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Thread: Is the ability to feel empathy type related

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    IMHO, no. Ethicals are supposed to feel sympathy and be loving whereas logicals are supposed to be mean, selfish, save-asses. I don't think that is true. It depends on the person
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    Fe, I think. All that matters is the pure emotional content in that moment; not an attitude towards the person or anything lasting.

    That said, I don't think that Fe types are necessarily more empathetic. Depends on the individual.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly View Post
    Fe, I think. All that matters is the pure emotional content in that moment; not an attitude towards the person or anything lasting.

    That said, I don't think that Fe types are necessarily more empathetic. Depends on the individual.
    In fact, some I*Fps can be anything but empathetic. Fe leading types care more about others.

    IMO, ESFps and INFjs are more empathetic than ISFjs and ENFps.
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    I agree, in my opinion empathy isn't type-related, it's more... sociopathology-related. Or enneatype-related, if you like to put things into boxes :tongue:

    Lack of empathy is one of the indicators of autism and related disorders. So if it's type-related, that means some types are more prone to autism than others... which I don't think is true.
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    To "put oneself into another's shoes" is very characteristic for me. I think NF's in general share this trait. Ni + Fe or Ne + Fi.

    If id have to pick just one function I would probably pick Fe but that alone I don't think is enough.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carla View Post
    Stop generalizing.
    I can't! You stop stopping!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mimosa Pudica View Post
    To be empathetic means you know/feel what others feel. It does not mean you react to what you know or care about anyone. (Read the definition in the OP)
    You are right, I have mixed things.

    How do we call empathetic people who have no qualms about exploiting others?

    Anyway, I insist some I*Fps lack empathy: most of them believe the world turns around them and only think about their ass. Sometimes, I question my own type because of that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mimosa Pudica View Post
    I agree you use more than Fe when reading and understanding others. You need to understand the situation through your perceiving function, but I think sensing is just as good as intuition for that? I mean, intuition is probably better for understanding/seeing certain feelings, while sensing is better for others? SFs read people very accurately, ime (but they often see things a bit differently from NFs).
    From my talks with ISFj I though she understands people better than me but at the same time it was not exactly empathy. Or at least not the "put oneself into another's shoes" part if that makes sense.
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    I actually think that a Fe-being would naturally score relatively higher on empathy even if autistic? And that doesn't necessarily mean that some types are more prone to autism than others, but that probably some types (logical types) more often are diagnosed with mild autism than autistic ethicals? Just a theory....
    That sounds plausible. I think it might also be possible to use other functions in place of Fe to predict what someone else is feeling - in a more roundabout way of course.

    Maybe it's a bit like IQ - the average for males is slightly higher than for females, but the large ranges make it completely false to say, "Men are smarter than women."

    My MOTHER told me as a child that I "lacked empathy and only lived in my brains theorizing, not relating to other humans, and should develop my skills". It hurt like hell, and I know now it is not true. You know, I questionned my empathy for years and years because of her. She probably didn't at all get that I was just different from her, and somehow that gave her the impression that I only lived for my books. I guess her Ni PoLR (she's ESE) made it hard for her to understand my dreamy talks, and my introversion and Fe-creative confused her into thinking I was "like her", only lacking empathy, thus being "a nerd without feelings".
    My ESE mother did exactly the same thing to me!
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    I read somewhere (but can't find the link again) that people with strong Ti and strong Ni score higher in IQ tests. Introverts score higher than extroverts. When it comes to LIIs (strong Ti, strong unconscious Ni) something like 35-40 % are Mensa level smart. About 10% of ILIs (strong unconscious Ti, strong Ni) are Mensa level and about 9% of the IEIs (valued Ti, strong Ni) are Mensa level. These are the three "smartest" types. Probably more men are the "smarter" types?
    In terms of functions, I think people with strong Ti and Ni do better in IQ tests, especially the fluid intelligence questions.

    Ti - a lot of the questions involve Ti-type reasoning ("if all gabs are jots, and all jots are wefs...", "which shape doesn't fit?")

    Ni - since IQ tests are timed, and there's lots of visual logic questions, obviously it helps if you can rotate diagrams in your head.

