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Are you an empath?

  • Yes, I am (INFJ type)

    Votes: 22 78.6%
  • I have some qualities but I'm not sure (INFJ)

    Votes: 6 21.4%
  • I am not, I do not relate to this list (INFJ)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I am an empath and I have another type (please specify in comments)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
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Discussion Starter #1
I see empathy mentioned a lot among INFJs so I was wondering is it's a special trait of our type or not necessarily? Are all INFJs empaths? If it is, I would say that's one of the most significant descriptions since this is quite a rare quality (well, apparently so is the type).

Empathy is the capacity to recognize emotions that are being experienced by another sentient or fictional being

If you are not sure you can read this Empathy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I also found this list really interesting Are you an Empath? | Just Be

Thank you :)
 
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I don't just recognize them, I assimilate/introject them.

From Psychological Types:

Psychologically, therefore, it is a process of assimilation (q.v.), while projection is a process of dissimilation. Introjection signifies an adjustment of the object to the subject, while projection involves a discrimination of the object from the subject, by means of a subjective content transveyed into the object.
Introjection is an extraverting process, since for this adjustment to the object a feeling-into, or possession of, the object is necessary.
You "feel into" the object, and become it. You inhabit it. Empathy is actually a recent word. Sympathy is old. Empathy comes from German, "to feel into". It is extroverted, as Jung said. That is what Fe does.

I basically see empathy, as vicarious suffering. The ability to see yourself in others.

So, with projection, you project your own content onto somebody else. With introjection, you suck in the content of somebody else. It is the opposite of projection.
 

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I used to think empathy automatically meant being an empath. That to feel for someone, you should feel what they feel. It was only when I began discussing it I later realised that empathy just meant people self-inserting, which seemed so terribly pale in comparison. How are they supposed to feel what the other person is feeling, if they're just thinking about how they themselves would feel in a similar circumstance? It's crazy. I can't believe not everyone is an empath, despite the fact that it explains so much.

It would be cool to turn everyone into empaths for one month every year.
 

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About half of them, I guess.

I can identify with a lot of the symptoms, but not the personal ones -- I don't adopt people's ailments, have stimulation overload, random people do not open up to me (I'm very reserved in public with strangers), I'm not a healing charms kind of person, and I own plenty of antiques.

I'm starting to think there's a dividing line between INFJs -- the really hyper-sensitive, emotional INFJs (the empaths) and the more straight up logical ones (who don't get "vibes"). The functions fit me, and some of the behaviors, but I'm much more detached emotionally than a lot of other INFJs. I also can choose whether or not to think about / let things affect me emotionally, and don't see the point in letting my emotions turn on in situations where I can't do anything about it.
 

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I would hope that all healthy people have the capacity to feel empathy, regardless of type. As for being an empath, as in "a person with the paranormal ability to perceive the mental or emotional state of another individual". Well, no, unfortunately I do not possess that magical ability - it would certainly make my life easier! However, I do find that I am more aware of the emotional states of people around me, and that I am affected by those emotional states. I am not infallible and I might incorrectly interpret them since I may not have the full picture of how and why someone appears to be feeling in particular way. This is why it is often more straightforward to ask people how they feel rather than rely on intuition alone.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
@angelcat oh I wish I could choose! Of course there is a percentage of every quality - I remember when I did the test it showed both my N and F being over 85%. I'm doomed :) I can relax emotionally only in INTJ company. They are so calm, "lacking emotions" and reserved I can finally enjoy NOT feeling so much while being deeply connected through Ni.
 

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I always try to feel what the others feel. This doesn't mean I can't fail. In fact, I find fairly difficult to guess what the other thinks if he doesn't try to express it. Intuition isn't magical (not my intuition, anyway); it's just a tool to put together the pieces of a puzzle. Since I have a very weak Se, I'm not Sherlock Holmes either; I don't notice easily concrete details, and I can be a bit absentminded. However, I'm able to analyze easily someone IF AND ONLY IF this person is trying to communicate and gives me some ideas to start with.

So, if "empathy" means "desire to feel what the others feel and natural tendency to do so when able to", yes, I'm an empath and I can be deeply affected by others' emotions. But if it means "ability to read the others' mind and heart", no, I'm not.
 

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I'm starting to think there's a dividing line between INFJs -- the really hyper-sensitive, emotional INFJs (the empaths) and the more straight up logical ones (who don't get "vibes"). The functions fit me, and some of the behaviors, but I'm much more detached emotionally than a lot of other INFJs. I also can choose whether or not to think about / let things affect me emotionally, and don't see the point in letting my emotions turn on in situations where I can't do anything about it.
I have wondered about this as well. One of my best friends is also INFJ, but she is more like you describe yourself than the first type you describe, which is more like me. I've wondered if that has something to do with some sort of level of development in afterlife, etc. but probably just my overactive imagination having fun with me. :laughing:
I have gotten much better about controlling my emotions and allowing those of others negatively influence me. Not always easy, but getting better.
 

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I definitely don't fulfil all things listed under the Are you an Empath? list. I would say that I do have empathy (most people do) but not to the extent of being an empath. I would not make decisions purely based on what I'm sensing from objects.

As for antiques and second-hand items, I love the history behind items. If you're buying something in good condition, the previous owner's cared for it. I also like handmade items because I can feel the love and care a person has put into making the item. Sometimes it's a food dish... I don't know, I get all warm and fuzzy for no reason (that's as 'empath' as I would go). I guess if the item gives me the heebie-jeebies, I'll avoid it.

