Written By Kirsten Moodie
How Capable Each Myers-Briggs Type is of Empathy
“Empathy: the feeling that you understand and share another person’s experiences and emotions: the ability to share someone else’s feelings.”
Many people are caring and compassionate individuals who are capable of being supportive of the people around them. There are some individuals who take this skill to an entirely new level and are capable of completely connecting to the emotions of others. Some people are naturally skilled at empathy, while others simply do not possess this ability. Here is how capable of empathy each Myers-Briggs type usually is.
INFJs are naturally empathetic individuals, with a powerful connection to the emotions of others. INFJs are often capable of understanding what another person is feeling before they express it, simply by being in the same room as them. They instinctively put together the behavior of this individual and can soon get a feel for what is bothering them. INFJs are also very good listeners because they can easily put themselves in the shoes of other people. They sometimes are capable of understanding even the darkest individuals, which can sometimes be uncomfortable for the INFJ.
ENFJs are extremely empathetic people, almost to such a strong degree that it can even become a problem for them. They can almost always tell when someone around them is upset about something, and will often do whatever it takes to solve the problem. ENFJs want to make the people around them happy and they will work hard to make this happen. Being able to sense when people are upset or in emotional turmoil, means that the ENFJ will feel the need to fix this problem. They can almost always empathize with people, it is just something that happens naturally for them.
INFPs are capable of empathy, but this happens in a much different way for them than it does for INFJs. INFPs have powerful imaginations, which often leads them to envisioning themselves in different situations. They may not have a natural awareness of the emotions of others, but they are capable of mentally putting themselves in other peoples shoes. When someone explains their situation and their sadness to an INFP, they can take the time to imagine that that might feel like for them personally. This can help them be very understanding and compassionate individuals.
ENFPs are extremely caring and often open minded individuals, which makes them capable of a unique kind of empathy. They are more aware of their own internal emotions, than they are towards the emotions of others. ENFPs do however, have a knack for imagination, which allows them to put themselves in other peoples shoes. They have often tried many new experiences and enjoy broadening their horizons, which makes them often capable of understanding where other people are coming from in any given situation.
INTPs may be viewed as incapable of empathy, but that is entirely untrue. INTPs simply prefer to focus on logical understanding, but they are capable of empathizing with others. If the INTP allows themselves to tap into this side of themselves, they can often connect with the emotions of other people. They may even naturally find themselves aware when someone in their life is upset, they just may not know exactly how to handle this. INTPs are extremely intelligent individuals, which makes them capable of empathizing and understanding why someone is upset in many given situations.
ENTPs are surprisingly aware individuals, who are very capable of empathy. They may choose to ignore their connection to the emotions of others, since they favor logical decisions over emotional ones. If ENTPs take the time they are extremely skilled at understanding the emotions of others and putting themselves in those peoples shoes. ENTPs often attempt to logically understand a situation and will often push aside an emotional reaction in order to make a more logic minded decisions. This may cause ENTPs to be less compassionate towards people, even though they can understand what is upsetting those individuals.
INTJs are not the most empathetic individuals, since they certainly favor logic over everything else. They can often understand why someone may be upset in a given situation, but that doesn’t mean they accept their emotional reaction as the proper response. INTJs are intelligent individuals, who strive to understand the world around them in a logical sense. Their hunger for knowledge often makes them rather self-aware, but causes them to lack emotional understanding in certain situations. When someone is being emotional, the INTJ might prefer that that individual calm down and try to be more rational.
ENTJs are often not seen as empathetic people, since they favor efficiency and logic over the use of emotions. ENTJs understand that emotions are a part of being human, but they do not prefer to let those feelings rule their choices in life. If someone is being overly emotional, ENTJs will often shut that person down rather quickly. They prefer that people approach a situation with logic, rather than emotions. This might make the ENTJ less capable of being empathetic towards someone, unless they can logically see why this is person is acting a certain way.
ISTJs are actually very caring individuals who are great at expressing sympathy towards others. They can see a situation and logically understand why that person would be upset, and because of this they will be supportive. ISTJs may not be great at empathy however, since they do not naturally favor emotions over logic and practicality. ISTJs will often be excellent people to confide in and will willingly listen to their loved ones who are in need. They may not be excellent at completely comprehending why that person is being emotional, but they will certainly be willing to be supportive of them.
ESTJs favor efficiency and practicality over emotions, which often makes them poor at expressing empathy. Unless the ESTJ has personally experienced something, then they might have a hard time understanding why another person is truly upset. ESTJs care about tending to the practical needs of their loved ones, but they aren’t skilled at tending to their emotional needs. They are often rather caring individuals, but they are not naturally empathetic people.
ISFJs are rather empathetic individuals, who are extremely capable of understanding the emotions of others. They are very caring and simply want to make the people around them happy. They often can sense when someone they love is upset and they will quickly rush to mend this in any way they can. They want to make their loved ones happy, which to them often means finding ways to solve their emotional issues as well. ISFJs may be skilled at shutting down their empathy when it is necessary, but are also excellent at putting themselves in the shoes of others. They are naturally capable of empathy and emotional understanding, which can make them excellent people to confide in.
ESFJs are naturally very empathetic people, they have a skill for understanding the emotions of others. ESFJs often get a strong sense of when someone around them is upset, before that person even realizes it. Their ability to sense of emotions of the people around them, makes them extremely empathetic individuals. They may even be capable of understanding someone who has committed rather unsavory acts, but they can also shut this empathy down if they feel it is necessary. When an ESFJ wants to though, they are extremely capable of putting themselves in the shoes of other people and understanding why they feel a certain way.
ISTPs are actually decent at empathizing with someone, but that doesn’t mean they have a desire to take action. ISTPs can often understand why someone is feeling a certain way, but they don’t feel like it is necessary for them to attempt to solve another persons emotional issues. They can often comprehend that someone is upset, but they expect that individual should be the one to take care of it. ISTPs are rather independent and will often tend to their own personal needs without needing help from others, which means they often expect that from other people as well.
ESTPs are often capable of empathizing, but they are also good at shutting this skill down. They favor logic and action over emotions, which can often make them ignore other peoples feelings. The people very close ESTPs will often receive a different reaction though. When ESTPs truly care for someone they will often take the time to empathize with them, simply because they value having that person in their lives. Most of the time though, ESTPs do not see the benefit of constantly connecting to the emotions of others.
ISFPs are excellent listeners, they will often sit for hours and listen to someone vent. They are great at sympathizing and will be there for the people they love. They feel things very deeply, but they often are not great at outwardly expressing this. They can often place themselves in the shoes of others, but may not always be capable of finding the right words to comfort them. Their deep capacity for feeling sometimes helps the ISFP to empathize, but is often depends on the situation. Empathy may not come naturally to them, but they can often tap into it.
ESFPs have very deep emotions, but may not be naturally skilled at empathy. When the ESFPs has personally been in a similar situation, they are great at showing compassion towards others. There are certain blocks though, where if an ESFP has not experienced that situation they may not be able to fully understand why the person is so upset. They are caring individuals though, who strive to be supportive of the people they love.
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