    But of course, IQ as a construct =/= "actual" intelligence...

    (I think I've derailed this thread a bit. Sorry! )
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    Empathy is the capability to share and understand another's emotion and feelings. It is often characterized as the ability to "put oneself into another's shoes," or in some way experience what the other person is feeling. Empathy does not necessarily imply compassion, sympathy, or empathic concern because this capacity can be present in context of compassionate or cruel behavior.
    I think empathy is a basic component of having a mind or what have you. We empathisize easiest with those we understand. Using the mother example from a few posts above... your mother doesn't understand your tendency to live in books, therefor has a hard time empathising with you over it. She can however easily empathise with other mothers etc. who have the same feelings about their kids who live in their books. On the other hand, you have a hard time empathising with your mother and those others who feel as she does, while being able to easily empathise with those other kids who are doing as you, living in their books. Neither one is necessarily better or worse at empathy in general, they just empathise towards the emotions brought on by different sorts of actions and experiences.

    If you must bring types and functions into it, all it's going to highlight is in what ways and with who a person is going to be able to most naturally empathise with.

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    I have to say it's not type related to feel empathy. If I HAD to associate a function, I'd say Fi is empathy, but that might come from a personal bias. I'm described as I highly empathic person, and I try to understand a people and their situations. I agree with bionic, everyone has their own way of being empathic. Ethical types might be more aware of the use of empathy, and therefore exercise it more often and gain skill at it, but logical types have their own way of being empathic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mimosa Pudica View Post
    I don't agree with you. I have never murdered anyone, yet I have the ability to understand people commiting murder. I have never been abusive of my children, yet I can have the ability to understand people who are. Does it mean I accept it? Not necessarily. Does it mean I excuse them? Not necessarily. But I very, very seldom judge people for actions. I think this is pretty typical of XNFps. We see, and FEEL inside how OTHERS feel.

    I have no problems UNDERSTANDING my mother. I did even tell - in my example - why I think she did what she did. It is empathy I showed, telling her side of the story.

    Of course both empathy and sympathy is easier to offer to people with similar problems, but I am certain that some people can "feel" what other people feel easier than others. And after reading the Fe-description, I agree with Gilly it is based on the Fe function. I might be wrong, of course, that's why I keep discussing.




    This is true, but if you read my other post, I was empathic with types having weak Fe, and how it could be a problem for them hearing that they are "without feelings". I mean, if they are nice people, genuinely caring about others, but STILL having problems with Fe, others might easily say "you don't care about people", as their empathy is low. If I am right in my assumption that empathy = Fe, that is. (I actually think thinking types can use logics to understand others, but then it'll be very linked to experiences of certain situations and based on "what is wrong and what is right", I think)

    And nothing in this is aimed to say that "Fe is better". It is only different and better at certain things. If anything, I'm trying to say that "empathy" is not the same as "sympathy" and "care". Empathy is a skill - it is the ability to feel what other people feel. Like any skill, it can be used for better or worse.

    A side note: Do you think I like hearing that IEIs are "the least practical of all types"?? I mean, I've got a Master of Science in Engineering, and I worked as a construction worker as a side job while I was a student (don't ask me why - it was well payed....) Still, I guess it's true that Te PoLR makes me relatively clumsy... I have experience, but not natural skill at practical work. I think empathy = Fe, in the same manner practicality = Te. I'd love to hear other arguments.

    I just got way stoned... let me get back to you on this when I can understand words again

