[INFJ] - Does your ability to empathize make you a weaker person? | INFJ Forum

[INFJ] Does your ability to empathize make you a weaker person?

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by Somewhereelse, Jun 19, 2014.

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  1. Somewhereelse

    Somewhereelse Regular Poster

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    I'm bothered by something at work today and want to know what other INFJs think.

    Do you feel the better-than-average ability to empathize sometimes makes you weaker or simply being perceived weaker. You would rather not to empathize that much?



    When socializing?
    At work?
     
  2. barbad0s

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    From a non-INFJ perspective, I don't perceive others as weaker based upon their ability to empathize. However, if they are easily moved by any sort of emotional content which may or may not just be manipulated or devoid of any rational backing, that is a weakness.
     
  3. Eventhorizon

    Eventhorizon Permanently relocated
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    Being able to empathize allows for greater understanding of individuals or groups. That understanding in turns allows for an easier ability to manipulate through better understanding. IE, empathy if used in a specific way can make your position stronger.

    Whether it affects you directly I wouldnt be able to say.
     
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  4. sprinkles

    sprinkles Well-known member

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    Untrained shotgun style empathy could be problematic like this, but for me empathy plus savvy has gotten me further than anything else.

    In person, people see me less as weak and more as keen and perceptive, and potentially an ally.
     
  5. OP
    Somewhereelse

    Somewhereelse Regular Poster

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    What's the trick here? I'm still trying to learn to rein this "capability" (or say "intuition"). I personally don't know how to balance between "go for the bigger picture" and "not to do so no unnecessary harm to others". Or I'm just in general too scared of making people unhappy?

    But I do challenge a lot with a reputation of being "the tough lady". Yet, that's mostly when I talk about "things" and "process". I'm probably not good at upsetting individuals or confronting at individual level...

    Sorry, a bit off topic. Just trying to understand what's behind my emotions. I don't even know if it's still INFJ related at all!
     
  6. OP
    Somewhereelse

    Somewhereelse Regular Poster

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    I do know it gives strengths if it's used properly. However, I just think in other situations, it could make things over complex in a unnecessary way.
     
  7. OP
    Somewhereelse

    Somewhereelse Regular Poster

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    Being able to read the hidden agendas of others can be very distracting. I think I just have to accept that I can't make everyone happy.
     
  8. sprinkles

    sprinkles Well-known member

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    Sounds a bit more complicated than what I envision as empathy.

    Do you have any working examples?
     
  9. Kolmio

    Kolmio Regular Poster

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    I see empathy just being one way to understand people better, nothing more to it really. It's not a weakness by all means, it's a rare gift. What we should all thrive for is better understanding of the world.
     
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    #9 Kolmio, Jun 20, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2014
  10. Nixie

    Nixie Resurrected

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    Non-Infj Perspective here

    It depends if it is coupled with a better than average tendency to project.
     
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  11. OP
    Somewhereelse

    Somewhereelse Regular Poster

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    Long story short: I didn't take some task (for which I was asked to do by the big boss) because I felt my colleague didn't feel want me get involved in what he used to do alone. He's supposed to feed me with information before I could contribute. He didn't do it, and I didn't push him to do it, as I "saw" he was very reluctant. But on the other hand, if I take myself out of the situation, i would think clearly I should do what I'm supposed to do, not to please(or not upset) my colleague by doing nothing.

    In the end, while I was battling inside my own mind, somebody else took that same task and got accepted. I'm the one who's resentful to myself now, for being weak and indecisive.
     
  12. OP
    Somewhereelse

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    What do you mean? Can you explain further?
     
  13. OP
    Somewhereelse

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  14. Nixie

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    Projection is when you relate/see/attribute your own issues to someone else. So while you may see it as "empathy" it could just be a form of projection and not a valid observation or instance of employing "empathy".
     
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  15. Faye

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    Empathy is the only thing saving us from everyone turning into serial killers. I don't care whether it makes you weak or not. It is extremely important regardless.

    I do think it takes a certain kind of strength and mental fortitude to not become numb to all the horror that occurs in this world.
     
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  16. OP
    Somewhereelse

    Somewhereelse Regular Poster

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    I see what you mean here. It might happen in certain cases, but not always. As I explained in the previous reply, it's more like information overload and distractions. I often feel, unless it's really necessary, otherwise if I take a step back (sacrific my interest a bit) could mean less hurting to others, I would take a step back. That makes me at a weaker position i reality, as I would be backed off from many things, as people compete and theres always someone who's not haply I'm there.

    Shouldn't try to think what others feel sometimes...
     
  17. rachelbaker99

    rachelbaker99 Regular Poster

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    Your abilities don't make you weak or strong. You just have them. What makes you strong is using them to survive, to grow, to learn, to create, and to add beauty to the world.
     
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  18. sprinkles

    sprinkles Well-known member

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    Sounds like a spot where compromise or communication was warranted.

    Unfortunately we get into spots where there aren't tidy solutions that make everyone happy. May happen often.
     
  19. j654dgj7

    j654dgj7 Please delete this account.

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    The way I see it, this is a world that is largely ruled by ruthless, cold and illogical egotism.

    If empathy and empathizing means sacrificing yourself for others, then you will often find yourself in a weaker place than the person you helped. That being said, I think that empathy is a broad concept, and that a lot of it is needed to live civilized with other people.

    Does empathy make you a weaker person? I'm tempted to say that your actions determine whether or not you are a weak person. My best advice would be to keep your own interests at heart and mind, while helping others who need it.
     
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  20. muir

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    If you feel that this time round you handled the situation the wrong way then make a mental note that when the situation occurs again you will be resolved to handle it differently...and do so
     
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