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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Me and my ENTJ friend have been debating over this every now and then for two years or so. I've always said that I would rather choose feeling pain and my reasoning for this has been simple: it maintains a degree of humanity within a person and if you feel pain, you get over the issue much faster. If one suffocates all emotion and refuses to feel it, it's likely that more problems will arise in the future due to everything that's not been handled.

My friend, on the other hand, has said that she'd rather be emotionless as she could keep going without letting other people affect her efficiency. She also stated that "no one wants to feel pain" and while I agree, I find it to be the more sensible one out of the two options.

What do other NTs think of this question? We'd also love to hear reasons for your answers. And if I left it unclear, I mean emotional, not physical, kind of pain.

(Just in case, I'd also love to emphasize the fact that I'm not going to consider that I'm mistyped, I've seen people being labeled as feelers quite easily.)
 

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Well on one hand experiencing pain helps you develop more so you can be more efficient in some situations but not being able to feel emotion would also help you be more efficient in the majority of most situations but not feeling any emotion would also cut you off from humanity by getting rid of the one thing all humans share which is emotions. And if you can't feel any emotion would that also mean you wouldn't find anything funny anymore?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
And if you can't feel any emotion would that also mean you wouldn't find anything funny anymore?
I think finding something funny would sort of be a borderline case, perhaps one could be amused in a cynical sense but not exactly to the extent where they'd laugh out loud very spontaneously.
 

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I have a chronic pain condition called Fibromyalgia. There is no cure, and even pain medications don't really work because it's a disorder of the nervous system and brain. So when I was 17, I was told that I would be in pain every day for the rest of my life. 9% of all people with Fibromyalgia successfully commit suicide. The pain itself comes in many different levels, sometimes a vague irritation/soreness all over my body, and sometimes so earth shattering that it leaves me hurled over screaming, unable to move for hours. During my first flare, I was in so much pain that I couldn't walk for more than about a minute for two weeks.

However, being in constant pain has not been enough for me to want to be numb. I know a lot of people with my condition abuse marijuana, cocaine and other drugs to try to numb themselves. I've been offered both many times and decided not to take that route. I want to be able to face life, however my body allows, and enjoy it when I can. I don't want to rely on drugs to numb me from the pain, because then my life would belong to drugs. So I guess the answer is that my current pain levels are not worth being numb. But if I were in the most intense pain I've experienced all day every day (the absolute worst of flare, the hours of screaming bit) I would probably rather be numb.
 

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Obviously I'd rather hurt. Yeah, pain sucks, but I've had depression, and while that was scary some days and frustrating on others, most of the time it just made me feel empty. I felt completely drained of all energy and emotion, to the point that I began to logically reason with myself that there was literally no point to my existence. I didn't feel that way because I was in some massive amount of pain, although some people are driven to end their lives over that, I just didn't feel like I had anything whatsoever tying me to my life.
So I think I'd rather have pain over emptiness, but maybe I'd change my mind if the pain was bad enough, I dunno.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have a chronic pain condition called Fibromyalgia. There is no cure, and even pain medications don't really work because it's a disorder of the nervous system and brain. So when I was 17, I was told that I would be in pain every day for the rest of my life. 9% of all people with Fibromyalgia successfully commit suicide. The pain itself comes in many different levels, sometimes a vague irritation/soreness all over my body, and sometimes so earth shattering that it leaves me hurled over screaming, unable to move for hours. During my first flare, I was in so much pain that I couldn't walk for more than about a minute for two weeks.

However, being in constant pain has not been enough for me to want to be numb. I know a lot of people with my condition abuse marijuana, cocaine and other drugs to try to numb themselves. I've been offered both many times and decided not to take that route. I want to be able to face life, however my body allows, and enjoy it when I can. I don't want to rely on drugs to numb me from the pain, because then my life would belong to drugs. So I guess the answer is that my current pain levels are not worth being numb. But if I were in the most intense pain I've experienced all day every day (the absolute worst of flare, the hours of screaming bit) I would probably rather be numb.
I've actually researched a bit about Fibromyalgia as I have a relatively high chance for it since I already have ADHD and both are often linked to dopamine deficiency in brain. You obviously know better about the treatments and such, but have you considered the possibility of ADHD medication being able to help with the symptoms?

