• Ode to Dual Contact & 8 Stages of Dual Relations by Grigori Shulman

    Ode to Dual Contact and Eight Stages of Dual Relations
    Grigori A. Shulman
    International Institute of Socionics
    Publication "Undiscovered Worlds", No 3, 2001

    See also:
    Wikisocion - Duality relations
    Wikisocion - Duality Stories and Observations
    8 Steps of Duality in Alpha Quadrant
    Stages of Duality


    Dual contact, dual relations, relationships of duality, relationship of complete mutual complementarity ... All of these phrases describe the same intertype relation, which constitutes the essence of discovery made by A. Augusta that paved the way to the amazing concept of socionics.

    Indeed, when you're observing a dual pair, an impression arises, as A. Augusta writes, that in front of your eyes is a separated androgenous pair - so organic, natural, and comfortable is the contact between these two people and their behavior around each other. These people completely, wholly trust each other. Once upon a time Valentina Milokosta told me a story about a certain truck driver who had asked for a particular person to be his driving partner, motivating this request by stating that when they are in the truck cabin together, he feels as if he can safely trust this person to push the acceleration and brake pedals, while he is holding the steering wheel. I think that even without knowing the types of these truck drivers one can safely talk of dual relations between them ...

    Describing this relation in a single word, a dual is indeed that very same "half" that every socionist dreams of meeting (someone who doesn't know about socionics cannot dream about this, since it's impossible to dream about something that you have no idea about!)

    In an already formed dual dyad, both people seem to forget about their own complexes. They have no complexes!!! Duals feel liberated and relaxed, assured in their own relevance and importance, in that they are useful and needed (in first instance - by their dual, in second instance - by the society). That which for one dual is a personal revelation - for the other is a typical behavior or a reaction that comes naturally and almost spontaneously. They can tell each other about everything, share everything, ask anything, any sense of shame and awkwardness disappears, each dual can literally denude themselves - spiritually and (or) physically - and this won't seem strange or uncomfortable.

    In general, the saying that "Non-dualized person - is a type, dualized person - is a human being" holds much more truth than merely being a joke statement, since a person who grew up in dual contact, or who is living in a dual union, resembles a normal person much more so than anyone else who grew up in psychologically unfavorable atmosphere.

    Dual marriages are distinguished by enviable longevity, reliability, durability, and prosperity. Moreover, the age of spouses practically does not matter. It is interesting that, according to various researchers, dual marriages are much more common than they should be on average, that is, their probability is not 100/16=6.25% (1 out of 16 possible intertype options), but about 30% (according to citations by A. Augustinavichute) or about 45% (according to the results of studies of the International Institute of Socionics) [Translator's note: 15% according to Filatova]. In socionics, the idea that Nature compensates for “cruelty of the separation of the androgynous pair” with an increased count of duals that have found each other has become usual.

    The most interesting thing about all of this is that instances of dual marriages are well known and have been repeatedly described in literature and folk stories. All the endings of the type "... and they lived happily ever after and died on the same day" (or someone has outlived someone else only for a short while) describe a dual union.

    There is also, however, an unpleasant side to dual relations - insufficient training for the hardships of life. (Of what training can we talk about when in a difficult situation for one dual the other dual takes on the burdens?!). Is this the reason that after the departure of one spouse, the second spouse often does not remain long in this world? It is very likely, for example, that it was a dual relationship that connected Pulcheria Ivanovna and Athanasius Ivanovich (N. V. Gogol, "Old World Landowners"). And although Afanasy Ivanovich lived another 5 years after Pulcheria Ivanovna had passed away, it was not life already, but a slow extinguishment.

    Additionally, duals can be very jealous of each other. And although A. Augustinavichute writes: “One who has been in the arms of a dual once, never seeks to exchange this experience for anything else,” still at times situations arise that are extremely dramatic, if not tragic. This is a very rare, but nonetheless a very real set of circumstances when a third person appears on the scene, whose socionic type is identical to one of the duals. And you need to really love your "other half" to courageously forgive him or her and their real or imagined "mischief". The collision described by Jack London in his “Little Mistress of a Big House”, is in essence very similar to the above circumstance.

