Why do people say/think that? I don't consider myself to be selfish and I don't think I'm wrong. Self-absorbed? I'll admit to that. But not selfish. Is it because Ne is > than Fi or is that just not an Fi thing?
Edit: I had used 'myths' rather than stereotypes before then it suddenly occurred to me that that is a very bad word to use on a Jungian board to mean false stereotypes, lol!
I think people take F to mean how much you care about people in general, with Fe ignoring themselves to attend to the needs of others, and Fi ignoring others to attend to their own needs. I think this is really simplistic and not a good way of describing what actually goes on, so I suspect it's just speculation based on making a coherent theory rather than one that actually holds up to real life.
Fe can be absolutely self-centered, manipulative, and pushy. Idealistic , narcissistic, devaluing the opinions of others, and so forth. It can be even more combative and demanding than Te because it has vested interest in changing the other person to match themselves.
Fi doesn't do that. It tends to be less concerned about any given person sharing opinions with them and focuses more on personal values and their own ethical and taste palette. In a really reductive sense, yes, it is self-centric, but a strong Fi-user may find themselves inclined to treat other people well, be a good friend, avoid conflict, and so on. It may not be as natural for them to find ways of expressing and implementing those values as a strong Fe-user, but they aren't necessarily oblivious to the needs of others.
"Selfish" is a really bad word to use. It honestly bothers me that people in the MBTI community throw it around so flippantly.
Perhaps it's due to Fi not being given to doing the hosting thing. It can look selfish I guess. Or not playing their part in those committee-like social obligation thingies...I know I duck from such 'responsibilities' like cats do with prospects of water on their fur.
I'm trying to recall what my mistaken views of Fi were(are?)... before I discovered it's my dominant function. It seemed self-righteous and judgmental to me, rather than selfish. Mind you, I think the common interpretation of selfishness is something akin to greed. Putting the wants of the self before the needs of others. That's a really unpleasant character flaw. A healthy selfishness on the other hand seems necessary for well-being, and I have contemplated that concept for decades(?) as I try to find a way to justify the assertion of my own needs.
My experience has been anything but selfish. I put the needs of others ahead of my own... to the extent that I couldn't find a way to interact socially unless I could find the need of the other and accommodate it. It seemed like a purpose... like an apology for existing, like a pathology. So unless I had that social function in serving others, I didn't feel like I had a legitimate place. 'Hosting' then (if I get your meaning right, Authenticity), is a means of serving others and a viable social role that provided some (small) comfort for this Fi lead, enough to make the interaction possible. Also there must be a component of control and power in that - not in the sense of wanting to subjugate others - but in the sense of needing to control the self's experience and environment; needing to avert harm. If one makes oneself indispensable, one can not be rejected. Yes... very much an exercise in power to the fearful ego. Perhaps that is unhealthy selfishness after all!
It is absolutely vital to my sense of self to treat others well and to avoid conflict. Conflict causes me to feel physically ill. When in relationship, the default thought pattern is "What does this person want? What does he/she need from me? How can I provide that?" I see where that, coupled with conflict-avoidance, has lead me astray. In many circumstances what each person needed is not what they wanted. But in trying to keep the peace by meeting wants, greater damage occurs to the self and other from neglected needs. Sometimes it is really hard though to untangle wants from needs - to recognise which is which - and then to find the courage to take actions that risk conflict or hurt feelings. It's hard for me to act on the fact that sometimes the best course of action for a person's well-being is to hurt their feelings! Then, sometimes we aren't even honest with ourselves about our needs - how is someone else to know? I think Fi though makes a person focus on discovering their own needs - and this is healthy selfishness. I think Ti may serve the same purpose for Fe users.
...so in an Fi user, awareness of personal needs comes with strong emotional (chemical-body) signals, while for Ti users detachment and reasoning serve best. I guess "follow your gut instincts" was said by and for Fi users!
But where was I? I think the problem is a misunderstanding of what it means to be selfish. If we were all a little more selfish in a healthy sense, we could act with more integrity and for greater good. Ego-selfishness is unhealthy. Core selfishness promotes good.
I find myself trying to dismantle ego-constructs, but it takes time. It's the old onion-peeling exercise.
Oh, back to those preconceptions! Yes, I though being an Fi-lead meant stomping around with a scowl wearing a "meat is murder" t-shirt and dumping guilt-inducing shit on on any poor sod who didn't share your values. Guess I was wrong
MothGirl , thanks! I relate a lot to what you say about having trouble with the oppisite of selfishness: being too accomodating. Thats me too! And being devastated by conflict. What I meant by hosting: I see some people in my culture when they visit somewhere automatically assuming a hosting role, getting busy doing stuff. It just doesn't occur to me for the most part. I am always avoiding obligations to join this club-like things, being formally part of a group with some kind of expectation to meet and do things. I avoided that like the plague even at church. Perhaps thats more and Ne thing though. And I thought Fi was about that forceful evangelism and something they call fideism. Not requiring reason in your beliefs and even further asserting someone believe something just because YOU do.
I agree that avoidance of responsibility could be associated with Ne - I find myself aching so much to escape responsibility; to just be free, to be myself - but the need to do the 'right' thing is greater. Such an internal battle. One day I'm just going to run away and no one will find me!! hahaha.