Empathy | INFJ Forum


Hi @PeacefulPete
firstly, analyze what you read online about empaths. It has become a buzzword for highly sensitive people.
Do empaths feel the happiness of others
Yes. Speaking for myself, it takes practice and a bit of self-discipline to decipher what emotions are mine and which am I picking up from others in the room.

Either way, how does that affect you as an infj and/or empath?
Far too many highly sensitive people are bombarded by the emotional energy of others, and much of the time it's seen in a negative light because that constant drain on ourselves.
Do empaths feel the happiness of others?

Reading online, I get the impression that it's mostly negative emotions that are picked up.

Either way, how does that affect you as an infj and/or empath?

I don't call myself an "empath". That label is wrapped up in a lot of weirdness. It makes a lot of assumptions and it is attached to ego.

I'd never assume I can feel what others feel. I do absorb moods of all kinds, both positive and negative. The happy mood in a room is infectious. Good energy at a show allows me to enjoy most bands, even if I'd never listen to the music at home. I can feel sick to my stomach and get a huge headache, or full-body aches, if I'm around an angry person. I may cry if someone else is crying. I also laugh if other people are laughing. I can tell if someone isn't trustworthy, if they don't like me, or if they have motives. I can tell if a person is attracted to me, or if they are unattracted to me, or if they see me as a peer. I can tell if someone thinks they are better than I am or admires me. None of this has anything to do with what people say. And the worst part is, as good as people with Ni/Fe can be at reading people, we still get fooled.

I have great compassion and understanding for others. Even if I've never had a similar experience I understand their feelings to a great degree and why they feel the way they do, but I'll never say I "feel what they feel".

Empathy also isn't brainwashing. I can feel empathy for someone and still oppose them. This is the most complicated aspect of being a compassionate person because a lot of people don't understand that I can "get" someone, and understand how and why they feel a certain way, without taking their side if they are causing harm or if we aren't an ethical match.
I can hate someone but still have empathy for them. The result is often pain. I sometimes envy those who lack empathy in a way, since they can more effectively placate themselves with their own way of thinking. Having empathy, on the other hand, is being awash in an ocean of other people's shit and struggling against the tide. I hate that.
I've seen this term "empath" be used by people who are often coming from unique circumstances, usually having been abused in some way in the past. This is a person who doesn't know how to speak up and set boundaries and, as a result of this, will "take on" the emotions and problems of others as a survival technique. This was my own personal experience as well. Once I started to take ownership of my own feelings, sure, I was able to have space for other people's feelings but they did not impact me in the same way because I was no longer depending on the emotional state of others for my sense of happiness, fulfillment or survival.

The ability to have empathy for human is normal... Everyone experiences. It's not unique or special and if you think you're experiencing it in a unique or special way most likely it's a trauma survival technique and has nothing to do with you actually caring more about other people... Only that you are afraid of what would happen if you expressed boundaries and stopped enabling others.