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INTP Emotions - What is wrong with me?

Douche

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#1
Today my mother walked in crying, I asked what was wrong and she told me that my sister that is no longer living with us got pregnant and lost the baby. I stood there doing nothing for about 2 minutes then forced myself to ask "Are you okay?". Now I am writing this message.

I do feel sad about this, very sad... But, I cannot express this emotion, it's a really awkward thing.



Do others experience this, if a family member died or something bad happened?

I remember when my grandma died, I just sat for about 2 hours. I have a real problem with expressing any emotions, I feel like Spock for fucks sake. And if someone is crying near me, I will not acknowledge it verbally or physically as I feel fucking weird doing that.
 

Architect

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#2
Yes, when I was younger. As I got older my emotions unfroze a bit and now I express them more normally. I also see this in my INTP son, when his grandmother died. However he also has an INFJ mother who is helping him be less of a robot when it comes to emotions and Fe.

Sorry to hear about your sister, that is a very difficult situation.
 

pjoa09

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#3
Same here, I still remember, walked in , my grandmother and mother were bursting in tears, and I was like well, time to stay in the room until its all settled.
 
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#4
crying is meant to cause others to be sad

I'm a little bitter at people who have made me sad vicariously by crying; it's because they seem to feel 100% better afterwards while unloading their negative baggage onto me. I try not to fall for that emotionally manipulative shit anymore, nor do I impose it on others. Yea it's a cynical non-feeling way to behave.

I do understand sympathy and the way 'feelers' do the whole sharing of emotions and "omg are you okay..." blah blah blah; but, I see that as a very enabling way to treat others.

On the other end of the spectrum (vs sympathy), you could call it "tough love," pretty much telling the person to "suck it up" and "shut the fuck up" in so many words

I know neither extreme is the best, but enabling sad and depressed emotions is not always healthy. It's more my nature to just be the solid rock personality regardless of how I may feel inside.

I don't really care to act against my nature anymore.
 

Architect

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#5
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#7
lol you noticed

it's repressed frustration from years of typing out "Best Regards" at the end of emails from my previous career, absolutely hating the formality of worthless signatures.
He was talking about his sig, nobody notices you :D
 

Architect

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#9

Solitaire U.

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#10
Death and its associated mourning doesn't have the impact on me that is appears to have on others. I used to walk away from crying, etc. feeling helpless and uncomfortable. My best attempt at consolation would be scraping your dead cat's remains off the street after it got hit by a car and you came into the house crying (happened with my oldest son when he was 8).

But over the years I've learned more appropriate reactions. I can at least feign comforting gestures now, though I might not feel anything genuinely sad on the inside. I don't like to see people experience sadness. Raising kids has helped me realize this.
 

Polaris

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#11
People deal with emotions in different ways, some seem to overindulge in their emotions and they are pretty easy to pick. Their reactions are so baffling to me that I forget about my own emotions and often just end up sitting there wondering how I should be relating to their cascade of....stuff. Almost as if their emotions hijack the moment, and you are just left to flounder.

That said, I think there is also a perceived pressure to react "appropriately". This is what makes me think of the whole situation as totally absurd, and again I forget what I was supposed to feel or express because I get so caught up in trying to analyse the "appropriateness" of the whole mess.

Then again, there is the delayed reaction. Sometimes, when that delay is too long it could be classified as "shock", I suppose. I think thinkers just need more processing time before emotions are allowed to take the steering wheel.

The actual emotion may then be expressed at a later stage, this time in a completely random context.

Confusing indeed.

:storks:
 
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#12
People deal with emotions in different ways, some seem to overindulge in their emotions and they are pretty easy to pick. Their reactions are so baffling to me that I forget about my own emotions and often just end up sitting there wondering how I should be relating to their cascade of....stuff. Almost as if their emotions hijack the moment, and you are just left to flounder.

That said, I think there is also a perceived pressure to react "appropriately". This is what makes me think of the whole situation as totally absurd, and again I forget what I was supposed to feel or express because I get so caught up in trying to analyse the "appropriateness" of the whole mess.

Then again, there is the delayed reaction. Sometimes, when that delay is too long it could be classified as "shock", I suppose. I think thinkers just need more processing time before emotions are allowed to take the steering wheel.

The actual emotion may then be expressed at a later stage, this time in a completely random context.

Confusing indeed.

:storks:
Very accurate for me as well. Nicely summed up :)
 

Jennywocky

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#13
People deal with emotions in different ways, some seem to overindulge in their emotions and they are pretty easy to pick. Their reactions are so baffling to me that I forget about my own emotions and often just end up sitting there wondering how I should be relating to their cascade of....stuff. Almost as if their emotions hijack the moment, and you are just left to flounder.

