How do you deal with other's pain? | INFJ Forum

How do you deal with other's pain?

Discussion in 'The INFJ Typology' started by Lerxst, Aug 15, 2010.

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  1. Lerxst

    Lerxst Well-known member

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    Case in point:

    A Friend suffers a freak accident while at work. You hear them let out a blood curdling scream and run over to see them on the ground, holding their arm and bleeding. You spend the next 20 minutes working on getting them up, seeing what's wrong, keeping them out of shock and rushing them to the hospital while they're whimpering and screaming the whole way.

    I've seen injuries and injured people (myself included) but the context and shear "freakness" of this accident still has me in a state of shock I suppose.

    So, in a situation like this, how do all of my fellow INFJ's deal with this? How do you feel afterward? If you aren't an INFJ, I'd still like to hear.

    This happened about 7 hours ago and right now I have the largest headache of my life, no appetite and my muscles don't seem to want to move very far. It seems petty compared to the pain my friend's in though.
     
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  2. just me

    just me GONE

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    I am reminded of hearing my parents' saying, "This is going to hurt me worse than it hurts you." Feeling the pain of others is indicative of caring, possibly to a much higher degree than some. Queen Elizabeth II wrote, "Grief is the price we pay for love." I have read that many times over, having it now underneath the glass on my desk at work. It causes me to ponder life.

    I have come to the conclusion the more we care and the more we love, the greater that grief will be. Some people can walk away from that much quicker than others, often almost untouched by its dynamics. However, there are those that grasp it indepth and cling to it for sometimes extreme lengths of time. Everyone is different.

    I, personally, try to deal with it one day at a time. Each day can offer new or different thoughts and/or feelings we can ponder; some good for us and some possibly unhealthy just a bit. I have found I must also heal, though my pains and feelings may be a bit different than even that/those of the one hurt. I also grasp the situational circumstances rather than hide or run from them and hold onto them, as they help to make me what I am.

    I pray you and your friend get better soon.
     
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  3. Lumi Spitsbergen

    Lumi Spitsbergen Community Member

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    I don't think my answer will be very useful to you, however I tend to go numb.

    It's not really a conscious thing. I know I'm worried, concerned, and determined to help "fix it" whatever "it" is - but I just don't feel it all in the moment. The brunt of my emotionality on the subject comes later through retrospect.
    I tend to become obsessed with being productive and useful in relation to the crisis. Friends who have only ever hung out with me in a jovial atmosphere are usually shocked at how intensely practical I become, and the sheer number of things I do or think of within a short space of time. I create about two-dozen itemized goals on a "list" of things to get through for the crisis in my head, and I'm usually always able to make sure they get done.
    For instance, a friend of mine fell, sprained his ankle pretty badly, and while everyone else was standing around asking if he was ok or if he needed anything I had already glanced at the swelling, gotten a bucket of ice, cloth, stuff to wrap the ankle with and stuff to splint it with just in case i was broken. By the time I got back someone else had just gotten around to asking for ice, and another person was standing like a deer in headlights explaining that there weren't any plastic bags in the house to hold the ice with (hence the cloth I got).
    I turned pretty bossy for a sec, making people help me prop person and leg up, telling people how to carry the guy so the blood wouldn't rush back to his leg, etc........

    I don't know. I just stay busy, my mind keeps whirring. It's not that a part of me isn't freaked out about it or that I'm not worried for the guy, it's just that I'm not focused on that in the moment.

    After we got him back to his apartment with his girlfriend (also one of my best friends) and he seemed to be alright, I had to leave to do other things. I was sitll concerned, but there was nothing I could do. If occasionally I thought of something I'd call his girlfriend and ask if it would help.... but if there's nothing I can do, the person is still alive, and nobody died/got a limb literally chopped off....
    I just sort of delegate it to the back of my mind. I don't really think about it all that much unless something relevant/useful comes to mind for the situation.
     
  4. Lumi Spitsbergen

    Lumi Spitsbergen Community Member

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    In some respects I agree, however I don't believe the ability to feel sympathy pain for another is indicative of a depth of selflessness or ability to love for the other person.
    I knew this one girl who was always acutely affected by others' pain - not to the extent that it was an act to get attention - but truly affected.
    However, she was also possibly the most self-absorbed person I have ever known otherwise, and often caused the pain she would later feel the echo of, or just blithely make everyone around her feel bad about themselves.
    I honestly do not believe that she had very much depth in her heart at all. She was like a reactionary reflective surface, but without enough strength of character to think about how she should treat the others around her.
    Just because you are someone who can walk away apparently unaffected at the time does not mitigate the depth of love and concern you feel for another or indicate a shallowness of caring for the other person. Perhaps this is true for INFJ types, but I don't believe it is true for others.
     
  5. Matariki

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    I have been in a situation like this before, except I was one with the injury and the blood curdling scream, (dislocated knee) It happen when I was out fishing with my fellow ISTP's. The lol'd at me and threatened to tickle me if I didn't stand up. The blood curdling scream came when I tried to get up.

    Now how would I approach the situation?
    I would try to stay as calm as possible, through a few jokes here and there to help keep them distracted while trying to help them. Attitude plays a large part in situations like this psychologically. I tend to play the role of the solutionist, trying to look for the positive in the negative despite how terrible the situation may be.

    It might sound strange, but I tend to visualize the situation before it happens so I can handle it better for when it does happen.

    I am suprised in how many situations I have been in, seeing people in distress while people are walking past them trying to avoid the situation or having any involvement in it.
    It makes me very disappointed in humanity.
     
