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This is not an ego thread.

Do you find themselves to be genuinely de-sensitised & find it hard to be empathetic towards others?

This is what happened to me earlier this week.

I had done a job interview. After my interview, I entered the elevator so that I could leave the building. A woman around my age got in.

She was in tears & I asked her how she went. She said that they drilled her very hard & they didn't expect for the interviewers to get so deep into her. Looking back on it, perhaps I should've pat her back or done something a long those lines. That didn't flow naturally to me. Instead, I was perhaps too hard on her. I hate it when people drown in their own self-pity I guess...

I told her, perhaps a bit too intensely, that now was not the time to drown in her own self pity. I told her to stop crying & no good would come of it. I then asked her if the interviewer gave her any feedback & I told her that if she wanted the job as much as she claimed, she would let nothing stop her & I told her to let all the tears out, but when you stop crying, it is then that you should put your game face on.

I find it so hard to show my emotions, the only way I know how is through action. It is also a burden for me to be the person to provide emotional support. Do you ENTJs relate to this?

On a side note, The older I get, the colder I feel I am getting. Is it possible to turn from E to I?

Thank you for replying if you choose to do so.
 

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Interesting. I am going the opposite direction in my old age. I am learning to empathize more and am beginning to show symptoms of having real feelings. I was actually accused a few weeks back of beginning to grow either a "soul" or a conscience.

Go back a few years and I am betting you could find those who would bet the farm that there was ZERO chance of that ever happening.

I am pretty sure these feelings are genuine, not a learned response to enable me to mimic them. It's inconvenient at times, but there do seem to be upsides.

In the situation you described, I would have offered to give her a hug and asked to buy her a cup of coffee.
 

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When I was in my early 20s I would just ignore such people. But I'VE IMPROVED! lol I do exactly what you did. I thought I was being more friendly/sociable/caring that way. You gave her a motivational speech which is considerate of you. And no, the older I get the warmer I seem to become.
 

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Chatterbox, MOTM August 2013
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MBTI aside,

I think when I was younger, I would have had the same reaction as you, @MisterD , kind of a -YIKES, I really don't want to hear about this- reaction.

That's not a criticism of you. I'm not saying your reaction was improper.

I think a younger person has more of a tendency to see the situation you described like this:
How does this affect me? It doesn't, so I don't want to deal with it.

As you get older, you still ask the question - how does this affect me? (same answer - it doesn't),
but you realize two things:

It's not going to kill you to be nice to someone who is having a bad day

and

every experience is either an opportunity to learn something or teach something (or both)
(she might have blurted out something about the company's practices that may later be helpful to you; you may have been able to show her it wasn't the end of the world to not get that job)

Like @JJ Yossarian , I would have tried to help her out. At least offered to have a cup of coffee with her and get her calmed down a bit.
 

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Giving advice is an expression of empathy, actually, which negates the premise that you can't express emotion.

I would have the same internal response that you did, though. Work situations (or any competitive environment) wouldn’t provoke empathy in me, mostly because it’s a game. I wouldn’t feel sorry for a poker player who lost a pot or an investor who underperformed, for example. Recheck your strategy and keep it moving.

Other than this, I have no issues with empathy.
 

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On the bright side, at least you didn't see her vulnerability as an opportunity to try and sleep with her. :tongue:

Yes, I can relate.. and I can understand where @JJ Yossarian is coming from too so there is definitely some contrasting interests in me (the building coldness and impatience towards the average person because time has revealed that they do not meet my standards vs the development action of improving Fe... because any decent human being should do something if you are on an elevator with a crying person).

The fact that you recognize its a delicate situation is good. The problem is that it was in retrospect. I think I was worse at it when I was younger because I was actually completely oblivious that I was making things worse with my "help". So I've come to learn that avoidance is sometimes the best policy. There is a time and place for the honest truth, but maybe after they calm down first and can think rationally again (else it might fall upon deaf ears).

I would have just abstained from a lot of commenting. I wouldn't dare touch her - irrational, crying women is like my kryptonite - but I would maybe have said something less direct and vague. "Cheer up. Maybe it didn't go so bad." In my mind, she's a stranger so you aren't obligated to say anything at all, but any pleasantry is a good gesture. Just keep it simple.

What I would really want to say... "Take it as a learning lesson for the next interview. Just don't get intimidated because of this one. You have to retain your confidence." Save this for after she cheers up and you buy her coffee.
 

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I would agree with many of the posts in here. The older I get the more empathy I have towards people, however it is still very limited unless it's a direct friend or family member. I would have one more thing to add to this... I am much more likely to empathize with a woman than a man. Do you guys do this as well? Women do you empathize more with men or women or the same? Men same question for you.
 