    Another negative side of dual relationships is complete relaxation of duals - it feels too good to be together**. Therefore, duals need to have more contacts with the outside world. If both work, it's likely that both take part in daily inevitable communication with people of different sociotypes in different settings that might not be always favorable. Then, when they return home there is a restoration of strength and their vital condition, etc. (this happens even if duals work together, that is, they almost never part).
    [**Translator's note: It is notable that complete relaxation is achieved in "mirage relations", aka "relations of increasing laziness and demobilization". For this reason, mirage relationships are often mistaken for duality in the initial stages - it feels too good together, and, same as duality, mirage is characterized as an introverted ITR. In contrast to mirage, dual relations offer a vitalizing element that doesn't lead people of dual types to completely relax around each other. This is provided by interactions of base-suggestive elements, which is not present in mirage. One can say duality lies in between mirage "hyper-relaxation" and activity "hyper-activation" to provide both a dose of relaxation and acceptance that soothes both duals, and a dose of activation that doesn't allow them to sink into an oblivion of laziness. Both mirage and duality relations have been classified by V. Gulenko as "introverted" type of relations where people get "locked" onto each other and prefer each other's company even in social gatherings. In this sense it would benefit duals to watch out for becoming too isolated.]

    In general, we could talk endlessly about dual contact. Much has been written about it by A. Augustinavichute, her followers and students, and published on the pages of the journal "Socionics, Mentology, and Psychology of Personality".

    It is also necessary to remember that duals by their subtype must be differently dichotomous (that is, in the case of the dual dyad, the same requirement for the relationship dyad applies, which we discussed in a publication on the heroic couple of the Prentels in the previous issue of our newspaper).

    Nevertheless, many people, especially those who are just starting to learn about socionics, idealize this type of relationship. Sometimes it comes to the point of absurdity: for example, one of the activity programs in a socionics learning group culminated with an absurd and unimaginable phrase: “So let us be duals!”(?!)

    Duality is one out of 16 types of intertype relations in socion, and like other intertype relations duality is subject to a certain period of adjustment to each other, or "grinding", during which duals get used to one another. It is also true that human relationships, as well as people, are described not only by socionics** - there exists a large number of other personality typologies. There also exists a concept of a person’s level of development (level of his or her culture, education, upbringing, etc.).
    [**Translator's note: Typically, the less compatible socionics duals are in other personality typologies, the longer and more tedious this grinding period is between them. Some duals will never become close but instead grow apart and find other relationships and other dualities.]

    Socionists have repeatedly examined situations of formation and development of dual relations. Attempts have been made to give recommendations on the behavioral reactions of duals, etc. (Much has been published in the above mentioned journal).

    Let us try to describe some general aspects of formation of dual contact.

    Today, at the beginning of 2001, eight aspects of dual contact have been clearly recorded - eight stages of dualization process, eight characteristic features that manifest themselves sometimes in a different sequence (depending on socionics quadrant and the specific dual dyad). By these characteristics this type of intertype relationship cannot be confused for any other ITR. This is especially important because dual contact is worth considering closely.

    1. A sense or a feeling of the necessity to meet. A person often pays attention to this phenomenon only retrospectively, usually some time later, after the first contact has been made. A kind of vague, not fully conscious, even mystical, I would say, feeling arises of the necessity, and even inevitability, to see this person again. At this stage only an information-based connection arises between duals, and this happens suddenly. This initial contact can be a conversation on the phone, for example, or when someone else describes a third person’s behavioral reactions. You suddenly begin to realize that it is simply necessary to see them again, and whatever you do your thoughts still return to this person that you've met.
    [*Translator's note: This feeling is very characteristic of dual relations, however, since it arises only in retrospect, once one's dual is gone, this makes dual connections easy to lose. This is what gives rise to the notion that duals don't seem to appreciate each other in person, but become appreciative only when they discover that the other dual is missing.]

    2. People who, for the first time in their lives, find themselves in dual contact, will sometimes try to “remember”: “Where have I met this person before...?!” Naturally, this is completely pointless. Nevertheless, both may feel that they have known each other for many years. Thus, with a wife of one of my employees, during meetings, we have tried unsuccessfully for 23 (!) years to find an answer to this question. Only in 1986, with the "coming" of socionics we have finally discovered and understood what was the matter.

    3. Both develop a sense of “protected back,” which is impossible to not notice or to confuse for anything else. It can be described as a sensation of amazing and completely serene calmness. This happens in moments of formation of a kind of shared aura between duals, which people who are highly sensitive and perceptive are usually able to notice.

