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Okay...I've had this thought on my mind for a very long time. Every time I have a new experience relating to it, it resurfaces and I dwell on it for long periods of time.

For some reason, it seems that broken people gravitate towards me, or I gravitate towards them. I don't know which it is, but I know it happens. I know that most people are a lot more hurt inside than they let show, but for some reason as disproportionate number of truly broken people find their way to me.

I take them in, listen to their stories, build them up, give them that attention that every living soul should get, and do my best to bring them back from the brink. Guide them away from that ever precarious ledge upon which they're perched. And I've yet to fail. I absorb all their negative emotions, let them cry on my shoulder, give them someone to speak to, and I seem to be able to say exactly the right thing to help them.

Once I'm done with them though, I have all these bittersweet feelings. I feel so very happy that I was able to help them turn their attitude around, in some cases stop them from thinking of doing the unthinkable, but at the same time...All those negative emotions, they kind of take up residence in me. And every time after I do this, I sit, and I brood. Sometimes for hours, other times for days.

My questions for all you other INFJs out there are these: Do you have much the same experience that I do? Do you seem drawn to those people that are so broken it's a wonder their still moving, or maybe they seem drawn to you? And afterwards, do you have the same feelings? Does it seem like their feelings worm their way into you and decide they are going to stay for a while?

Thanks for the responses in advance, I really appreciate it!

P.S. Sorry for the long post...I kind of can't stop writing at times...
 

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I feel like this happens when I'm simply being a confidant or listener, because my role is passive and I'm essentially an emotional sponge. Foreign emotions introduced to my own atmosphere are difficult to extricate if I don't have any agency in the situation. It's like I'm invaded by a sense of open emotional business and that puts a cloud over me.

The only solution I've found is, maybe paradoxically, diving deeper into these emotions and getting as large a mental picture of them as possible. I think contextualizing them helps to abate the length of their stay. I actually think that if I can help the person get a new perspective/lighten their burden a bit by sharing it with them, I can consider my job successful. I also have some masochistic tendencies though, so that may skew my response.

I do feel somewhat attracted to emotional turmoil.. but why exactly beats me o_O
 

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yes, yes, and yes...

have you heard of the INFJ grief magnet? it resides within all of us. we attract hurting people and are drawn to them, we bond with them at a level that we often experience their emotions as our own, and we love to console them, so it's a fulfilling sort of magnetism to have. although sometimes the grief is heavy to carry around when you are deeply concerned for someone.

clearly it is a built-in mechanism in INFJs that does work, and the preponderance of type 4s among our MBTI type leads to an attraction towards the melancholy and profound or life-shattering emotions of life. :)

and - your post was beautiful. i love the caring emotions expressed in it.
 

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Yes. It does seem to be that way. Somehow I'm often attracted to those kind of people. And I can keep myself awake at night by others people misery. (it's one of the reasons I don't watch the news anymore)
Seems like it's a very INFJ thing. Although I'm sure some other personality types tend to have the same kind of thing.
 

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Yes, it happens all the time. I can almost guarantee that in any setting, the most seriously hurting people will immediately gravitate to me because they can sense that I truly do care how they feel and can empathize with much of it. Most people within the mental health and medical professions are familiar with what is called secondary stress. Since I learned about it and have spent some time coming to understand it, it's become a little easier to let things flow on through without letting their distress take you down. Perhaps investigating that could be of assistance to you, too. Hugs for your kind heart :)
 

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Maybe this wouldn't be such a problem if more people really cared about one another.

Do you have much the same experience that I do? Yes
Do you seem drawn to those people that are so broken it's a wonder they're still moving, or maybe they seem drawn to you? I'm drawn to them.
And afterwards, do you have the same feelings? Yes
Does it seem like their feelings worm their way into you and decide they are going to stay for a while? Yes to the point where I could pass out, throw up or cry forever from all the grief. I guess I have problems with over empathizing and need to get a grip. Becoming detached is not the answer. I've tried that. I just come off as cold and bitter like I don't care when in reality, I'm trying to protect myself because others' emotions affect me so deeply but I know I need to be stronger too and it's selfish to do that. There needs to be a balance.
 
