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Hi, I was recently thinking about the INFP stereotype towards compassion and love of all things, etc. But how compassionate are you? I mean, the INFP stereotype is also that the infp is a 'healer', and logic isnt really mentioned. In fact, a couple descriptions even mention that INFPs can sometimes have a disdain for it, under the wrong circumstances.

My own response to this description is different, which led me to ask you all on this thread here about your personal approaches to compassion/logic. I'm wondering whether, say, you would value say, to find the truth, and defend it, over say, hurting the feelings of those you care about, or your friends. (Stand righteously alone, or safely with many?) Would you make a logical, practical decision with faith that your values are more important, or would you attempt to reduce the suffering of others, even if it meant that your logic would go out of the window? It's a vague multitude of questions, but anything relevant to the subject is welcome. Hell, feel free to ask different questions to other people about the subject. Ask me, hell, whatever is interesting.

I'm looking forward to any responses.
 

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Honestly, whatever you read makes it sound so black and white. Maybe it was the way it was phrased though. That whole bit about "Standing righteously alone or safely in numbers"

I can't recall exactly who said it, but he was considered a "crazy" monk. For some reason this quote stuck with me and I'm probably paraphrasing a bit.

Compassion does not mean being nice to people. It means to wake them up!

It also reminds me of a story. Again, I'll paraphrase it a bit.

On her way to the local temple, a woman was attacked by a bandit. She escaped harm by throwing her purse, but was furious she had to give up to keep her self safe, when she could have defended both herself and the contents of her bag with her traveling cane. She decided against it though, because one of the precepts is to not harm living beings. Upon arriving at her destination, the master of the temple greets her. She immediately tells him what happened and asked what he would have done. The master thinks for a moment and responds, "If it were me, I would have compassionately beat him with the cane."

Obviously it has some plot holes, but hey, I'm recalling a story I saw to the best of my ability.
You can decide the point of the story.

Myself. I'm only human. Some days I can be extremely compassionate and other days I can be a pure asshole.
 

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Contrary to popular believe INFP aren't fairy like creatures who go about life only reducing the suffering of others and then poofing back into magical fairyland. :tongue:

INFP can be quite logical actually, and they can be logical while considering feelings and emotions as well so its multilayered logic.

As @Wanderlust94 nicely depicted in his story (where is that from? I've heard it before )

At times when logic or rather what is right is above compassion for others then that path should be taken. If not we are reducing our self value and at the same time showing compassion to those who don't deserve it.

If I was a fairy though I wouldn't mind going about showing endless amounts of compassion even to those who might not deserve it, but I'm not, I'm a human being in a world filled with a large number of other souls some of which would take advantage of my compassion and others who would thank the sky for it.

(and/or earth or any other divine being they believe in or they might choose to consider me a divine being at which point I will have to shed my earthly body and return to the ethereal plane of existence).
 

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The black-and-white situation you describe is simply one I would not allow myself to be caught in. If attempting to reduce someone's suffering, or pursuing my values (FOR GREAT JUSTICE), goes against all logic then something is amiss and there must be something I have not considered. I would take a third option.

I like to think my logic is quite refined, my strategic thinking ability is not bad. I will admit I have a nasty habit, when in the midst of an argument, to take only what logic suits my points and reinforces my values, but all in all I make a fair devil's advocate as well. If anything I think I have a better ability to take in, process and dissect a wider range of views than most people I know. I just tend to think my strategic logical processes have a lower priority than my concern for the integrity of my values and concern for the immediate needs of myself and others. HOWEVER.
I don't see a disparity between logic and values or whatever, I don't see them as opposites. I rarely see a need to choose between the two.
I find the question confusing.

For the record I have an excellent ability to be cold and calculating when it's called for, provided I'm not bombarded with emotional input. Shadow functions or summat.
 

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Hm. With people I don't really know, I tend to be more agreeable and never let them know if my opinions differ from them, mostly because I see no need to let them know 0_o Unless they happen to be donkeys who judge people unreasonably by their race/religion/sexuality, etc. Then I'd start arguing with them and we'd be enemies forever if she/he's not willing to compromise :laughing:

On the other hand, the people I really care about happen to be awesome because they don't get hurt or upset just because I have a different view on things. Usually we'd just banter over it until it gets to the point where they can't understand what I'm going on about anymore xD Let's just say sometimes, my logic can only be understood by me D: When it comes to sensitive topics like religion though I try not to say much unless I see that they feel like discussing it.