    During the Vilnius Summer Socionics Conference (1990), one of my good friends led me to a group of three girls who were then in 10th grade. One of the girls turned out to be my socionic identity relation, that is, we were of the same socionics type, and the other two girls turned out to be of our dual type. Thus a group of two identical dual dyads was formed. I asked the girls to sit so that two girls of identical types were sitting across each other, that is diagonally in the corners of the square that was formed by the four of us. This way each person had a dual sitting by their side - this is the optimal positioning for such a group. A conversation ensued, and ... we forgot about everything and everyone!!! Five or ten minutes later, when the break ended, and A. Augusta was already standing on the stage, patiently, with a smile, waiting for us to “wake up”, from the corner of the hall there was an exclamation addressed to our group: "But you have a common aura!!!" Indeed, it was very comfortable for us, and with difficulty and regret we had to "open up" our small dual group to participate in the rest of the conference.

    By the way, precisely this special property of the dual dyad - this general, shared aura or energy field - can explain, that is make it extremely easy to understand, the fact that when several dual dyads come together contact between them gets carried out almost at some kind of field level. That is, there is conversion and an exchange of some statements and remarks, too, but this happens as a kind of an overlay to the main form of contact. A couple years ago, one socionist has gotten seriously "offended" by dual dyads, because, as he said, they look down on others - he felt this on himself (!) ... Nobody, of course, is looking down on anyone else - duals simply have no need for this (it doesn't even occur to them!). The issue is that a dual dyad is already a higher hierarchical level of human experience, therefore, it exists at a completely different level of communication that is also higher, more subtle. (Even higher level is a quadrant, further - the socion.)
    [Translator's note: Dual relations are classified as "introverted" by V. Gulenko, so it happens with duals that they get so taken up with each other that other individuals may feel displaced from their interaction. This may evoke feelings of envy or jealousy, social exclusion, inadequacy, or being "a third wheel" in other individuals who are present around a dualized pair.]

    Generally speaking, a dual dyad is a completely autonomous "state" within
    any large or small community. It is a world that is closed to outside view, a world that is impossible to understand from the outside! Looking at a dual dyad, one does not need to have any supersensory abilities to see that these two people are, as if, in a cocoon, they are here, nearby, but they are also isolated from everyone else by each other!

    ... It is widely believed that in a dual dyad, particularly when viewed from the outside, one of the duals seems to be subordinate or in submission to the other. This is quite true, but with one correction that there always exist other situations in which the other dual feels more confident, and thus the dual that to an uninvited observer seemed to be "enslaved" takes on a dominant, leading role in such situations. Before us is a constantly changing, dynamic situation of variable dominance and submission (which happens voluntarily), - this is precisely the secret of amazing sustainability, invulnerability, and vitality of the dual dyad.

    Sometimes, for example, to someone from outside the husband of a dual marriage may seem henpecked and dominated by his wife. In reality, he may be a prominent leader at work and get tired of the constant need to lead and manage others, and therefore at home he will with pleasure fulfill any "orders" and preferences of his missus.

    4. Both duals at the same time and almost to equal measure begin to feel the "impossibility" of parting for a moment. This is a very clear and very real realization that comes during dual contact.

    5. Both get a sense of a kind of inner joy that "rises from the depths" and fills one's entire being, while their lips as if on their own come into shape of a quiet, content smile of calm and pacification.

    In general, feeling of joy as a behavioral reaction is one of the most vivid and clear signs of a dual dyad. My friend, who was lucky to be part of a dual dyad all of her school years, says that in school her dual friend and she often received remarks from their teachers for constant laughter, with and without a cause, which they simply could not contain. And even now, two and a half decades later, when her dual and she meet, the laughter starts almost before they can greet each other!

    6. Gradually, both develop a sense of the need for maximum - absolute - closing of personal distance. And if both people are free from marriage, then this is how it usually ends (or begins!). And if they are not free and both are married, then remaining distant may prove to be extremely difficult. It's interesting that this is simply a natural evolution of such a situation, which, if it happens, transpires as if spontaneously, as if by itself …
    Rajneesh has a wonderful description of this: "... when two are no longer two, when bodies remain separate but a golden bridge appears between them, and the two-ness inside disappears, while the life force quivers at both poles ... "
    ... In his novel "For Whom the Bell Tolls" Ernest Hemingway describes a public trial of a couple that has "sinned" (in the evening, by the fire). In the process of this “trial” the accused was asked the traditional (for such a situation) question: "Did the earth swim underneath your feet?!" Both answered in the affirmative and were forgiven.

