Why do you run out of empathy? | INFJ Forum

Why do you run out of empathy?

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by Irish, May 11, 2018.

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  1. Irish

    Irish Newbie

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    I have always been empathetic, emotional, living out others feelings. Recently I flipped the switch and decided to see mentally how to turn it completely off. As it turns out it is possible to sway the other extreme and actually smile at the degradation of others as an INFJ. It's mad and it pushes those mental boundaries of insanity we all stay far away from. Has anyone treaded these waters? Ever a time you not only shut your emotions off but went the other direction with them? What do you think causes an empath to be pushed into anti-empathetic behavior?

     
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  2. acd

    acd Well-known member

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    How did you flip the switch? What is that like?
     
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  3. Pin

    Pin Commander-in Chief / Ren's Counterpart

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    Well... I'm self-involved to the point of psychosis.
     
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  4. OP
    Irish

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    Well there was someone I've worked with a long time and they have always been a selfish narcissistic jerk. One day I decided I was going to mirror their attitude word for word. Instead of taking the backseat I took the reins and faced them with equal amounts of selfishness, narcissism, and disregard for their feelings. In just hours they were beyond ferious (funny that isn't it). I found I enjoyed the feeling of empowerment that I now controlled the feelings and temper of this individual. From the feelings and experience I gained that day I learned how to enact a backbone and boy is it nasty. If you press into it deeper it becomes a twisted example of the dc joker so be cautious unless you just want to watch the world burn with a smile on your face.
     
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  5. OP
    Irish

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    Psychosis yes! The terminology I was looking for.
     
  6. souvenir

    souvenir Community Member

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    Ooohhh I did this once too. You wont ever be the same though, so going back isn't much of an option. If you can, it takes a long ass time to get back. Years and years. Maybe decades.
     
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  7. Happy Phantom

    Happy Phantom Phantom Traveler
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    Yeah because I decided yesterday I was going to turn my feelings off and I haven’t felt anything since.
     
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  8. the

    the Si master race.
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    Istjs never run out of empathy. Probably because we are better than everyone else.
     
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  9. OP
    Irish

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    Better or do you mean weaker? Smells like prey. :tearsofjoy: I'm kidding!
     
  10. OP
    Irish

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    It happens, in real time our emotions are random, quick, and snap very quickly but I have the theory that we mentally process emotion faster and think 24/7 which brings us into our next emotion, most people tend to push certain emotions away and let them linger vs our types who tend to take them straight on. It may seem like a light switch but it's quite premeditated already.
     
  11. Wyote

    Wyote Moody Magician
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    Same for anyone, you just get tired of bullshit. The easy way is to sort of make the other person eat their own shit.
    This is what most people tend to default to when pushed hard enough.
    It's harder to sit in a pile of crap that's been dumped on you, continue breathing and figure out how to just clean yourself off and walk away from the pile.
     
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  12. AUM

    AUM Well-known member

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    I wouldn't say that I "run out of empathy" per se, it's not like I can just shut it off. However, there are times when you realize that no amount of empathy is going to solve the problem with someone. In those times it may appear that you've turned cold and uncaring, but in reality, it's just you protecting yourself and that person from themselves. In my case, at least, I'd still care deeply for that individual, and wish them the best. On the other hand, there's a limit as to how much you can help said person before they need to start helping themselves.
     
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  13. Ginny

    Ginny Well-known member

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    There are, as others have said, moments where you're sick of taking bullshit from everyone else. But that's not what I'd consider empathy, and it's also not something that is simply shut off, not without consequences. We are able to choose to not let us be affected by the feelings we'd usually take in from the environment. We can retreat into ourselves, and choose not to take in the emotions of others, but that would mean we'd enter a tertiary loop.

    What you describe is us perceiving the emotions of others while still keeping them from entering too deeply into our own emotional world. It involves the middle part between perceiving and feeling that discerns whether it is our own or the emotion of another. If you focus more on perceiving itself than perceiving through feeling, then it's certainly possible to develop a calculative coldness to the outside, still taking in, yet using the input differently. It is evidence for a certain control over Fe, to mirror instead of internalising the Fi input from outside.

    It could be just as well a reaction to stress, wherein we focus overly on Ni, suppressing other functions. It's an antecedent to the Se-grip.


