Personality Cafe banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
69 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Okay. Round 2 for me tonight!

Quick question to you fellas', does it ever occur to you that sometimes when listening to someone or doing whatever other social activity with a number of people you accidentally absorb 'like a sponge' the feelings of others? Especially bad ones?
How do you people deal with it, can you control that? I find myself annoyed because my sensisity is always highly tuned, I don't really think of turning it off since it's an innate ability that i have and I generally manage it with a wall.

But at the moment some annoying feeling come affecting my mood, and a lot of things depend on my moods.

So i'm open to any suggestion.

Thank you!
 

·
MOTM July 2012
Joined
·
8,033 Posts
There is no relief from the influx of emotion as long as I am in the company of other people.

It is as if we are porous and the emotions of others adjacent to us easily flow through into our inner being. We soak in ambient emotion as long as we socialize - sensing others' feelings and conflicts, feeling their vibes - our souls unsettled by any disruptions in the emotional atmosphere. Quickly we can become waterlogged with emotions pouring into us from every direction, to the point of saturation - and need to get away to wring ourselves out and recover our natural state.

Solitude is the only escape from this emotional exhaustion. I have to get away from all people and be entirely alone, long enough until I feel like myself again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,670 Posts
I personally keep myself in that bubble of solitude as well. I don't like losing myself nor turning into something else. It is also a better place from which to make decisions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,112 Posts
I'm trying to work out how I can start to be concious of the feelings I seem to absorb. I'm not making any progress though. I was thinking that if I get concious of the process I might be able to steer it a bit. No luck so far though. I also just make sure I'm alone for a day or two and get back recharged after that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,365 Posts
Based on psychometric analysis like the big 5 I've found that because of my natural propensity to be high in agreeableness and compassion coupled with high openness leads me to unconsciously absorb the emotions of others around me.

In terms of empathy based on the 3 types, you can allocate your thought processes and emotional content to the cognitive and concern based empathy instead of the distress empathy that most people who are unaware of self and their thought processes naturally leans towards by my experience.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/cutting-edge-leadership/201108/are-you-empathic-3-types-empathy-and-what-they-mean

It can be controlled, it takes a lot of practice and awareness of self. I've coupled my learning with meditative exercises to recover to my natural state.

It's subjective because it has to approached differently for each person. First and foremost you need to figure out who you are and what your natural state is without the influence of other people. Next you need to make it a habit of always questioning the origins of your emotions and feelings especially if they are negative. Being sensitive to positive emotion is a great and fun ability to have so predominant focus has to be on the negative.

Once you have a substantially clear understanding of your true self (Mind you this is devoid of negative emotions perpetuated by depression and anxiety) you can quite accurately determine if your reaction to a negative emotion is from within or actually from another person. That's the first step. It still hurts and it's still confusing but at least the awareness is in place.

After that you can go about modulating how your empathy manifests itself. As I outlined above you cannot fully take control of how you feel and what emotions are present. But you can redirect it.

The way I see emotion especially the more powerful negative ones as an unyielding torrent of water that will continue to charge forward until it reaches a point in the landscape that can fully allow it to settle down.

The terrain it moves down though can be adjusted to help redirect and manage it.

This is a daily practice one has to willing to make a habit to ever find success in it. Personally I've had far too many difficulties in life because of my ability to absorb emotion but after a while I learned that intellectualizing it as a negative trait was not doing me any good and was just further isolating me from other people. Mastering it instead in a positive light was the best decision I made.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
I think this is why I am very selective as to what events I will go to and who I will hang out with etc. Or even at a large gathering, let's say a family party, I will try to avoid the emotional vampires.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
89 Posts
Quick question to you fellas', does it ever occur to you that sometimes when listening to someone or doing whatever other social activity with a number of people you accidentally absorb 'like a sponge' the feelings of others? Especially bad ones? How do you people deal with it, can you control that?
All the time - I believe it's a product of Extroverted Feeling and Introverted Intuition.

As an Fe/Ni type, we're naturally very reactive when it comes to the feelings of others; we're sensitive people, and we have quite the knack for being able to immerse ourselves in the accounts of other people's experiences, and that's what creates that 'sponge' effect - it is difficult to turn off, especially as we're quite sensitive to background happenings aswell (I'll get 'spongey' even if I'm just having difficulty tuning out of a conversation happening nearby which I'm not involved in - I just can't detach from it emotionally if it is emotionally evocative).