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    i'll tear down the sky Mattie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carla View Post
    I think that you're over-estimating yourself. How can you possibly feel what I feel if you've never identified a little with what it's like to walk in my shoes yourself? I mean, on some level, sure.
    It comes from some level of intuitive guess work, but it also from noticing people's behaviors and being inquisitive about feelings as a knee-jerk reaction to everything. It sounds scary that there are people who feel like they know you before you think that they have any idea about your personality, but I can say for myself I can just read people and guess. I have to get to know them at some sort of level, of course, but it's to the point where my close friends don't really second-guess my observations. I want to reply later with a more thought out answer, but I have to say that while it may seem out there, a high level of empathy might not be over-estimated.
    Last edited by Mattie; 04-10-2009 at 03:43 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by look.to.the.sky View Post
    I have to say it's not type related to feel empathy. If I HAD to associate a function, I'd say Fi is empathy, but that might come from a personal bias. I'm described as I highly empathic person, and I try to understand a people and their situations. I agree with bionic, everyone has their own way of being empathic. Ethical types might be more aware of the use of empathy, and therefore exercise it more often and gain skill at it, but logical types have their own way of being empathic.
    No, empathy is an extraverted function, it is introjection from object (person) to subject (you). So it is Fe based, conscious or unconscious.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wittmont View Post
    No, empathy is an extraverted function, it is introjection from object (person) to subject (you). So it is Fe based, conscious or unconscious.
    It doesn't seem to fit correctly to me, which is why I'm unsatisfied with it being type related. I can't see how Fi is unrelated to empathy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mimosa Pudica View Post
    That probably means Fe PoLRs have the biggest problems with empathy (understanding how others feel). I actually think that can be hard for some Fe PoLRs, if they are "constantly" fed the idea that they are without "feelings", since "empathy" is often thought of as the same thing. I mean, even here, in this thread, people confuse empathy for sympathy. It is not the same. People can care about others and have low empathy and the other way around. I think.
    Yeah, I can imagine what other person could be feeling. But I have somewhat poor understading what they are actually feeling, in a more complex level, that I assume Fe-egos are capable of. I of course have rudimentary understading of what other person is feeling, so I'm not like a freakshow of not understading other peoples feelings. What I imagine someone could be feeling and what they are actually feeling can in practice be different. Most of the time I just don't concentrate or care about this type of information.

    Greater difficulty comes in trying to influence other peoples emotions, there I'm very underskilled.
    ...the human race will disappear. Other races will appear and disappear in turn. The sky will become icy and void, pierced by the feeble light of half-dead stars. Which will also disappear. Everything will disappear. And what human beings do is just as free of sense as the free motion of elementary particles. Good, evil, morality, feelings? Pure 'Victorian fictions'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mimosa Pudica View Post
    I don't know how, but I do think I can. I'm not saying *I* am the most empathetic of all ethicals, I am not. And I'm definitely not the most sympathetic of people, I'm much too private and "aggressive" for that. But I think Fe is the function making it possible for me to almost be "inside" others and "feel" what they feel. It is NOT logical. Your question is asking "how" I do it, assuming that I "imagine" myself in your situation, but it's more. I almost "pick up" on the feeling both in time and space. I can almost sense WHY you have a specific feel - how it came to you (probably Ni here too). "Somehow". No idea how. It's why I think it's a Fe thing - it seems so "natural" to me. Maybe it's NiFe I describe?

    To explain it a bit further : A problem in this, is that at times, I don't manage AT ALL to separate MY OWN WANTS from what OTHERS want. Again and again, I have to ask myself what *I* want to do in a situation, to avoid me doing things others want me to do. I have been hurt by my empathy a lot of times, for example feeling that others want to date me so strongly that I've thought for a while they were my feelings. That really complicates things... It's not all "cool". I really, really think this is a problem IEIs can have and that SLEs, for example, would laugh at. And it's tied to strong empathy, according to definitions. (and it illustrates that I don't mean strong empathy is only positive)
    I competely agree with this, I could have written that myself.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarno View Post
    1)
    A girl who I want to date, asks me: well first tell me how tall you are?
    My reply: well I will answer that, if you first tell me how much you weigh!

    2)
    A girl I was dating said she was oh so great at sex etc, but she didn't do blowjobs.
    My reply: Oh I'm really romantic etc, I just will never take you out to dinner.