When healing, holistic therapy and metaphysical things was mentioned, this was what I immediately recalled:

I like pretty rocks though and I like how they have metaphysical meanings. They give me confidence but that's all.
 

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I think that INFJs are exceptionally good at reading other people's faces and hence emotions and also 'group emotions' as interpreting group behavior. I have most of those 30 traits described but not all and I think my INFP girlfriend shares quite a few of them aswell. So this might be more of a NF than INFJ thing. I'm usually strongly affected by other people's emotional states but I have learned to have control over it for some capacity as I have grown older.
 

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Empathy comes from Fe, so INFJs can be very empathetic, although one thing is being empathetic, another is to accurately get other people's emotional state. How we perceive what others might be feeling are still our own perception, and our perception depends on our intuition being accurate or not.

Personally I'm quite influenced by other people's emotions, although I can differenciate between their emotions and mine. I can get overwhelmed, but as long as I can isolate from the external stimuli I can be fine.
 

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I have wondered about this as well. One of my best friends is also INFJ, but she is more like you describe yourself than the first type you describe, which is more like me. I've wondered if that has something to do with some sort of level of development in afterlife, etc. but probably just my overactive imagination having fun with me.
I think MAYBE it has to do with upbringing? My mom is a Te -- very rational, very non-emotional, and I grew up with her as my primary role model, so I may have adopted some Rational traits in addition to my sensitivities. I certainly use Fe (always thinking about others, wanting their approval, not wanting to disappoint them, keeping them happy, avoiding conflict, acting as a peacemaker -- heck, I even let our DOG choose where HE wants to walk, and I go home early if I think he's getting too hot) but I can also "detach" from people and things. I'm way more analytical than a lot of my friends. I can come up with rational reasons for most of my arguments. They might be Fe-leaning, but I can back them up.

But, some of the INFJ Empath tropes, I just don't get. Like... not wanting to buy furniture because you get "vibes" off it from the previous owner? WHAT?? I never think about the people who owned antique furniture! I choose not to purchase most antiques because I like NEW things; it has nothing to do with vibes, and a lot to do with my inferior Se wanting furniture that isn't scratched, dented, or worn in places. My reaction isn't "emotional" in that sense -- it's based on aesthetic appearances and practicality (can I afford it? does it match my other things? do I like it? where would I put it?). Or... not wanting to eat meat because you can "feel" the agony of the animal? I don't like meat, because I know where it came from, but I can still eat it because I choose NOT to think about where it came from.

Television wise -- I often like very dark, emotionally deep stuff. I don't mind violence (heck, I even watch Hannibal) but I don't like torture or cruelty.

Some emotions, I can't turn off -- any animal abuse horror story I have ever heard, I have to work hard not to think about. But in dealing with people, I can choose to step back and say, "Stop emotionally engaging." I FEEL for them, but I can also just... stop caring and walk away.
 

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But, some of the INFJ Empath tropes, I just don't get. Like... not wanting to buy furniture because you get "vibes" off it from the previous owner? WHAT?? I never think about the people who owned antique furniture! I choose not to purchase most antiques because I like NEW things; it has nothing to do with vibes, and a lot to do with my inferior Se wanting furniture that isn't scratched, dented, or worn in places. My reaction isn't "emotional" in that sense -- it's based on aesthetic appearances and practicality (can I afford it? does it match my other things? do I like it? where would I put it?). Or... not wanting to eat meat because you can "feel" the agony of the animal? I don't like meat, because I know where it came from, but I can still eat it because I choose NOT to think about where it came from.
My line is drawn here too, I mean how on earth could you feel agony of the animal ? :)
 

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My line is drawn here too, I mean how on earth could you feel agony of the animal ? :)
Well, for me the feeling is psychological.

I eat meat sometimes, but I have a lot of trouble eating chicken. I feel like I'm about to get sick if I try to, because I immediately link it with all the crap conditions of livestock. It really feels like you're eating suffering. Even if the specific chicken was raised in a good environment. So maybe that's what other people mean?

Also, when I talked about being an empath I didn't mean I could pick up things from objects or someone who isn't showing any emotions. It's less abnormal and simpler than that. It's more like being a sponge that absorbs emotions, and is coloured by them. But you're not absorbing them all the time or in crowds or anything.
 

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Well, for me the feeling is psychological.

I eat meat sometimes, but I have a lot of trouble eating chicken. I feel like I'm about to get sick if I try to, because I immediately link it with all the crap conditions of livestock. It really feels like you're eating suffering. Even if the specific chicken was raised in a good environment. So maybe that's what other people mean?
What if you knew that the chicken has lived a happy life free etc. and died of normal causes, would you still have trouble?

Also, when I talked about being an empath I didn't mean I could pick up things from objects or someone who isn't showing any emotions. It's less abnormal and simpler than that. It's more like being a sponge that absorbs emotions, and is coloured by them. But you're not absorbing them all the time or in crowds or anything.
Agree.
 

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What if you knew that the chicken has lived a happy life free etc. and died of normal causes, would you still have trouble?
Yeah, that's what I was saying. It's not the specific chicken itself. Even if I was eating free-range chicken, I'd still have trouble eating it because I automatically think of all the horrible conditions they're generally put in. So the "eating suffering" is thought-based in my case.

But since some people do say happier animals taste better, then maybe some people really can taste suffering.
 
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