That said, I think there is also a perceived pressure to react "appropriately". This is what makes me think of the whole situation as totally absurd, and again I forget what I was supposed to feel or express because I get so caught up in trying to analyse the "appropriateness" of the whole mess.

Then again, there is the delayed reaction. Sometimes, when that delay is too long it could be classified as "shock", I suppose. I think thinkers just need more processing time before emotions are allowed to take the steering wheel.

The actual emotion may then be expressed at a later stage, this time in a completely random context.

Confusing indeed.
I agree with all these observations, and they are very insightful.

And it's funny sometimes how emotions take time to process and/or come back later. (When my dad went into the hospital, I was in "deal with it" mode until he went into code blue and I was kicked out of the room, and then standing alone by myself in the corner while the family was huddled obliviously elsewhere, I felt very overwhelmed by everything. But I don't think I cried until later, when I was alone completely.)

....

Getting back to the OP and NinjaSurfer's comments, etc., while yes there are some people who will try to overdramatize and hijack a situation for some kind of emotional benefit, I think it is good to remember that people are also responding authentically and expressing an emotion they feel. Maybe we aren't feeling it, but it doesn't mean the person is demanding we feel it or that they're trying to impose; they've been badly hurt, and that's something important to remember. In a sense, if you're consistently feeling like you are being manipulated just because someone is crying, you're kind of having a "hijack" response on your own end... the situation was never about you, but your feelings have become the focus of an experience that someone else initiated because they had a problem.

In this particular situation, the mom is crying because her daughter lost her baby. That's not an overblown situation or self-created drama, that is pretty emotionally upsetting for many many people. Not only did the mom lose a potential grandchild, but now her daughter -- who she raised and sacrificed for and took care of all those years and had to nurture/safeguard -- is now hurting badly. Again, not trivial drama; crying (or worsE) about this is nothing odd.

I'll be honest... While I think sympathy in this kind of situation is called for, I've also been in situation where I felt little. One of them was with my sister, who is approaching forty (so her viability to bear kids is running out), and after one healthy baby in her mid-30's, she's had three miscarriages. I was never close to my sister, and because she is super-religious and disagrees with me about a particular life choice I made, our relationship is definitely not close, nor have I really gotten to be part of my niece's life (these are boundaries she drew, not me). She also tended to excuse the miscarriages as "God's will, praise be his name!" rather than the more likely, "Uh, I'm getting old and it's going to be difficult for me to carry a baby to term, apparently."

So I have felt some deep "general empathy" toward my sister, as I would feel toward any woman who lost a baby... I feel bad for them... but I never shed any tears over it, and I'm sure outwardly I looked very unflustered and level-headed when talking to people about it.

So I can identify with the OP, at least in the sense of maybe not outwardly expressing the emotion. However, I think inwardly, I think it's good to (1) feel something just in regards to the "plight of humanity," if your emotion batteries are functional and (2) not necessarily think their responses are overblown, some emotional responses are actually very typical not just for people in general but for certain personalities and situations, and it's okay for them to be who they are and respond out of that, as much as it is for you to be yourself.

It's just part of being in relationship with other people, sometimes.

BTW, I only ever saw my grandfather 1-2x a year when younger, and when he died while I was in high school I never cried. But I did cry when my dog -- who I saw every day -- was put to sleep.
 
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#14
Just yesterday!
A friend I communicate with 99% of the time by IM only (we did date quite a number of years ago, but don't live very close so never see each other any more)....IMed me to tell me his dog died. But to begin with, he states, "Boo is gone". Me not knowing who "Boo" was and being frustrated that he chose to even begin the conversation that way, I responded back sort of harshly with, "And who would that be? Your mom? Your kid? You don't have any other friends... are you even talking about a person!?", but generally speaking, we speak sort of harshly to each other, so I didn't think much of it.... Then finally he explains it was his dog and that it being "gone" meant that it had died. (overall there is far too much extrapolation going on in our everyday conversations!)
I refused to say I was sorry, because I think it's just stupid that people even say that. I didn't kill the dog and "I'm sorry for your loss" it just about the worse and most overused cliche statement in history. I asked instead, "So what happened?" And he said it was probably some sort of cancer. I really wanted to reply, "You shouldn't have been giving her so much Hennessy!", but I figured at this point, maybe it would cross the line... Instead I said, "So what happens now?" Trying to engage him in a conversation about the dog and what the plan is with the remains. He seems even more offended that I would ask "what they do with it now" when I found it to be the only logical step for the conversation. If my cats died, I wouldn't know what to do with them either! My mom always just buried our dead animals in the back yard! What else could he be seeking from me??! I can't hug you via IM (not that I would in life, either) and he knows already I'm not a sympathetic person, and lastly and most crudely, I'm not an animal person. I don't treat animals like human babies much like dog owners tend to do so I don't understand all the emotional connection that people have with them.
He then went on to tell me to kiss his a&& and said, "Well I hope you have your cats long enough for them to grow old and die and you'll see how it feels"....
Uh.... okay?
And I'm the weird one, right?

