Feelings | INFJ Forum

Feelings

Discussion in 'The INFJ Typology' started by sumone, Aug 4, 2008.

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  1. sumone

    sumone down the rabbit hole

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    "FJs, by contrast, have shaped themselves to genuinely feel what one ought to feel in any social situation. They likely expect that everyone has done that, because, after all, that's the only decent way to be. Of course you should be pleased to see a newborn baby, and of course you should be sad to hear of the death of your friend's father. That's what life is all about. How could you possibly feel disgusted by a newborn baby or pleased when a friend's father dies? Why, if you didn't like babies and feel sad about death, you would scarcely be human. You'd be a monster!"

    "(FJs, especially IFJs, might well not feel what they're supposed to feel about deaths or babies, but Fe typically leads them to wonder if there's something wrong with them. But that's another topic.)"

    What is this saying? That we have taught ourselves to feel? That we act out feelings but don't really feel them? Or am I getting it all wrong?

    quotes taken from here http://greenlightwiki.com/lenore-exeges ... r_Feelings
     
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  2. Motor Jax

    Motor Jax randomness included
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  3. HenRick

    HenRick Community Member

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    I was reading that post and I was thinking "Hmmm where have I read this before?" ;)

    I just wish the author would explain this part

    "(FJs, especially IFJs, might well not feel what they're supposed to feel about deaths or babies, but Fe typically leads them to wonder if there's something wrong with them. But that's another topic.)"

    I wish he would make a topic about that.
     
  4. OP
    sumone

    sumone down the rabbit hole

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    Me too. I don't get what the author is saying.
     
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  5. Shaz

    Shaz Community Member

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    Is Lenore Thomson a T? I don't think an F would have written that. I never shaped myself, that would imply that I wasn't the way I am to begin with. On the contrary I try to deal with this overwhelming F often. I think she generalises dangerously. She is right about the last part, though. I might have a certain sense of guilt if I don't really care for something other people expect me to care for, but then again it doesn't mean I'm going to force myself to feel concerned. I will be polite and I won't claim that I don't care obviously, I might even act a bit, but that doesn't change what I feel inside.

    I can sort of see where she might be coming from, but she certainly picked the wrong words. Or maybe she really does believe that we force ourselves to feel what we're expected to feel.
     
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  6. frozen_water

    frozen_water Community Member

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    oh sweet. I was going to make a thread along these lines, but you guys already did. My question/addition to the discussion is closely enough related to the topic that I hope you don't mind me adding it in here.

    I can at least verify that this is frighteningly accurate, at least for INTPs. I have what seems to be a problem feeling... well... anything, whenever people are around. It's not that the feelings aren't there, but it's that they seem to be automatically (subconsciously?) suppressed when I'm around another person. I can be completely broken up over some horrible trait within myself and spend hours halfway between gentle sobs and full blown crying while I'm alone, but if someone happens to ask about it I'll relay it to them (because I hate to give people false impressions about who I am) without even feeling all that bad about it.

    A similar thing can be seen in the shows/movies I watch. I saw Requiem for a Dream recently, a depressing story with real people acting in it, and just got a little sick at the end, and felt normal again an hour later (many of my friends said it took them 2 or 3 days to recover from it)... but an anime series relating sad themes penetrates through pretty easily (as long as I'm watching it alone).


    Since they explained ITPs accurately and had that "everything else is unnatural" theme woven throughout the writing, I'd say that whoever wrote this is almost certainly a T type speculating on the origins of FJs (I think I'd actually be insulted if I were you. It really is saying that you're crafted by the culture into feeling what you do, and that the ITPs feel what they "should," if things went naturally). That kind of arrogance is tough to come by in other types I think. I personally don't think that's accurate though... which is why I'm here, of course. I'm beginning to think people like me only experience about half of reality. Don't take it personally... this person doesn't know what they're talking about.


    That said... can any of you describe to me how you do actually view your feelings and emotional responses to things? Besides "naturally," which I can pick up from the past posts. Can you control your emotional responses, or do you have to let them show? How do you let them show, or is it just instinct? Where do you draw the line between "expressing yourself" and "showing emotion inappropriately?" Do you actually feel confident that your expression of feelings will be "ok," or do you not think/care about how they're received? How can you tell what other people are feeling, unless they just outright tell you? Pretty much... yeah, pretty much anything you can possibly tell me on the subject will be helpful.
     
  7. Shai Gar

    Shai Gar Guest

    I disagree.

    ENTJs and ENTPs can be just as arrogant.
     
  8. OP
    sumone

    sumone down the rabbit hole

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    Yes it did come across as an outsiders viewpoint.
    Now that I think of it though I guess in a way I do 'shape' myself to show what is required, even if I'm not 'feeling' it. If someone needs something from me, emotionally, I'm not always in 'soul connection' so I do sum it up. If I know they need to feel warmth or something specific from my eyes I will let it well up and show through. I don't think it's mimicry though.
     
