Relationships stand at the origin of Socionics. Ones upon a time Aushra Augustinavichute had become curious to investigate relationships and had noticed certain dependencies, which eventually have resulted into the discovery of information metabolism types and intertype interaction.
However, newcomers to socionics do not quite realize that a model of relations and real relationships are not the same thing. When we look at relationships in our lives we see that with different people they are different. It is obvious that we don't talk to our superior in the same way as we talk to our inferior or to our friend. It is clear that in a family there are intimate relationships between relatives, and what is acceptable with a relative would not always be acceptable with a stranger. We can see that teenagers are comunicating in their own way and grown-ups do not use that way. We could have noticed that different strata of society have different ways of communication. All these observations are quite obvious, and I think that you have already encountered in the literature some classifications of relations by the degry of intimacy, by social status, by age etc.
However, Aushra have noticed some general tendencies of personal interactions which do not depend on the listed above conditions and do not change with age, status or degree of intimacy. She has discovered that the individual way of information processing doesn't change over lifetime and is closely related to the way of communicating information to other people as well as the way of receiving information from the others. This whole process of receiving, processing and giving out information is interaction with the world, which also includes any other persons.
So far we were talking about how each type processes information and disregarded the source of the information, that is disregarded another element of the system. Now ve are going to include another element, which could be any object outside our psyche whether of animate or inanimate nature.
If the information does not come from a fellow human, for example we watch an ocean, then we receive information not modulated by the psyche of another person. But if we receive information from another person, we receive it in certain shape, which is conditioned by the functioning of his psyche and which corresponds to the parameters of his TIM. For example, if we communicate with a LIE type and the subject of our communication is work, we will receive information in the P element modality with dimensionality ranging from one to four and the minus sign. When we talk with the same person about relationships, we will get R information with dimensionality one with the plus sign. And what shall we be able to receive? Supposing that my type is ESE. In this case I would be able to digest the P information not better than is allowed by my dimension two and in the modality of the plus sign. However when it comes to the R information I will process it with the dimensionality three and within the minus sign. It is quite obvious that I wouldn't be able to get P infomation from the LIE type with all of its detail and quality and I will cut it down to a normative level i.e. will build a certain norm or pattern but will miss certain fine details related to the situation. Regarding the R information I would perceive it as somewhat flat and partial. I would see that I am able to give a wider interpretation and make a better use of this information. This example gives an illustration of what socionic relations are.
Socionic relations — are patterns of transmition and reception of information in intearactions between types of information metabolism. They are also called intertype relations.
In the process of intertype relations interaction takes place between functions that process the same information element.
Knowledge of intertype relations allows to exlpain features of interpersonal relationships, that arise out of different modalities of information processing by different TIMs and allows to make prognosis of relationships between different types on the level of model interaction.
One has to keep in mind that every person is not only a representative of a certain TIM but also an individuality having its own life experience. For example, representatives of the same TIM might have grown in the families of different social status and have got different education. It is obvious that they will look as people of different cultural level. This is exactly the difference we were discussing in the beginning of this article. But if we compare their way to process information we'll see that it is the same. They seem to be like two equal vessels filled with different contents.
Thus, in order to compare intertype relations we should pay attention not to external differences, but to the pattern of transmission and reception of information.
Symmetric relations are relations of two formally pair partners. Their parity is realized through equal interaction of the functions of the respective functions of their TIM models. The following relations are symmetric:
- super ego;
Asymmetric reations are relations of formally unequal partners. Asymmetric relations "favor generation of social interests and represent a communicative mechanism of social progress" (A. Augustinavichute)
- relations of social request -2 ;
- relations of social control -2.
Descriptions of intertype relations could be given as:
- function-operational- describing interaction of functions without specifying the information element;
- function-elemental - describing interaction of functions with respect to specific element contents;
- description of interaction between real people with respect to their TIMs and the known individual information (functions' acquired experience).
In this section you can find descriptions of all the Socionic relations from the function-operational viewpoint - i.e. generallized charts which do not depend on specific TIMs and life experience of the functions (for example the relations of duality is given as a common scheme for all the dual TIM couples etc.) There are also examples of functional-elemenal relations (i.e. relations between specific TIM couples) for some of the TIM couples.
Such descriptions can be made only in an absract way, just as in the case with TIM descriptions. In order to "ground" the dry abstraction, such descriptions are supplied with results of inside observations of the functions' operation. But it is worth to keep in mind that the descriptions were written by specific people with their individual peculiarities (and only by those who can monitor themselves and their mental reactions well enough). For example, the "feeling that something is not going right" when there is lack information coming to the super id (mentionned in some descriptions) can be perceived differently on the subjective level by a person who did not experience other relationships or who has a very rigid image of "the right" relationships - for such a person the lack of information can be projected onto a general dissatisfaction with life and even with himself (becase the relationships are good and there is longing for something else).