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It's the same for me as well; friends and strangers tend to gravitate towards me whenever they want a listening ear or advice from me, or just someone to talk to and share their interests and hobbies with. Maybe we emit some sort of aura or distort the space around us which causes this phenomenon? :tongue:

However, being around negative people all the time really, really gets me down. I don't mind being by myself or being socially alienated since that's quite okay, my daydreams will keep me alive. I have a friend who is constantly quite negative in her views, and she worries a lot. It's gone to the point that I've started to do my best to avoid invitations to go out with her (until recently) and avoid meeting her, because there's something about her negative energy which seems to latch onto mine and drain me dry. Even if she isn't being negative, being around her makes me tire quite a bit and uneasy. I would like to advise her on her problems in the past, but now, I dread hearing them. I'm still trying to solve this problem and find out why.

Other people's feelings don't really get to me, but at that moment in time I just sort of mirror them and feel them myself (e.g if someone cries I'll also start crying for no specific reason). Sometimes they do tend to stay and cause me to feel very worried for that person as well, but not for too long (because I know the effect they have on me can be quite overpowering).
 

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INFJ love broken things because deep down inside they are broken as well and want to be loved. Projection :eek:
whoa dude ... that was harsh.

.............................. wow
 

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1. I could do what's described in the OP but most of the time I set up boundaries because I'm not interested in taking in others' emotions like this - I'm not here to fix other people like that and I don't like to be used in that manner.

2. HOWEVER: here is one thing I cannot seem to turn off, no matter what I do or don't do: I am drawn to, and have drawn to me, people and groups that are broken in a very particular way. Usually they have what I would currently call "feeders" (highly deceptive broken-beyond-repair beings who feed off of others' life energy) attached to or inside of them. Actually, the feeders themselves are often strongly drawn to me as well, I appear like a tasty meal to them and they consistently underestimate me.

My function - and it is involuntary no matter what I decide to do or not - is one or both of two things:

A. To bring the presence of the feeder/wrongness to the visible surface, and put out the possibility that the person or group on which they're feeding can function without the feeder they're attached to. Then I usually get to watch as they choose the feeder/toxicity anyway. And then I step away. And it's heartbreaking because love underneath the bond, always.

and/or

B. To observe and face the feeder, directly and energetically "mark" her/him/it. I've only recently (last 4 years or so) become conscious that I do this, but I have done it long before I had language or awareness for it. I think that the marking makes them visible to others in a way they weren't before - probably all works subconsciouly. Meaning, I think this too brings what was hidden to the surface so it can't be masked. My guess is that after being "marked" like this, others can better feel the horrible wrongness in these beings and are better able to instinctively protect themselves from being fed on and deceived.

I don't particularly like any of this. But it happens a lot. I'm trying to just accept it. Sort of.
 

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Do you have much the same experience that I do?

Yes and No

Do you seem drawn to those people that are so broken it's a wonder their still moving, or maybe they seem drawn to you?

No. Not that "broken" ... I do think that people who are rather disconnected gravitate towards me. I think that it's the sub conscious vibe I give off or something. I don't do quai-friends, pseudo friends, or acquaintances very well (but I'm trying). I think that this is why those more disconnected people gravitate towards me. I'm more able to emotionally connect I think than most people I've known. My mother and I had a heart to heart once and I asked her to TRY to put herself in my shoes, and to tell me, what she thought was important to me. The FIRST thing she said was friends. She commented on how super close I always was with my friends.

Now people come and people go, and then there are those who never leave ... Whatever the case, I have always had a "close" connection with my friends and I think it's this capacity (maybe) that has "broken" souls gravitate towards me.



And afterwards, do you have the same feelings? Does it seem like their feelings worm their way into you and decide they are going to stay for a while?

NO. Fe does pick up the feelings of others. I DO "sense" a lot of what a person is feeling and where they are at in their emotional waters (so to speak) but I have learned to develop my perception and not jump to conclusions. I need to wait a little longer to make conclusions from my Ni. I think that much of the experience (for me anyways) that we are talking about here is reflection. NOT projection. For me at least, I find people reflect me. It's almost as if my existence is more tangible and seen by experiencing myself in retrospect and experiencing myself in relation to another ...

Point clarified: I have had some tumultuous relationships in my life. That word means roller coaster (not like serious abusive or anything) . Just ... those "crazy and chaotic" relationships. It is THOSE very relationships that I have learned the most, and have gotten to know myself. Sometimes it is our reactions, our choices, and being honest about how we spent our time to support those choices - it is those things that we need to experience to grow. NOT that we are broken. I think rather how we learn and grow is unique and potent, if you will. Those broken souls you find no doubt are there to reflect a part of you, you need to embrace, forgive, understand, change, accept ... I hope this made sense.

