Why do I get sick to my stomach when other people have problems? | INFJ Forum

Why do I get sick to my stomach when other people have problems?

Discussion in 'Relationships and Sociology' started by whynot, Jul 15, 2010.

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  1. whynot

    whynot Newbie

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    Not sure if this will make sense, but here's the most recent situation: My bf's sister in law (brother's wife) left his brother a few days ago. She took the kids and said she was miserable. I am very close to his brother and the kids, but never got along well with her... she came off as being very dramatic and talked shit about everyone.



    There were quite a few instances where we heard about her cheating on him and talking to other guys, but he's always been very loyal. Not saying he's perfect or that I know everything that went on in their lives, but she is appearing to be pretty damn selfish.

    So when my fiance told me she left and that his brother wasn't doing very well, I got sick to my stomach and haven't been able to get it off my mind. I also feel guilty for being happy in my relationship and I don't know why. I also worry that this issue will cause problems in our relationship. It doesn't make ANY sense, I know, but it still goes through my head. I guess I'm just wondering if this is normal for INFJs? Is this just part of being empathetic? Could it have to do with my parents getting a divorce? I take marriage very seriously and when other friends of mine went though situations like this in the past, I've had the same reaction. It's just.... weird.
     
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  2. Gaze

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    i think it's probably that empathetic thingy.
     
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  3. Norton

    Norton XXXX

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    People respond in different ways to stress, anxiety, and emotional upset. Many people respond somatically, that is, they have physiological manifestations of stress. To some extent, everybody responds in some somatic way and this is why "lie detectors" work (they measure changes in skin conductivity, which changes according to emotional stress--sweat is salty, and thus, a conductive fluid). It just so happens that your "stress organ" is your stomach, which you say gets riled up when you pick up on other people's problems. This is is normal for some people. INFJ's are particularly likely to have difficulty screening out others' emotions. It's an INFJ gift, but, also, sometimes a curse.

    My INFJ wife is a physician whose patients are often extremely ill and dying. Because of her professional training and experience, she has learned to separate her emotions from her work to the extent that she protects herself yet still retains the emotional ability to derive useful "F" data. However, when one of our kids has a problem, she can get quite worried and upset. She gets particularly upset when dealing with our INFJ son's problems. Can you imagine, and INFJ mother and son? At these times (and many others, I might add) it helps to be married to a "T" like me! (Norton said modestly)
     
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  4. 894tt3h9

    On Holiday

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    I agree with Norton. I believe your symptoms are just a physical response to an emotional problem. I get this exact same issue when I am feeling great anxiety. I hope you feel better soon, and I hope that focussing on this issue won't bring it into your own life and relationship!
     
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  5. Trifoilum

    Trifoilum find wisdom, build hope.

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    Yep, parts of empathy + parts of "what if what happened to me also happens to them?" and/or parts of "I know how badly it must have felt"
     
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  6. Kgal

    Kgal Magic Star Dust
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    Is this just part of being empathetic? Yes - I believe it is. I have physical responses - I call it a release - after I've been with people who were very upset and needed my compassion - which I gave them. Sometimes I wonder if I give them my "calm energy" - or - my strength energy? I don't know.

    Could it have to do with my parents getting a divorce? Yes - I believe this is probably true as well. You probably have anxiety held within your gut that is related to your parents divorce.

    My intuition tells me you need to look at that time of your life in your past to help you in your future.
     
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  7. Norton

    Norton XXXX

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    Exercise is the best, natural stress reliever. It works particularly well for those with super empathy, like many INFJ's. Also, hot baths, jacuzzis, massages, long walks in the forest and calm distractions like crossword puzzles, Sudoku, and reading the bible all work well.

    The brain is connected to the body. That's why stressful emotion affects your stomach. But, the body is also connected to the brain. That's why relaxing the body relaxes the brain.
     
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  8. OP
    whynot

    whynot Newbie

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    Thanks guys... I appreciate the input. Good to know it's just a way of coping.

    My bf's a T and it's great because even though he cares deeply for people, he's more logical about emotional situations and can reel me back in when I get too upset.

    No doubt. I exercised religiously up until a few months ago and I definitely noticed a difference. Less stress, migraines, and mood swings. Time to get back to work I suppose... :smile:
     
  9. Reon

    Reon Midnight's Garden

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    You care. That has happened to me before, once specifically. One person that i think I cared more about than myself.
     
  10. Rogue

    Rogue Community Member

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    This is very good advice and this is very true for me. I almost laughed out loud with the long walks in the forest...this is my deepest calmer when I am going through things or when I am going through things with people. I notice that I subconsciously try to find trees...(there aren't any in the Texas Panhandle) so I can take a deep breath...
    I know it is easier for some people to connect with hurting people than it is for others, but it is an unnatural response to try to walk in someone else's shoes. This stresses our immune system even to the point of physical sickness.
     
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