    To answer the question proper, there have been moments wherein I suppressed Fe and was purely analytical and judgingly aloof. It was a momentary relief from the selfishness of others. There are also moments wherein I can feel the protential propensity for cruelty. It almost scares myself, but in these moments you just don't care. It is the moment where I have decided or concluded that a person deserves what comes to them that I have no empathy for them, not because there is none, but because it is focussed somewhere else. It would be unhealthy for me to shield myself from empathy, because it keeps me from overstepping boundaries that ought not be crossed.
     
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  14. acd

    acd Well-known member

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    So you're treating this person the way they treated you and others? I thought you were speaking generally about maybe getting burned out from empathizing and "flipping the switch" then finding that you indescriminately enjoy others pain and humiliation.

    So you were dishing it back to them; giving them a taste of their own medicine. Maybe trying to force them to empathize with you and others? Maybe finding satisfaction and power in causing them to struggle as they have made others.

    I can't turn my feelings off about anything. And I still feel empathy and/or sympathy for people who have wronged me or done terrible things when they are in pain or humiliated. I find myself questioning why I am having those feelings when it comes up but I cannot turn them off. That is a foreign concept to me. I can pretend to feel nothing but it's still there. I can choose to put my anger first and react but those other feelings are still there under the surface and I will always reckon with them if I give in to my darkside. I don't find it empowering because I'm violating my code. I just feel guilty or disgust with myself. And I'm not trying to sound a certain way in saying any of this because I certainly have moments I'm not proud of but it's usually a result of putting my anger first. But maybe the difference is Fi?
     
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    #14 acd, May 11, 2018
    Last edited: May 11, 2018
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  15. Reverist

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    The opposite of empathy is actually apathy which is the total absence or suppression of emotion or passion, or the lack of interest in what others find moving.

    If you are able to mirror someone's emotions back to them, you're still using empathy, because you understand and feel what (at least you perceive) they feel.

    You don't have to internalize or live out someone else's emotions. Being a high Fe user can lead us to pick up on way more emotion in the environment than others know is there, or even know they are putting out there. Because we can sense it doesn't mean we should turn it on ourselves though. It is better to find a way to process it and let it go. It was never your emotion anyway, so why be beholden to it?

    It would be better in the long run to form boundaries for this kind of thing than to completely turn it off. In its extreme, apathy can be a dangerous thing, leading one to become desensitized to the world and to themself.

     
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  16. Elis

    Elis Permanent Fixture

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    I remember there was a study recently about this here in Sweden, or well it was more on segregation really but still relevant I think. The less we relate to someone the easier it is to not empathize with them. However, I don't think it was so much about shutting down feelings all together, but rather how we distance ourselves as not to explore the feelings to begin with.

    My thoughts are a bit all over the place on this. Aren't we conflating empathy and sympathy here? I think once we empathize with a situation it's harder not to sympathize and feel for the person than to not explore their situation all together. Isn't that why we talk about walking in someone's shoes?
     
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  17. Vicarious

    Vicarious Beware the Mighty Kwaken! Rawr!!!
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    I lose a lot of my empathy when one constantly whines about their situation, but then does absolutely nothing to change it, and comes up with lame excuses to shoot down every option given to them. After a while, I just feel like telling them to nut up or shut up and stop expecting someone else to fix everything for you.

    For example, I have a friend who, over the past 4-5 years, has become super whiny and does nothing but complain. I was about to block her on Facebook because every single post was her bitching or whining about not having any money and this or that was going to be shut off, so these people who barely know her, but follow her on youtube or instagram or whatever would offer to pay her bills, buy her food, send her gifts, etc which she, of course, would willingly accept. She would shoot down every single suggestion anyone would give her to help her better herself with some dumb excuse (I can't get a job because I get migraines, I can't this, I can't that, blah blah blah). Anyway, people started catching on that she can't really be all that bad off because she keeps buying craft supplies and crap, while complaining that she doesn't have money for food, so a few people called her out on that. She got her panties in a wad and stopped posting her whiny crap on Facebook, thank god.
     
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  18. Ren

    Ren Pin's android

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    Usually I stop feeling empathy for somebody when I feel like my empathy is being taken advantage of, consciously or unconsciously.

    I'm not saying I am always right or objective about this gut feeling but this is how it happens.
     
  19. jkxx

    jkxx Community Member

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    Yup.
     
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  20. ruji

    ruji Well-known weirdo

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    Be more selective, and stop handing it out to everyone.
     
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