Interesting video: "Emotional Sponge vs. Empathy: Enneagram 4 & 9, INFJ/P, HSP, PTSD"

Interesting video: "Emotional Sponge vs. Empathy: Enneagram 4 & 9, INFJ/P, HSP, PTSD"

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This is a discussion on Interesting video: "Emotional Sponge vs. Empathy: Enneagram 4 & 9, INFJ/P, HSP, PTSD" within the Myers Briggs Forum forums, part of the Personality Type Forums category; Interesting video I just found about "being an emotional sponge" which a few different types, especially INFJ, might relate to. ...

  1. #1
    INFJ - The Protectors

    Interesting video: "Emotional Sponge vs. Empathy: Enneagram 4 & 9, INFJ/P, HSP, PTSD"

    Interesting video I just found about "being an emotional sponge" which a few different types, especially INFJ, might relate to. Also talks about Enneagram type 4 and 9. Thought of some of you who've I've seen post around here and thought you might get something out of it. Also there are probably types other than INFJ who experience this, too, but I'm not sure... you will have to tell us, types! :)

    https://youtu.be/NrqQNK_b1_g

    (Sorry, not sure why only link and not vid is popping up.)

    From the description:

    CAROLYN Z'S MINDHEART CHAT EPISODE #1

    EMOTIONAL SPONGE VS. EMPATHY: ENNEAGRAM 4 & 9, INFJ/P, HSP, PTSD....
    (and all those other letters.)

    Do you get overwhelmed from constantly absorbing others' emotions like they are your own? Maybe you have a loved one liked this and want to understand them? This episode is about being "emotional sponge", how this is a painful state that differs from empathy and is sometimes related to trauma, and how to understand it and heal.

    Topics discussed include:

    -The experience of being an "emotional sponge" who feels others' emotions in their body to an extreme degree

    -Personality types who might experience this, including Enneagram 4s and 9s, INFJs/INFPs and other MBTI types, introverts, "Highly Sensitive People", etc.

    -Its potential relationship to trauma

    -How this is not the same thing as empathy and, at times, could even be its opposite

    -A bit on how Buddhist teachings on the Brahmaviharas might address this

    -Suggestions for how to heal and channel emotional sponginess into a true empathetic superpower!
    selena87, NurseCat, susugam and 2 others thanked this post.



  2. #2
    ISTP - The Mechanics

    Wow. So much of this is hitting home. I definitely identify as HSP and having PTSD (C-PTSD specifically) and have regularly fought with a feeling of having no identity, and automaticlly absorbing the mental state, behaviors, or personality of whoever I'm around. Groups KILL me because it's too many people, and I can't mirror a single person, so I become incredibly overwhemed and I just shut down. This is likely the heart of my social anxiety, and my struggles fitting in with people, and making many friends.

    Thank you for linking this. It's really not something I related to my types or problems. I just thought it was a side-trait of mine or something.

    Edit: It's funny, these don't sound like ISTP traits. And I honestly am never sure what type I am, or even which functions I use dominantly. So I guess I really am a sponge.
    Last edited by susugam; 05-29-2015 at 12:33 PM.

  3. #3
    INFJ - The Protectors

    Agreed. PTSD is really related to a lot of tendencies that can trickle down through personality type. Also think it's important to talk about how there are types who might not realize they are doing this, too.

  4. #4
    INFJ - The Protectors

    What MBTI is the person? She says she's a four but doesn't exactly say an MBTI type.

  5. #5

    I really relate to this. Interesting video.
    Baerlieber thanked this post.

  6. #6
    INFJ - The Protectors

    Quote Originally Posted by TheProphetLaLa View Post
    I really relate to this. Interesting video.
    What do you relate to, @TheProphetLaLa ? And does it relate to your type at all? I'm interested in this phenomenon...

  7. #7
    INFJ - The Protectors

    Quote Originally Posted by susugam View Post
    Edit: It's funny, these don't sound like ISTP traits. And I honestly am never sure what type I am, or even which functions I use dominantly. So I guess I really am a sponge.
    @susugam do you know what your enneagram type is? You might be a 9...

