Complete lack of Compassion/Empathy | INFJ Forum

Complete lack of Compassion/Empathy

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by Quinlan, Jul 21, 2008.

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  1. Quinlan

    Quinlan Right the First Time!

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    This seems to be all too common, recently a friend of mine was diagnosed with depression, my fiance told my parents (isfj and istj I think) about this and their reaction and look on their face was basically "oh wow what a nutjob", like depression is just being crazy or feeling sorry for yourself. They seem to have a "get over it!" mentality, they seem to be incapable of stepping into that person's shoes and understanding the lack of control and hopelessness that person must feel. Very few people take the time to think what it must be like to walk in someone else's shoes, it's frustrating... totally self absorbed (and thats coming from an introvert!).

    It is sad that we make snap judgements about people with little thought.
     
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  2. sumone

    sumone down the rabbit hole

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    My mother in law is exactly like this. Unless something affects her directly or she's experienced it herself it either doesn't exist or she could care less. When I first met her one of the first things she told me about herself is that she's a 'people person' which I found out later means she gathers information about people and pretends to be interested so she can use it against them later. It's a terrible way to be and yet I see it more and more in the work place. Now when someone is too friendly too fast with me I see red flags all over the place.
     
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    Quinlan

    Quinlan Right the First Time!

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    Yes! that's exactly what I mean. What also bothers me is now I realise that if I ever developed depression (which is entirely possible) I would have no understanding whatsoever from my parents, sure they might pretend to understand but they won't really.
     
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  4. Entyqua

    Entyqua Forgotten
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    WOW....My Husband INTP and Best friend ENFJ do this to me A LOT! If I feel sad about something or when I am depressed...they just simply say well get over it...stop it..change it...Like its really that easy and when I say its not that easy they say yes it is...I feel NO empathy or sympathy from them AT ALL! (Some times i get some from the BFF but NEVER from DH)

    SO I can see where an Introvert would be so cold...I think its really sad that there are people that are unable to relate to others feelings but if it were them they would expect all the sympathy and empathy in the world! UGH!
     
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  5. Hotherym

    Hotherym Community Member

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    It's actually the attitudes being discussed here that's been hugely responsible for having driven me into my current social withdrawal. Everywhere I seem to look, people are bouncing off of each other with little to no observable caring, rather than connecting in any real way.

    Though I have a few of my own hypotheses, I'm still trying to find an answer as to why there seems to be a real lack of sympathy or empathy. So far, my best guess is that it's the most typical state of being ; after all, it generally doesn't seem to transcend the 'empathy' you see out in the rest of the animal kingdom. But, I haven't also discounted social/cultural suppression, either. In the end, the two possibilities would probably be intermingling causes, anyway, since 'nature' and 'nurture' aren't mutually exclusive.

    So, is it [more] common for INFJs to feel the way I do?
     
  6. gokartride

    gokartride Community Member

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    Personality types aside...having such a lack of compassion/empathy is plain stupid. Never underestimate the power of plain ol' human stupidity.
     
  7. Kwistalline

    Kwistalline Permanent Fixture

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    Probably not, but I think we respond more acutely than some.
     
  8. Satya

    Satya C'est la vie
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    People take advantage of compassion and empathy. I feel it, very strongly, but I've learned not to show it.

    If you aren't willing to challenge people on their stupidity, then they are never going to open their eyes and change.
     
  9. frozen_water

    frozen_water Community Member

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    Sadly, this is pretty much me too, if I'm honest with myself. At least... it would be, if I hadn't turned depressed myself a while back. Now I can understand depression and know how to react to it ("get over it!" is about the worst possible thing you can say... I don't care if he is Dr. Phil, "get off your ass and go get a job!" doesn't help someone depressed), but it's almost purely intellectual empathy. I can't (yet) share in the feelings of others with empathy... but it doesn't necessarily translate into the kind of reaction you get from your husband and best friend. That requires both lack of empathy and not taking your word for it when you tell them you're depressed or upset.

