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Hello all,

I have been lurking around these boards for awhile now, liberally exercising my INTJ trait of not sharing something unless I have something to share. But now I have something to share and would like to compare my experience with yours.

As an INTJ I find that I don't experience many powerful emotions (big surprise), but for some reason I find that I have a great deal of empathy for others. For example, if someone who dislikes public speaking is forced to give a presentation, I will feel nervous for them: even if I would not generally feel nervous to do the presentation myself. Or if I know someone has been wronged, I can become very angry: even though I wouldn't be nearly as upset if the wrong had happened to me. My experience of empathy even extends to small creatures (especially snails) whose lives I feel are a great deal more sucky than mine--so I go out of my way not to accidentally harm them. This experience is in no way debilitating, but more along the lines of a curiosity.

Empathy seems to be an atypical trait for our type, but I think that it makes sense that INTJs might be more experienced than expected since they are Ni dominant. Anyways, do any of you relate to this?
 

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I'd say about a seven. I can't go beyond recognizing the emotion, meaning that I don't get incredibly swayed by it, but I know it's there and can take it into account.

I know, I'm odd for an INTJ. I feel stuff now. Feels feely.
 

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Kinda sorta maybe...

As an INTJ I find that I don't experience many powerful emotions (big surprise), but for some reason I find that I have a great deal of empathy for others. For example, if someone who dislikes public speaking is forced to give a presentation, I will feel nervous for them: even if I would not generally feel nervous to do the presentation myself. Or if I know someone has been wronged, I can become very angry: even though I wouldn't be nearly as upset if the wrong had happened to me. My experience of empathy even extends to small creatures (especially snails) whose lives I feel are a great deal more sucky than mine--so I go out of my way not to accidentally harm them. This experience is in no way debilitating, but more along the lines of a curiosity.

Empathy seems to be an atypical trait for our type, but I think that it makes sense that INTJs might be more experienced than expected since they are Ni dominant. Anyways, do any of you relate to this?
To some degree, yes. The key here being to intellectually capture thoughts of an emotion so that it is following a line of curiosity and trail of thoughts. To that extent I can relate though I do tend to have powerful emotions on my own that may be related to having Fi as one of my functions though not quite in a prominent position. The "How do I think that would feel?" being an initial question to get things rolling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
...The key here being to intellectually capture thoughts of an emotion so that it is following a line of curiosity and trail of thoughts...
I definitely agree with this. Intellectualizing emotions is a fascinating activity to me. Often times when I experience emotions it is in a completely objective fashion. Almost like I am conducting an experiment on these strange forces that are trying to affect my consciousness [insert visual of T performing brutal experiment on F]. But, my experience with empathy is unique from this as the feelings are stronger than that would be if I was feeling them for myself.

Also, to use Ocarina's scale: I would rate myself an 8.
 

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Usually, for me how it works is that I can tell the feeling for people but unless they are a close friend of mine I usually don't care. If I have had a similar experience in my life then I MIGHT feel for them but I usually don't.
 

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My empathy is very subjective. If I have an emotional bond with a person I will empathize very strongly to the point where I feel inexplicable things. On a whole though my empathy is very low, which helps make decisions that are more logical and rational easier I would assume.

My Fi tends to override my empathy a lot. If I have to make a black or white decision my morals will take over in conjunction with my Te.
 

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I have my emotional feelings (my body is physically effected e.g. Being embarrassed and blushing) and my mental feeling (knowing your average person would experience this emotion but having no physical reaction). Rarely are my emotional feelings engaged in empathy. Although my mental feeling are somewhat more empathetic.
 

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I will put myself into other peoples shoes to understand where they are coming from. I can't actually feel what they feel. I just understand it. I sometimes get morally outraged if a friend is wronged....and have a huge desire to go stomp on the offending parties for them...or at least give them a cursory death glare.

Probably a 4 out of ten too.
 

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9 out of 10. I easily pick up people's emotions, usually negative emotions. I hate it. If someone near me is angry, I am angry. If they are sad, anxious, or frustrated, I become sad, anxious, or frustrated. I have to leave and work hard on getting the emotions to settle down. I must have high empathy, but that doesn't make me sympathetic - sometimes just the opposite. I want the other person to hurry up and calm down so I don't have to feel all their pain.
 

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Thanks for this thread. You are helping someone with high empathy understand you. I am an INFP and I can others feelings very strongly and then I feel for them. Other types that can't do this as well has always been confusing to me. We all have different abilities and now I can concentrate on your stronger abilities and not expect as much empathy from an INTJ.
 

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Hello all,

I have been lurking around these boards for awhile now, liberally exercising my INTJ trait of not sharing something unless I have something to share. But now I have something to share and would like to compare my experience with yours.

As an INTJ I find that I don't experience many powerful emotions (big surprise), but for some reason I find that I have a great deal of empathy for others. For example, if someone who dislikes public speaking is forced to give a presentation, I will feel nervous for them: even if I would not generally feel nervous to do the presentation myself. Or if I know someone has been wronged, I can become very angry: even though I wouldn't be nearly as upset if the wrong had happened to me. My experience of empathy even extends to small creatures (especially snails) whose lives I feel are a great deal more sucky than mine--so I go out of my way not to accidentally harm them. This experience is in no way debilitating, but more along the lines of a curiosity.

