Do you "sense" other people's problems? | INFJ Forum

Do you "sense" other people's problems?

Discussion in 'Relationships and Sociology' started by justeccentricnotinsane, Nov 4, 2009.

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  1. justeccentricnotinsane

    justeccentricnotinsane Community Member

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    I don't mean this in a psychic way. I'm just wondering if this is a personality thing.

    I went out with a guy at the weekend who I ended up going home with despite knowing he wasn't right (I was drunk, it's my problem, yeah?) End up allowing myself to get involved with people who are wrong for me because I'm attracted to the puzzle of "what's wrong with them". Don't do it consciously, just realise this in retrospect when I'm trying to work out why I did things/said things I was well aware I shouldn't do.

    There's a few points here I guess and I'm interested in answers from INFJs but anyone can discuss if they like:

    1) Do you "just know" when someone else has deep issues (on meeting them)?
    2) Do you immediately want to mother them or try and fix things even if you know you can't (unconsiously usually, again noted in retrospect)?
    3) Do you "feel" like you know how they feel deep inside and what is motivating their bad behaviour (even if you're aware you're hypothesising and could be wrong)
    4) In this case I ended up telling him I didn't want to see him again (too much to cope with) he wasn't upset but I've found myself preoccupied with worries for his welfare because he seems "troubled". Anyone else get this?
    5) Do you instinctively change your behaviour to emulate or compliment the personality of the person you're with - just noting that I was very out of character around him, also got genuinely upset (sometimes a little too noticeably) because I found the issues/troubles I perceived (perhaps wrongly) in him genuinely frightening.

    Like I said, just musing on this as I tend to do this all the time - really worry about someone even if I don't especially like them (he wasn't particularly a nice guy) and wondered if this was something that connected to temperament/personality.

    Sorry if this is a long and overcomplicated post!
     
  2. iconoclastic

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    I answered yes to each one of those questions.
    I used to wish that I could read peoples' thoughts, but now I know that I don't need to.
    Introversion, I think, allows a person to observe far more than they participate.
    By observing, it becomes easier to understand what certain body language and tone of voice mean.
    I feel like I can relate myself to everyone, even if I've never been in their position.
    It's empathy, intuition, and patience. But I also think, for me at least, it's about making sure I'm accepted.
    If I am able to learn what another person responds to in a positive way, I emulate that when I'm around them, so I know that they'll respect me and want to be around me.
    I'm terrified of rejection. And it's that fear that allows me to understand what another is feeling or thinking. Because, if I wasn't able to, I probably would be even more distant than I am.

    I have noticed also that I am far too empathetic for my own good. I can't even kill and ant without immediately having to apologize to it.
    Just the other day, I was reading about Hitler- his childhood and things, and I kept thinking to myself how I wished I could have been apart of his life. Because a lot of what he felt, I could understand and even relate to.
    I mean, is it natural to have compassion for a man like him?
    I know that whenever I consider someone mean or a 'bad' person, I think about why I think that, what made them that way, why are they coming off as cruel or unapproachable, and once I do, I no longer see them as I had.

    INFJs are considered counselors. We respect other people and are willing to listen. Over time, this develops into a deep connection with the emotions around us. We pick up things that other people would overlook. Either because they are too preoccupied with themselves or are just unable or unwilling to understand.

    Although this level of empathy can be seen as a good thing, it can also be detrimental to us. If we become too focused on helping and caring for others, we'll become too overwhelmed by the amount of negativity we feel around us and internalize it so that it manifests into self-hate. At least, that is true of me.
     
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  3. Moxie

    Moxie Absent-Minded Professor

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    hmmm...
    1. Yes.
    2. No, although I used to. It was hard work changing.
    3. Yes.
    4. Sort of.
    5. Not sure... everyone does to some point. It's an emotional survival thing really.

    I've been in the shoes you're in. My therapist said it was because I have PTSD, and would constantly throw myself in dangerous situations that were unloving to myself. This was true for me.

    Although I got a 100% on the 'N' part of INFJ, I do claim to be a bit psychic. Not ever out loud to anyone (oh, crap another deep secret is out), but I just understand things about people without knowing them well.

    I've known when healthy looking people were dying soon, just by meeting them. That's only happened twice in my life, but still... it's happened. I guess I think I just see deeply. Of course that doesn't mean I'm always right, it's just that eventually I will see the truth of a person.

    Is it possible... dealing with question #4, is it possible that you feel shame about your own behavior and are projecting it into 'caring' for him? Not that you have anything to feel ashamed about, you don't, but could this be part of it?

    I'm sorry this sounds so analytical. I guess I'm responding so analytically, because emotionally I really feel where you're at.

