Exploring How Society Works

Inter-type Relations

What is an inter-type relation?

A relation exists between two Socionic types where there is an exchange of information with behavioural differences and the resulting effects on the minds of the individuals involved.

Inter-type relations (sorted by social hierarchy):

I have added two-word descriptions (in round brackets) that would summarise the progression of each Socionic relation derived from personal experience and research.

Also included [in square brackets] is the information metabolism receptiveness plus {in curly brackets} I have added a simple code to denote the overall orientations of the types involved where ‘I’ equals introverted and ‘E’ equals extroverted.

Finally the <chevrons> denote either small psychological distance >< or large <>.

Summary of relationship variables:

  • Relation type itself;
    • Inside a quadra or outside;
    • Symmetrical or asymmetrical;
  • [Attractive] or [repulsive];
  • Monoverted {II/EE} or hetroverted {IE};
  • Small >< or large <> psychological distance;

What is a dyad?

yin-yang.jpgA dyad equates to a pair of types who share a duality, the relationship of functional equilibrium i.e. mental or emotional balance. It equates to two individuals maintaining a sociologically significant relationship.

Socionic dyads:

[Irrational pairs]

[Rational pairs]

Dyads – at a glance:

All dyads are a duality of two complimentary types. They often appear to others like a separated androgynous pair. In the images above I just happened to choose men for the extratim types and women for the intratim types.

Of course duality can and will exist in dyads of all gender combinations.

How do Socionic types relate?

In a nutshell we can summarise all the inter-type relations using this diagram below which I have put together:

inter-type-relations-chart.gif
Source: Page 181 of Socionics Demystified. © 2007 by Spencer Stern.

What is information metabolism receptiveness?

It is way of classifying eight relationships as either ‘attractive’ or ‘repulsive’. This applies to the exchange of information that either ‘talks’ to the subconscious of a partner or barely scratches the surface so to speak.

This would explain the magnetic effect of some relations over others. For example, my supervisory relation [repulsive] seldom or never contacts me (as in months) whilst my beneficiary relation [attractive] usually within a few days or weeks.

Scenario #1

I have dealings with an employment agency. My recruitment consultant turns out to be a supervisory relation.

It progresses in a predictable ‘do as I suggest for I am your guardian angel’ kind of way but the receptiveness of information is [repulsive]. They never left their mark so to speak in my subconscious and I eventually find another agency.

I soon find another agency and consultant. This time she turns out to be an activity relation.

It predictably feels relatively comfortable and with understanding. Since the exchange of information is [attractive] I find myself mysteriously more accountable towards this consultant for she imprinted something into my subconscious.

Scenario #2

I meet an identity relation for a reflective session. Information exchange is [repulsive]. We proceed with a relationship where student-teacher roles keep getting reversed. The advice given is not usually helpful in the spirit it was intended due to a particular arrogance when faced with an identical type.

I usually get faced with an arrogant “I know what’s best for you because I used to be you, remember?” kind of attitude. This comes from the phenomenon where your identity relation is like a younger or older cloned version of yourself and thus tries to share their knowledge base in the hopes of developing you.

However, as the Philosophy of Constructivism proves, knowledge must be actively constructed by the individual, there is no passive ‘osmosis effect’.

We share complete understanding nonetheless and relations become neutral when we have nothing left to reflect upon. Due to the [repulsive] nature of the relationship there is little pulling us back together except for more reflection of a self-development nature.

Some general thoughts on Socionic relationships:

  1. The most ‘comfortable’ relations exist within a quadra. Any issues that arise will usually get resolved naturally with time and patience.
  2. Relations outside a quadra tend to have irritations that don’t usually get resolved with time thus you come to expect certain little annoyances.
  3. Asymmetric relations can involve a kind of power struggle which you may find irritating in both the higher and lower positions on the social ladder.
  4. There have been many attempts to map the human psyche. The chances are very likely that you have built relationships with people based on circumstance and personal judgement or feeling rather than a logical model.Socionics therefore should ideally be used as a guide rather than as a discriminatory tool for who you choose to interact with. However, as personal experience and knowledge of inter-type relations grows the latter will likely happen anyway.
  5. Nonetheless you can benefit from any relationship with an appreciation for how your interactions appear to be playing out from a Socionics point-of-view.

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This work by S. Stern is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

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