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Chatterbox, MOTM August 2013
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I would agree with many of the posts in here. The older I get the more empathy I have towards people, however it is still very limited unless it's a direct friend or family member. I would have one more thing to add to this... I am much more likely to empathize with a woman than a man. Do you guys do this as well? Women do you empathize more with men or women or the same? Men same question for you.

Great question!

The first thing that popped into my head was - men. But the more I thought about it, I realized that I was playing into the stereotype: men tend to show emotion less. That's not exactly what I think. It's more like this:

I tend to empathize/sympathize with someone who is more like me (someone who doesn't generally lose it). When they do, it means that some thing reeeeeally awful is going on. You could put Hubby's picture in an illustrated dictionary under "stoic". He vary rarely shows emotion. So, if he says something with a catch in his voice, I know he is having trouble holding it together.

The flip side of that is my brother who cries more often than a hormonally challenged junior high school girl having boy trouble. When he loses it, I tend to laugh at him. He's kind of a drama queen.

This works the same way with women. So, I would say it's more about the type of person, rather than the sex of the person.
 

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Great question!

The first thing that popped into my head was - men. But the more I thought about it, I realized that I was playing into the stereotype: men tend to show emotion less. That's not exactly what I think. It's more like this:

I tend to empathize/sympathize with someone who is more like me (someone who doesn't generally lose it). When they do, it means that some thing reeeeeally awful is going on. You could put Hubby's picture in an illustrated dictionary under "stoic". He vary rarely shows emotion. So, if he says something with a catch in his voice, I know he is having trouble holding it together.

The flip side of that is my brother who cries more often than a hormonally challenged junior high school girl having boy trouble. When he loses it, I tend to laugh at him. He's kind of a drama queen.

This works the same way with women. So, I would say it's more about the type of person, rather than the sex of the person.
I would also agree with this. Regardless of man or woman, if they are a drama queen I can not relate at all and it can get on my nerves pretty bad.

And the part about your brother... I laughed out loud, great description!! :)
 

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I would agree with many of the posts in here. The older I get the more empathy I have towards people, however it is still very limited unless it's a direct friend or family member. I would have one more thing to add to this... I am much more likely to empathize with a woman than a man. Do you guys do this as well? Women do you empathize more with men or women or the same? Men same question for you.
I think that what empathy I have is distributed pretty equally. Okay, maybe it's 60/40 in favor of women, but that is only because the comment earlier in the thread about finding a vulnerable woman to hit on, struck home and reminded me of some past lives... hahahah not so much anymore, but there was a day... hahahahha
 

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@2eng

The thing is, it's difficult to empathize when it's a complete stranger. If I lost it in public I'd probably wouldn't want anyone's comfort. I believe it's something private, anyone comforting me would solidify the thought that I have been defeated. I don't want to acknowledge it as a failure by confirming it with a strangers sympathy. This is why when I am caught in that situation I always ask if the person wants to speak about it.

So it is a lot easier when I know how it feels to be in that person's position. Otherwise I'll just be spitting out half-assed "are you OK's" which for some reason makes me feel uneasy because I'm not being genuine.
 

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Honestly, I probably would have reacted the same way. You shouldn't feel obligated to be "empathetic" towards someone you don't know, especially if they're losing their shit in front of you. Failing an interview is not the end of the world. Every interview (even if it doesn't go well) is a learning experience. People don't get that. They just take it as a rejection and take it way too personally. She should be proud she made it that far, keep calm, and if she doesn't get the gig - move on!

I must say I have a hard time when someone is crying in front of me. I'd rather say nothing at all, than even attempt fill the awkward empty space with something fake, just to spare her feelings. I think your encouragement was very positive and if she takes offense to you trying looking at it positively, it sounds like more of a personal problem of hers than yours. Regardless, you'll probably never see her again. Wouldn't stress too much about it.
 

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@MisterD I understood your response to her and I actually found it sweet...unless you were saying it in a harsh tone, haha! I imagine you were mostly just giving her a pep talk and telling her to get back on the horse :)

This reminds me of a time when I was a teen and I was upset about something...my Mom said something like "We all fall...so you're just gonna have to get up like everyone else". I had heard her say that so many times and every time it just made me mad. This particular time I had enough of that response so I said "Well you know what? Sometimes when a kid falls, they just need someone to kiss their boo-boos and tell them it's ok". She never said that to me again. I think she realized at that moment just how different we are when it comes to our emotional needs. I was always fine when someone else besides her would give me the pep talk like yours, so I bet you helped her more than you realize...although I was never quick to lose it like that in front of a stranger. It would have to be pretty major.

