• Relations of Semi-duality


    Relations of Semi-duality

    If you are coming from MBTI please note that Socionics assigns j/p letters differently from the way MBTI does. Do not translate your MBTI type directly to Socionics type. If you want to find out your Socionics type, you can take socionics type tests, fill out a typing questionnaire form or make a freeform thread in What's My Type subforum, and read through the type discussions posted in socionics resources thread. Participating in forum discussions and chatbox provides more accurate feedback and type suggestions in typing threads. To read how Socionics j/p letter assignments differ from MBTI J/P visit the type names page.

    If you have questions about socionics intertype relations, you can post your inquiry in the Intertype Relations Subforum, or alternatively inquire about it in the forum chatbox (for access please post an introduction to get your account activated).


    These relations are also called relations of partial or incomplete duality. They exist between the following types:
    INTj (LII, Ti-Ne) - ENFj (EIE, Fe-Ni)
    ENTp (ILE, Ne-Ti) - ISTp (SLI, Si-Te)
    INFp (IEI, Ni-Fe) - ESFp (SEE, Se-Fi)
    INTp (ILI, Ni-Te) - ESTp (SLE, Se-Ti)
    ENTj (LIE, Te-Ni) - INFj (EII, Fi-Ne)
    ESFj (ESE, Fe-Si) - ISTj (LSI, Ti-Se)
    ISFj (ESI, Fi-Se) - ESTj (LSE, Te-Si)
    ISFp (SEI, Si-Fe) - ENFp (IEE, Ne-Fi)

    See also:
    Semi-Duality Relationships and Experiences
    Intertype Relations Quick Chart
    Observations on Intertype Relations

    Descriptions by various authors

    Valentina Meged, Anatoly Ovcharov

    Partners are attentive to each other's problems and responsive to proposals to collaborate. However, in joint work there is a lack of concert and displays of individualism and stubbornness. Advice, requests, and complaints are usually received and interpreted correctly. It seems that the semi-dual partner is ready to put them into action but in a way that's not always acceptable to both. Each semi-dual partner takes care of his or her own interests and conveniences first, and only later concerns with ensuring the comfort of the other person. The differences in views of semi-duals inspire them to become interested in one another. One's semi-dual seems mysterious, unpredictable, and somewhat difficult to understand. It may feel like he or she is holding back on something, not saying things in full, that you catch only a part of what he or she is saying. At closer personal distances, due to the difference of worldviews and consequent arguments that arise due to this, partners start to feel tired of their interaction. However, once they take a break from one another reconciliation happens quickly.

    I.D. Vaisband, publications on Socionics

    Semi-duality is often an attractive type of relations. However, periodically there are sudden lapses in understanding which occur seemingly for no good reason. Making up and restoring these relations usually happens quickly and easily. When semi-duals meet and discuss their plans and affairs, everything progresses well, no worse than in a dual pair. However, when they begin to implement their plans they discover that there exists a sphere in which both are ineffective and don't know what to do. Thus, they cannot fully help each other; they complement one another only half way. Since full compensation is not attainable, partners may feel disappointed in one another.

    O.B. Slinko, "The key to heart - Socionics"

    It is difficult to coordinate actions in these relations because the "implementation" functions of partners are different. In general, it can be said that a semi-dual is not half of a dual but even less than that. Nevertheless, these relations are quite favorable. Semi-duals can help each solve their problems if discussions are not restricted only to theory. At the same time, your semi-dual can surprise you by an unexpected action, which introduces tension and stress into this relationship. In the course of development of these relations, during periods of mutual understanding partners become closer, but this understanding breaks down when it comes to implementation and coordination of their actions.

    R.K. Sedih, "Informational psychoanalysis"

    In these relations there is always an opportunity to help one another. This is especially easy when the focus is on functions that the partners share in common. These functions promote semi-duals to become close, however, other aspects of these relations may be rough. If the circumstances are favorable, partners will have time to get to know and get used to one another and establish a strong connection. In such conditions, they can learn to avoid the pitfalls of this type of relations. Semi-duality can be very exquisite and deep type of relations, which is why some socionists point out that it is best to be with a good semi-dual rather than a poor dual.

