Viewing entries tagged
introverted feeling


How do you define Fairness?

Pic Credit: Stuart Miles

Pic Credit: Stuart Miles

Our brains are constantly at work, processing messages and releasing hormones based on often-unconscious cues. These hormones influence our moods and behaviors, and I invite you today to become a little more aware of how your sense of fairness can trigger them.

Back in March I wrote about the cultural concepts of Universalism and Particularism. Trompenaars names this dimension when he saw that while every society has rules, they differ in how consistently these rules are applied.

Universalist cultures are more consistent, applying rules the same way to everyone, whereas Particularist cultures may make exceptions depending on circumstances.

Growing up in those cultures, then, influences a person’s sense of right and wrong, and how wrong-doers should be treated. To illustrate the difference, Trompenaars asked his research participants if they would lie to the police to protect a friend. People from Universalist cultures are less likely than people from Particularist cultures to do that.

From a personality Type perspective, your preference for Thinking or Feeling will also influence your definition of fairness. People with a Thinking preference are more likely to view logic, objective reasoning as fair, whereas people with a Feeling preference are more likely to take values and the effect on people into account.

Since the cultural and Type dimensions seem to be so similar, I always wonder which overrules the other. In the case of lying for a friend to the police, for me, the Universalist culture respect for rules trumps my Feeling preference.

Either way, there’s a bit of stress being produced in my brain: I don’t want my friend to get in trouble, but I also don’t want to lie.

How would you react in these situations?

Your colleague receives public praise for something you’ve helped with, and she doesn’t acknowledge your contribution. Is that fair? How does that influence your working relationship going forward?

If doing the work is intrinsic motivation enough for you, you may not give it a second thought. If, however, you feel like her status was being lifted while yours wasn’t, you’ll be experiencing some negative feelings. Breathe through them, and when you’ve calmed down, a conversation may be in order.

Your favorite player has fouled a guy from the other team, and the referee benches him as a consequence. Is that fair? On a scale of 1 to 10, how much would prefer to see him continue to play?

If you want to see him play despite the foul, you’ve just made a Particularist exception. Your brain probably inhibited your otherwise logical appreciation of following the rules, but because you see him as part of your in-group, he’s worthy of protection.

We make thousands of unconscious decisions about “yes, no”, “right, wrong”, “good, bad” every day. Partly based on our cultural programming of which behavior we have learned to be acceptable, partly based on our personality type preferences. Especially our introverted Feeling (Fi) function informs how we attach value to our experiences.

Next time you have a disagreement with someone, try to take a step back and remember that you’re evaluating what’s fair from your own unique perspective. Dialogue and consensus will be easier to find if you can try and understand the other person’s point-of-view as well. And sometimes, it’s not personal, but cultural.



How Type and Culture interact

expats_MBTI overlay images

expats_MBTI overlay images

We come into the world born with a pre-disposition to use our brains in certain ways. We go out to seek interactions and experiences that allow us to shine and use our preferred functions, reinforcing their strength and our aptitude in using them. At the same time, our surroundings influence how we express our preferences. Depending on when and where we grow up, society’s and our family’s feedback may encourage or suppress development of our natural preferences.

Different cultures developed as a response to outside threats to ensure survival of the species. Today, cultural behavior is driven by values.

The introverted Feeling (Fi) function gives meaning to values. The position of Fi in our type code gives clues as to how conscious we are of our values preferences. An exploration of our own values is the first step to understanding our cultural preferences. In turn, we can begin to understand how and why people from other cultures behave differently.

For expats, international assignments are tremendous change processes. Temperament™ / Essential Motivators™ information helps expats to prepare and adapt to un-expected changes. The fourth function provides insight into potential stress triggers, while the third can be applied to reduce stress and being playful, enjoying one’s time abroad.

In my experience, especially with German clients, we have to pay particular attention to the verbiage of competence and experience. For Germans, these words – as well as education, knowledge, and mastery – are anchored in cultural beliefs. It is therefore common when discussing Theorist™ descriptors for Germans of all types to be drawn to the NT profile.

When working with international clients, it is important to verify their personality types through their cultural lenses. The practitioner or coach should ideally be aware of their own cultural programming and personality type preferences to reduce projection and misinterpretation, as well as have a basic understanding of the cultural values and beliefs in the client’s home country.



Introverted Feeling Fi (incl Bonus Values Exercise!)

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Fi doodle
Fi doodle

You are using introverted Feeling or Fi when you're deciding whether you like or dislike something. When you're running something past your internal set of values. When you're calibrating your moral compass. Thinking about our vocalizing your sense of deeply held beliefs and universal truth.


People with a dominant Fi function cannot not operate from a sense of congruence. They may not force others to see the world in the same way, and theymay not speak up about something if it's not deemed worth it. But if it is, they may surprise you, and you will notice when you violate their values.

Expats using Fi to decide on an assignment may need time to feel through all the aspects and how they align with what is important to them. "Are you willing to accept a break in your career to support that of your partner? What difference is the international experience going to make to your life? Is it worth it?" It is helpful here to allow the necessary time to align universal themes like how the relocation process is supported or how the new country has been portrayed in the media lately, with individual values like "will I be able to express myself freely and authentically in the new country?"

If Fi is in a different positions in your type dynamics, below is an overview pieced together with only a few items taken from Understanding Yourself and Others, An Introduction to the Personality Type Code, by Linda V. Berens and Dario Nardi. Let me say this again to be very clear: the description of how Fi can be expressed in the different positions is not exhaustive and only meant to give you an overview. I would love to have you comment below how it shows up for you.

Introverted Feeling Fi
Introverted Feeling Fi

If you'd like to practice your Fi skills, do a values exercise to see what's important to you. Divise an action plan of how you can bring more of those values into your life through your thoughts and actions.

For example:

Out of the following list, select those values which according to your own definition of the word most accurately reflect what is important to you. If you don’t see your value on the list, please add it.












Financial Security




Inner Peace









Social Status






Note your Top 10 values in no particular order.











Using the numbers from the list above, compare each value to every other value. In each cell of the table below, circle the number of the value that feels more aligned with who you believe you are.


1. Harmony

2. Financial Security

3. Family

4. Autonomy

5. ...

Between Harmony and Financial Security, Harmony is more important - circle 1.

Between Harmony and Family, Family is more important - circle 3.

Between Harmony and Autonomy, Harmony is more important - circle 1 again.


Values Grid
Values Grid

Count the number of times each number is circled. The value with the highest number of circles is your top priority, subsequent lower numbers of circles represent values of subsequently lower importance.

This will give you your Top 10 values in order of your priority.

If any of your values have the same number of circles, go back to the grid and find the box where you compared them. The number you circles in that box is the higher ranking value.

Start with your top 3 or top 5 and ask yourself: how are your daily values reflecting your values? How aligned is your life with them? If family is coming out on top, how many times a week do you have dinner together? When was the last time you visited your parents?