1. The choices of what we want & the choices of how we spend our time to support what it is we want -
THAT is the leap of understanding many disappointing people fail to make.

2. As an INFJ, the hardest lesson I HAD to learn (and still working through), is to understand that Not everyone Wants help. Not everyone Needs help. People WANT and NEED people to have faith in their capacity to help themselves ... So repeat after me, "NOT MY PROBLEM" ... (say that to yourself of course) and on the outside say, "I don't feel sorry for you. But I do care. Tell me what I can do to help you help yourself."

END OF RANT :p


 
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I didn't mean it to come across that way, just a observation based on sound psychology. I'm sorry :x
Why are you sorry? I'm okay. I'm not upset. I thought it a harsh presumption. My thoughts were based on sound psychology as well ;) you know better silly than to jump to conclusions! :p

"projection" has become a buzz word ... what a shame :/
 
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Discussion Starter #15
I love all the responses that y'all are providing! They really help to understand the way other INFJs react. I also see that I should probably clear one or two things up.

When I talk of the emotions of the other person taking residence within me, I don't mean so much that I feel those emotions as strongly as they did. Instead it's as if I get a small taste of these emotions, and it causes me to think long and hard. They are a feeble weed that wraps itself around the flower of conscious thought. It tries its best to take over, but it isn't strong enough to to so. I, like any prudent gardener, try my best to uproot these weeds when they sprout, but sometimes it behooves a gardener to watch them instead. See how they grow, how they try to choke out nearby plants, overrunning everything until they are all that remains. Then, and only then do you know exactly how they work, and exactly the best way to kill them.

I also have to agree that these people are drains on my energy and emotions. I do try my best to distance myself from them, but once I know them, know their hurt, it is very hard for me to do this. I just want nothing more than to help them become better, help them further themselves. I know it would be better for me to maintain a more distanced approach with them, but I still need to work on that.

My last thought is one that always seems to occur to me when I go through one of these situations. What if I can't succeed this time? What if this is the time I fail, and I wasn't enough to pull them back from the abyss? Those questions always make me dig my heels in and stand my ground. I'm stubborn, and when I want something bad enough no power on Earth will be able to move me. So, this is where my will meets theirs, and I never let anyone beat me in a test of wills. At the same time this puts me in a vulnerable position...back to the cliff...my last stand. It's the risk I take, but the question is...Is it worth it?
 

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I do attract the broken and listen to their stories...but I stop short at absorbing their emotions, or at least so much that I'm handicapped for a while. I'm not sure why, because it's not a conscious thing. I suppose because I've absorbed people's intense anger directed at ME and that hurts way worse than a person's hurt and anger over other things besides me. I guess it's a comparison thing, and a slight detachment, though it doesn't feel like detachment so much as "I've been where you've been--it hurts now, but it'll get better, I promise.", and knowing it could be a whole lot worse, for them or for me.

But in a compassionate way... It was something I was thinking about earlier, how some people compare their suffering, but in a "measuring up" way than in a compassionate way. How silly and damaging that is in the long run...pain is pain. If you can't see someone else's trauma in compassion when compared with your own...you're not over your own trauma. You still feel the need to use your suffering as a badge of ego rather than of honor, which means you haven't forgiven yourself...projection. We all do the best we can with what we've been handed. Sometimes the best isn't good enough for outside standards, but that doesn't change that fact...

And when you can have compassion for people who have gone through less than you have, it opens the door to having compassion for people who have gone through more...at least with me, it starts with the small things, not the big ones. I think that's also part of being able to stay level-headed through it...big traumas are made up of small traumas and if you can conquer the small traumas....I don't know. I'm starting to confuse myself. :laughing:

That got kind of convoluted. x.x But yeah. I suppose the way of dealing with it is taking it in context, and realizing there's a lot a person can live through and still bounce back from. They'll get through it. It'll be a long hard road that may last the rest of their lifetime...but they will. In that sense you don't have to worry. You're responsible for your own actions--others must see to their own.
 

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They are a feeble weed that wraps itself around the flower of conscious thought. It tries its best to take over, but it isn't strong enough to to so. I, like any prudent gardener, try my best to uproot these weeds when they sprout, but sometimes it behooves a gardener to watch them instead. See how they grow, how they try to choke out nearby plants, overrunning everything until they are all that remains. Then, and only then do you know exactly how they work, and exactly the best way to kill them.
My last thought is one that always seems to occur to me when I go through one of these situations. What if I can't succeed this time? What if this is the time I fail, and I wasn't enough to pull them back from the abyss? Is it your job to pull them back from the abyss? Are you a licensed psychologist?