    It’s very interesting and significant that the great movie producers, even not having the slightest idea of ​​socionics as a science, but knowing life, would manage to choose such pairs of actors to stage in their movies. And all the stories of people meeting each other on a movie set, after which they left their previous families and joined each other in new ones, and since then lived happily ever after, most likely involved this particular type of relationship.

    7. The smoothing out and restoration of energy of duals. This phenomenon manifests itself practically instantly, but awareness of it comes after some time and several repetitions of the situation. It is notable that this happens independently from the outcome of the previous step. For this step, duals simply need to be around each other, sit near each other for example, even without touching one another. This takes 40 minutes at most (results of our measurements), and people feel fully restored regardless of their previous "energy slumps".

    The above is easy to understand in cases when only one of the duals is feeling bad, but what happens if both duals are under the weather?

    Here, Dear Reader, you and I are forced to "dive", though not very deeply, into the theory of socionics. And perhaps for the first time the word model will appear in this essay. Now it has already appeared. This word in general is not so scary. Especially if we promise to not go into describing how this model works. For now - let us consider the models of psyche of two dual types: the intuitive logical extravert (ILE) and the sensory ethical introvert (SEI). The socionics models of these two types contain many figures, and of course these figures mean something, but let's not bother with this. Let's look at how both models are similar in construction: in each the figures are positioned into two square contours - the upper square and the lower square. An interesting observation is that the upper square of one dual is exactly the same as the lower square of the other dual! In socionics the upper and lower squares are called "mental" and "vital", respectively. We will conditionally call the upper square as smart, and the lower square as strong. (Note in parentheses that this already explains mutual complementarity of duals without much immersion in theory.) The mental circuit is naturally responsible for the ability to recognize and to gain sufficient awareness of the situation, the vital circuit - for the energy supply in this model. Returning to the figures positioned in the squares, we can say that each one of these figures is responsible for describing some fragment of the surrounding world. From these fragments a more complete picture of some area of the world arises, which a person whose mental circuit corresponds to this area can easily understand. However, if this fragment is not in mental but in vital circuit, then it will be much more difficult to understand it. And then to rescue comes one's dual, who, as mentioned above, has this group of fragments in their mental contour.

    This is responsible for the almost complete invulnerability and stability of a dual dyad! A dual dyad can be compared with two armed gladiator friends standing with their backs to each other.
    But back to our energy situation.

    Briefly and figuratively speaking, if both duals find themselves in an energy well,
    then from this brief analysis, an assumption (or a conclusion) follows that
    that they lack different(!) kinds of energy. Now the mechanism of mutual energy recharging of duals seems to be clear!

    8. This is the most interesting stage: neither person in a dual dyad is able describe their feelings and sensations on that side of their body where the other dual is located - it feels so good, so comfortable, that it feels almost like "nothing at all" ... Sometimes
    you can't even figure out if there is someone standing there or not; and sometimes a person simply forgets about a dual sitting nearby and then suddenly flinches (he has forgotten after all!) when noticing their dual ...

    Unfortunately, as it often happens in life, people are able to evaluate this "so good that there's nothing" feeling only after the situation is over and their dual has vanished somewhere. It is notable that in the East there is a saying that a lost dagger always has a golden handle ...
    Therefore, my friends, please be careful!

    One more circumstance that, as life has shown, requires mandatory clarification.
    Sometimes people may consider any type of relationship they have as a dual one, because so it seems to them initially, or someone who is new to socionics has told them so, having subscribed to such ideas as "socionics - is only a game!"

    Enlightenment usually comes sufficiently quickly. And then mutual demands and reproaches begin (at worst case), claims like "You must / You mustn't!!!".
    All these “musts” (or “shoulds”) are utter nonsense! Absolutely everything described above in a true dual contact arises and occurs exclusively spontaneously! And no one owes anything to anyone.
    In the dual dyad, such a misunderstanding can occur only if duals turned out to be single-dichotomy by subtype. Therefore, instead of stupid mutual claims it is better to seek advice from someone who is experienced in socionics.
    Comments 3 Comments
    1. Sol's Avatar
      Sol -
      "In general, the saying that "Non-dualized person - is a type, dualized person - is a human being" holds much more truth than merely being a joke statement, since a person who grew up in dual contact, or who is living in a dual union, resembles a normal person much more so than anyone else who grew up in psychologically unfavorable atmosphere."