  8. #8
    ISTP - The Mechanics

    Quote Originally Posted by Baerlieber View Post
    @susugam do you know what your enneagram type is? You might be a 9...
    6w5, 9w1, 2w1 is my typical tri. kinda makes sense
    Baerlieber thanked this post.

  9. #9
    INTP - The Thinkers

    That is an amazingly insightful video...thanks for posting. I grew up in a deeply enmeshed family, so her points really make a ton of sense to me. You might also like this article:

    What it means to "hold space" for people, plus eight tips on how to do it well - Heather Plett

    So...thinking deeper into it...she says emotional sponging is where the distinction between self and other is blurred, and I can definitely see that in my family's relational patterns. I can see where I've made progress in being able to maintain my own sense of separateness when someone else is experiencing emotions (not great at it yet, but moving in the right direction)...learning to "hold space" for someone else's experience.

    What I don't get at all, is the other side of that. The only pattern in my head for "receiving support" is in being the object of an emotional sponge's fix-it mentality. And I've learned enough at this point to be disgusted by that whole prospect, which leaves...nothing. There's no available algorithm, so to speak...no workable expectation...of how to receive support from someone else when they're offering support in a healthy way.

    What does that look like? What does it feel like? How does it actually help? Since I can't conceive of anything someone else could do that feels like it would be helpful to me, I end up feeling completely alone in the struggle. Having someone else "own" a person's problem is all I've ever seen done (and that pattern severely encroaches on healthy boundaries as well as undermining the person's opportunity for growth), so I can't envision a pattern of behavior on the receiving end that both receives support and maintains that person's ownership of their own problem.
    Baerlieber thanked this post.

  10. #10
    INFJ - The Protectors

    Quote Originally Posted by DogwoodTree View Post
    That is an amazingly insightful video...thanks for posting. I grew up in a deeply enmeshed family, so her points really make a ton of sense to me. You might also like this article:

    What it means to "hold space" for people, plus eight tips on how to do it well - Heather Plett

    So...thinking deeper into it...she says emotional sponging is where the distinction between self and other is blurred, and I can definitely see that in my family's relational patterns. I can see where I've made progress in being able to maintain my own sense of separateness when someone else is experiencing emotions (not great at it yet, but moving in the right direction)...learning to "hold space" for someone else's experience.

    What I don't get at all, is the other side of that. The only pattern in my head for "receiving support" is in being the object of an emotional sponge's fix-it mentality. And I've learned enough at this point to be disgusted by that whole prospect, which leaves...nothing. There's no available algorithm, so to speak...no workable expectation...of how to receive support from someone else when they're offering support in a healthy way.

    What does that look like? What does it feel like? How does it actually help? Since I can't conceive of anything someone else could do that feels like it would be helpful to me, I end up feeling completely alone in the struggle. Having someone else "own" a person's problem is all I've ever seen done (and that pattern severely encroaches on healthy boundaries as well as undermining the person's opportunity for growth), so I can't envision a pattern of behavior on the receiving end that both receives support and maintains that person's ownership of their own problem.
    Thank you for the link to the article. I can see a lot of what you're saying. What I got from the vid was that with empathy there is still a sense of getting close and even a tiny melding of the self/other but it's not a complete melding or a melding where you forget who is who. It's more "porous" and not complete. As the child of a narcissist who melded with me constantly and tried to convince me it was a good thing...well, let's just say it has been a difficult journey realizing what true empathy is versus what it feels like when somebody else is melding with me. It was hard to realize because the people who ended up helping me the most did maintain boundaries and sometimes that included tough love and them being very clear with me that I was engaging in behaviors that were harmful to them. They were helping me by making sure I owned my actions. Other people who have helped me in a "holding space" sense by truly holding the space of self and other precisely so that I COULD feel "held". Does that make sense? It takes an "other" to do the holding... I know I'm being a little abstract here...

    I think people need to be able to both hold their own space (owning their own problems) and see to it that others hold their own space (which can mean asking others to take accountability for their actions and emotions.)

    It's hard!
    DogwoodTree thanked this post.


     
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