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    Quote Originally Posted by look.to.the.sky View Post
    I have to say it's not type related to feel empathy. If I HAD to associate a function, I'd say Fi is empathy, but that might come from a personal bias. I'm described as I highly empathic person, and I try to understand a people and their situations. I agree with bionic, everyone has their own way of being empathic. Ethical types might be more aware of the use of empathy, and therefore exercise it more often and gain skill at it, but logical types have their own way of being empathic.
    I think there is a sense of type relation relating to what we are talking about, if socionics.com is any good, I will quote this

    ENFp positive trait description

    Your strongest virtue is well-developed intuition. This allows you to faultlessly determine the hidden abilities and talents in others, which you accurately point out or compliment them upon. You also try to help people understand their personal problems, often trying to help people feel more positive about them. Your first impression of people is usually the right one. You are able to maintain warm, trusting relations with people. Your feelings for others, both positive and negative are as strong as each other. You are a top class diplomat. You try to help others using your diplomatic abilities to find solutions to often difficult life situations. You help people to avoid humiliation and making hasty decisions that they might later regret.
    (D)IEE~FI-(C)SLE~Ni E-5w4(Sp/Sx)/7w8(So/Sp)/9w1(sp/sx)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jarno View Post
    1)
    A girl who I want to date, asks me: well first tell me how tall you are?
    My reply: well I will answer that, if you first tell me how much you weigh!

    2)
    A girl I was dating said she was oh so great at sex etc, but she didn't do blowjobs.
    My reply: Oh I'm really romantic etc, I just will never take you out to dinner.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 07490 View Post
    I think there is a sense of type relation in what we are talking about, if socionics.com is any good, I will quote this

    ENFp positive trait description
    I can agree with that description, and I do understand that type does reflect these traits. What I don't agree with is Fe = empathy, because to me personally, NeFi "obviously" is empathy, or at least empathy in my own manner. If anything, I feel like it's both Fe and Fi, they are two sides to empathy. Maybe Fe is the actual observation and Fi is the understanding? Which makes ethical types good at empathy in how we're talking about it here, but in different ways. I feel rather fired up about this subject for some strange reason, like it just hit a chord

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    Quote Originally Posted by look.to.the.sky View Post
    If anything, I feel like it's both Fe and Fi, they are two sides to empathy. Maybe Fe is the actual observation and Fi is the understanding? Which makes ethical types good at empathy in how we're talking about it here,
    yea good point.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarno View Post
    1)
    A girl who I want to date, asks me: well first tell me how tall you are?
    My reply: well I will answer that, if you first tell me how much you weigh!

    2)
    A girl I was dating said she was oh so great at sex etc, but she didn't do blowjobs.
    My reply: Oh I'm really romantic etc, I just will never take you out to dinner.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mimosa Pudica View Post
    If I am right in my assumption that empathy = Fe, that is. (I actually think thinking types can use logics to understand others, but then it'll be very linked to experiences of certain situations and based on "what is wrong and what is right", I think)
    You are probably on to something with this. But Fe is more than that. Consider that Fe would be a interface between you and the world. Empathy = the Fe-input. But there's also the output, to add to that. The Fe-output is what Fi-valuers often can see as manipulative.

    and I worked as a construction worker as a side job while I was a student (don't ask me why - it was well payed....) Still, I guess it's true that Te PoLR makes me relatively clumsy... I have experience, but not natural skill at practical work. I think empathy = Fe, in the same manner practicality = Te. I'd love to hear other arguments.
    That type of practicality has to do with Si and Se rather than Te.
    ...the human race will disappear. Other races will appear and disappear in turn. The sky will become icy and void, pierced by the feeble light of half-dead stars. Which will also disappear. Everything will disappear. And what human beings do is just as free of sense as the free motion of elementary particles. Good, evil, morality, feelings? Pure 'Victorian fictions'.

    INTp

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    Quote Originally Posted by look.to.the.sky View Post
    I can agree with that description, and I do understand that type does reflect these traits. What I don't agree with is Fe = empathy, because to me personally, NeFi "obviously" is empathy, or at least empathy in my own manner. If anything, I feel like it's both Fe and Fi, they are two sides to empathy. Maybe Fe is the actual observation and Fi is the understanding? Which makes ethical types good at empathy in how we're talking about it here, but in different ways. I feel rather fired up about this subject for some strange reason, like it just hit a chord
    If you're strong in Fi, you're also strong in Fe, and ENFps have Fe as their 8th function, which is a strong producing function. Fe is not a priority for us but it is strong.