    So yeah... in short, lack of empathy is not good, but it doesn't necessarily translate into lack of care... by blaming people who can't empathize, you're basically not empathizing with them yourself ;) . I can't speak for other people... but INTPs at least certainly don't try to avoid empathizing. It just takes a little "work around," because we have to take people's word for it to describe their feelings, then analyze them and work out the best way to care for that person to be of any use.
     
  10. sumone

    sumone down the rabbit hole

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    frozen, there are a lot of problems with having empathy.

    #1 problem: People lie

    You are with a friend and the friend is smiling, laughing and chatting about work, new purchases etc. and as you respond in kind you know through empathy and intuition that your friend is suffering, hurting, angry or whatever.
    This is where you take a chance in voicing what you know.
    Your friend may react with a shocked look and then get angry and tell you that you're nuts or way off base.
    Your friend may be very offended.
    Your friend might laugh at you.
    Your friend might lie and say everything is fine.
    It can lead to me feeling frustration and even anger on top of her emotions, which I'm already feeling.
    Even if I try to keep it light and say, "Ok, ok, I'm sorry ..." I can still see on her face some resentment.
    Later on I doubt myself and my intuition berating myself for having the audacity to think I read her correctly.
    Telling myself to not do it anymore.
    Guards up.
    Six months down the line she weeps on my shoulder that I had been absolutely correct and she now wants to 'talk'.
    sheesh

    That's what I like about the dolphin totem. I really relate to the scrambled signals thing.
     
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  11. Entyqua

    Entyqua Forgotten
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    This is constantly my problem as well...Dh says I read him wrong all the time...but the real problem is he doesnt express emotion so by saying something is wrong hes opening up emotion...a few days later he will tell me oh im just upset because of this...UGH frustrating!
     
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  12. frozen_water

    frozen_water Community Member

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    That's strange... is it really a problem though? I mean... it lets them know that you're ok to come to, and that you care enough to pay that much attention to them (even if it comes naturally to you, if someone out-of-the-blue asked me if I was upset when I was, I'd at least think they were paying a lot of attention to my feelings)... then when they're ready, they'll come back and talk to you. ...or can you just feel their anxiety compound when they realize that they're unable to hide their feelings from people very well?

    I mean... even if you misread someone and make a mistake... everyone does. That's a problem?
     
  13. Entyqua

    Entyqua Forgotten
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    It actually really bothers him that I ask him if something is bothering him...he doesnt share well....(had a really rough childhood institutionalized as a child hes Bi- Polar this is why im not completely sure on his type...he really jumps back and forth from IStp to INtp CONSTANTLY) He is really hard to read so I just try not to but being who I am I must know that he feels happy in our relationship but I can never FEEL it from him...I feel his anxiety and stress all the time...but he wont every share...at least not completely..I dont know...were going through what I like to call the 7 year BITCH...married 7 years and were growing as a couple and with growing comes growing pains too...
     
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  14. frozen_water

    frozen_water Community Member

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    aww... I'm really sorry to hear that. Yeah... both INTPs and ISTPs hate sharing feelings by nature. My ISTP friend was almost crippled in his first semester of college, and I (at a different university) didn't hear about it at all until summer... he'd never actually ask for help, and would have probably been annoyed if I'd asked him. It's only now, after its all over and he's seen what growth pain can bring, that he doesn't mind sharing. I don't know what you can do to help that... but for INTPs at least, the best thing you can possibly do to help is to make the atmosphere a safe place to share. He'll never say anything if he thinks he's being coerced even a little bit, but if he feels safe he will make the choice to open up on his own.

    I do see what you mean though by empathy being a problem sometimes though, thanks.
     
  15. Entyqua

    Entyqua Forgotten
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    yea we kinda did take over this thread for a bit! LOL

    The lack of compassion sometimes from him really does bother me...I guess I need to learn not to be hurt by it..and know he just doesn't know how to handle the feelings I'm throwing all over him lol
     
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