INFJ Empathy: How Well the INFJ Empathizes With Others

When it comes to empathy it can be a difficult thing to teach, but not impossible for people to learn over time. Most of the time though, we have a natural sense of empathy or we do not. Empathy simply means having a strong understanding or natural grasp of the emotions and intentions of others. Being able to empathize means being able to fully step into someone else’s shoes and understand what they are going through, without having to experience it firsthand. Some people can be caring and sympathetic, but that does not mean they are good at empathizing, as this isn’t always an easy ability to manage or deal with,

For INFJs empathy is often something they have naturally, something which can actually be overwhelming for them at times. INFJs are naturally connected to other people, even at times when they might not want to be. Their sense of empathy is often a big part of who they are, and how they behave around others. There are many ways in which their ability to empathize makes them giving and wonderful people, but it can also have a flipside to what it brings. Constantly connecting to the emotions of others is not always something which is easy to deal with, especially with people you might not want to be able to understand or step into their shoes.

INFJ Empathy

INFJs are strongly connected to the emotions of others, which helps them empathize with those around them. They have a knack for putting themselves into other people’s shoes, sometimes without even meaning to. When they are around someone who is feeling strong emotions, the INFJ can almost get a sixth sense about what they are going through. This is in large part attributed to their sense of empathy, and their ability to place themselves into the thoughts and emotions of others. INFJs don’t need to have experienced something similar in order to do this, instead it is something which they feel almost innately. They try to use this ability to understand people and be supportive and giving towards them. When someone they care for is upset, the INFJ finds it hard to just ignore this, feeling almost plagued by those negative emotions. This is something which also helps the INFJ see different points of view, being able to understand someone’s motives even when others cannot. They are often such supportive people, and can listen to their loved ones talk for long periods of time and show their sense of support. While others might judge or see people as being dramatic or simply wrong, the INFJ can see where they are coming from and can often offer a truly safe space to confide in someone.

While being able to empathize with people they love helps the INFJ to be giving and understanding people, they also are capable of doing this with people they are not close to. There are times when the INFJ with be capable of seeing the viewpoint of someone they dislike, or someone who might appear as a villain to outsiders. The INFJ can see themselves in their shoes and often envision what makes them behave a certain way. This is something which can become a slippery slope, even causing the INFJ to consider if they themselves have bad intentions or aren’t good people. Being able to see so many beliefs and behaviors and even rationalize them, can sometimes cause the INFJ to disconnect with their own inner feelings and beliefs at times. They might start to question if they are a good person because of this, which in reality doubting their own intentions often makes them more moral and good people than they realize.

Empathy Burnout

The downside to being such a naturally empathetic person, is that INFJs can burnout from this. Their auxiliary extraverted feeling function is often the one which sets them down this road, causing them to connect so deeply with those around them. Even when people don’t want to confide in the INFJ they often have a way of opening them up with ease. People find themselves coming to the INFJ without realizing why, feeling that the INFJ can show their sense of support and not judge them for those emotions. This is certainly something which makes them caring and compassionate people, but it also can drain them. INFJs are introverts which means they need a lot of time alone in order to recharge and feel like themselves. Without this time they become drained and overwhelmed, even losing a connection to others because of it. Being someone who empathizes this way makes the INFJ feel a burnout from all of the emotions which surround them. The more they find themselves connected to people, the more challenging this can become. They often want to search for solutions and ways to help people solve their problems, even neglecting their own struggles because of this. 

While being an empathetic person is a wonderful gift, it is also something the INFJ needs to learn to manage. Being so understanding and connected to others can cause them to lose sight of their own needs and boundaries. For the INFJ to be able to truly help those around them, they need to make time for themselves as well. Without making space for their own needs and desires the INFJ will burnout and cause themselves to feel like distances from others completely. This can even backfire and cause them to say or do hurtful things which they will regret. INFJs are definitely empathetic people, ones who love and care for those around them. Their sense of empathy is a wonderful part of who they are, but that doesn’t mean they need to forget about themselves and push aside their own desires because of those around them.