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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I feel like I'm about to lose it. I have always been super sensitive and highly reactive to other people but recently, I'm starting to feel as though it's been kicked into overdrive. I've been trying to figure out reasons why I've been going in circles for years and years. It drives everyone around me nuts and it drives me nuts.
I get so distracted by other people's lives that I continually say I'm doing things and don't do them. I'm always trying to please everyone.

I have my own issues obviously, but seriously, I'll be fine and then all of a sudden I feel as though I'm going to burst into tears and I don't even feel like it's me. I'll be having a completely rational thought process but all of a sudden will be so incredibly sad. While still having rational thoughts about something else completely. I feel like I'm going insane.

I have an amazing imagination but very rarely have I ever believed in anything mystic. The more I research though, the only thing I can find is that I may be an empath. Or I'm losing my effing head.

Has anyone else had this? Or is it just me?
 

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The only reasonable guess I can come up with is that it all comes from what you called "your own issues". Confront them.

As for empathy, it's natural to an INFP as long as the shared feelings do not completely override the INFP's.
 

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So I feel like I'm about to lose it. I have always been super sensitive and highly reactive to other people but recently, I'm starting to feel as though it's been kicked into overdrive. I've been trying to figure out reasons why I've been going in circles for years and years. It drives everyone around me nuts and it drives me nuts.
I get so distracted by other people's lives that I continually say I'm doing things and don't do them. I'm always trying to please everyone.

I have my own issues obviously, but seriously, I'll be fine and then all of a sudden I feel as though I'm going to burst into tears and I don't even feel like it's me. I'll be having a completely rational thought process but all of a sudden will be so incredibly sad. While still having rational thoughts about something else completely. I feel like I'm going insane.

I have an amazing imagination but very rarely have I ever believed in anything mystic. The more I research though, the only thing I can find is that I may be an empath. Or I'm losing my effing head.

Has anyone else had this? Or is it just me?
Yeah totally relate. I think because of strong Fi, you are always going to be one of the most empathetic type of people. Feelings are your way of understanding the world. And of course, there are many painful feelings involved in that.

I have felt like this many times before. Don't take this the wrong way but it might be an idea to speak to a therapist about it, if possible. That's what I'm planning to do. There are times when I feel on top of the world and like I could do anything, and others when I am so low and so unsure of myself and of other people. Plus, I notice (like you said) that things in my life go in cycles - the same problems come up over and over again.

As for people pleasing...this is something I've had a problem with in my teens...you've got to put yourself on equal footing with others, otherwise people walk all over you. So I'm sure you know this, and it's easier said than done. To be honest, I'm not there myself...there's a lot of work to do.

I did loads of research and empath literature came up over and over again. I'm quite spiritual, so the ideas make sense to me. However, one thing that worries me about the idea is that you could easily attribute your feelings and problems to external forces (other people, situations) when it's more likely you can effect change when you look into yourself.

The way to start helping yourself is to realise that you are in control of your life, and you are the only person who can change this cycle. I'm about to start talking to a therapist about "sub-selves" or "parts work" - it's basically the idea that you have many physiological states which are like inner selves (your inner critic, your inner child(ren), your inner perfectionist) etc., that take over in certain situations and create disparity in your actions and feelings. The idea of the therapy is to realise that each of these parts is there for a reason, and that they are all well-intentioned, but that you need to be in charge of them, instead of letting them be in charge of you.

Okay, so that might sound even wackier than the empath thing...but if you're interested you should check it out.

Anyways, *big hug* from me :)
 

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I'm not sure I'm an Empath, I haven't really considered the possibility. But I understand everything you're going through, particularly

"I get so distracted by other people's lives that I continually say I'm doing things and don't do them. I'm always trying to please everyone.

I have my own issues obviously, but seriously, I'll be fine and then all of a sudden I feel as though I'm going to burst into tears and I don't even feel like it's me"

I am CONSTANTLY saying I'll do things, then I don't do them. I sometimes feel I am unable to say 'No' to someone, because I fear hurting them. It's gotten to the point where I've had breakdowns and cried before I finally call someone up and tell them I won't be going to whatever event I said yes to on a whim.
Sometimes a sad mood will hit me for no reason, but I think it could be me absorbing the atmosphere.
For instance, there was this kid that died in my school a few years ago, I didn't know him-never set eyes on him once. But through out the week, I would break out into tears for no reason, I would just feel incredibly sad that it happened. I found this strange since I had no emotional connection to the death, but I was absorbing the atmosphere, and other peoples emotions in a way.
This is all so interesting, must mull this over in my mind a bit.
I hope everything works out well for you (I don't think you're crazy at all : ) so chin up!)
and even so, if you were "The Mad Hatter: Have I gone mad?
Alice Kingsley: I'm afraid so. You're entirely bonkers. But I'll tell you a secret. All the best people are."
 
