Many believe that certain types, in particular the feeling or introverted feeling types, have stronger values than other types. That’s not true. We tend to believe that some values to be more moral than other values. That’s really not true. While you have values that are important to you, other types will have values that are more important to them. Understanding this can help you understand disagreements you have with other types.
One person that has understood this is Shalom SH. Schwartz. In his works on the Schwartz Values Survey, he found that everyone has different values, but that there are some values that are universal for all of us. These values are said to exist across the entire world, in all cultures. I believe they are the ethics passed down to us from generation to generation. And I believe some personality types prefer some values more than the others.
We all have different values. This does not mean that these values are in conflict with one another. All types can value one value above another. Someone who values power does not disagree with kindness. But someone who values power may choose for example power over kindness, in times where these values are in conflict. Some people say values are pointless because they are relative. That’s not true. Values and morals can be relative – but they are still important to each individual person. Without values, our lives will feel dull, boring, and understimulating.
This is not an inherently amoral decision, it’s a decision based on the feeling that progress and achievement comes before charity or kindness. A thinking type will be disappointed if they can’t have progress or if they can’t have challenge, feeling like something has been taken away from them. A feeling type will equally feel disrupted if they can’t have connection or if they can’t make a positive impact in other people’s lives.
This creates a challenge. The challenge of creating a system that can encourage both values without infringing on the others ability to pursue their values.
NF – The Idealist
Key virtues: Adventure and Benevolence
Key vices: Ignorance and selfishness
You are an idealist, you’re a dreamer, a free spirit, and an imaginative person. Ideally, you prefer to just let your mind wander and to act in tune with your feelings and beliefs. Generally, you seek a life of meaning and you enjoy sharing your meaning with other people. You find quality more innately fulfilling than quantity. A key value for you is privacy – the ability to develop your own thoughts and beliefs without anyone else’s supervision. Without any interruptions or external information to control your process.
Usually, you prefer groups that are free from rules, so that you can just be yourself. You desire growth, and the inner feeling of increased wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. The problem for you, while you can find challenges fun, is that it’s not inherently fulfilling for you. You can become highly skilled in a subject or become highly respected, but that’s not enough for you to feel inherently good about what you do. You will need to make a positive difference in the world to feel true meaning.
As an NF, you should enjoy to devote time to developing your creativity and exploring your curiosity. Your ideas and the things you study often tend to lack immediate practical implication, but that’s not why you explore things. You explore things as your primary form of recreation, for fun, finding things that are beautiful, interesting, and that resonate with you and your own identity. What does that mean?
NT – The Rationalist
Key virtues: Adventure and Power
Key vices: Ignorance and weakness
You are a rationalist, you’re creative, free-spirited and progressive. Generally, you enjoy to focus your creativity on real world problems, finding novel and unique solutions in science, work, and technology. You prefer formal systems with rules, challenges, and step-by step procedures that you can beat or navigate with skill. Ideally, you need score systems and grades and systems that offer a chance for you to advance. The thing is, you desire to be credible and successful. The problem for you is that it’s not enough to be liked or appreciated by others, you need to feel strong, capable, and successful in what you do. Otherwise it won’t feel meaningful.
Something you need to think about is how you can make sure you get enough alone time. How can you ensure that you have time to develop your own ideas and your own potential? To be creative, find a way to walk your own path in life.
As an NT, you enjoy to devote time to developing your creativity and exploring your curiosity. While you love to think creatively, it’s important to you to employ reason and objectivity to control the scope of your creativity. You want to use your creativity in an efficient manner, by fixing measurable problems, and coming up with unique solutions. You don’t want to waste your time, and you don’t want to be inefficient.
SFs – The Communitarians
Key virtues: Duty and Benevolence
Key vices: Irresponsibility and selfishness.
You are a communitarian, you’re reliable, safe and service oriented. You enjoy to be a part of nearby groups and social circles. You’re polite and friendly. Generally, you prefer informal situations and workplaces where you can feel energized by connections, activities, and recreation. You want to be a part of the group and of the crowd. To feel understood and appreciated for who you are.
You like to serve and do your part to the world. And you pride yourself on living up to your duties and responsibilities. It’s not that you dislike change, it’s that it means nothing to you. The thing is, what you need isn’t change or novelty, it’s stimulation, energy, things you can touch, feel, smell, and hold. If you can’t get that, you won’t feel that your life is fun or stimulating.
As an SF, you enjoy to devote time to maintaining traditions, your identity, and your daily life. You’re interested in the social norms and the order of society and your place in it all.
STs – The Traditionalists
Key virtues: Duty and Power
Key vices: Irresponsibility and weakness
You are a traditionalist, you’re reliable, safe and duty oriented. Generally, you pride yourself on being responsible and committed to work and to your job. Ideally, you want to do your part and you want to have a secure position in society. You pride yourself on being safe and you desire to be respected.
It’s important for you to learn and to master the system, knowing as much as possible about your line of work or where you live. You want to have the systems support and to be rewarded for what you do. Really, it’s not that you don’t like being appreciated or loved by people, it’s that you don’t find it inherently meaningful to be liked. You’d rather be respected than beloved.
As an ST, you enjoy to devote time to maintaining traditions and routines at your work-place and in society. You’re interested in power and order and your place in the system. You respect and pride yourself on your ability to follow authority and to live by the law.
We have a challenge to learn to balance our different morals and values together. We all have a worrying tendency to impose and question each others on our ability to pursue various morals. Everyone tends to believe that their values are the only right ones. This is an issue of arrogance. And we need to find a way to get past that arrogance, and to learn to test and understand how our values can fit together in a bigger whole.