    I think different types empathize in different ways. For ENFps, i think it's probably a combination of Fe and Fi.
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    Quote Originally Posted by look.to.the.sky View Post
    I can agree with that description, and I do understand that type does reflect these traits. What I don't agree with is Fe = empathy, because to me personally, NeFi "obviously" is empathy, or at least empathy in my own manner. If anything, I feel like it's both Fe and Fi, they are two sides to empathy. Maybe Fe is the actual observation and Fi is the understanding? Which makes ethical types good at empathy in how we're talking about it here, but in different ways. I feel rather fired up about this subject for some strange reason, like it just hit a chord
    You are probably rather talking about sympathy rather than empathy. But Fi-egos are also skilled in empathy.

    For example extreme Ne + Fi sympath would feel how the test-animals, or starving children of africa are suffering. Although it would be imagined, and couldn't get over the feeling.

    Extreme empath would "extract" and be immersed by the feelings of people surrounding, similar way as someone listens to music.

    Or so I assume.
    ...the human race will disappear. Other races will appear and disappear in turn. The sky will become icy and void, pierced by the feeble light of half-dead stars. Which will also disappear. Everything will disappear. And what human beings do is just as free of sense as the free motion of elementary particles. Good, evil, morality, feelings? Pure 'Victorian fictions'.

    INTp

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    My hunch is it's probably more psychosocial than Socionics.

    Personally, I had a block for awhile... That is to say, I wasn't feeling, well, feelings in full -- and like psychological blocks can be, it was caused by build-up of un-dealt with pain.

    Me being ENFj, I don't believe, had anything to do with it... Me feeling or not feeling empathy.

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    only communicates/reads raw emotional content as it's changing through the moments, which allows one to re-create in their mind the internal emotional states flying through anothers mind. I think empathy is far more than just that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mimosa Pudica View Post
    I get you. It's the way I feel about ESIs, too. Not sure what it means. Maybe you could say they have empathy, but lack sympathy? An ESI should answer.
    I understand how people are feeling - I rarely "feel" or "experience" how other people are feeling. I can and do put myself in other people's shoes, but it's not something I do instinctively, whereas understanding how people feel and where they are coming from is. That being said, I don't think I'm overly sympathetic. I definitely have the capacity for great sympathy, I'm just... less likely to give it to just anyone? Lol, and I don't mean to sound like I'm stingy with my sympathy. This sounds terrible - I'm really not sure how to put it.

    That being said, I don't think empathy is highly type related. Any healthy individual has the capacity for empathy and tbh I don't see the point in over-analyzing it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mimosa Pudica View Post
    To explain it a bit further : A problem in this, is that at times, I don't manage AT ALL to separate MY OWN WANTS from what OTHERS want. Again and again, I have to ask myself what *I* want to do in a situation, to avoid me doing things others want me to do. I have been hurt by my empathy a lot of times, for example feeling that others want to date me so strongly that I've thought for a while they were my feelings. That really complicates things... It's not all "cool". I really, really think this is a problem IEIs can have and that SLEs, for example, would laugh at. And it's tied to strong empathy, according to definitions. (and it illustrates that I don't mean strong empathy is only positive)
    How is this empathy? Understanding and "feeling" how someone else is feeling is empathy. Adopting their feelings as your own is not empathy, lol. If anything it shows a weak understanding of your own feelings and and an inability to be assert them when necessary.
    I think you are taking this whole being empathetic thing a little too far.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    only communicates/reads raw emotional content as it's changing through the moments, which allows one to re-create in their mind the internal emotional states flying through anothers mind. I think empathy is far more than just that.
    I agree. To me empathy is beyond what is identified by the mind to something much deeper, so I can't really see it as type related.
    Quote Originally Posted by jxrtes View Post
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    @ Mimosa: It's not type-related. Honestly, don't attribute things like empathy to Fe. Especially if you're defining it with an excerpt from Wikipedia. The idea of it may seem more Fe-related, but that's a gross simplification to assume.

    Anyway, here are some interesting articles on it:



         A basic human impulse affecting the course of history, culture, and personal connections,
    empathy is also a neurological fact—and one that’s increasingly understood.