But I agree, pain is the preferable option as long as it doesn't become the only thing you can acknowledge in your life and won't prevent you from enjoying it as much as possible.

Obviously I'd rather hurt. Yeah, pain sucks, but I've had depression, and while that was scary some days and frustrating on others, most of the time it just made me feel empty. I felt completely drained of all energy and emotion, to the point that I began to logically reason with myself that there was literally no point to my existence. I didn't feel that way because I was in some massive amount of pain, although some people are driven to end their lives over that, I just didn't feel like I had anything whatsoever tying me to my life.
So I think I'd rather have pain over emptiness, but maybe I'd change my mind if the pain was bad enough, I dunno.
I had the exact same thing - I had severe depression that lasted for about a year and I was surprised by the fact that it wasn't actually actively hurting but rather just feeling nothing for days at a time. It got so bad at times that I could just sit for hours at the corner of my bed without thinking much (and normally my brain won't shut up) not even being able to listen to music as it would only annoy me rather than provoke any kind of an emotional response. I would have to use all my energy for simple things such as laughing at something everyone else found funny just because I didn't want others to start paying too much attention. This all would just result in extreme levels of emotional pain every few weeks or so but after that I would always feel a bit more like myself for a while. This is one reason why I'd rather feel pain - I think that once it passes, the contrast makes you enjoy small and simple joys much more.
 

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@draculaoverlord
I have never heard of a link between ADHD and Fibromyalgia before. The dopamine deficiency in Fibro is caused by the brain's reaction to being in pain, and the dopamine deficiency in ADHD is caused by the body failing to regulate itself and exhausting large amounts of dopamine. I highly doubt they have anything in common, and of all the people I know with Fibro only one of them has ADHD.

Also, treating Fibro with ADHD medication could be an incredibly bad idea, depending on which medications. Many ADHD drugs are stimulants, which would attack the central nervous system and put us in even more severe pain. Some people with Fibro do take mood stabilizers or lithium, but it's rare and not considered very effective.
 

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"if you feel pain, you get over the issue much faster"

Well this obviously depends on what causes the pain. If it is something you cannot change, no matter what you do - for example you're in a very bad situation that will be over in a couple years -, you don't learn anything from it. There is no fancy life lessons to be learnt and utilized in the future - sometimes things just suck and the only thing you can do is acknowledge that things are now pretty bad, but if you let it affect you, it'll just ruin the little good you still have left or the possibility to fix the situation.

I never meant the statement "nobody wants to feel pain" to be used in this context - I think pain is good in the short term, it teaches many things and is necessary for development.

For me, pain is mainly caused by things I cannot change immediately - either I don't know why I'm feeling sad or whatever (which is pretty common) or it is caused by something I have no control over/changing the situation would not be beneficial otherwise (if something bothers me I change it before letting it become a problem that would make me feel hurt). Thus hurting for me is just a symptom of a situation that I cannot change anyway, so there really is no point. Feeling hurt makes fixing things even harder since most of my energy and motivation is spent on being hurt, which is what I meant by rather being emotionless as I can keep going.
Less hurting -> more energy to concentrate on fixing things -> no reason to be hurt
More hurting -> less energy to concentrate on fixing things -> situation will never improve -> you will always be hurting
Some of the energy will always be spent on suppressing the unwanted emotions, so yes, in long lasting situations not feeling pain would be a blessing to me. I agree with most of the arguments stated here, but I do not give them that much value: first you need to fix the situation and stop the source of pain and when you're safe you can be just as emotional as you want about it since you know you've already survived.
 

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@draculaoverlord @aphinion
I have depression as well but it is a mix of not feeling while also feeling too much of only negative emotions. I have other co-morbid disorders though so I am sure it plays into it. The worst is when my emotions and thoughts weigh me down so much that I feel like I can't move or do anything. I just want to curl up into the fetal position and hide under a blanket. In hopes that the quiet and dark will help stop those thoughts and emotions.

I also have a shoulder injury, rotator cuff tendinitis. My entire dominant arm is almost completely useless, which leads to feeling useless and many times I wish I could do without feeling that as well. On top of the pain and loss of mobility of course.