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What you are going through must be very difficult - sometimes I get overloaded by people and their problems. If I concentrate a little on a person, I usually get a very clear sense of how they are feeling, and what the deeper issues are. My husband doesn't understand how he can walk in the door and I can tell him I know he's been frustrated all day, and dissatisfied with how a project is working out because of a specific person, etc. he doesn't have to tell me, I just seem to know. It doesn't' happen for everyone, just those I decide to concentrate on... or sometmies if emotions are very strong in a place I internalize them and begin to feel them too, even though they have no known cause...
 
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I feel like I may be an empath or a highly sensitive person as well. I believe the latter is less associated with the paranormal.

To me, human emotions will always be mystical, not in the sense that they have an attachement to the occult, but more-so that they aren't concrete. Intuition is the same; it's a instinct that we ourselves sometimes can't comprehend or explain, picking up hidden things-things you can't put your finger on that are therefore often dismissed or thought to be less significant.

Highly sensitive people are able to pick up these things because they have "process sensory data much more deeply and thoroughly due to a biological difference in their nervous systems". This makes you sensitive to the feelings of others and your own but also to sounds, smells, visual stimulation, etc. All of this helps me make sense of a lot things, like how others can brush off a certain noise that irritates me or can't pick up on hidden motives or subtle facial expressions. It just another thing that helped me understand why others may see things so differently than me.

Since you are more sensitive to things, you may just need to take breaks to keep you grounded and to sort through your own emotions without the clutter.
 

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What you are going through must be very difficult - sometimes I get overloaded by people and their problems. If I concentrate a little on a person, I usually get a very clear sense of how they are feeling, and what the deeper issues are. My husband doesn't understand how he can walk in the door and I can tell him I know he's been frustrated all day, and dissatisfied with how a project is working out because of a specific person, etc. he doesn't have to tell me, I just seem to know. It doesn't' happen for everyone, just those I decide to concentrate on... or sometmies if emotions are very strong in a place I internalize them and begin to feel them too, even though they have no known cause...
Hmmm...just concentrating on them causes you to experience their feelings....sometimes I "connect" to or am "connected with" unhealthy people and I start taking on their characteristics like you describe, sometimes to such an extent that people I care about start saying things like "You aren't acting like yourself" (or "since when did YOU become anal?" or "you made a LIST? WTF?" or "You WANT to clean the fridge?!" etc. ). I am usually unaware of it at first, believing that whatever emotions I'm experiencing are "my issues"....but sometimes, they're just not. WTF do I care if the fridge is clean?! :tongue: If I'm cleaning the fridge you can bet that is somebody else's issue....well most of the time. I am making light of it but it is along the same lines, if I start worrying about things that normally I don't care about, I have to start thinking "the empath" in me is picking up stuff that isn't "mine". Whether it is "mystical" or just a matter of a sensitive inner "electromagnetic frequency reader" the idea of being an empath also resonates with me.

The problem I have now is how do you "disconnect" from an unhealthy person whose traits you have taken on? Maybe it truly is a matter of just not concentrating on them!? I am in the middle of such a situation right now, and want to rid my psyche of the dysfunction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you guys for the posts. I have been doing a lot of research on it, trying to figure it out... it's literally been driving me batty because my emotions are all over the bloody place and it's beyond distracting to my own life most of the time. @r00bic0n I definitely agree about not wanting to excuse my own thoughts/emotions/behavior. It's why I've been loathe to even say it out loud till now. But it's just been really weird as of lately.
@PerturbedPrufrock - thank you! yeah, i've def done that too with the being pulled in so many different directions I can't even function and just want to crawl right back into bed. And, haha I so love that quote.
I'm glad I'm not alone in feeling as though I'm literally taking on other people's energy or whatever it is. From what I've been reading, and @lilac woods what you said, is the truth - I need to get myself centered and grounded enough where I'm not taking on other peoples stuff all the time. I think I am going to try tai chi and see if that helps. If it does I'll let you guys know.
 

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I don't think you're losing your head but I don't think you're an INFP either. Your whole post is like an advertisement for Extraverted Feeling.

Anytime (and many people just don't get this or refuse to get it) you are bringing yourself into alignment with the needs, goals, ideals, data, experiences of the EXTERNAL world, that is things not related to your internal self, that is EXTRAVERSION. That is the definition of extraversion.