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  9. frozen_water

    frozen_water Community Member

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    So if you had to pick one... which do you think best describes you?

    You feel what you should, but can choose to hold back it's symptoms and let it not show.

    You feel what you should naturally, but can squelch the feeling itself (not its external symptoms) if it's not that strong, so that it won't show.

    You feel what you should, and people can always tell what you're feeling, but you can let it show through a lot more if you want.

    You don't always feel what you should, but can emulate the feeling itself, which naturally seeps out so that others can see it.

    You don't always feel what you should, but can emulate the external symptoms of feeling so that others cant tell the difference.

    You have control over your feelings themselves, and choose what to feel as it matches the situation.

    Some other idea that you can com up with to describe it better than any of these?
     
  10. OP
    sumone

    sumone down the rabbit hole

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    "You don't always feel what you should, but can emulate the feeling itself, which naturally seeps out so that others can see it."

    That would probably be the closest.
     
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  11. frozen_water

    frozen_water Community Member

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    ahh cool, thanks. I actually was not expecting that at all. So... if you can remember... do you have any idea how you learned to do this, or is it just so natural that you don't have to think about it? Recalling a memory that created that feeling before in order to recreate it? Memory of the feeling itself? Or does it bypass memory completely, so that you can recreate the feeling directly?

    (Let me know if/when you're getting sick of this. I have a feeling you'll get tired of answering before I get tired of learning... but I also know I'm paranoid about irritating people, so I never listen to that feeling when it pops up)
     
  12. OP
    sumone

    sumone down the rabbit hole

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    I've never really thought about it before but no, it's not about memory and it's not about acting. It's more like it's just in me, what this person needs to see or feel, and I just allow it to rise up. Most of the time it's just spontaneous but there are times I will it up. Actually I think it's love. Say someone falls down. I go over and help them up, they say thanks and that's the end of it. Another person falls down and I go over to help them up but as I approach I see this person needs more than that, they need a loving connection for whatever reason. So I release the warmth and it comes through my eyes and I know they will feel the vibes through touching them. They feel better and so do I.
     
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  13. Shai Gar

    Shai Gar Guest

    You don't always feel what you should, but can emulate the feeling itself, which naturally seeps out so that others can see it.


    This one is me. Although I'd rewrite it to be...
    "You don't always feel what other's would like you to, and would be socially acceptable, but when you want to you can emulate the feeling itself so that it rises up inside you, fills you and seeps out naturally as the overriding emotion so others can see it"
     
  14. frozen_water

    frozen_water Community Member

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    ahh the manifestations of an NT... "my feelings are natural, and nothing is natural unless it's grounded in reason. ...although I suppose for the sake of fulfilling the expectations of irrational people I guess I can act and try to roll with it." Classic

    and thanks sumone, that's insightful and helpful. Although... haha what you describe is actually closer to what the article said about you guys, and even despite its accuracy about me I thought that article (and many others on the site) were hollow. What shaz said though seemed like he would never force himself to be concerned... and that he would act without changing the way he felt inside. You yourself seemed upset by the fact that the author accused you of fabricating feelings all the time... which points to the fact that there must be a difference between fabricated feelings and natural ones... or actually, because my wording was bad on the "pick one of these" you could just mean that you could make yourself feel things, but don't generally.

    hmm... *wanders into a dark room and plays some music to think for a little while*
     
  15. OP
    sumone

    sumone down the rabbit hole

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    I guard my feelings more now than ever before. Like Gokartride says 'it's all about balance'. I lived for many years being wide open. I'd feel anyone's feelings and share mine freely but after being trampled and in turn trampling on others I have learned to tone it down.
    I wore myself down feeling other people's emotions and pain. I ended up shutting down completely and lived a very solitary life for quite a long time. If I feel someone's pain even for a second or two it gives the other person a bit of release and it's awesome. But feeling so much from others can cause you to overload and the need for solitude becomes necessary. It can get very weird trying to sort out what is theirs and what is yours.
    So when I read that we fabricate our feelings it just seemed so off the mark and I was very curious to see what the others might say.
     
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  16. frozen_water

    frozen_water Community Member

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    gotcha... I can see why the portraits say most claims of ESP probably come from INFJs. That's a tremendous amount of (very useful, but a little scary and dangerous) power to have. I'm... kinda sorry to hear you've had to tone it down, even though I think it was most likely a smart thing to do. I actually wonder now if it's a property of the INs in general to learn to "tone down" their strongest points as they see what they can do.

    Have you ever met anybody that you just couldn't empathize with, or couldn't tell what they were feeling, even if you tried?
     