    I'd say to give yourself a few days to let it go. Concentrate on taking care of yourself, and doing good things just for you.

    If in a week, you still feel this way, maybe you are 'sensing' something off with that awesome intuition of yours. In which case, the first thing I would do, is to go get tested for stuff, just in case.

    This may be a case of something that you wonder about for a long time without ever really knowing the answer to?
     
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  4. OP
    justeccentricnotinsane

    justeccentricnotinsane Community Member

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    - Me too

    - good point, very possible.

    - "tested"? Do you mean sexual health wise or something else?

    Thanks very much, this was REALLY helpful!
     
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  5. VChosenOne

    VChosenOne Community Member

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    1) yes
    2) sometimes
    3) yes
    4) rarely
    5) not that I can recall

    I can sense right off if a person is good or not,it is like I can see the darkness behind their eyes and the black aura around them.

    I am so empathetic that I can't even be mean to stuffed animals as I might hurt their feelings. I usually cry watching the news,or reading about all these horrific things people are doing in this world.

    I had some guy completely open up to me a few weeks ago,telling me things he never told anyone else. I felt we had a connection and he could sense that he trusted me. We just clicked. I opened up to him as well,that is rare for me. I haven't really heard from him since then and it really hurt my feelings.

    I like to help people as much as I can,but I feel like a sponge around some people, I absorb every feeling they are giving me, knowing and unknowingly. It overwhelms me at times and I need to retreat. Most people do not understand that. I am sure some here do!
     
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  6. Top cat

    Top cat Permanent Fixture

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    I mark yes to 1,2,3 ^^

    Usually it's obvious in the way the words they say
    or their body language, facial expressions
    especially on first meeting them you expect they will treat you alright, but if there is something else there that doesn't fit, then you can sense they are bringing their own past issues/burdens into the scene.
    Irrational behaviours...

    I also have been noticing I'm drawn to people who have issues... for making friends etc. Just recently though, stopped, because it's very energy-draining... I don't think I am using them as an "interesting experiment" and human guinea pig but I actually want to know what is going on with them.
     
  7. Gaze

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    1) Do you "just know" when someone else has deep issues (on meeting them)?
    It depends on how tuned in I am to the person, and whether my mind is clear, objective and my emotional state is not concentrated on my issues. In other words, there's so much which can cloud the mind's ability to think clearly.

    2) Do you immediately want to mother them or try and fix things even if you know you can't (unconsiously usually, again noted in retrospect)? Yes. And I often have to fight this tendency, because its intrusive. I'm learning to accept that if someone wants help, they'll as for it, but it's not my place to insist on solving it. But it's not always easy to know when to hold back and when to step in.

    3) Do you "feel" like you know how they feel deep inside and what is motivating their bad behaviour (even if you're aware you're hypothesising and could be wrong)
    Sometimes, I'm convinced I know but then I'm proven wrong (quite often) but yet, when I'm not trying, I will occasionally sense something of their motivation.

    4) In this case I ended up telling him I didn't want to see him again (too much to cope with) he wasn't upset but I've found myself preoccupied with worries for his welfare because he seems "troubled". Anyone else get this? Yes, worry over someone's decisions and whether they are making the right one's is common, but it's something which needs to be monitored because each person has to learn to address their own troubles.

    5) Do you instinctively change your behaviour to emulate or compliment the personality of the person you're with - just noting that I was very out of character around him, also got genuinely upset (sometimes a little too noticeably) because I found the issues/troubles I perceived (perhaps wrongly) in him genuinely frightening.
    Yes.
     
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    #7 Gaze, Nov 4, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2009
  8. Solar Empath

    Solar Empath Community Member

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    All I can say is 'sometimes'. In hindsight anyway.

    In the midst of things? I can, but my what if voice tends to muddy it up for me.
     
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  9. daydreamer

    daydreamer Permanent Fixture

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    1. Sort of
    2. Yeah
    3. No, not really/not too often
    4. Yes, I get troubled by other people's problems as well
    5. Yeah, usually
     
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  10. SweetDreams

    SweetDreams Regular Poster

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    1) Do you "just know" when someone else has deep issues (on meeting them)?

    It depends on how the person is feeling at the time... but it usually takes
    me a couple of meetings to really understand them and where they're coming from.

    2) Do you immediately want to mother them or try and fix things even if you know you can't (unconsiously usually, again noted in retrospect)?

    Yes

    3) Do you "feel" like you know how they feel deep inside and what is motivating their bad behaviour (even if you're aware you're hypothesising and could be wrong)

    Yes

    4) In this case I ended up telling him I didn't want to see him again (too much to cope with) he wasn't upset but I've found myself preoccupied with worries for his welfare because he seems "troubled". Anyone else get this?