To answer the OP: it's hard to say what I would choose, some days I don't want to feel what I am feeling and other days I wish I could feel positive emotions regularly and intensely. When I have the days where I wake up happy, it is pretty exhilarating.
 

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I'd rather feel nothing.

I mean, look at psychopaths. They virtually "feel nothing" and they're doing good. (And I'm talking about the "high functioning" successful ones.) It all depends on how you use that gift of not being able to feel anything. Besides, that doesn't mean you can't hone or use cognitive empathy to maneuver your way to success and "normalcy" anyways. Like I said, psychopaths are like that and most of them are still able to blend in with the rest of the normal people.
 

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Depends on the duration of the pain. At some point the scale tips towards numbness. It's not necessarily a binary choice.
 
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I'd rather feel nothing.
I know pain is something in life you can't block out and I accept it as it is, and that it can often add to our experience (even if negative), and make us more cautious, but how many times I wished I didn't feel any pain. Hell, in the past I even tried to block all my emotions out so I wouldn't feel anything anymore (of course, it failed). I thought my life would have been easier that way.



If one suffocates all emotion and refuses to feel it, it's likely that more problems will arise in the future due to everything that's not been handled.
That's exactly what I used to do in the past and still do sometimes (I've been trying not to, lately). I recognize one of my biggest fears is feeling and the fear of it is one of my biggest weaknesses. I'm trying to work on it, but it's really hard. I can face most problems without any hesitation or anxiety, but when they involve emotions I still subconsciously try to block everything out and solve it with force (that, by experience, doesn't work), which in most cases leads to an emotional breakdown even months after the issue. I either have a hard time identifying what I'm feeling or I deny I'm feeling something and try to convince myself I'm not. As I said before, I'm working on it but it's hard.
 

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Being emotionless really just means you are hurting on an unconscious level. So in my eyes they are the same thing. No difference at all. There is a better option than either of those.
 

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Personally, I would rather feel nothing so I can try and continue with my work with a level of efficiency that's not mired with emotion. One of my personal weaknesses is that I tend to mull over past mistakes long past when I should be angsting. To be honest, it really does distract me from continuing to produce quality work - whether that be in a subject I'm shaky in academically or a subject that I'm usually quite proficient in carrying out. While I do understand the worth of pain (it does make one human), I would prefer to have efficiency over emotion in my professional work.
 
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I think I've fair experience with both states, and they both suck, but I'd definitely prefer to feel nothing. If I'm emotionally blank, then I can carry out my tasks that much more efficiently and thoughtfully, with no nagging distractions or complications that cloud my judgment. It's better for others too, because I'm obviously less likely to lash out or do something hurtful/destructive if there's no emotional drive there. I also don't have to worry about turning into a sociopath either; just because I'm blank, doesn't mean that I forget who my friends and family are, and it makes it that much easier to do positive things for them (that don't require emotional engagement). I believe I am appreciated for my detached and logical way of reasoning in highly emotional situations (though I don't do it as well as I should, particularly if I'm the one being attacked).
 

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Pain over nothing. But I'm speaking emotional here. Not physical pain.

If I felt nothing I fear what kind of person I would become.
 

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Pain over nothing. But I'm speaking emotional here. Not physical pain.

If I felt nothing I fear what kind of person I would become.
You know, I think it's easy to think that absence of feelings means that you become this person capable of doing anything and not caring, but I don't think that's necessarily correct.

At least for me, I know that principles are one of my core driving motivators. And I tend to not lose them even if I don't really feel for them anymore, at least if they run deep enough. For example, I find it pretty easy to go weeks without talking to anyone (at least irl), because almost all social interactions stress me somewhat. But I know that it's more important for me to be loyal to my friends and family, and that I have a sort of duty to them, so I'll force myself to interact more or less regularly even if I really don't feel like it, because I just value our relations. They won't leave me if I don't do it (so it's not so much a "necessity"), I'd really like to think I'm doing it out of principle or sense of duty. Of course, I'll do it much better​ if I can get my emotions behind it, but I can't really rely on those to be as consistent as I'd want them to be.
 

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Extreme pain causes me to be emotionless, and when I'm emotionless is when I perform most efficiently. I choose whatever pushes me to be at the top of my game.
 
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