    Laima Stankevichyute "Intertype relations"

    This type of relations can be interesting, but there is a lack of understanding that may occur very suddenly and unpredictably. It seems that everything is going well, then suddenly for no apparent reason it is as if relations halt: both partners stall, feel unsure of how to proceed further, and may even start blaming one another. While reconciliation is usually quick and easy, it is unpredictable when the next such misunderstanding and lapse in relations will occur.

    A.V. Bukalov, G. Boiko, "Why Saddam Hussein made a mistake, or what is Socionics"

    Often these relations lead to friendship and fruitful cooperation at work, but closing of distance leads to an imbalance and disappointments. Semi-dual partners may start to view each other as egoistical. For example, an LSI does not like when his things are being touched, and his dual type EIE as an intuitive type does not bother with his things, while his semi-dual ESE will try to arrange them to his own manner, which is aggravating for the LSI. The ESE at the same time doesn't understand why his semi-dual partner is so upset.

    V.V. Gulenko "Criteria of reciprocity"

    Cautious comfort

    Interesting relations, in which the partners are afraid to get closer because they feel that by doing so comfort will dissipate. After pleasantly communicating for some time, the partners don't know how to proceed next. At times, partners privaely take note some unpleasant moments in behavior of each other. However, these unpleasant moments and hurdles are often not discussed openly and not brought up to attention of the partner. In matters of duties and responsibilities, the work is usually distributed according to temperament. Disagreements are usually resolved through compromise and through mutual concessions.

    Binary signs of intertype relations

    Semi-duality is much more difficult to establish than duality. Getting closer is not easy and takes a long period of time. Third parties generate confusion and disturb emotional balance in a semi-dual pair. Insularity in this pair promotes its stability.

    In semi-dual relations, mutual comfort and convenience are of primary importance. Misunderstandings in communication periodically disturb these relations. There is an impression that in these relations fate plays a special role - some irrational principle seems to define their development. Physical health of partners may likewise fluctuate.

    Turbulent emotional atmosphere is destructive to semi-dual relations. They must be imbued with the spirit of cooperation, reason and benefit derived from mutual undertakings, as well as united opposition waged against external hardships and dangers. There should be fewer emotional outbursts and more productive undertakings, then semi-duality will strengthen and provide for a special kind of charm of unemotional comfort.

    Semi-duality relations exacerbate in partners awareness of their body, their physical condition. Relaxation in semi-duality relationship is not as easy as in dual relations. Material well-being of the pair is provided by collaborative effort. This especially concerns the cases when semi-duality combines two intuitive types. Semi-duals are able to realistically assess their chances of success and take up only those matters that will bring quick benefits.

    Dynamics of semi-dual relations are perceived by both partners acutely. There is a sharp contrast between leisure and work. Disruptions in relations usually cause more confusion than in duality relations. Partners are as if drawn to make relations more dynamic and do things which are surprising for the other.

    Semi-dual relations contribute to the preservation of one's own individuality. In these relations partners hone their personal skills. While they may consult with each other, each leads his or her own affairs. Relations can be well managed and have a tendency for self-correction.

    Advice for getting along

    Be patient, don't force events. Remember that getting close to each other is a very slow process in these relations. Try to spend more free time together. In semi-dual relations there is intensification of physical sensitivity and desire for tangible contact.

    Be more considerate in relation to each other. Avoid anything that can cause emotional instability. Deal with disagreements right away. Try to rely more on logic. Avoid middle-men in these relations and deal with each other directly. Protect one another from negative influence of any hostile people.

    In semi-dual relations there are periodic break downs caused by the fact that partners will try to process their feelings separately and individually concerning the same events. In this case, don't show much emotions - positive or negative - simply switch your attention to the next subject.