      Just to "grew up in dual contact" or to "live in a dual union" is not enough.
      The significant influence by the personality of other human needs the state of love. In this state the borders between minds of people become fewer, the personality (emotions, thoughts, sensations) of other human, his needs and interests are introjected as own. It's when two people share one life together as equal parts. For marriage pairs to this state predisposes feelings of sexual attraction, besides emotional attraction (heart sympathy) and respect. Good IR, duality types make easier to have friendship related factors as emotional attraction and respect, having which also it's easier to get higher sexual interest.

      Love state is opposite to individualistic attitude, which is common ideology of liberal capitalistic societies. This culture obstacle distorts what people seek in relations on practice - they are predisposed to surface personal contacts (motivated mostly by sexual attraction and material benefits), but not to deep friendship feelings and love state. Following this they pay lesser attention on personal traits in making pairs. And even geting potentially good partners (as with good IR) they are hard to establish deep loving relations, which are important to get positive influence of good IR.

      A human with good IR as duality type (in average case) is not only more pleasant and able to cooperate good in general friendship relations. He activates in the consciousnes weak functional regions, helps to develop weak functions and skills related to them. This allows to feel more energy (which before was unconscious), to become wiser and stronger, more efficient. Also as more unconscious energy becomes controlled by the consciousness - this reduces inner conflicts, what helps to reduce neurotic symptoms and to feel happier.

      Jung's type mb thought a psyche accentuation, where weak functions are closer to primitive childish state. Duality types may help the most to reduce it. Love state is what allows to get this help the most.
    1. FreelancePoliceman's Avatar
      FreelancePoliceman -
      This is responsible for the almost complete invulnerability and stability of a dual dyad! A dual dyad can be compared with two armed gladiator friends standing with their backs to each other.”

      I’m acquainted with an LII-ESE couple. The LII taught at a university which took advantage of the COVID pandemic to fire him. He now works at Walmart. When he talks you do not get the sense that he feels invulnerable.

      The ESE isn’t doing too hot either. Works at a school that takes advantage of her and saddles her with an enormous amount of work she shouldn’t have to do. The two of them seem exhausted all the time; they have a lot to deal with, especially with children.

      The two of them obviously care for each other, and from what I know from their relationship it seems that they work very well together, and seem to have more of a bond than the average couple. But duality is not magic. It can’t solve every problem, and it doesn’t always prevent people from feeling shitty in the long term. I promise that they are not feeling much “internal joy” or whatever at the moment.
    1. Eliza Thomason's Avatar
      Eliza Thomason -
      FP, my ESE nephew just married his LII love, and I am so glad for him! They are the only ESI-LII duals I have seen; I know many ESEs and none are with their dual (two are long married to their conflictor!).

      Your LII friend, wow, that is a blow, but he is among the first of many, IMO, as the economy crumples. And ESE's teaching.. yes, teaching is a big challenge these days, as more and more it is run strictly from the top, like teachers didn't need all that education and passion for teaching; they just need to be efficient at taking orders from admin and strictly follow curriculum written by well paid theorists in towers. Life can be hard, but having a dual to come home to in hard times is really the very best.

      I can think of 3 dual couples with great longtime dual marriages and each of them happens to have 4 children, which is a lot, these days (super-big families of 8 or so say that having 1-3 children is very hardest; after 3 it gets easier and easier!). Each of these three dual couples has had some real challenges, especially raising children, like, a couple of them seemed to be always in for a long night in the emergency room because someone got hurt. Or they had one or two high need children. Or burden of other family drama. Or major job loss or unexpected burdens or other reversals. But always, being Duals really helped them get through the many life challenges that came their way.

      When i was in a dysfunctional, not-dual marriage, we did not face so many dramatic events and set-backs as this. We both accomplished a lot, just not much together. Many of our together times were so stressful and painful! I was always hoping for a vacation time, and when we did manage one, those would include some of the most memorably strifeful times. It was hard in so many little, constant ways. A life of going through challengers with my dual, instead, is so much better! It is one reason I have taken on some challenging positions in my career in the last few years, because I thought, why not? My home life is easy. I can take challenges at work.