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No, we are not a heartless bunch, in fact we love helping people. However, there are several reasons why an INFJ is likely to walk pass a homeless person.

1. Deep empathy: Contrary to popular opinion deep empathy actually works against us when it comes to the homeless. Ni backed with Fe means that when we look into a homeless person's eyes we feel what they feel. All their deep inner turmoil, pain, confusion, loneliness, and hurt gets picked up by us and we feel it in our heart and soul. This affects us greatly and it can disturb our inner peace. Most of us get pretty stressed out easily. That, on top of the fact that we are already a listening ear for many of our family and friends. We carry all these problems in our heart already, and the emotional overload from a homeless person may just be enough to tip us out of balance.

2. Introverted/Judging: Being introverted and judging makes us less well equipped to deal with the unknown. Walking pass a homeless person you have no idea what could happen. Many are are drunk or on drugs, and so how they behave is completely unpredictable. Random comments and invasion of our personal space is not something we are comfortable with. Thinking on our feet is also not our strong point as we lack Ne. We take time to assess what the best course of action is, and with a homeless person you really have got to time to think of a good quick and appropriate response on top of being mindful of personal safety.

3. Weak Sensing: As Se is our inferior function physical exertion and interaction with strangers can tire us. It can take a lot of emotional and physical energy to interact with someone new. Add to that someone who is way outside our comfort zone, and you will find interacting with a homeless person is a very hard thing for us to do.

4. Conflicting values: As INFJs we are caring, considerate, hardworking, and would never dream of being a burden to society. We work very hard in self-improvement, bettering ourselves, trying to attain our ideal, and reaching our full potential. This is in stark contrast to the values of many homeless who despite the many food handouts and shelters still hang out on the streets, don't have any issue with bothering passer-bys, and don't have sufficient desire to change their lives for the better.

5. Understanding of motives: We have probably given money here and there to the homeless before even though we know we are being lied to. We can see through the requests for money to catch a bus, buy a coffee or sandwich, etc are just merely smoke screens to feed a drug or alcohol habit. After a while though, we just get fed up of people trying to take advantage of our kindness, and we just walk pass them.

6. Permanent vs temporal change: INFJs are more interested in lasting change. The solution to homelessness to end the homeless problem forever. As NFs we have probably thought about the problem a lot. In fact, we wish we could do more and indeed many of do, and are found working in non-profits aiming to develop programs to help the homeless and underprivileged. This is a much better use of our ability than out on the streets.

Any other reasons?
 

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Firstly homeless and 'homeless' are not the same in this case, secondly empathy and motivations are more inextricably linked than categories alone.To clarify primarily living on the streets versus having no fixed address to call your own but access to warm a bed, sofa or indoor amenities differ.
Returning to the second point of empathy and motivations this is tougher to interpret; on the hand helping may be just as costly as doing nothing (i.e funding or sustaining addictions* and cumulative conditioned helplessness when a person may require means of getting their life back on track), in contrast not helping is sometimes no better especially if scarcity of food or numbing agents can lead to criminal acts or deceit to survive (soup kitchens, churches, food banks and donated food can only go so far when seeking to offer basic warm free food).

*Obviously addictive tendencies are not so clear cut as correlation and causality, likewise not all vagrants are thieves, addicts or criminals.
 

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It requires that I talk to a person and look them in the eye in order to find out if their need is real.

If I can determine that the need is real then I can bypass the problem of deciding whether or not to give them money. I can just supply what is needed. "Give help, not money."

Sometimes I see someone holding a sign when I'm driving and I continue driving. It bothers me because I don't know what their situation is and I may have just ignored someone who is in real need.

Mental illness or an active drug addiction may be present so there's the danger of not knowing how unpredictably this person might behave. My exposure to threat may be increased if I engage.

There's also the possibility that the person isn't actually homeless and I'm being grifted.

‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’

“Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? ‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? ‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’

“The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’​
 

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some homeless are mentally ill or addicts. they tend to have a certain "presence" and are often the grimiest.

some are actually hobos, going from place to place, relying on handouts. some are middle aged (long term hobos). some are younger (the 20 somethings who are searching for meaning). they don't look like they are not in the world or too grimy (if so, it's hard to hitch a ride).

and there are those who use homeless as a "profession". They are the cleanest of the bunch and tend to be at a location for weeks and months at a time to milk.


