In Socionics, each type is thought to have a certain, set relation to each other type, resulting in 16 separate relations and 136 possible pairings to be had between people of specific types.
Previously, I focused on the symmetric relationships that take place between people of the same quadras, and then those between people of adjacent quadras. In this article, I will focus on the four relationships that tend to be quite 'rocky', with people often greatly misunderstanding each other and failing to reconcile their contrary world views, which can often lead to mutual bemusement and argument. Such relations take place between types of opposing quadras, where no values are shared, leading to a full mismatch.
As discussed in previous articles of the Socionics Relations series, there are two value dichotomies:
- Uniting together under shared structures vs. staying independent with individuals we trust.
- Accepting and exploring reality vs. rejecting and fighting to change reality.
All of the 'rocky' relationships are going to share none of the above, resulting in a complete clash of values. Consequently, types in these relations find each other to have backward and counter-intuitive approaches to a range of problems, and may have great difficulty cooperating closely on a task. This is not to say that people in these relations cannot get along, with there being examples of agreement on matters not directly related to type. Nevertheless, close interaction over such agreement, can often lead to disagreement over the deeper reasons for such agreements.
In this relation, the two types share exactly the same strengths and weaknesses, as well as similar energy levels. As such, they can be confused for being very similar types, having a similar affinity in certain areas of work and interest, and can often be found in comparable careers. Furthermore, their matching strengths means that they can inhabit very similar environments without feeling overloaded or outmatched. However, despite their external similarity, quasi-identicals are very different internally. Because they come from opposing quadras, quasi-identicals view the same matters with contrasting preferences, and may find themselves in great disagreement over issues that they consider to be straightforward. Because quasi-identicals resemble each other and show up in similar areas, there may be a form of rivalry between them, with each feeling that the other is backward in the way they view things, yet somehow performing as well as they are, as a kind of living parody. However, these differences are most apparent when these types are working out how to handle a task together. Often in casual social interaction, quasi-identicals can get on well. Due to their similar strengths, these types do not find each other threatening, and may be quite at ease in the same company. As such, there may be some cordiality between them, provided they are able to respect each other's differences and not be required to cooperate on something important to them. The quasi-identical relations are: ILE-LIE, SEI-ESI, ESE-SEE, LII-ILI, EIE-IEE, LSI-SLI, SLE-LSE and IEI-EII.
For this relation, the two types once again have similar strengths and weaknesses, but have contrasting energy levels. As such, there is less of a rivalry that exists between extinguishors than with quasi-identicals, but there is instead a sort of mutual subversion and sabotage that exists between these types. Due to their energy levels being what would normally complement, these types often act on and react to each other's behaviours, with the energiser seeking to make things happen and the integrator seeking to tie up loose ends. However, due to their completely different values, the effect is usually unappreciated by each side and rebuffed. One might instigate a new project, thinking they will be supported in the venture, only for the other to criticise the project. Alternatively, one may expect the other to act in a certain way, only for them to go off in a completely different direction. As such, it is often the case that extinguishers continually surprise each other, doing something they expect the other will not mind, only for it to be received or reacted to poorly. It is not surprising, therefore, that these types may sometimes think the other is out to undermine them. Most often, this is not actually the case, with extinguishers simply thinking they could support or lead each other's initiatives, before finding out later they had completely different ideas in mind as to what this would entail. For this reason, extinguishment is often thought to be the most baffling relation. The extinguishing relations are: ILE-ILI, SEI-SEE, ESE-ESI, LII-LIE, EIE-EII, LSI-LSE, SLE-SLI and IEI-IEE.
In this relation, the two types share the same energy levels, but have contrasting strengths and weaknesses. As such, activators tend to take on similar sorts of roles, albeit in largely different areas of life. As such, they are less likely to run into each other in their careers. However, in a social environment, activators are able to quickly notice each other, including their various apparent differences. It will be quite clear to super-egos that they are rather different people, with different priorities in life. However, their energy levels will not particularly conflict and they will not so quickly conflict. Instead, there may be a period of mutual curiosity where they try to find out more about each other, and their strange way of viewing the world. As they get to know each other more, this may become disinterest or even antagonism, as the natural approach of one is seen by the other as something they usually are required to do by others, but are reluctant to do, and vice versa. As such, super-egos serve as a mirror of society's expectations that each type will begrudgingly need to slightly emulate to be successful. Super-egos may clash considerably when they encounter an area of disagreement, and may show each other up through their weak points. Despite such antagonism, super-egos are able to compromise and cooperate if necessary, and can produce a working relationship, all things considered. The super-ego relations are: ILE-SEE, SEI-ILI, ESE-LIE, LII-ESI, EIE-LSE, LSI-EII. SLE-IEE and IEI-SLI.
For this relation, the two types are opposite in their strengths and weaknesses and their energy levels do not match, but work against each other when combined with their opposing values. Out of all the relations covered, these are the most dissimilar, sharing nothing in common. The great difference between these two types is often instantly noticeable, and conflictors will quickly observe this, seeing the other person as strange and off-putting. As such, conflictors tend to keep their distance from each other. In a way, this is a very helpful mechanism, as it means that conflictors rarely opt to spend time around each other and so are actually rare to get into major disputes of their own accord. However, in some instances, conflictors cannot avoid each other, perhaps due to family or work. In these situations, conflictors may find much stress in balancing their very different ways of viewing the world. Usually, they will become increasingly frustrated over their conflictor's perceived lack of regard for the areas they think are most important, and vice versa, leading to mutual animosity and no understanding. Furthermore, the difference in strengths and weaknesses allows them to attack each other's weaker points, leading to mutual pain and suffering mental health. Conflict may only be dispersed in such situations by conflictors learning to tolerate each other, building up a lifetime of understanding and being made aware that their differences are natural, rather than a result of extreme wrong-headedness. However, to truly stop aggravating each other requires each conflictor to compromise on expectations they may feel are fundamental; not an easy task. The conflicting relations are: ILE-ESI, SEI-LIE, ESE-ILI, LII-SEE, EIE-SLI, LSI-IEE, SLE-EII and IEI-LSE.