    V.V. Gulenko, A.V. Molodtsev, "Introduction to socionics"

    Relations of incomplete duality. In words, the understanding between the partners is very good and motives are clear. However, the extrovert partner has a tendency to not listen to introvert partner and continues developing his own topics. But the introvert is rarely offended by this and as as a rule finds ways to adapt. In semi-duality there are always many topics for conversation and conversation does not get boring. If semi-duals are of opposite sex they may feel attraction towards each other, especially if their subtypes are compatible: both are rational or irrational subtypes (ex: Ne-ILE and Si-SLI, or Ti-ILE and Te-SLI), and attempt to get closer. Somewhere in the middle of this process, one of them commits and action that abruptly increases the distance and re-sets boundaries. However, partners are not much discouraged and continue their attempts to become closer, only to once again run into a bump on a seemingly even path. Looking from aside it seems like here lies true passion, the flames of love are burning wildly. This aspect of semi-dual relations is depicted very well by the following poem: "Into the window the moths fly towards the fire, splattering against the glass but not losing hope". Semi-dual relations invigorate partners, keep them in state of constant readiness. This tonic effect is achieved due to periodic shocks that do not let them relax. These relations can be compared to getting splashed by cold water after the person has just woken up and gotten out of bed. Comfort levels with such a partner can be very contrasting: happiness of being close on one side and bewilderment and confusion on the other.


    Relations of semi-duality are one of incomplete or "deficient" duality, when both parties are usually in agreement and on friendly terms. Semi-duals, can show great interest in each other, which is amplified if they also find each other attractive. Unfortunately, harmony can dissolve quickly when one partner commits a blunder of some sort, be it cognitively or etiquette related. Fortunately, semi-dual partners often have much to talk about in their conversations and these conversations do not seem boring to the participants. There is the added benefit of the inability of the pair to stay angry with each other for long.

    Some socionists have quipped relationships of semi-duality "the moth and the flame". The couple is invariably attracted to each other, but repeatedly "burned" by each other. To some onlookers these relations may seem especially passionate and loving.

    Ekaterina Filatova "Art of understanding yourself and others"

    Just as in duality, in these relations support is given from the 1st channel to the 4th channel of both partners, but there is no compensation on the other two functions. Thus when semi-dual partners meet, make plans, talk over their matters, everything is fine, no worse than in dual relations. But when they try to implement their plans, it appears that there is same area where both are weak (albeit in different ways: E/I "-version" of functions of the third channel is different), according to this, on these functions partners cannot effectively help each other. Since there is no full compensation, at sufficiently close distance there may be certain mutual disappointment.

    Eugene Gorenko, Vladimir Tolstikov, "Nature of self"

    There are very good relations, but unlike duality here partners cannot provide full support for each other and make up for the shortcomings of the other. If the partners have to engage in a common project, in some areas both exhibit the same kind of incompetence. As a result, started work often can not be brought to successful finish, which leads to mutual resentment.

    Description from Socionics.com

    These are relations of deficient Duality. Semi-Duality partners usually have no problems in understanding each other or each other's objectives, at least when these objectives are only on paper. When it comes to fulfilling joint plans, partners often fail to co-operate. The extrovert partner hardly listens to the introvert, concentrating more on the sound of their own voice. However, the introvert partner does not get upset about this and they often seem to find a way to adapt to it. Semi-Duals usually have many topics for conversation and these conversations do not seem to be boring.

    Semi-Duals, especially if they are different in gender, can show interest in each other, which is multiplied if in addition they find each other attractive. However, when they feel like they are half way to complete understanding, one of them usually does something, not deliberately of course, that ruins all established harmony putting the partners right back to where they started. This is how incomplete Duality manifests itself.

    Semi-Duality partners cannot stay upset with each other for a long time. After partners have calmed down, they attempt to get closer to each other again which unfortunately leads to another stumble. For the observer, these relations may seem really passionate and loving. Relations of Semi-Duality can be compared with the moth and the flame.

    If not taken seriously, these relations can produce a little periodical shaking, keeping the partners "awake". Relations of Semi-Duality are also full of contrasts: from being happy to see partner again to sudden disappointment and bewilderment.