Typically the complaints you post here are found in dominant Extraverted Feeling types, most commonly ESFJ and ENFJ. Now I'm not saying you're one of those types (though its a possibility) but because of their strong extraverted feeling they feel a need to constantly be serving or supporting or aligning themselves with other individuals. It's not that Fi-doms aren't empathetic (because empathy is really too higher-order to be attributed just to functions), its just they're not going to be compelled to act just because of the morays or the inclinations of the environment. They might give advice - a lot of times in the form of "what I would do is.." but they're not going to be compelled to act in a manner that is inconsistent with their own internal code (I think this is hard for some Fe-types to comprehend). Many Fi-doms have something of an apathy to the world around them focusing far more on their own subjective evaluations and being dismissive of those of other people. So INFP might not be withdrawn due to shyness but rather withdrawn because they choose to focus on the depth of their own sensibilities rather than the external world which to introverts is often just uninteresting. (again many people think being scared of the external world means introvert, but if you are constantly focused on it, meaning your thought patterns are not directed at you but at the world, that is still extraversion).

One of the things the that actually defines Fi-doms (ISFP, INFP) is their lack of will and want to do this. Introverted functions are self-referencing (now certainly a Fi-type might have helping people as a value or ideal, but to a point. There is a point where if there is a conflict between what you value and what you're being pulled to do, the Fi-type will default to their own perspective and not roll over and play dead and do what the world wants). The more dominant Fi is, the more that person is steadfast in their convictions. Fi-dominants live out life through their personal evaluations (especially not those of other people). So if you find yourself moving or acting (because you want to, not out of coercion) to be more like the people around you then that is Extraversion.

In person Fi and Fe are sometimes easier to spot than on a forum. In politics anyone who rails against the (real or perceived) loss of individual liberties in probably Fi-oriented (though some Fe types have adopted this as a mantra). Fe wants to do that which is in accord with the greatest common good. So with Introverted Feeling in the extreme, the highest ideal is for life to be in harmony with my own internal ideals, to be able to be as individualistic as possible, to do as I please without outside interference. Extreme Extraverted Feeling says personal sacrifice, the giving up of one's self for a greater good, taking a bullet for someone, etc. is the highest ideal. So politically, for instance Ayn Rand-style Libertarianism is VERY Fi, and Moral Majority Rick Santorum crowd is VERY Fe.
 

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I totally feel like I am an empath, so much so that i have lately for the past few years hid from most of mankind just because it is so overwhelming to be in the same room as most people and constantly be aware of everyones' emotional state...it feels like when someone is just the tiniest bit annoyed i can feel it instantly and the worst thing is having to be around people who are constantly up and down or always in a bad mood...i feel like i have no filter on to protect me from everyone else's bad moods... i can't stand working with people who are always in a bad mood or who are constantly sighing... it is so distracting for me...i wish i didn't always feel like i can detect people's bad moods...uggh! :)
 

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I do not know about empath thing, but I know this. I get easily overwhelmed by other people's feelings and bad situations that become so much part of me, which makes hopeless at the times and, I cannot get rid of those feelings. If I could vomit them out, I would.
The bad energy from any environment including home or job gets to me so much so that it makes me nervous, irritable, and avoidant of those environments, but I cannot not leave home so it is hopeless. Every bad things that happens to people in my environment, or if they cause it to other people, it upsets me to the point that spoils my day and my optimism. I need days to calm my nerves and not to feel physically bad as well. I do not need someone telling me how they feel, I feel it, suck it in and it makes me feel very bad. I would like to get rid of this because I was not like this before. Seriously, I do not know whether it is an INFP thing.
 
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I've never thought about the possibility of being an empath... I'm not even entirely certain what that is, but I do feel similarly a lot of the time. I'm highly sensitive to other people's feelings and when someone I'm around is sad or angry or upset, I can feel it and it makes me upset too. It's worse when it's someone I care about. When I'm around a conflict, I usually try to distance myself from it as much as possible, because I can't deal with all the feelings...
 

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yeah, this kind of emotional empathy can easily lead to people pleasing. Know this first hand. It's difficult to separate your own needs or wants from others. Sometimes, if feels as both merge, and can make it difficult to separate your feelings from theirs. And many will abuse this quality. One thing that may help is recognising and separating your own emotions and feelings from those around you, and allowing yourself to say no to entertaining the feelings or emotions of others. This means being a little selfish. If you don't set or create those boundaries between you and others, then you may continue to be overwhelmed.
 

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I mirror other people's emotions subconsciously. If someone is angry, I feel angry, too. If someone is sad, I feel sad, too. And so on and so on. I try my best to discern what's mine and what is there's, but it gets difficult sometimes.
 
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