  17. OP
    sumone

    sumone down the rabbit hole

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    Oh sure, there are loads of people who you know, upon first sight who do not want to be empathized with, and they definitely don't want sympathy - to them it would be an infringement. So you don't, you have to respect that. And actually people like that can be a real breath of fresh air to be around because they really are just what they are and they have no expectations of you.
     
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  18. frozen_water

    frozen_water Community Member

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    haha oh yeah, in fact I think I'm one of them... but in a way you're still telling how they feel, right? Even if you don't let it show on your own, you can tell that they don't want empathy... which means that you still know what they want. Is there anyone that's just... unreadable?
     
  19. Shaz

    Shaz Community Member

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    Hey, I'm a girl :mrgreen:

    Ok, there are several reasons for my answer.

    First of all I was a bit pissed off when I posted my answer, because the whole bloody text looked like such a caricature. It just got on my nerves.
    You have to keep in mind that most of the time (99%), I don't have to force myself to empathize with people (I actually empathize too much for my own good, but that's another topic). So when I don't, there is generally a good reason behind it. When I strongly disagree on someone's perception of things for example. I don't think I can force my feelings. When I have negative feelings towards someone I try to fight it and understand where they're coming from, but you have to find a line between understanding and being stepped on. It used to happen to me all the time. I would try so hard to understand and accept everyone that I would end up forgetting about caring about myself. I would put other's feelings in front of my own. I have learnt through experience that it was bad for me, so now I try to put myself and the other person at the same level.

    I also found the baby example a bit stupid. Of course I won't force myself to find the baby beautiful! It doesn't mean that I won't feel tremendously happy for its parents, because I know they find it adorable, and because life is a beautiful thing. I'll just have some odd mix of feelings I guess, but it's not a problem.

    When I say I sometimes act, it will be when my ESFJ mom gets all worked up about some issue on which I don't necessarily agree with her about, for example. In which case I won't tell her what I think because it doesn't lead anywhere (we see things too differently). I try to give hints of what I think, maybe, but I will avoid conflict, because I don't like it. I just adapt myself to the person I'm with.

    The main thing anyway is that I find it unacceptable to say that we have SHAPED OURSELVES. It made me angry because it is saying that we make up our feelings. Although empathy is a gift to the world, it is also often a great burden to us. I recently (well, 6 months ago but I still can't sleep in a dark room) got traumatized by some main page news in France (part of a big debate on euthanasia, a woman with a face cancer, completely deformed, her terrible photo everywhere, she wanted to be able to kill herself, of course the articles were dramatic, about her kids, hor terrible her suffering was, etc). I couldn't sleep for a month. I still struggle with the images that pop up in my head all the time. I'm able to deal with it better now that I've had more details about how well her kids dealt with it, etc, the fact that she's the one who wanted no painkillers, etc. but it's going to take me a long time before I can be relaxed when I go to sleep. Just writing about it makes me feel bad :/

    Anyway, sorry about the digression, I just wanted to say I felt insulted. You don't make up your sensitivity.

    I don't know if you count the example of helping someone in the street. I do that whenever the occasion is there and get a lot from it (makes my day :)). But that's not forced, is it? It is just natural empathy, something that makes you want to help everyone as much as you can... :?:

    I hope what I wrote is still connected to the topic :mrgreen: feels like it's a bit confused.
     
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  20. Kwistalline

    Kwistalline Permanent Fixture

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    Yeah, that whole quote was quite offensive. Shaz, I totally agree with you on several (and mostly random) points.

    First, though we may not be forced to empathize, I think we sometimes force ourselves to socialize and express. Rather, society has the wish to force this upon us and in our desire to please others, we comply. I'm coming across more and more E-T types who are trying to "socialize" me, and I find it quite irritating! I have no problem accepting others, and only find issues upon which to judge them once they have crossed over my boundaries and pushed my buttons on more occasions than I can count.

    I, too, forget to care about myself. I still haven't found that line, the one between understanding and being stomped all over . . . I don't know a lot of people who dislike me (at least not openly), but I recently was upbraided by one, and I'm still reeling. I felt so acutely her disgust . . . based on some kind of ISTJ misperception that I could never hope to remedy (this type is my ultimate bane). It was so strong, so intense . . .

    Passive aggressiveness. I also do this. Unless some of my stronger beliefs are seriously violated. It 's the only time I'll risk argument and conflict. Even then, I won't go past a certain point of emotional intensity at the risk of losing control and wounding others.

    Finally, I usually don't tell someone they have a beautiful baby unless they actually do! I smile and nod . . . and am happy for the parents. Really, though, most newborns aren't that pretty! Blotchy and wrinkly and whatnot . . . and their skulls are still soft and moldable . . . it's a little gross (to me). Luckily most of them grow beyond that stage . . .

    BTW, I don't watch/read the news anymore. It may be irresponsible of me, but I know my "T" preference friends will bring up anything of true relevance. I can't handle hearing about local murders, political intrigues, etc.
     
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