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Thread: Extreme empaths

  1. #131
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Mar 2008


    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post

    Three aspects of empathy:

    empathic concern: longstanding compassionate emotions
    empathic accuracy: cognitive ability to accurately infer what the other person is thinking or feeling (not just feel it or think you feel it)
    perceived empathy: the target of empathy's ability to understand whether or not the empathizer conveys their empathy in a way that shows they are empathizing

    I got this information from Giving Birth to Empathy: The Effects of Similar Experience on Empathic Accuracy, Empathic Concern, and Perceived Empathy, Pers Soc Psychol Bull 2010; 36; 398

    Additionally I found this interesting article about empathy and the Five Factor Model

    From Personality Characteristics of Hospice Palliative Care Volunteers: The "Big Five" and Empathy, American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Mar 2010;

    It's interesting to note that the Fantasy subscale of the Openness factor is the one that most strong relates (I don't know if it's correlates but there is a connection) to what people in the MBTI world conceive of as intuition. So for anyone who asserts that intuitives, specifically NFs, would be more empathetic than SFs, according to this study that is not true.

    One more article I read:

    From American Journal of Hospice & Palliative Medicine Volume 25 Number 4 August/September 2008 (this one is especially interesting)

    Evidently with so much confusion over defining what empathy is, of course we aren't going to come to any type of conclusion either, but it's good to be having the discussion. Perhaps it will come down to literally measuring these mirror neurons and seeing who has more and who has less.

    If people want to make this about type what if, for example, you have a INFP and ESTJ with equal amounts of mirror neurons? Then what? Maybe the INFP and ESTJ both have empathic accuracy, but the INFP is better able to convey their empathic concern and the target understands this as perceived empathy. It didn't mean the ESTJ doesn't have it, it just means they didn't communicate it. What if the ESTJ chooses to express that empathic accuracy by becoming an health care administrator and the INFP by becoming a therapist? People choose their modes of expression in a way that's more suitable to their particular strengths. That's something I've had to rethink even within the course of this thread.

    I don't think trying to make this fit into MBTI is the proper way to go about understanding empathy. It's too much embedded into that response to chalk up to type and functions.
    I am surprised you want to understand something in such detail. It's like the detail is a way of avoiding something.

  2. #132
    Senior Member lunalove's Avatar
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    Mar 2010


    When my dog throws up, I feel it happening with her. I cannot watch many movies because I just end up having bad dreams...not to mention what I feel while I'm watching! If someone tells me something, it's like I imagine myself (feel myself?) going through what they go through. I can also feel other people's emotions...but I taught myself to tune out a lot of this stuff as a child. I can pick up on people's energy even if they're across the room sometimes. Maybe that's why I hate being out in public often? I am sensitive to the fung shei in places as well. It's coming back now that I'm feeling a bit safer in the world. I used to know people were going to die before it scared me so much I made myself change it! I tried to be some other didn't work for long!

  3. #133
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    Apr 2007


    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    I am surprised you want to understand something in such detail. It's like the detail is a way of avoiding something.
    Oooh, I like getting psychoanalyzed although I've never heard of wanting to understand something = avoiding it. What do you think it is?
    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.
    Interpersonal Communication Theories and Concepts
    Social Penetration Theory 1
    Social Penetration Theory 2
    Social Penetration Theory 3

  4. #134
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Mar 2008

    The devil is in the detail.

    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    Oooh, I like getting psychoanalyzed although I've never heard of wanting to understand something = avoiding it. What do you think it is?
    I find you intriguing but opaque. But you also seem to me to be like a hot grill and I don't want to burn my fingers.

    I would like to think that all your detail is like fingers reaching out, looking for something you can't see.

    It's as though I am watching you toss and turn in your sleep, and I am waiting for you to open your eyes.

    And then I will be able to see you as the eyes are the windows of the soul - but the devil is in the detail.

  5. #135
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    Jan 2009


    Pro, does the word really hold that much value for you? (No judgment, just curious)

    This is at least the second thread where definitions took over and confusion resulted in mass with lots of arguments about the sympathy/empathy terms. I can physiologically mimic other people's pain in an uncontrolled fashion. I dont like it but am not really attached highly to being called empathic either. I can get called something else if it fits.

    You know Victor may be on to something-I kinda get his grill/sleep/fingers thing sorta...

    I'd say something about seeking Ti detailed, precise, definitive reassurance of your Fe value thingy system stuff? But I dont understand enfjs at all so please ignore me if that is way crazy.

  6. #136
    Member cheerchick23's Avatar
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    Mar 2009


    to refer back to the OP.... I'm very affected by watching people be lied to, deceived, etc... what I sometimes call the "Truman Show Syndrome". Just today my family turned on an MTV hidden-camera dating show, where people set up their friends on deliberately excruciating blind dates (with actors who have been told the victims' pet peeves and act on every dating no-no in the book) as means of lighthearted revenge. The victim enters, thinking it's a blind date, and suffers through 60 minutes of planned atrocity... all while being filmed for the enjoyment of the vengeful friend, and hilarity ensues. My family was in stitches giggling at the sheer awkwardness of the situation, but I felt myself feeling uncomfortable and almost wanting to break through the TV screen to let the poor soul know she's being duped. Same thing happened when I watched The Sixth Sense for the second time. "BRUCE WILLIS! YOU'RE DEAD! YOU'RE DEEEAADDDDD!!!!!!"

    Probably stems from the fact that this is one of my greatest fears..... to be deceived in a large-scale scenario--Truman style. One of the scariest things I could imagine facing is to find out I was purposefully deceived for such a long period of time, especially by people I trusted.

  7. #137
    lab rat extraordinaire CrystalViolet's Avatar
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    Oct 2008
    5w4 sx/sp


    In regards to extreme empathy, I'm guessing it's expressed in a way they experience impairment in day to day activities.
    Whilist I'd say I can be very empathetic, I can still function in society.
    Correct me if I'm wrong, or my logic is lacking, but if they are SO empathetic, they wouldn't necessarily be able to form personalities of their own. An aspect of empathy is more elastic boundries (this is supposition to a degree, but if this remains true), so these people would have so little boundries to be almost non-exsistent in terms of personality. Theoritically they would take on and mirror what personality type the other person in the room would have.
    That would be an impairment indeed. I could be wrong.
    I know up until this point you guys have been viewing it in a strictly physical sense, but either way, I think the conclusion is this isn't necessarily related to personality type.
    I've met people like that....I wouldn't wish it on any body. BTW, I don't think this is related to being HSP, of which I'm practically a card carrying member, it's almost like they have no skin, no protection what so ever, they are walking raw nerves,which, of course being an empath myself is extremely hard to be around.
    Currently submerged under an avalanche of books and paper work. I may come back up for air from time to time.
    Real life awaits and she is a demanding mistress.


  8. #138


    I heard that Psychopaths are extreme empaths.

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