Off-topic point: I get the impression that for whatever reason, NFs (myself included) seem somewhat mystified and impressed by the SJ demeanor and take on life... is that fascination reciprocated? They're so damn poker all the time...
"There is no god; there is only us. Savage and fragile."
As an ENFP I find values are something concrete and core, but not rigid. They aren't decided by society or the bible, or anything given to me externally. They exist more from every day of my life from birth till now. They come from seeing how things relate, cause and effect, connections, empathy, consequences, standing in everyone I pass's shoes. These all map into a huge maze of understanding and connections (not rules) that decide what we see when making decisions. In a way the values are constantly evolving; They don't stay constant or rigid as many texts seem to suggest. The thing that does stay rigid is the goal and the thing driving them (the direction evolution takes).
In general NFs values are tied in with what is best for humanity, society and people close to them on a core basis. Best for them medically, emotionally, psychologically, freedom wise, to be themselves. They are people builders rather than world builders. But all NFs function in different ways, especially Js vs Ps. For instance INFJ's functioning is almost alien to me, but I love their work. Not sure they get what ENFP's work is either, but does anyone? ENFPs work? hehe
This is a great thread. I think the difference is the means of arrival at the ideal or value.
My new husband and I were in a store a month or so ago. A woman whipped past me and
I turned to watch her from behind as she entered the store. My husband-to-be (at that time) asked me why I had stopped and turned around. I replied that the woman had
passed me and left me with a feeling that she was deep in despair and sorrow and very upset.
My almost-husband then showed me her car and the dents in it and explained that he had noticed the same about her, but all of his conclusion-reaching had been done
from factual observation.
I was truly amazed.
We often find this to be the case. We arrive at the same destination but by different
means of travel.
So maybe you can extrapolate from this. I have an ideal because it feels right or wrong
in my gut, but he holds it as a value because it doesn't work - for society perhaps.
So we often hear Ideals associated with NFs, that they hold their beliefs above most other things in life (within reason). And we hear that SJs hold their values above most other things in life (within reason). Then what's the difference, besides semantics?
Is it solely in how they arrive at their ideals/values? That SJs usually derive their beliefs from others' around them, especially since we hear these mentioned with "traditions", and hold & cherish those; whereas NFs usually find beliefs on their own, rather than from outside sources, and hold & cherish those? I don't even think these observations hold true for SJs and NFs as I've outlined them here... But I'm asking, what could it be?
Main question: What's the difference?
You have to look at the functions. Putting N and S aside, F types will either arrive at beliefs through sole contemplation (Fi) or as an eclectic colligation of values derived from external standards (Fe). So, ENFP's and INFP's are the former; INFJ's and ENFJ's the latter.
NF's, as a temperament, only feel at ease if they are walking in line with their values. Also, their values should be presented in an authentic manner and realized by others. These are traits that need not apply to SJ's. SJ's "walk the walk" because they are masters of logistics. This gives the illusion that their behavior is driven by a value system, even though that is not necessarily the case.
In ISFJ's and ESFJ's, Fe is present. (dominant in the ESFJ and secondary in the ISFJ) This means that value systems are ALWAYS congruent with their surroundings, and if their surroundings changed completely, and their value system no longer worked, it would grieve them little because their values would simply adapt to the new external standard. In the case of someone using Fi, he would feel much distress as his values could only be changed based on his own analyses, and so he would have to be CONVINCED that his values were incorrect by his own scrutiny. This would be much more difficult.
An SJ with dominant Fi should not theoretically exist. In practice, I have never seen any evidence to the contrary.
ISTJs and ESTJs are also conforming to an external standard; but this is a standard of objective systems and protocol. This leads to the provinciality that seems to be inherent in people of these types. SFJ's may be viewed as equally single-minded, but they are often in agreement with their environment, so this would be less common. To clarify, I am not claiming that SFJ's prostitute their virtues to be accepted within the standard, but rather that the standard accepted is the set of values they actually accept.
sj- "character," integrity, consistency, material reliability, honesty, loyalty, social conformity, taking one's proper place, "work ethic" (do the job you have been assigned!) etc
nf- abstract images of thought, symbolic meanings, concepts, ethical predilections, beautiful moments, divinity, etc
sj tends to look more similar across the board bc they are more static, more generational, etc.
nf has a wider range of articulation bc the values can be so specific, unique, differentiated, etc. perfect harmony changes drastically with the context, and one soundtrack doesn't fit all. feelings are the ultimate in subjectivity and individual experience. yet as a result they relate in similar ways to society, its mission, its ilk.