Overall, I don't express sympathy for loss very well. I can't sympathize with others, mainly because I've never dealt with a close loss in my life as an adult. I tend to feel that people should expect that people and other living things die, so why is it so hard to understand that something died? I know it's never that simple, but it always feels like that to me. Again, I've never experienced a great loss, but if something were to ever happen to my son, it's just about the only time I could feel I would become emotional and traumatized to the point of "inconsolability".
On the flip side, I hate hearing about pregnancies and people having kids. I especially get irritated with people who get pregnant and feel like the world should be celebrating with them. I make it a point not to even acknowledge a woman's pregnancy no matter how far along she is. It's a bad habit, but I guess it's my own hang-up. lol

Anyway point is.... I have a hard time with feelings too, especially the positive ones such as sympathy, love, happiness, excitement, etc.
 
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#15
Interesting thread. I have had similar experiences, however I do see myself expressing more emotions as I become more self actualized. What's nice is I have control over which emotions I express and when I express them. I also appreciate my mind's ability to suspend negative emotions indefinitely. It makes me incapable of panic, grief, or insanity.
 
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#17
Tears are stress relievers, and actually contain high amounts of waste products/toxins. So, holding them in is bad for you. I read an article about it, but I can't remember where I read it. If I find it, I'll post it on this thread.

Long story short: cry when you feel like crying.
I think many here would agree that it's not a matter of "holding them in" or forcing yourself not to express them. The last thing I remembered making me cry was a toothache that required a root canal (in other words, physical pain is the most logical thing to cry about). I don't cry "for others" or out of sympathy and if I can't do something about it, what am I crying for? What help would producing those tears do for you other than express to others you have the ability to cry?
I have a liver and some kidneys for metabolizing and excreting waste... :slashnew:
 

Cheeseumpuffs

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#18
My aunt died about a year or two ago, now. I got home from school and proceeded to dick around on my computer like usual. My dad came home and I briefly went out to get a snack and say hey. He was visibly upset but not crying or overly emotional to any extent so I asked "What's up?" He said "Your aunt Teri died." (My dad and my aunt were twins) and so I said "Oh." and then got my snack and went back to my computer.

I didn't feel bad about it. To be honest, the majority of the time I spent thinking about the whole affair was hoping that I wouldn't have to go down to the funeral.

We got a car out of the deal, too.

Am I a bad person?

I'd like to think I'm not.

Edit: All that said, I think I made it seem like I'm a little too heartless. I do get emotional but not for the same reasons that others might. I didn't feel sadness at all for my aunt's death and yet I had a legitimate emotional "episode" when I read that news story about the cop shooting a dog. That's probably not a sign of someone with "regular" emotions but I honestly feel like the death of the dog was more important to me than the death of a family member. I contemplate the life of every bug and spider I smash, regardless of how repulsive I find it. I get emotional about death, just not with people.
 

TriflinThomas

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#19
My aunt died about a year or two ago, now. I got home from school and proceeded to dick around on my computer like usual. My dad came home and I briefly went out to get a snack and say hey. He was visibly upset but not crying or overly emotional to any extent so I asked "What's up?" He said "Your aunt Teri died." (My dad and my aunt were twins) and so I said "Oh." and then got my snack and went back to my computer.

I didn't feel bad about it. To be honest, the majority of the time I spent thinking about the whole affair was hoping that I wouldn't have to go down to the funeral.

We got a car out of the deal, too.

Am I a bad person?

I'd like to think I'm not.
I did the same thing when I found out my dad died. Then, I cried about once a week for a while, did a lot of drugs, and got over it.
 

Trebuchet

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#20
I agree with Jennywocky - nicely put.

There is nothing wrong with you. People react how they react. You eventually came up with an entirely appropriate response, asking "Are you okay?" You said the situation makes you sad. There is nothing wrong with your responses. (I mean, you didn't punch the air in triumph, or tell your mom to get out because you were watching TV.)