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    #5 Matariki, Aug 15, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2010
  6. just me

    just me GONE

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    I respect your views. My use of the word "indicative" is not meaning an etching in stone, but rather a suggestion of something relating to the other person's feelings. In no way did I mean to infer the lack of love from those that are not affected that same way. We are all different. Selflessness was not used or intended in my words.

    " Just because you are someone who can walk away apparently unaffected at the time does not mitigate the depth of love and concern you feel for another or indicate a shallowness of caring for the other person." I don't think this is an infj thing at all. It may possibly be seen in more infjs, but I do not know and will not judge that to be true or false.

    If this person you knew had so much influence on others as to make them feel badly, it seems she could feel that as much as the pain she felt from someone else to begin with. If not, that is an interesting person I would like to try and understand a bit better.
     
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  7. NeverAmI

    NeverAmI Satisclassifaction
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    Psychological torment is often stronger, more debilitating, and more prolonged than physical harm.

    Torturers focus on the psychological, they focus, not on the idea of personal harm to someone, but to other family members, if possible. They know that the quickest way to break someone down is not to hurt them, but to focus on their deepest fears. You can drive someone to temporary insanity without ever touching them except for restraint.

    I don't mean to focus on something so dark, but I just want to emphasize the significance of the mind in matters of well-being. You shouldn't discredit your own suffering simply because someone else experienced something different.

    I am pretty sure I would rather re-experience nearly losing my life and being in the most pain I have ever been in rather than reliving my 4 years of High School. No, I am sure of that.

    When it comes to helping others, I am pretty calm with emergencies, because I don't give a lot of credit to physical pain, it is usually the psychological impact that is most unnerving, and that is usually what I focus on, usually more by being a calm anchor rather than soothing, but that depends on who it is.

    I am much more soothing with children because they don't pick up on calmness as much and it isn't awkward to be soothing to a child.
     
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  8. just me

    just me GONE

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    I hear you. Makes me think about turning your words around a bit. May I to share my thought? I feel the same disappointment very often!
    "It makes me very disappointed; inhumanity." Couldn't help myself...

    It is often wise, though, to keep walking and maybe get them help. Every situation you see is not always what you may think or what it appears to be.
     
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  9. Satya

    Satya C'est la vie
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    INFJs are interesting creatures.

    I tend to be detached from other people's pain. Until a few years ago, I was even detached from my own pain. I may feel frustrated that I can't do anything and I feel bad that I don't feel worse for people in pain, but I don't know what else I can do.
     
  10. Lumi Spitsbergen

    Lumi Spitsbergen Community Member

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    She is a very interesting person. Intensely extroverted and capable of incredible organization. She tends to know which people will get along with which people instinctively, and was often at the center of any and every social gathering. Right where she was happiest.
    Even though she would gripe about the amount of time spent planning events, she would always somehow make me feel like I was being an attention hogging jerk whenever I ever hosted a party with our friends or tried to initiate group activities. Whenever I initiated group activities, she would come along, but always somehow end up trying to wrestle control of the day for herself and politely compliment/denigrate my ideas as "cute."
    If anyone ever even suggested that she was being manipulative or selfish or mean she would become genuinely intensely hurt, and maybe lash out against your thoughtlessness towards her feelings etc.
    If she hurt your feelings and you told her, she would feel terrible... often so terrible that you ended up feeling guilty for having your feelings hurt.

    This was not a girl given to deep self-examination or appropriate levels of self-consciousness. She really felt what she felt... but she never really focused on why other people felt the way they felt.

    If people were emotionally or physically injured she was intensely bothered by this. But (though this will appear mean) she was just so useless about it. She never worried about the why of how people were hurt, she left mundane practical concerns to everyone else. Don't get me wrong, she could be the best moral support you could ask for in times of need... but I began to understand that though the support was genuine it was not backed by any real understanding of the people around her.
    It lacked depth. By the end I truly felt that she saw most people of the world the same way a small child sees their stuffed animals or imaginary friends. Emotionally attached but not deeply, or truly, and only in relation to herself as the only real "live" person.


    If this makes sense. >.<
     
  11. Reon

    Reon Midnight's Garden

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    Can't really go into details, will if you like me to later, but at first I got into a serious "help this person now" mode. I focus on getting that person help, that tends to make the leader of the group and also the emotional pillar of the group. First I make sure the injured are in good health, good enough that I can provide anyway, that I console everyone and tell them it'll be okay or whatever relevant advice i might have at the point in time. After my job as leader is done, I start to feel a bit worried and such and I wonder about the future.

    I've been in a lot of crisis scenarios though, none really recent though (My friend had a seizure in class, that's about it), so I'd have to kind of get back to you. In some ways, I don't think I face it until I have to. For example when I see my friend again, corpse or not.

    Edit INTJ
     
  12. TinyBubbles

    TinyBubbles anarchist

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    How do you deal with other's pain?

    physical pain: i try to calm them and hide my own horror, and try to get them help asap in the most direct way possible.
    emotional pain: i'll listen, and try to offer words of comfort. i feel much more helpless when people are in emotional pain though, because i just don't know how exactly to help them, and whether what i'm saying is going to have any impact ;(
     
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  13. OP
    Lerxst

    Lerxst Well-known member

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    Thanks for the replies, some of that alone helps a lot!

    I was going to write a bunch more but decided not to. It's been a long day.

    What I can say though, is that I noticed a lot of similar reactions to mine from the numbness, the joking, the itemized lists and not reacting to the physical trauma aspects.

    Once the day settled down, work was over and I could turn "off" though, is when my brain started to wander on its own... dangerous territory to be in.
     
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