Compassion...It's subjective! I wish I could say I'm compassionate, but honestly I'm not really xD Often I have people coming to me with their problems, and I feel so mean and cruel for not knowing how to react because honestly I don't really care, or I don't see why they're fretting so much over it. That's usually either because I've met the same problem before and I'm unable to see why it's so hard to solve it if someone as useless as me can do it, or because the subject of interest is something I have zero interest in, or because the problem is a result of their own actions and it's unable to be resolved because of their own pride/fear.

On the other hand, when I do care a lot about somebody and/or his/her problem(s), then I get really caught up in trying to help them solve it! Which is really the only time when they "healing" part comes true hahahas xD Sometimes they'll just feel good after talking to me (surprisingly!) and I've had people going "You know, I never knew you could be this logical/sensible/wise." It feels good when that happens :D Like hey woo showing people how much better they are than me isn't my only strength! xD Hahahas (Yeah, low self-esteem sucks, working on that!)

Then again, there are times when I do feel sympathy (and sometimes even empathy!) for someone, but I don't really react much because I'm scared of saying the wrong things, offering the wrong suggestions, etc. And sometimes, even because of pride. I think lots of people who don't know me well tend to have the image that I'm cold, aloof, whatever along those lines, and I feel as if suddenly and randomly showing strong emotions for something would be betraying their image of me (So weird, I know! :shocked:)

Now that I'm writing this, I'm starting to think compassion should be used for animals hahas. I mean I know it's supposed to be for humans, but well, it's sad to sympathize with someone. It makes them look like sad people who can't help themselves, when they can!
 

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I think people writing type descriptions are often treading a middle ground between what kind of makes sense for them about how people work and what makes sense for them about how the type functions have to work and be distinct from each other and that's what makes them mention dichotomies that I'm not sure make a lot of sense, like valuing truth or logic above or below people's feelings or suffering. Why should you have to choose? Deliberation ought to let you decide on a superior solution you are actually agreed on and not just a mere internal majority vote. Reasoning and compassion are both better together and incomplete apart, and never really apart except in seeming. You can be internally conflicted but both sides will always have their own reasoning and sense of value even if one gets labeled "what you feel/value" and the other "what you think".
 

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True compassion is silently shown from the shadows
 

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I feel like as a child/young teen, I was extremely empathetic towards "the underdog". Homeless people on the street, abused animals, prostituted women, orphans, victims of genocide, war or political regimes, racial or sexual prejudice all got my blood boiling and tears flowing. In some ways, their suffering was my suffering; that's unquestionable to me. The thing was, I was just so ASTOUNDED that these things occurred in the world that I felt the intense need to do something about it, but also understand why. What compels humans to abuse each other.

I think, in a way, this was my biggest mistake. Trying to rationalize other people's abuse hasn't led me to be less sensitive to it, but it does make feel like it's so universally imbedded into human nature, that I don't know why I can do about it. Idk, my Ne is pretty good at seeing patterns on a global scale and how seemingly disconnected events are actually related.

This perspective has led me to want to "do something about it", but in the search of trying to do something as well as figure out "who I am" and dealing with ... basically just daily life has left me feeling paralyzed. It's like trying to stop an avalanche. Ne also sort of makes it difficult to commit to one idea...so, I'm struggling to do that. I haven't lost hope.

Idk...I guess what I'm trying to say is that I personally see myself in the stereotype/descriptions of the "healer" INFP, but trying to externalize that part of myself has always been a huge challenge. The people around me too, while they seemed to care, didn't feel particularly motivated to do anything about it either. Plus the idea that most people are "Sensors" who need a realistic, pragmatic plan or whatever to do anything made me sort of stop thinking in terms of blatant ideals and try to develop "practical" solutions. To be honest, now, that I think about it, I don't believe that anymore. Nothing revolutionary has come about from quiet practicality....idk I think I'm ok with the idea of risking my life for a humanitarian cause. The other alternatives seem...like not really living...the same way a SP might think doing the same thing everyday or whatever is "not really living." GAG
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for these responses, and well, I guess I should've known that such a vague question had holes in it, so I apologize for that, but the topic has still seen some discussion here, and as a result alot of people said some pretty interesting stuff here. Indeed, the INFP take on compassion IS indeed quite diverse. Which is good, variety makes everything a lot less boring and stale.

Ty again.
 
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