Some people show their emotions. Some (like many INTPs) don't. People are different, and other people's expectations do not mean you are wrong to be yourself. Your reaction is not unusual or incorrect.

If anyone asks why you aren't more upset, or don't you want to talk, or whatever, just tell them that yes, you are sad, and you just need time to process everything in private for a while.
 
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#21
Intriguing thread. I've been in your situation OP, brother's wife had a miscarriage. When I was told this by my sad looking mum, I told her it was a common thing, miscarriages happen often, so it's no big deal.
And when my grandma died, I made a joke. Everyone laughed.

But that's family.
When my coworker recently got teary eyed while telling me a story about her kid, I was just thinking, "damn, she's about to cry.. should I pat her? say everything is ok? give her a tissue..?"
She didn't cry fortunately.

For me, I have a hard time relating, which in turn leads to not knowing what to do. I am slowly with age learning how to deal with these situations, granted they are all not so genuine responses, but I've found it easier to say the right things to get people to calm down, rather than trying argue why it's unnecessary for them to be sad, which is what I used to do, hahaha..

With family and my friend, it's easy. I have to be myself, they know me.
 
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#22
When my cousin(Died at like 23) died I was about 11 years old. He was very close to me, like a brother.

I remember everyone crying, my dad, unlce, mother, everyone. I didn't though. My mom thought I was trying to be tough, and said It was ok to cry. I attempted to cry, but I couldn't. I don't know why.

I spent most of that day playing Call of Duty on my uncle's playstation.

I don't think Death has ever bothered me.
 

BridgeOfSighs

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#23
I cry a lot more than I used to, though my life isn't terribly bad right now... Mostly I attribute this to birth control.

Anyway, I've always been very non-reactive to emotional situations in public. If something bad/sad happened I would act out physically {slamming doors, stomping away} mostly just to create a scene since I didn't think anyone would pay attention otherwise. Once I was alone I would let it all out, usually by crying. I don't think I act this way because of my personality - it's shifted over the years - but my family. No one in my family is very open about their emotions. I grew up with my parents fighting constantly so it just made sense to be aggressive.

When my grandpa died when I was five I remember crying only because my aunt was. I don't think I was sad though because I didn't have the mental capacity to understand what had happened, it just seemed like the appropriate response.
 

crippli

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#24
Dead people tend to sparkle my curiosity. I want to touch them. Sometimes french kiss them on the lips. I think perhaps if I can blow life back inside their bodies.

I'm worried tough if the others will find it odd if I start kissing the corps on the alter during the ceremony.

I have only had a few grandparents die so far that was close. To me it looked nice. Peaceful. I think it's nice to die. It's the reward for the struggle, deep undisturbed sleep. If it's young people I even tend to think that they got off cheap.

I doubt there is anything wrong with me, perhaps just not so caught up in the moment.
 

SLushhYYY

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#25
I honestly would have no subconscious response to such an event. I'd fake some sympathy, but as any action, once its done, its done. There is no use in dwelling in emotional grief of such scenarios that are unchangeable.

If it was a CLOSE family relative, emotion would rise since I would have lost a loyal companion of mine, who will never be able to be replaced.
 

snafupants

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#26
Today my mother walked in crying, I asked what was wrong and she told me that my sister that is no longer living with us got pregnant and lost the baby. I stood there doing nothing for about 2 minutes then forced myself to ask "Are you okay?". Now I am writing this message.

I do feel sad about this, very sad... But, I cannot express this emotion, it's a really awkward thing.



Do others experience this, if a family member died or something bad happened?

I remember when my grandma died, I just sat for about 2 hours. I have a real problem with expressing any emotions, I feel like Spock for fucks sake. And if someone is crying near me, I will not acknowledge it verbally or physically as I feel fucking weird doing that.
This sounds manipulative but use rationality to overcome shortcomings in the emotion department. It's perfectly all right to immediately inquire about what happened or mutter goddammit or something. I also feel you're perhaps overcritical of yourself given the expectations of the situation. The fact is you do care, so let that come out in a natural way. There's a Shins' song called Caring is Creepy and I suppose sometimes overweening emotion can be off-putting but tactfully asking for more information sates your desire for complexity and allows you to more fully understand the situation while appearing concerned. Come on, your mother at least intuits that you care. There's no need to pulverize yourself afterwards.
 

Duxwing

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#27
Dead people tend to sparkle my curiosity. I want to touch them. Sometimes french kiss them on the lips. I think perhaps if I can blow life back inside their bodies.

I'm worried tough if the others will find it odd if I start kissing the corps on the alter during the ceremony.