Why do I ignore them? Some can't be helped. Some should not be helped. I have to take care of myself first before I can help the world around me. Besides, I don't believe in using Tylenol to cure cancer. Unless someone comes up with a sound solution for the homeless problem, I'd rather stay on the side of caution, not being an enabler.
 

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I don't ignore homeless people. If someone seems to be specifically asking me for help (as opposed to sitting in a spot all day asking most people walking by for money) I tend to feel that I've been called upon to help them, and I do. God helps me when I pray for help so I feel I should do likewise for other people. The scriptural source of this thinking is Matthew 7-12.


[SUP]7 [/SUP]“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. [SUP]8 [/SUP]For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
[SUP]9 [/SUP]“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? [SUP]10 [/SUP]Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? [SUP]11 [/SUP]If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! [SUP]12 [/SUP]So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
 

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I ignore them because I can and do my best never to be in their situation or pretend to be one.

Where I live there are several "professional" homeless...one has a sign asking for $250.00....another has had "terminal" cancer sign for 2+ years...those ones I have a sense they are fake...then there are the legitimate ones....those I won't even make eye contact and can sense their desperation....the best I can do for them....is never become one.
 

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I like how this thread's theme seems to be 'I care so much I functionally don't care.'
"everyone knows people lie to themselves
you need to know why, robert
and you need to know how
and how to stop it
and to do that what you need to do is get your head around the simple core of what's really going on with human delusion
so
what we have is this
assumption of self, hardwired into thought
this generates fear for the self as a byproduct
and it also RATIONALISES that fear as SOMETHING ELSE
it is THIS step which can be interrupted
not the hardwiring
not the generation of fear
the step which can be interrupted
is when the brain feeds you excuses that flatter you
as to why you won't do something you're afraid to do

that
that is the step
that ALONE
really take the time to get inside what i'm saying here
if you spend your freedom trying to
a) reduce identity
or
b) reduce fear
you are pissing into the wind
IF
on the OTHER HAND
you spend your freedom
challenging the excuses your mind feeds you
as to why it's not really fear you're feeling
then
then alone
can you really open up your own humanity"​
 

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I fed a homeless near my house just the other day, actually.

I want to do something that helps them long-term but know I can't do that with the resources I have now, so usually when helping a homeless person I think about what helps them short-term, like feeding them since we all need that on a regular basis.
 

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I used to pretty much empty out my wallet whenever I came across a homeless person until I had a few expect money from me every time they saw me, or whenever I came across a few that didn't think what I gave them was enough. I don't give money to every homeless person I see anymore, nor do I give out more than ten bucks. This isn't because I felt like homeless people as a whole are unthankful, but rather because I feel like being overgenerous helps enable somebody in that mindset, especially if that person is young or middle aged and capable of actually doing something about their situation. When people are expecting a constant or big stream of cash from an individual without doing something, then they get too comfortable with that situation, and they start to lose perspective. That's why I usually go with the "enough for one meal, but no more" policy. Usually around $5. That's not enough to get them drugs or alcohol, nor is it enough for them to really remember me, but it is enough to get them something to eat to last them through the night.
 

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I don't ignore them. I acknowledge them with an apologetic look. I give them some of my coins sometimes, especially if it's a musician.
 

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I regularly help out at my church's Drop-In for the Homeless and vulnerable and at my local Winter Night Shelter when it is running.

Sure, there are a few 'pretenders' out there, but as you get to know them, you can tell who are the genuine ones.
 

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1. Deep empathy: Contrary to popular opinion deep empathy actually works against us when it comes to the homeless. Ni backed with Fe means that when we look into a homeless person's eyes we feel what they feel. All their deep inner turmoil, pain, confusion, loneliness, and hurt gets picked up by us and we feel it in our heart and soul. This affects us greatly and it can disturb our inner peace. Most of us get pretty stressed out easily. That, on top of the fact that we are already a listening ear for many of our family and friends. We carry all these problems in our heart already, and the emotional overload from a homeless person may just be enough to tip us out of balance.
If his or her pain bothers you so much, why not lessen it, by buying him or her a sandwich, or by breaking him or her off with a few extra dollars? You'd be helping each other out.