    Yes i had something similar occur with a friend, who wasn't really in my circle of friends, but who i talked to on a regular basis. I started noticing that most of the times that we interacted left me really emotionally drained and feeling very overwhelmed...i realised that she was really sad on the inside, and i wanted to be there for her and let her talk to me, but i just couldn't be around her all time, because it was really affecting me.

    ...so i cut down the time i spent with her - but felt really guilty for brushing her
    off, because i felt somehow obliged to be there for her and help her...


    5) Do you instinctively change your behaviour to emulate or compliment the personality of the person you're with - just noting that I was very out of character around him, also got genuinely upset (sometimes a little too noticeably) because I found the issues/troubles I perceived (perhaps wrongly) in him genuinely frightening.

    Yes... which is why i try and surround myself with a lot of people who give me
    positive energy in order to stop myself from becoming too overwhelmed by other people's emotions/problems
     
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  11. Nela

    Nela Community Member

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    1) Do you "just know" when someone else has deep issues (on meeting them)?
    Yes. And when you talk to someone over a certain period of time it's often quite easy to 'sense' this.

    2) Do you immediately want to mother them or try and fix things even if you know you can't (unconsiously usually, again noted in retrospect)?
    All the time.

    3) Do you "feel" like you know how they feel deep inside and what is motivating their bad behaviour (even if you're aware you're hypothesising and could be wrong)
    I often believe I do..

    4) In this case I ended up telling him I didn't want to see him again (too much to cope with) he wasn't upset but I've found myself preoccupied with worries for his welfare because he seems "troubled". Anyone else get this?
    Absolutely.

    5) Do you instinctively change your behaviour to emulate or compliment the personality of the person you're with - just noting that I was very out of character around him, also got genuinely upset (sometimes a little too noticeably) because I found the issues/troubles I perceived (perhaps wrongly) in him genuinely frightening.
    Sometimes.

    I especially relate to the part you wrote about figuring out what's wrong with someone, and trying to help them/ fix things for them. What's most frustrating is that I can usually sense that something is wrong with someone, but if they won't tell me, I can't do anything. However I really want to help.

    I worry about people all the time. From the moment I get the slightest impression that something's wrong with someone I start thinking and worrying about them. There's no way stopping it really. I'm trying to learn to accept that people will talk to me if they feel the need for it. But it's often hard for me to stop worrying in such a situation.
     
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    #11 Nela, Nov 8, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2009
  12. Matariki

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    :m131: Thanks. Although I do have to point out that my answers won't be that exciting, INFJ's have an amazing emotion sensing capability (if that makes any sense) that is beyond most types however INFP's are pretty close to being on par with that.

    I can usually tell by the body behaviour of someone and the tone of voice that they use. However even then its not a very stong connection.

    I want to help but I don't like mothering people. I can't take the role of a mother figure in people's lives (not even unconsiously). No one should except for the biological mother of that person. As far as fixing issues I believe that Its mostly up the the person themselves. They must have the discipline and the will to pull themselves out what they are going through. It might sound harsh but I come from dark past myself and I had to realise this. I believe in though love.

    No. I can't feel what others are feeling from deep inside, I can only see the surface. But after getting to know the person I can roughly rule out what the problem might be. Again its up the person themselves to search their own soul and find what the problem is.

    People are people. Everyone has troubles. Life is after all is a battle, a battle for survival. We each have to fight our own battles. When we win we become stronger. Yes, I do worry for the welfare of others but I know that at the end of the day I did what I could do.

    Thats a tricky one. I do change my behaviour when appropriate but most of the time I am myself. I try not to get to emotionally connected with people as this could hurt both myself and the other person greatly.

    It must be hard being sensitive to other peoples emotions like that.
    People are frightening beings, Its amazing how dark we can become.

    It sounds like you tried to help him to the best of your abilities, now its up to him to fix whatever problems he might have. I don't know what issues he might of had but Its strange that he threw them onto you, unless you chose to take whatever he was dishing you.

    Do INFJ's do that insentivly?

    I should be the one saying sorry. I probably didn't help much. :md:
    But I hope you find the answers that you are looking for.
     
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    #12 Matariki, Nov 8, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2009
  13. Tulip

    Tulip Community Member

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    I sense people having something else that is below the surface. Actually most people I have come across with have more or less big or small problems underneath. If I try to fix all of their problems I guess it would be me who will be having the biggest problem of all.

    I have too low of a capacity to handle even my own issues, let alone that many people's issues...I will probably be drowned...

    :smow:
     
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