I have only had a few grandparents die so far that was close. To me it looked nice. Peaceful. I think it's nice to die. It's the reward for the struggle, deep undisturbed sleep. If it's young people I even tend to think that they got off cheap.

I doubt there is anything wrong with me, perhaps just not so caught up in the moment.
Get help. I'm not kidding, so I'll say it again: GET HELP.

-Duxwing

EDIT: Wrong poster quoted.
 

Duxwing

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#29
HELP, as in like there is a crises?
Well, you did just say that you were fantasizing about french kissing dead bodies to bring them back to life and thinking that dead people have achieved a sort of "release". Perhaps I'm just being a closed-minded, judgmental person who can't stand different ways of living, but this seems like a maladaptive way of coping with death because it simply channels the feeling into a behavior that, as you pointed out, many might find revolting. Hence, I advise that you seek psychological evaluation (a.k.a., "HELP").

-Duxwing
 

crippli

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#30
Well, you did just say that you were fantasizing about french kissing dead bodies to bring them back to life and thinking that dead people have achieved a sort of "release". Perhaps I'm just being a closed-minded, judgmental person who can't stand different ways of living, but this seems like a maladaptive way of coping with death because it simply channels the feeling into a behavior that, as you pointed out, many might find revolting. Hence, I advise that you seek psychological evaluation (a.k.a., "HELP").
I think I'm just being bored during the ceremony. I wouldn't do that. I can see myself that it would be in bad taste. Literary.

Oh, and you quoted SLushhYYY first. I actually thought it was him/her you meant needed help. But it appears it wasn't. How perceptive of me :phear:
 

HDINTP

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#31
I usually felt sort of weird when a family member died, but it was okay I mean it just happened people live and day it is that way and so what. The only thing I tried to do was not to be that direct. I just said "I see" and went out of the room.
 
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#32
I think it's pretty common for people to not feel entirely comfortable with their emotions, and even the emotions of others. Emotions can be volatile, unpredictable, hard to control and completely without logical basis. Unfortunately, they're a part of life that is better to deal with than to ignore. What's important is that we continually push forward in our efforts to better understand and utilize them, for ourselves and for others.

Just because you didn't break down and cry does not mean anything is wrong with you. Everybody is different, and we don't have to, nor should we expect that we will react in the same, or even similar ways as others. I think you did good by your mother in asking her what was wrong, and whether she was okay. That's all you can do in a situation like that, and if you don't feel yourself compelled to cry then there is nothing wrong with not doing it. You know that you felt badly about the situation, and that in itself shows that you are in touch with your emotions, and recognize them when they appear. That is good enough.
 
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#33
Agree with the OP and various strands of what others said. To fkn lazy to be bothered quoting the specific parts.

I would note from a fairly youngish age, family has meant nothing to me, so if someone dies I am more likely to feel sad If I liked the person. Genetic closeness always seemed like a stupid reason to feel sad for someone. That and family consistently proved they were bigger assholes than non family members.

When my Grandfather on my Father's side died I didn't shed a tear. Personally thought the man was a fucking prick and good riddance to the asshole.
When my Grandfather on my Mother's side died, I did cry but only at the funeral and also only because everyone started crying when a terrible Bette Midler song was played.

Not really a fan of expressing sympathy and/or compassion. Can't stand funerals, weddings or even signing leaving/get well/congratulations/birthday cards. Christmas fills me with dread and December is a very stressful month. Mothers day, Fathers Day, Valentines and other such crap is deeply stressing and annoying as well.

Paradoxically If I feel someone is very genuine in expressing sympathy or compassion I rate them highly. Just I consider most people are fuckers that are following social norms and I don't consider them genuine.
Sympathy and compassion I find easier for society than the individual as well.
 

Architect

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#34
I see a lot of people talking about reaction to death here. I've noticed that INTPs generally have a less strong reaction to death compared to other people, interesting to see it verified.

Not really a fan of expressing sympathy and/or compassion. Can't stand funerals, weddings or even signing leaving/get well/congratulations/birthday cards.
Ha - yeah I hate weddings and dislike funerals. Cookie cutter pageantry.

Christmas fills me with dread and December is a very stressful month.
I enjoy Christmas. I take the time as an opportunity to introvert and evaluate my life.

Mothers day, Fathers Day, Valentines and other such crap is deeply stressing and annoying as well.
Those are made up holidays we don't celebrate.

Paradoxically If I feel someone is very genuine in expressing sympathy or compassion I rate them highly. Just I consider most people are fuckers that are following social norms and I don't consider them genuine.
Sympathy and compassion I find easier for society than the individual as well.
Yes ..
 
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