Selfishness and types

Selfishness and types

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This is a discussion on Selfishness and types within the Myers Briggs Forum forums, part of the Personality Type Forums category; Defining selfishness as being more self-oriented, and motivated in that state towards comfort, And defining altruism as selflessness, as being ...

  1. #1
    INFP - The Idealists

    Selfishness and types

    Defining selfishness as being more self-oriented, and motivated in that state towards comfort,
    And defining altruism as selflessness, as being more oriented towards the awareness and comfort of others,

    Do you think some types may possibly be inherently more selfish than others?

    Or do you think that the attribute of selfishness itself is not necessarily related to type?

    If the latter,

    Do you think that type does somehow influence the nature of or the expression of that fundamentally equal selfishness?

    Or do you think it's utterly, completely irrelevant?

    For me, this is how it works:

    I constantly question my selfishness and my altruism alike. I am constantly plagued by the feeling that none of the actions seemingly stemming from either are truly, absolutely, fundamentally grounded in completely genuine sentiments. So I keep questioning myself and my motives, double-guessing myself over and over again until I'm so confused and all over the place, I might as well be a squirrel or a pinecone instead of myself. It's like when you're trying to detect, I dunno, some totally tiny electrons or whatnot and you shoot photons at them, but the totally tiny electrons get bounced away in the process of my attempting to detect their location; I end up with a darkly, shakily delineated formula for the probability of said electron's whereabouts. Of my reality. Whatever.

    I'm sometimes assailed by guilt because I feel like I obfuscate the realities of who people actually are, and limit my perception of them to how I've come to judge them based on my limited experience of them. So even when I genuinely, emotionally feel like I'm acting purely out of altruistic motives, I may actually just be doling out a well-intentioned act of goodwill to someone that is a brainchild of my own concoction, some idealized version of the person that has nothing to do with the actual recipient of that action. But then again, does that render my action itself selfish? Why do I have to feel guilty about being so potentially self-oriented?

    The spirals of thought are horrific, especially at night, which is when, I hear, emotional hormones are most actively secreted.

    I think I am selfish because even in my acts of altruism, I'm basically dealing more with someone that means something to me, instead of the actual someone who really is the recipient of my actions in real life.

    I think this is a pretty INXP thing to be. The I makes me inwardly-focused; the N makes me think in abstractions about concrete people; the F or the T make me regard people either emotionally or logically; and the P prevents me from just reacting to people and letting my judgment conclude for itself - the P sends me into these thought spirals, which are dizzying and confusing, and which I believe contribute to the splitting up of the recipient of my actions and my conceptualization of the person.

    As opposed to my being relatively selfish even in my altruism, for reasons not unrelated to my type, I can speculate that the altruism of the ESFJ or ESTJ might be much more sensibly genuine and, I dunno, immediate and visceral and.. real somehow. I don't know much about the shadows or the chief functions or things - I'm not so learned in MBTI - but I'd conjecture that the E would make the person more outwardly focused, and the S would keep him or her in tune with the physicality and reality of the recipient of the well-meaning action, and the J would keep the spirals from happening.

    I realize that there has already been a thread on altruism somewhere (I recall stumbling across it; can't find where it is at the moment!) but I wonder: what about selfishness, guys? What's your take on it?
    Ermenegildo and Tipo thanked this post.

  2. #2
    Unknown Personality

    I wouldn't call it selfishness; Ti / Fi may very well be self-centered, but it's Zero External Net Force, so it's harmless, I think.

    As long as Ti / Fi is controlled, that is.

    Are INFPs/INTPs prone to the "I think I'm special" syndrome?

    *Maybe you have well-developed Fe, hence the "guilt".

  3. #3
    advidor sm photo Advisor flat_zpsbbmk2xmv.png

    I am going to simplify this. I think perceivers are generally selfish more so than judgers.
    starri, matilda, OrangeAppled and 5 others thanked this post.

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  5. #4
    Unknown Personality

    Extroverted perceivers: ESTP, ESFP, ENTP, ENFP
    Introverted judgers: ISTP, ISFP, INTP, INFP

    I do think it's an Fi / Ti thing.
    Linnifae, SarahWilliams, rawrmosher and 3 others thanked this post.

  6. #5
    INFP - The Idealists

    PHP Code:
    Are INFPs/INTPs prone to the "I think I'm special" syndrome
    yeah, I'd say so. but then again, isn't this true for like almost every single human being? I can definately speak for the INFP that we have the 'we are misunderstood' thing going on, and I know INTP's are also vulnerable to this. But generally these sentiments are there for a good reason. Whining can become a habit and this can become a problem though.
    Besides, I think the 'I think I'm special' syndrome is pretty much equatable to the 'I'm such an insignificant nobody, so much worse than anybody else' syndrome. Dunno if you could paint it just one way.

    PHP Code:
    Extroverted perceiversESTPESFPENTPENFP
    Introverted judgersISTPISFPINTPINFP
    do think it's an Fi / Ti thing. 
    This is fascinating. Please do elaborate.
    Tipo thanked this post.

  7. #6
    INTP - The Thinkers

    I am somewhat selfish. I try to help others once in a while but it doesn't always go according to plan. When I do the right thing the people close to me are shocked. It's the reputation I've build.

  8. #7
    INFP - The Idealists

    Yes, I would say that the thought that I am special has crossed my mind more than once. LOL. Then, again, everyone is special, aren't they? One of the most annoying things about being in the education field is standardization of curriculum and testing. I don't know how we are going to get around that. We read about Multiple Intelligence Theory and we try to "differentiate" with our students, but the bottom line is that the teacher to student ratio in schools both public or private is often between 1:20 and 1:3O. That's a lot of personality in one room. LOL. "Cooperative learning" is also very much talked about...How do all of these different personalities learn to live and work together? Like the Dali Lama said, what the world needs most is foregiveness and tolerance...
    NinjaSwan thanked this post.

  9. #8
    ENFP - The Inspirers

    I think a lot of people are selfish today. And I think the cause is money.
    Chilln thanked this post.

  10. #9
    ENTP - The Visionaries

    I'm often praised for being unselfish among my friends and colleagues but I think the reason for me helping out is more about me liking to solve problems. That's what I'm good at. So there's a selfish reasoning on my part.

    But I don't mind being taken as a really nice person
    Last edited by Sachetan; 08-02-2009 at 12:19 PM.

  11. #10
    ENTP - The Visionaries

    Yeah, I've been thanked for doing stuff like fixing computers, analyzing people, helping, but I did it all for the challenge. I've also turned down people who presented it without challenge. So now all my friends try to make it sound more challenging than it is when they have a problem.
    Tipo thanked this post.

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