fact that they are assholes now and should be punished. I don't know if this is exactly what one could call empathy, but I know that the only thing stopping me from getting back to them is self-preservation, fear that is.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    I would actually turn that around on you. According to all the Fi and most the INFP descriptions they are very distanced and cold, only having a great capacity for caring if you are close to them. This is why I got so annoyed at some of the descriptions and a lot of people's views of them because they seem to forget what Jung and all the others said about them. Also the descriptions seem to emphasise the caring part so the average reader overlooks the "can be caring if" part.
    Yeah, you are correct on this point. For me it goes like, the people who have learned to appreciate me usually go through a period when they are somehow "forced" to be around me. I think this has to do with my cold-ish outside, even though I can't really recognize it myself... Anyhow, the people will probably like me only after seeing some hint of the inside.

    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    As for being needy and vulnerable. I thought most INFPs would realise how ineffective this is, and how difficult moving towards an ideal self is if one is needy and vulnerable. I assumed it was only human to discard these traits, or at least attempt to do so, unless one has been extremely sheltered and never seen the disadvantage to having them. Like I said, it all comes out like a flood gate to those they are close to, possibly because they guard their feelings stronger than any other type and as it is not possible to truly discard them, only control when and where they are showing (normally on the inside).
    This is a good reason to select carefully the persons to be needy about.

  5. #35
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    A question to ask is; Are the INFPgc INFPs the majority or the minority? I know almost for a fact that INTPc INTPs are the minority so it wouldn't surprise me if the same were true of INFPgc INFPs.

    Quote Originally Posted by nolla View Post
    Yeah, you are correct on this point. For me it goes like, the people who have learned to appreciate me usually go through a period when they are somehow "forced" to be around me. I think this has to do with my cold-ish outside, even though I can't really recognize it myself... Anyhow, the people will probably like me only after seeing some hint of the inside.
    I suppose if sitting with people who have no friends because I didn't either means being forced with them, then the same is true of me! Made my closest friends that way back in school.

    I think a lot of descriptions of Fi say they don't necessarily hide behind a cold expression (poker face). It can be a childish mask or something, it just doesn't represent what's going on inside.

    I think childish mask is given as the most common example.

  6. #36
    Senior Member Delphyne's Avatar
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    I like to differentiate between showing your emotions and expressing your feeling values. If someone is happy and laughs out loud or if someone is throwing a tantrum, it doesnīt feel fake, because their behaviour is ruled by their emotions. Apart from actually having emotions you can also use feelings as some kind of language. These are based on your values. Especially Fe uses their feeling expressions a good deal to communicate their values. There are appropriate and inappropriate situations to weep or to laugh and special ways to show how much you respect, like or love someone. Fi is also expressing their values through feelings, but itīs much more subdued and Fi ascribes much more importance to little gestures.

    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    I learnt that when my emotions are storming, I loose control and become likely to break one of my values. Thus I have trained and still am training myself to keep it inside and under control, so I can always act on my values successfully.
    Yes, I also hurt people if Iīm ranging and feel sorry afterwards. Thatīs one reason why I try to control my emotions, but the more I suppress them the more likely I will explode after a while.

    A question to ask is; Are the INFPgc INFPs the majority or the minority? I know almost for a fact that INTPc INTPs are the minority so it wouldn't surprise me if the same were true of INFPgc INFPs.
    What does gc and c stand for?

  7. #37
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  8. #38
    Senior Member Delphyne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snail View Post
    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.
    Are you sure about being a 4w5 or are you just talking about your test results? What you describe about empathizing with evil is in some ways contrary to 4w5, which has a preference for "dark emotions" and likes to foster them.

  9. #39
    Senior Member Delphyne's Avatar
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    Thanks, Disregard. Are those INFPgc some special kind of INFPs? How do they differ from the other INFPs?

  10. #40
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    Every place has a unique atmosphere which will affect how the people conduct themselves.

    Those INFPs are no different than these INFPs, but their forum behavior may differ. I do not think the INFPgc atmosphere is representative of what INFPs are like. It's a bit coddling.

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