Empathy seems to be an atypical trait for our type, but I think that it makes sense that INTJs might be more experienced than expected since they are Ni dominant. Anyways, do any of you relate to this?
Yes, and no.

The situations that you have described here are better defined as sympathy rather than empathy, and this fits more closely with our functional processes.

Empathy, the ability to recognise a state, attitude or experience in another person, is strongly defined by it's extroverted predictive nature, which matches that of the Se and Ne functions and is especially strong when coupled with Fi. Empathy identifies the value judgements of the object, but recognises that these are separate from their own subjective value judgements. As a result, the empathic individual is able to understand the attitude or experience of another person, without actually having or feeling the experience themselves.

Sympathy, however, is an affinity with another person in which whatever affects one correspondingly affects the other. It is difficult to pin this down to any one particular function, but it would be safe to say that sensing types are more likely to exhibit a physical response, and intuitive types are more likely to have a mental response.

Personally, I find that I feel very strong emotions, but I tend to keep them to myself, and am embarrassed when I let them get the better of me. I often find it difficult to work out if I am experiencing emotions of my own, or whether I am being 'driven' by someone else's emotion. I think this describes a rather low empathic ability.
 

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A scale from 1 to 10... well, it really depends on the person. If it's a stranger, my empathy is 0. I could care less about a stranger. When it comes to people I love or a friend... that's a different story.
 

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I couldn't really say, but it isn't high. My wife, who has bad knees, once banged it on a table at a friends house. While our friends all asked if she was okay, I just stood like an idiot.

Then again, I work in a job where I deal with commuters all day, so I guess if I were too empathetic I'd have a sob about every passenger we left behind.
 

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I actually have a surprising amount of empathy, and it's grown as I've gotten older.

If we're going 1-10, I'd say I'm about a 9. I don't know why, but it's pretty easy for me to put myself in other people's shoes and understand what they are feeling, and even feel it myself to a certain degree. Of course, If I am pissed off at the person or simply dislike them my empathy kind of turns itself way down. The more innocent I perceive someone to be, the more I feel for them.

Incidentally, I once read an argument for empathy as the best measure of intelligence. From holology.com:

"Intelligence is one of those qualities that most everyone can easily identify yet it still remains difficult to accurately describe. The standard tool used to measure intelligence is the Intelligence Quotient (IQ) test. Many people believe that this test miraculously manages to distill down an individual’s lifetime of experience and education into a neat little number that can then be instantly compared to everyone else’s number.

Yet in practice the number an IQ test generates from theory fails to account for the intangibles that characterize Intelligence in practice. Although still useful it has limitations, an IQ test cannot determine how well the individual will use their intelligence nor can it determine their ability to interact with other people or deal with life in general. An IQ score (100 is average) does not indicate the wisdom of an individual as demonstrated by the curious fact that some of the ‘smartest’ people have been known to make the some of the stupidest decisions!

A high IQ does not necessarily indicate a wise or prescient decision maker resides behind the number. And regardless, even if one has an above average IQ and social intelligence they’re trapped if they can’t communicate what they think and feel to others. A person’s communications capacity acts like a funnel for their intelligence.

Although it may be difficult to quantify, empathy is very likely a more accurate measure of true intelligence than the mathematical or spatial abilities gauged by an IQ test. It’s the social intelligence factor that really matters in daily life because of the endless series of interactions involved, that is unless you’re a machine or have a machine like job in which case the ability to surmise the thoughts and feelings of others is unnecessary."
 

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My empathy is growing as I get older, just like Hypnagogia said. But I'm not good showing it. I think a lot of people think I care less than actually do.
 

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I actually have a surprising amount of empathy, and it's grown as I've gotten older.

If we're going 1-10, I'd say I'm about a 9. I don't know why, but it's pretty easy for me to put myself in other people's shoes and understand what they are feeling, and even feel it myself to a certain degree. Of course, If I am pissed off at the person or simply dislike them my empathy kind of turns itself way down. The more innocent I perceive someone to be, the more I feel for them.

Incidentally, I once read an argument for empathy as the best measure of intelligence. From holology.com:

"Intelligence is one of those qualities that most everyone can easily identify yet it still remains difficult to accurately describe. The standard tool used to measure intelligence is the Intelligence Quotient (IQ) test. Many people believe that this test miraculously manages to distill down an individual’s lifetime of experience and education into a neat little number that can then be instantly compared to everyone else’s number.

Yet in practice the number an IQ test generates from theory fails to account for the intangibles that characterize Intelligence in practice. Although still useful it has limitations, an IQ test cannot determine how well the individual will use their intelligence nor can it determine their ability to interact with other people or deal with life in general. An IQ score (100 is average) does not indicate the wisdom of an individual as demonstrated by the curious fact that some of the ‘smartest’ people have been known to make the some of the stupidest decisions!

A high IQ does not necessarily indicate a wise or prescient decision maker resides behind the number. And regardless, even if one has an above average IQ and social intelligence they’re trapped if they can’t communicate what they think and feel to others. A person’s communications capacity acts like a funnel for their intelligence.

Although it may be difficult to quantify, empathy is very likely a more accurate measure of true intelligence than the mathematical or spatial abilities gauged by an IQ test. It’s the social intelligence factor that really matters in daily life because of the endless series of interactions involved, that is unless you’re a machine or have a machine like job in which case the ability to surmise the thoughts and feelings of others is unnecessary."
I don't see the connection between IQ and empathy. I don't get the point at all.
 
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