    TO NEUROSCIENTIST JEAN DECETY,
    empathy resembles a sort of minor constellation: clusters
    of encephalic stars glowing in the cosmos of an otherwise dark brain. ‘See how they flash,’ Decety
    says, pointing to the orange-lit anterior cingulate cortex and anterior insula on an fMRI scan. ‘This
    person is witnessing another person in pain. ... What’s interesting is that this network of regions
    is also involved in the firsthand experience of pain.’”
    (The University of Chicago Magazine)

         “On the other hand, in one sense empathy may be more unique than many people think. Although empathy
    is often mentioned and grouped together with phenomena such as sympathy, warmth, compassion and so forth,
    and naturally have much in common with these phenomena, it is likely the only phenomenon that enables us to
    understand as well as care for consciousness outside ourselves
    .”
    (http://www2.psychology.su.se/staff/jh/dissertation.pdf)

         “EMPATHY is the idea that the vital properties which we experience in or attribute to any person or object
    outside ourselves are the projections of our own feelings and thoughts.”
    (Dictionary of the History of Ideas)

    Quote Originally Posted by calenwen View Post
    I understand how people are feeling - I rarely "feel" or "experience" how other people are feeling. I can and do put myself in other people's shoes, but it's not something I do instinctively, whereas understanding how people feel and where they are coming from is. That being said, I don't think I'm overly sympathetic. I definitely have the capacity for great sympathy, I'm just... less likely to give it to just anyone? Lol, and I don't mean to sound like I'm stingy with my sympathy. This sounds terrible - I'm really not sure how to put it.

    That being said, I don't think empathy is highly type related. Any healthy individual has the capacity for empathy and tbh I don't see the point in over-analyzing it.
    Quote Originally Posted by calenwen View Post
    How is this empathy? Understanding and "feeling" how someone else is feeling is empathy. Adopting their feelings as your own is not empathy, lol. If anything it shows a weak understanding of your own feelings and and an inability to be assert them when necessary.
    I think you are taking this whole being empathetic thing a little too far.
    Quote Originally Posted by Starfall View Post
    To me empathy is beyond what is identified by the mind to something much deeper, so I can't really see it as type related.
    I agree with each of you. And to be honest, this thread kind of bothers me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allie View Post

    I agree with each of you. And to be honest, this thread kind of bothers me.
    Thanks for the articles. Wikipedia wasn't cutting it for me either, so I looked up some alternative definitions before replying, lol.
    And yeah, this thread kind of bothered me too.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isha View Post
    I would go so far as to say that people who try to be empathetic are indeed empathetic people, if in nothing else they are aware of a need for empathy
    I strongly agree with this. I often see people who analyze other's feelings trying to understand them as highly empathetic. And I see people who strive to be more empathetic as highly empathetic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mimosa Pudica View Post
    I am still not convinced... However, I agree that the way "empathy" is used in normal language, makes it sounds "positive" - that's why I posted the Wiki-definition, to make people understand what I talked about - a neutral skill. And this "skill" can be used both for better and worse. (Think of a sadist knowing exactly how his victim feels, he can use his empathy in a really terrible way).
    I think the "neutral skill" you're talking about is ... reading raw emotional content. The sadist is reading something of the emotions of the victim, or interpreting them at least. It's just that I think that this "neutral skill" isn't the same thing as "empathy," even though it can certainly be involved in empathy (and it's not because I think 'empathy can only be positive').

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mimosa Pudica View Post

    I like the thought of this. That sympathy, care and humanity runs deeper than the Ego (our Socionics functions are based in the ego. That it comes from "our souls". I really, really like this thought!

    Yes, it does. To me all Socionics really is, is a study of the human ego. Ego is Identification with the mind and what's physically around you or the "unconscious mind".

    What's beyond the mind then? It's where you can truly feel empathy.


    That makes the thread all the more interesting. If you manage to bother people - it normally means you're on to something worthy of more investigation. That there's a something hidden in the "darkness" worthy of being found. Not necessarily meaning that I am right about my assumptions, more likely it's something other that can be found.. For example I hope that this thread will make people consider stereotypes. (They tend to bother me....) And actually, EIIs are known as "Empaths", so the socionics stereotype about "empathy" already exists....
    There is, and it's closer than you would think, or could think. Something hidden only by the mind... so, perhaps it is that very "darkness" or space which you talk about.
    Quote Originally Posted by jxrtes View Post
    betas should be kept in zoos for children to stare and throw pop corn at.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jxrtes View Post
    betas should be kept in zoos for children to stare and throw pop corn at.

