Socionics – Intertype Relationships: A Brief Description



Two like-minded partners who strive to occupy similar social niches. Understand each others motives and goals and easily become jealous of each other’s successes, especially if partners have the same social status. Good for occasionally touching base and sharing experiences, and for teaching purposes — if one partner is older and more experienced. Difficult for doing multi-faceted tasks together; partners quickly tire of each other, and cooperation tends to break down if they have the same status. Partners tend to talk only on subjects related to their mutual strengths and avoid other topics. They are not able to help solve each others’ real problems and can only offer general advice and relate personal experience. In group settings identity partners who are already personally acquainted tend to avoid one other.


Like-minded partners with similar views and thinking styles but with different emphases within their common spheres of interest. Generally enjoy discussing their views, but rarely are able to arrive at a complete consensus or make decisions jointly. Less competition and avoidance of each other in groups than identity partners, but also less teaching potential. Partners tire of each other after a couple hours of contact. Cooperation is possible if formalized and if partners are able to maintain their autonomy.


Partners are interested in many of the same areas, but approach them in completely different ways. Partners are generally impressed with and value one another’s strengths at a distance, but find it difficult to get any practical benefit for themselves from these strengths. Partners cannot form anything more than a superficial relationship with each other.


Each partner is the embodiment of many qualities the other wishes he had and tries unsuccessfully to develop in himself. Talking about these respective strengths can be enthralling if partners find interest in each other. If partners have a common mission, they cover each others’ weak areas, making for a powerful team. However, close cooperation and ironing out details is difficult, as partners can’t agree on principles. Conflicts and disagreements between super-ego partners are out in the open and are usually discussed very vocally, at times causing heated arguments without a clear winner.


English: Scheme of duality intertype relation ...
English: Scheme of duality intertype relation in Socionics. ILE-SEI example.

Generally very enjoyable and rewarding relationship, especially if partners share common values and interests. Partners strive to shorten the psychological distance and enjoy simply being around each other and doing a wide range of activities together. Effective cooperation takes place automatically, with each partner taking on what he is best at. If partners share common interests, they also have productive discussions where they help each other see things from different complementary viewpoints. Partners relax each other and help release pent-up thoughts and emotions, but seldom feel like straining themselves and doing hard work together. Duality is by far the best relationship for restoring emotional equilibrium, developing spontaneity and natural personality traits, and overcoming fears and complexes.
More on duality and dual relations

Partial duality

Similar to duality in providing meaningful psychological support and important insight along with an element of mutual fascination. However, complete unity and balance are unattainable. Partners are drawn to different groups of people and internally are not as committed or devoted to each other as might be implied during their moments of resonance and self-disclosure. Partners tend to talk much and do little, as if avoiding a common area of weakness.


Partners are able to provide meaningful assistance in each other’s areas of weakness, often making for fruitful cooperation in getting things done. Partners find each other useful, but almost never fascinating (i.e. someone who you would want to get to know deeply). Thus, partners tend to do more and talk less.


Partners feel a strange draw to each other that seems to promise much but never delivers. Partners seem to be interested in the same fields and have similar yearnings, but they describe things in a strange and fascinating, but ultimately unfathomable way. Expectations that go beyond having an interesting conversation are almost never met.


Partners are good at helping solve each other’s real-life problems and are able to be open with one another without causing misunderstandings. Thus, discussing life and solving problems is very rewarding and productive. When doing complex projects together that require lots of planning and commitment, however, partners discover that they have different rhythms and that minor misunderstandings constantly arise. Partners tend to take each other too literally and act on each other’s recommendations too quickly, leading to disappointment when the other doesn’t follow through or makes changes to his plans. Also, communication tends to be either too intense or too slow. Partners rev each other up mentally and physically and then need to increase the psychological distance to relax and return to a state of equilibrium.

Request (+/-)

Asymmetric relationship. One partner (the recipient) finds he is constantly trying to solve the other person’s (the transmitter’s) problems and is overly emotionally involved in the other partner’s life — always waiting for a reward from the transmitter. The transmitter, on the other hand, is largely unaware of this and wonders why the recipient is so dependent and so sensitive to the things he (the transmitter) says.


Partners seem to share broad areas of interest in a way that is similar to identity or kindred partners. However, the language they formulate their thoughts in is hopelessly different and hard to digest at a close psychological distance. Moreover, partners are drawn to opposing social groups where the other partner does not feel comfortable. Partners are unable to provide meaningful support and have to strain to reach a mutual understanding.


Partners can be themselves around each other without causing misunderstandings. Partners have a correct intuitive understanding of each other and are rarely surprised by anything the other does or says. Arguments are very rare. They always have things to say on the same topics and easily come to a consensus, but at the same time put opposite emphasis on things, creating a revisionary effect. These relations are highly verbally oriented, with partners discussing their hobby topics (and avoiding most others) and revising and adding to each other’s views. Partners tire from the discussionary nature of the relationship and try to separate for work and rest. Partners immediately liven up when someone else shows up who is the dual of one and the activator of the other partner.

Supervision (+/-)

Asymmetric relationship. One partner (the recipient) feels like he is being watched closely by the other (the transmitter) and becomes overly self-conscious and defensive or apologetic. The transmitter doesn’t appreciate most of what the recipient does and underestimates his abilities and personal qualities, which hurts the recipient’s self-esteem and can lead to long-lasting scars. The transmitter is surprised by the recipient’s sensitivity and doesn’t know what to do about it. The recipient feels like he can’t take any initiative when he is around the transmitter, who wonders why the recipient doesn’t do anything on his own. Difficult relations for a close or medium psychological distance.


Both partners seem to monitor each other’s weak areas. This prevents conflicts from coming out into the open, since both partners feel too unsure of themselves to discuss their relationship effectively. As a result, conflicts stew beneath the surface — causing pain and long-lasting offense (if partners expect anything of each other) — without any hope of resolution. Initially partners may attract each other from a distance because they are such opposites, but their language and thought patterns are hopelessly difficult to digest at a close psychological distance. At best partners may have occasional rare moments of resonance when both are in a strange mood and begin to talk about life without focusing attention on one another.


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