Theory of Intertype Relations
Intertype relations are one of the most interesting aspects of socionics and are what set it aside from other typologies — most notably, the MBTI. The nature of each socionic relationship comes from the way functions interact between partners. In real life relationships are a dynamic thing. People grow closer and more distant; conflicts arise and are resolved. However, there are underlying patterns and mechanisms in each relationship that never change, just as people's underlying perceptual preferences (i.e. socionic type) do not change, no matter how much one's external behavior and situation in life change. Socionic intertype relations describe these unchanging patterns and mechanisms of interpersonal relationships.
Understanding intertype relations
The basic way of modeling intertype relations is to take the first two functions of each partner (i.e. the 'Ego block') and find the functions they correspond to in the other partner's model. Remember how the functions are numbered (see right).
So, if we take the following types (SLE and ILI), we see that each partner's 1st function aligns with the 5th function of the other, and each 2nd function aligns with the 8th function of the other. This relationship is called partial duality, and if we look at any two types that have this same relationship, we will see the same pattern of function alignment.
Two socionic relations are asymmetric (request and supervision), meaning that partners' functions align in an asymmetric way. Below are a SLI and a LIE. The SLI's 1st and 2nd functions correspond to the LIE's 4th and 1st, respectively. However, the LIE's 1st and 2nd functions correspond to the SLI's 2nd and 3rd. The partners are experiencing different psychological states in the relationship. Here SLI is the 'supervisor,' and LIE is the 'supervisee' (indicated on as 'supervision (+/-)').
More on this topic later... 1/29/2006