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    Sorry, I understand that I was getting in too deep or off topic to Socionics.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mimosa Pudica View Post

    (It's stereotypical, and I dislike stereotypes, so God forbid I just made a stereotype stronger, I don't want that. I started the discussion ONLY to understand functions better, and as I thought this topic would engage people. When it comes to discussions, I think the more controversial ones are the ones that are useful. If you only stay inside your comfort zone, you never develop any new ideas, and you might just as well not talk. Sensitive topics are always more interesting than the PC ones.)
    I agree, and you're getting closer.

    About stereotypes then:

    It ties in because stereotypes belong only to humanity. So, In truth, if you want to look at in an interesting way, the personality is made up of an array of a number of countless different conditioned "stereotypes" or mind connections. The mind stereotypes everything and itself without it's own knowledge of it even doing so.

    Why do you think we hate stereotypes so much? Because they make you feel as if you're being stuck with a label. Why do we dislike labels? Is it " because only "I" can decide or identify what I am!" or is the reason something deeper? Why do we study personalities? To find out who we are. So, what are we? I've come to understand that it's something that can't actually be found or explained.
    Quote Originally Posted by jxrtes View Post
    betas should be kept in zoos for children to stare and throw pop corn at.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bionicgoat View Post
    I think empathy is a basic component of having a mind or what have you. We empathisize easiest with those we understand. Using the mother example from a few posts above... your mother doesn't understand your tendency to live in books, therefor has a hard time empathising with you over it. She can however easily empathise with other mothers etc. who have the same feelings about their kids who live in their books. On the other hand, you have a hard time empathising with your mother and those others who feel as she does, while being able to easily empathise with those other kids who are doing as you, living in their books. Neither one is necessarily better or worse at empathy in general, they just empathise towards the emotions brought on by different sorts of actions and experiences.

    If you must bring types and functions into it, all it's going to highlight is in what ways and with who a person is going to be able to most naturally empathise with.
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    Quote Originally Posted by calenwen View Post
    I understand how people are feeling - I rarely "feel" or "experience" how other people are feeling. I can and do put myself in other people's shoes, but it's not something I do instinctively, whereas understanding how people feel and where they are coming from is. That being said, I don't think I'm overly sympathetic. I definitely have the capacity for great sympathy, I'm just... less likely to give it to just anyone? Lol, and I don't mean to sound like I'm stingy with my sympathy. This sounds terrible - I'm really not sure how to put it.

    That being said, I don't think empathy is highly type related. Any healthy individual has the capacity for empathy and tbh I don't see the point in over-analyzing it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mimosa Pudica View Post
    To explain it a bit further : A problem in this, is that at times, I don't manage AT ALL to separate MY OWN WANTS from what OTHERS want. Again and again, I have to ask myself what *I* want to do in a situation, to avoid me doing things others want me to do. I have been hurt by my empathy a lot of times, for example feeling that others want to date me so strongly that I've thought for a while they were my feelings. That really complicates things... It's not all "cool". I really, really think this is a problem IEIs can have and that SLEs, for example, would laugh at. And it's tied to strong empathy, according to definitions. (and it illustrates that I don't mean strong empathy is only positive)


    How is this empathy? Understanding and "feeling" how someone else is feeling is empathy. Adopting their feelings as your own is not empathy, lol. If anything it shows a weak understanding of your own feelings and and an inability to be assert them when necessary.
    I think you are taking this whole being empathetic thing a little too far.
    Jung distinguished between passive projection and active projection. Passive projection is completely automatic and unintentional, like falling in love. The less we know about another person, the easier it is to passively project unconscious aspects of ourselves onto them.
    Active projection is better known as empathy - we "feel ourselves into the other's shoes". Empathy that extends to the point where we lose our own standpoint becomes identification.
    So having too strong empathy can become a problem as Mimosa is saying.

