These Aren’t My Feelings: Absorbing Emotions as an INFJ

I have noticed that sometimes when I watch movies or TV shows I get a bit more worked up than the average person (eg. I was watched an episode of The OA this morning and I got physically anxious because of the situation… my heart was racing, my hands were clammy.) Or that when my husband comes home in a melancholy mood I have to consciously choose not to automatically slip into being melancholy too, no matter how great my day was. Or that when someone cries, I often cry too.
Today after reading this blog post and thinking more about it, I realized that this is probably why I am so numb in some situations too. Because I know from experience how easily my emotions can be manipulated, there are some times and places where a wall goes up around my heart as a defense mechanism. Church, especially has been one of those places recently. For a good number of years the music and the preacher and the people around me all influenced me, subconsciously convincing me these feelings were my own. But then it the quiet moments when I was alone, when I no longer felt those same emotions, I started to wonder if they were my feelings at all. And obviously being a follower of Jesus is more than emotions… the heart AND the head are involved. So then I would press more into the beliefs and the knowledge side of things and well… growing up in an age of skepticism makes that difficult as well. So… I don’t really have a point here, just that I appreciated this blog post and a reminder that there are other people who are trying to figure out the lines between their emotions and the emotions of the people around them.

Marissa

This past Friday I did something I’ve never done before and which provided my father with much amusement. I danced at someone’s funeral. More precisely, it was at a memorial service for a man I didn’t really know. I’d seen him at church services, but we never spoke. His wife was on our dance team, though, and she asked us to open the service by dancing to Bo Ruach Elohim.

At first, I didn’t really feel much about this man’s death beyond a rather abstract sense of sympathy for those who’d loved him. But as soon as I was surrounded by the grief of those who knew and loved him, I started to feel it as well. Layering on top of that were the emotions I imagined other people I cared about feeling. I won’t go into any details, but some of the things this man’s wife and daughter…

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These Aren’t My Feelings: Absorbing Emotions as an INFJ