2. Introverted/Judging: Being introverted and judging makes us less well equipped to deal with the unknown. Walking pass a homeless person you have no idea what could happen. Many are are drunk or on drugs, and so how they behave is completely unpredictable. Random comments and invasion of our personal space is not something we are comfortable with. Thinking on our feet is also not our strong point as we lack Ne. We take time to assess what the best course of action is, and with a homeless person you really have got to time to think of a good quick and appropriate response on top of being mindful of personal safety.
Homeless people are far more often the victims of violent crimes, than they are the perpetrators of them, but that's a fair fear, I guess.

3. Weak Sensing: As Se is our inferior function physical exertion and interaction with strangers can tire us. It can take a lot of emotional and physical energy to interact with someone new. Add to that someone who is way outside our comfort zone, and you will find interacting with a homeless person is a very hard thing for us to do.
It literally can just take 5 seconds to break a dude off with some change or bills. Maybe more, if the person says, "Thank you. God bless you." Maybe interacting with the homeless is uncomfortable, but being homeless is way worse, which is something that tends to last way more than 5 seconds.

4. Conflicting values: As INFJs we are caring, considerate, hardworking, and would never dream of being a burden to society. We work very hard in self-improvement, bettering ourselves, trying to attain our ideal, and reaching our full potential. This is in stark contrast to the values of many homeless who despite the many food handouts and shelters still hang out on the streets, don't have any issue with bothering passer-bys, and don't have sufficient desire to change their lives for the better.
A lot of people are homeless, because of predatory practices of the banks. Even more are homeless, because they have severe, mental issues, that they don't have care for. Many of them are returning veterans, and LGBT youth, who were thrown out by hateful families. Being homeless isn't the black-and-white picture you paint it to be.

5. Understanding of motives: We have probably given money here and there to the homeless before even though we know we are being lied to. We can see through the requests for money to catch a bus, buy a coffee or sandwich, etc are just merely smoke screens to feed a drug or alcohol habit. After a while though, we just get fed up of people trying to take advantage of our kindness, and we just walk pass them.
Being cold, hungry, and abandoned sucks. You know what makes it worse? Being sober, while also being cold, hungry, and abandoned. I can understand this point, but so many of these people are not going to receive the support and resources they need to become clean. Why can't they enjoy their limited time on Earth?

6. Permanent vs temporal change: INFJs are more interested in lasting change. The solution to homelessness to end the homeless problem forever. As NFs we have probably thought about the problem a lot. In fact, we wish we could do more and indeed many of do, and are found working in non-profits aiming to develop programs to help the homeless and underprivileged. This is a much better use of our ability than out on the streets.
Why not both? Why not be in favor of changes that help the homeless, and also not telling them to go fuck themselves, when you encounter them on the streets?
 

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I can be a complete sucker at times. I don't know why, but when a certain mood strikes me, I'll impulsively stop and give whatever change/small bills to someone who seems to really be in need. I'll always second guess it after... thinking that it will be used on alcohol or drugs and I'll kick myself for it. I do probably decline on more occasions though.
 

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um, is this thread supposed to be purposely provocative?

There's no correlation between MBTI and ignoring homeless people 0_o I go out of my way to help homeless people ALL THE TIME. I don't give them money because I don't think that is very useful but I do go up to them and ask them if they'd like anything to eat and go into a cafe and buy them lunch. And I am always donating to the homeless shelter in my city. I will probably volunteer there this winter. More than anything though, I just go up to them and talk to them. They just want somebody to talk to and a hug. They are lonely.

The comments on this thread about trying to determine if the homeless people are "actually needy" are really sad. Obviously if you are living on the street without anything to your name, you are as needy as needy gets. Yes you may have mental health conditions and substance abuse issues and probably don't know much about financial literacy and if you get a dollar the first thing you'll spend it on is cigarettes -- though are the people who need help the most!
 
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