Also, I agree with the other posts. I would've felt really uncomfortable with her crying like that...it would've been hard for me to decide what to say to her.
 

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@2eng

The thing is, it's difficult to empathize when it's a complete stranger. If I lost it in public I'd probably wouldn't want anyone's comfort. I believe it's something private, anyone comforting me would solidify the thought that I have been defeated. I don't want to acknowledge it as a failure by confirming it with a strangers sympathy. This is why when I am caught in that situation I always ask if the person wants to speak about it.

So it is a lot easier when I know how it feels to be in that person's position. Otherwise I'll just be spitting out half-assed "are you OK's" which for some reason makes me feel uneasy because I'm not being genuine.
I totally agree with this. It would almost make me angry that someone saw me in a vulnerable state and thought that they can "help me". I realize this sounds kind of bad but it's how I would feel.
 

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You did good, Mister.
I have been drilled to tears in an interview before, but it was a positive experience. The interviewers were surprisingly very caring and they wanted to help me get over some fears I had at the time. I was very thankful and I needed that. It hit home for me seeing that those people had put aside their business faces to help a lost soul.
Now when I see them they have much more respect for me because I'm not a mess and they don't even have to drill me if they want to know something.
Sometimes those crying hurdles must be crossed to become a worthy person.
Good thing you told her that, she will find out sooner or later.
 

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I honestly think you gave her great advice and just because you didn't give her "a pat on the back," doesn't mean what you told her didn't have any substance to it. The fact that you even asks baffles me because I would have not cared enough to do so myself (unless it was someone I had a close bond with.) If she felt like they were drilling her way to hard then she isn't cut out for the job and hopefully she learned something.
I don't know if ENTJ's as they get older can become for I than E because I'm only. Either way, if you gave me that advice I would have thanked you even though I would have never been crying over something so silly and pointless. :rolleyes:
 

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This is not an ego thread.

Do you find themselves to be genuinely de-sensitised & find it hard to be empathetic towards others?

This is what happened to me earlier this week.

I had done a job interview. After my interview, I entered the elevator so that I could leave the building. A woman around my age got in.

She was in tears & I asked her how she went. She said that they drilled her very hard & they didn't expect for the interviewers to get so deep into her. Looking back on it, perhaps I should've pat her back or done something a long those lines. That didn't flow naturally to me. Instead, I was perhaps too hard on her. I hate it when people drown in their own self-pity I guess...

I told her, perhaps a bit too intensely, that now was not the time to drown in her own self pity. I told her to stop crying & no good would come of it. I then asked her if the interviewer gave her any feedback & I told her that if she wanted the job as much as she claimed, she would let nothing stop her & I told her to let all the tears out, but when you stop crying, it is then that you should put your game face on.

I find it so hard to show my emotions, the only way I know how is through action. It is also a burden for me to be the person to provide emotional support. Do you ENTJs relate to this?

On a side note, The older I get, the colder I feel I am getting. Is it possible to turn from E to I?

Thank you for replying if you choose to do so.
I think you were empathizing with her. If you had total apathy you wouldn't have engaged her at all. And who knows maybe she really appreciated your advice. It seemed very sound and pragmatic. I would have appreciated it because a lot of times when I'm in a very emotional state it's hard for me to calmly sort things out like that. Haha, I'm an INFJ (I know you were addressing other ENTJ with your post but I thought I'd share a feelers perspective) so as I get older it seems like becoming more emotionally detached and getting my feelings hurt less.
 

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It is also a burden for me to be the person to provide emotional support. Do you ENTJs relate to this?
I don't think I would have bothered asking her what she was crying about to be honest, because I would assume that I would be encumbered by some emotional venting. I hate playing the heatsink, and reserve that for people who I think might actually utilize my advice.

So yeah it is a burden to provide emotional support, unless I think there will be some kind of change or at least recognition that comes from my advice.

However I do find it funny that you would find it to be burdensome to do such a thing, yet you might engage a complete crying stranger in an elevator even though you could just hop off on any floor.

Why would you do that? I might do that if I was going to be stuck with her for a while and I wanted her to either see the reality of the situation or if she annoyed me enough that I felt it necessary and fair for her to be annoyed by my reaction (I'd have to be having a day for that one); but never just crossing paths on an elevator. Eeck.
 

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I would agree with many of the posts in here. The older I get the more empathy I have towards people, however it is still very limited unless it's a direct friend or family member. I would have one more thing to add to this... I am much more likely to empathize with a woman than a man. Do you guys do this as well? Women do you empathize more with men or women or the same? Men same question for you.
Without reading the post after yours,

I do empathize more with women than men.
 
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