Those questions always make me dig my heels in and stand my ground. I'm stubborn, and when I want something bad enough no power on Earth will be able to move me. So, this is where my will meets theirs, and I never let anyone beat me in a test of wills. At the same time this puts me in a vulnerable position...back to the cliff...my last stand. It's the risk I take, but the question is...Is it worth it?
To me it sounds like you are disconnected yourself. you sound fairly emotionally unavailable and seem to take a position of control where people might become emotionally dependent on you in an unhealthy way. People are not feeble weeds and you are not any better than anyone else with any sort of superior consciousness. What it sounds like to me is a severe power imbalance, and an unhealthy dynamic. and in time you might find yourself feeling very alone as you can not connect with anyone, so long as you are busy trying to save them (which is controlling them. so you might not feel vulnerable?) There is strength within vulnerability. It would be foolish to think otherwise. idk ...

Rather than mind fucking people, try blowing people's minds
(but of course, you'd have to find your strength w/in vulnerability)

This wasn't meant to upset you. I hope you understand.
 
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Discussion Starter #18
To me it sounds like you are disconnected yourself. you sound fairly emotionally unavailable and seem to take a position of control where people might become emotionally dependent on you in an unhealthy way. People are not feeble weeds and you are not any better than anyone else with any sort of superior consciousness. What it sounds like to me is a severe power imbalance, and an unhealthy dynamic. and in time you might find yourself feeling very alone as you can not connect with anyone, so long as you are busy trying to save them (which is controlling them. so you might not feel vulnerable?) There is strength within vulnerability. It would be foolish to think otherwise. idk ...

Rather than mind fucking people, try blowing people's minds
(but of course, you'd have to find your strength w/in vulnerability)

This wasn't meant to upset you. I hope you understand.
It doesn't upset me in the least, you have good points, and what you say may very well be true. I was quite pleased to read your post. I do have a few points to counter with though.

See, I don't really enjoy this process. I love the reward at the end of knowing I was able to help someone, but the process of getting there is hell. I also do my best to make sure someone does not become emotionally dependent upon me, because if that ever happens it is a major drain upon me, and puts me under stress that causes many problems due to stress related illnesses I have. The only person that has ever become emotionally dependent upon me is someone that I wouldn't deny a talk in a million years because he have such a history together(we've known each other since we were 5 and been for each other at our most vulnerable moments).

The weeds comment wasn't meant to be applied to people. I mentioned it in conjunction with the emotions that I sometimes think about after helping them. It was more of the idea of cultivating the emotions inside myself to learn how best to help others deal with them. I know not everyone is the same, but in dealing with emotions it is quite astounding how similar most people are, and how easy it is to adapt on the fly.

The idea of superiority. That is one thing I actually don't have. I've always, throughout my life, been told I wasn't good enough(be it by peers or adults), and that I wasn't capable. So, really I probably have a bit of a complex. I always am doing my best to prove others wrong, and it's carried me quite far. This drive turned me from a kid that was fat and out of shape into a Division 1 college athlete(even though I decided not to play to focus on studies). I also know that this can be used against me, so I am wary of others trying to goad me into doing something.

Strength within vulnerability is one of those statements that seems completely out of place, but I know exactly where you are coming from, because I've seen that strength before.

Also, could you elaborate more on the statement about blowing people's minds? I'm interested in where you are going with that line of thought.

The prior post of mine was rather poorly worded, and now that I reread it, it makes me sound like quite a horrible person. I hope no one gets that idea from that...:unsure:
 

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I'd never go as far as considering them broken but a lot of my friends seem to have small issues.

My best friend is ADHD, I love it when she forgets to take her medication, it's really cute how she starts talking her self through everything she's thinking and makes lists to stop her self getting distracted.

My other best friend had depression issues, she tried hard to hide it but I could always tell how she was feeling.

I've got a lot of friends who struggle with their self confidence, they're some of my favorites just because I know how much I can help them, how much progress they can make and how amazing they can become with just a little support.
 

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Broken people ?

These are the ones I usually cannot forget.
'Happy' ppl slip my mind fast..
Broken ones attract me....
Weird but true.

So yes, I can relate.
 
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