    Another aspect of this is the phenomena of "participation mystique" where the subject (you) cannot clearly distinguish yourself from the object (the other person) but is bound to him/her by a direct relationship which amounts to partial identity. This is a highly unconscious attitude.

    Empathy starts with an unconscious subjective projection onto another person (object), we then introject from the other person into ourselves.

    These are all Jungian ideas. See this link for Empathy, Identification and Participation mystique.

    The Jung Lexicon by Jungian analyst, Daryl Sharp, Toronto

    I have to say I have at times similar problems. I see myself as highly empathic to the point where if I am asked to make a decision on behalf of the other person I at times find myself "lost" where my own will and wants are.

    I do wonder if it IS an IEI problem that we are so in tune with other people we lose our own direction at times. Maybe that is part of the reason why SLE's are seen as a good fit for us? I have discussed it with friends before, and then we talked about this as a problem of "boundaries" - that we allow people get too deeply into us in a way ie. we are too identified with them (this was before this interesting discussion, I didn't think of it as related to empathy back then).
    Last edited by Wittmont; 04-10-2009 at 09:17 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mimosa Pudica View Post

    I meant that when more people get upset with one topic, then it's normally because there is a general social "taboo" about something. I find it interesting that it's ok to talk about how some types ARE "less intelligent", but not ok to talk about how some types MIGHT be "less empathic".

    (It's stereotypical, and I dislike stereotypes, so God forbid I just made a stereotype stronger, I don't want that. I started the discussion ONLY to understand functions better, and as I thought this topic would engage people. When it comes to discussions, I think the more controversial ones are the ones that are useful. If you only stay inside your comfort zone, you never develop any new ideas, and you might just as well not talk. Sensitive topics are always more interesting than the PC ones.)
    No, no. It bothers me when someone takes a basic human trait and over-analyzes it into somehow being type-related. I find the idea that intelligence is type-related to be ludicrous as well.

    I can't speak for why it bothered Allie, but I'm guessing it's along the same lines, since she agrees that it is not type-related.

    So far BG has made the most sense in this thread.
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    What do you make of this interesting quote about how Lyndon B. Johnson (SEE most likely, or maybe SLE) summed up people. Did he "read" people or understand them through an empatic point of view?

    Eights - the enneagram ...info from the underground

    "A good quotation from Lyndon Johnson's biography illustrates enneatype Eight's means of sizing up an individual:

    "While Lyndon Johnson was not, as his two assistants knew, a reader of books, he was, they knew, a reader of men--a great reader of men. He had a genius for studying a man and learning his strengths and weaknesses and hopes and fears, his deepest strengths and weaknesses: what it was that the man wanted--not what he said he wanted but what he really wanted--and what it was that the man feared, really feared.

    "He tried to teach his young assistants to read men--“Watch their hands, watch their eyes” he told them. “Read eyes. No matter what a man is saying to you, it’s not as important as what you can read in his eyes”--and to read between the lines: more interested in men’s weaknesses than in their strengths because it was weakness that could be exploited, he tried to teach his assistants how to learn a man’s weakness. "The most important thing a man has to tell you is what he isn’t telling you,” he said. "The most important thing a man has to say is what he’s trying not to say.” For that reason, he told them, it was important to keep the man talking; the longer he talked, the more likely he was to let slip a hint of that vulnerability he was so anxious to conceal. “That’s why he wouldn’t let a conversation end." Busby explains. “If he saw the other fellow was trying not to say something, he wouldn’t let it (the conversation) end until he got it out of him.” And Lyndon Johnson himself read with a genius that couldn’t be taught, with a gift that was so instinctive that a close observer of his reading habits, Robert G. (Bobby) Baker, calls it a “sense”; "He seemed to sense each man’s individual price and the commodity he preferred as coin.” He read with a novelist’s sensitivity, with an insight that was unerring, with an ability, shocking in the depth of its penetration and perception, to look into a man’s heart and know his innermost worries and desires. (From Robert Caro's Lyndon Johnson.)"
    Last edited by Wittmont; 04-10-2009 at 10:02 PM.
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