As for why the 'bad ones' seem to have an even greater impact, as extroverted feelers, we strive for social harmony, whether in a group, pair, etc. and so when there are negative feelings at hand, or if someone in your immediate social interaction is feeling down/depressed/anxious, it is only natural that you would have a strong emotional response to it, because your instinct is telling you "this needs repairing/aiding".

As for how to control it or turn it off - I don't. Turning it off would feel, to me, like denying my instinctual reactions, but I find it can be easily controlled by becoming more involved (ie. if you and a group of friends are having a discussion and someone present is having negative feelings/having a bad time, I place more attention on that individual and try to offer some sort of constructive insight - I'll feel better when they feel better). If however, said occurrence has nothing to do with you and is merely happening nearby, just try to accept that you are receptive in the way I've described and know that, while it can be emotional burdensome, you clearly have the ability to detect such things in others, and therefore possess the ability to do something constructive about it.

I hope that insight was of some interest to you!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,472 Posts
I think INFJs have a type of emotional empathy that is automatic, indiscriminate, and difficult to 'switch off'. The word I found for the negative part of this is 'Emotional contagion' (effectively, soaking up other emotions). This is an article about it: https://blog.cognifit.com/emotional-contagion/

The article ends with a few tips:

"Be Present
When you’re in a situation and you feel any sort of emotional peer pressure, take a moment to think, “Is this how I truly feel or is this how I think I should feel?” By simply giving yourself the option that your feelings may not match your thoughts, you can come to understand which feelings are true to you or only true to who you’re with.

Fake it ’till you make it!
Everyone has bad days—but if your mood or someone else’s mood “contaminating” others, smiling and laughing are simple exercises. The muscle recognition of smiling triggers your facial memory and mirror neurons into believing you are happy, and before you know it, your appearance of happiness may be contagious for others also!

Seek Professional Guidance
If you find that your more aware or sensitive to the moods of others, you can always evaluate those relationships and those triggers. Talking with a trained professional can help you in thought pattern recognition and guide you into healthy coping skills and ward off Emotional Contagion."

I think if we can recognise emotional contagion when it is happening, perhaps we can take charge of it more and use it for good, rather than only feeling like victims of it. It is still hard work though, so I think we will always need to retreat into our own space now and again to feel 'centred' and at peace again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
173 Posts
I'll talk to the person about it. If that's not possible, I'll just go and focus my attention on something else. It takes some time for me to forget about it, but I don't really take it as serious anymore. It's none of my business.

It also depends on how well I know the person. If I know if someone can just be moody it doesn't affect me as much and I just leave them alone or try to make them feel better, depending on the person.

If it's in a group, it's a little more complicated and depends on the situation but still pretty much the same.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
235 Posts
I absorb literally everything I come in contact with unless I find ways to redirect my attention. Exercise and expending intellectual energy on logic or puzzle games can help me disconnect. Being out in nature or too absorbed in my music makes it worse unless I'm working on a really challenging piece in the early stages when emotionless pattern recognition is all my attention can manage.

Case in point: I attended a wonderful forum on racial issues this weekend with a number of brilliant speakers talking at length about their experiences. I have been totally blue ever since (I came home and took a three hour nap, and I'm NOT a napper.) I cannot stop identifying with the perspectives I heard, and while I'm grateful it did affect me (and privileged not to live with those experiences on the daily), the others around me seem not to have been affected the same way.

I've also really been sucked into the tone of how our culture "feels" right now. I don't know how to describe the patterns I'm recognizing or the emotion I'm taking on, but I pretty much feel continuous conflict in the air, and I'm overpowered by the ripples of self-centrism that seem to permeate everything. This is a new tone I'm taking on (say from ten years ago), and I find it really concerning. I don't know if others feel this too or if it's just me over-connecting with the old Ni. Either way, it's really been a struggle for me to keep my spirits up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
1) choose your friends carefully
2) practice visualising yourself at a time you felt happy, healthy and calm (or energised if that's the emotion you want to harness. try to feel that sensation as vividly as possible and think about associated sensory imagery - if your happy place is at home, think about how the objects in your room feel in your hands, if it's at the beach what does it smell like etc... try to feel those senses as strongly as you can using as many sensory anchors from your memory to feel strong and positive in the space in your own body. Once you've mastered recalling your positive state, you can call upon this feeling when in the company of others to let your own power emanate rather than taking in an influx from others :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
304 Posts
I feel like I'm the only INFJ alive who doesn't exprience it.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top