Fi and Moral Superiority

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  • #22759
    fayest42
    Participant
    • Type: FiNe
    • Development: ll--
    • Attitude: Unseelie

    There was a recent discussion on the discord about whether people with high Fi tend to view themselves as morally superior. I wrote out a description of my own experiences with judging others, and it was suggested I share it on the forum since it might include some universal Fi themes. I'd be curious to hear from both Fi and non-Fi folks about which parts of this they relate to and which parts they don't. Here it is:
    "Regarding the whole moral superiority thing - I'm kind of in the process of self-discovery on this issue, so I couldn't say anything about it with confidence, but here's what I've noticed so far: I have high standards for myself, but they are not necessarily moral ones. Occasionally morality plays a role, but more often I view something as being the "best" or "most correct" way of doing something for non-moral reasons. In theory these standards are only for myself, and I do not apply them to other people, but it doesn't work exactly this way in practice. I think it works in my brain something like this: I do believe "x" is the "correct" way objectively speaking, but I also recognize that my standards are weirdly high and that having these obsessively high standards is itself not the ideal way to be. There are a lot of benefits (probably more) to being more relaxed about things. So when I see someone doing something in a way that I don't think is the "correct" way, I do judge what they're doing as being "wrong," but I don't really judge them for being more relaxed than I am and not doing everything the "right" way, if that makes sense. Sometimes I actually feel jealous of those people for being able to be more relaxed about things.
    That's for non-moral stuff. For moral stuff, it's even more complex because I don't believe in objective morality, but sometimes my body does XD So sometimes I have a moral disagreement with someone about something, and my logical brain is saying "Well, they have different values than I do. They value y above x, so their stance makes sense given that," but a more visceral part of me is giving me the disgust response and telling me that person is horrible.
    Oh, and it's also worth noting that I almost never voice any of these thoughts out loud because I really don't want to come across as judgmental. Sometimes I struggle when someone asks about why I do something because it's really hard to answer without coming across as judgmental. Like when I used to be a vegetarian and people would ask why, how can you say that you're a vegetarian because you view eating meat as morally wrong without implying that the meat-eating person you're talking to is bad? That's a tricky situation.
    I will also note that there are some situations in which I view myself as being much less judgmental than most. Pretty much anytime I hear anyone criticizing anyone else, my knee-jerk response is to try to see things from the perspective of the person being criticized and to defend them (which is not a great idea in terms of compassionate communication, but that's what my brain wants to do)."

    #22916
    a.k.a.Janie
    Participant
    • Type: FiSe
    • Development: ll--
    • Attitude: Unseelie

    I'm kind of similar. To the point where, this probably would've raised an eyebrow if I had read it somewhere outside of a typology context, and didn't know who had written it, I might suspect that the person was similar to me in this department. It sounds like we both have an intrinsic moral code, which is wired in at a deeper level than society's moral codes or any others imposed on us from the outside (hence your nervous system reacting to things that your thinking mind didn't even fully process). And this is often misunderstood, because many people don't think that anyone actually works like this, and so I can relate to your needing to make an effort to not come off as judgmental or holier-than-thou, or something like that.
    Maybe I've historically been more in touch with the emotional component of my Fi (for lack of a better term, I know that might not even be technically correct), and so I always know where it comes from when I experience moral disgust type reactions. I actually wrote a long post about it back in December, about how I experienced it developing while I was growing up. And then in my late teens through mid-20's or so, I actually kind of did regard myself as morally superior. In high school, I had to read about Kohlberg's stages of moral development. I realized that I had already been at level 6 for some time, and iirc it said that many people never reach 5 or 6. So that also contributed to my attitude about that. But it's better now. Better in that, I grew and developed a lot as a person, and started taking my life in directions where I started to be surrounded by--now ironically I'm hesitating to use a term that might be overly judgmental--let's just say, people who tend to be healthier overall and also more intellectual. It's been quite humbling, for one thing. Even though most people aren't Fi leads, none of the ones I'm regularly in contact with have any moral failings that would cause me to cut them off or distance myself from them. And then I can see all the ways in which they are "better" (or what even is the proper word?) than I. Some are naturally more giving and other-oriented, for example. I've been noticing when people think of me and do something for me, when I didn't expect it, as I wouldn't have thought of them in that situation, and then I feel kind of bad, so I attempt to work on being it. Also, more recently, the Enneagram has opened my eyes to my blindspots, where my own moral failings lie. Also some of the things in CT on the heartitudes under stress really ring true for me, which has given me more food for thought on where I need to focus next with my healing and self-improvement.
    I do kind of see life as being for developing oneself as much as possible into the best version of oneself. And I personally have tons more room for growth, so knowing that, combined with how the people I'm mostly around has changed, I no longer feel "better" than people that often. Also, having in-depth discussions on the subject with (likely) "thinking type" people has been very interesting. Although they have Fi lower or not at all, I have seen how they've used the cognitive processes they have, to come up with their own moral codes. Sometimes it feels like we're all approaching the same point, but from different paths. Seeing how Ti users get there is particularly interesting these days, as I have the idea of a root Ji in the back of my mind, wondering what that is and how does one reach it, since seeing that term on the forum. Ultimately I appreciate the opportunities to learn from people of different types, and hope that sharing my own experiences may be of some value to others on their own journeys or intellectual pursuits, or wherever they want to go.
    "Judge not, lest ye be judged."?

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