SEIs and relationships
Some points on SEIs and relationships. I’ve just amplified my case, really, and I believe I’m a SEI-Si so be warned that much may not apply to the Fe subtype. If the following is too off the mark for you for what you consider to be a SEI, just add your thoughts or questions. At the end of my post I write why my text seems to be stuck on some concepts. Whatever the case, I still think this can help with SEIs if you focus on how phlegmatism is the engine behind many attitudes.
1) A SEI may interact with different people who will never know of the other’s existence or s/he may delay the introduction of a SO to friends or family, actions that give off an impression of a somewhat private person. Most likely it may be the case that SEIs don’t see much value in sharing information. But perhaps also that once these two worlds come into contact with each other they grow entangled, which in turns restricts the reasonable amount of freedom of action they like to have to do as they see fit without having to explain themselves.
2) SEIs are essentialy phlegmatic. Strong (mostly negative) emotions that they deem unreasonable can cause an aversion, but because they ‘scan’ the environment for those of other people they, can feel overwhelmed by their display. If such a situation is unavoidable, a SEI can rely on the best defense (an attack) and manufacture a burst of emotion or a small scandal. This can be perceived as defensiveness or moodiness. A SEI can go around thinking everyone is just irrational and that s/he is a walking target.
An example: If a SEI is involved in a relationship with a more choleric and possessive partner, there might inevitably come a time when this other person gifts them with an intense jealousy scene where they are the victim. Unable to understand such unreasonable behaviour, their mind instantly starts operating on the notion that they’ve been pulled into a confrontation they can’t lose since their freedom it at stake and can’t bear the thought of not coming on top (for a SEI, to resign their freedom is like pinning a badge of dishonor to their forehead that establishes how things will work in the relationship from that moment on).
Neither can they calmly soothe their partner out of his/her worries because there awakens an urgent need to punish the transgression and prevent further attampts, as if a lesson was being imparted. In the ensuing argument they will, then, strike back with the corresponding force. This will give way to misunderstandings, since what they see as a spontaneous move to defend themselved, their partner might interpret as a rejection of their affection. What will particularly sting in that case is that their choleric partner can remember the burn for longer and make them pay for weeks to come. A reaction like that will seem unnecessary cruel and makes them feel doubly victimized. Frist they are subjected to irrational controlling behaviour and then punished for having the gall to resist it.
But precisely because they lack the choleric flair for lasting impressions, they have the ability to calm down more easily and are convinced they can see the situation from the outside, from where their partner’s aspirations seem as equally illogical as before. They can come to believe no instrospection is needed on their part. At times they will do this with relationships in general, as their phlegmatic predisposition allows for a seemingly clear head: seize people up, contrast and compare, draw a conclusion. It can be a pessimistic one. Whatever are they going to do? ‘That’s a self-fulfilling prophecy’ they might hear. But they know.
They respond better to people who are positive to neutral in communication. Every sociotype has a soft spot from where it can be redirectioned if others are smart enough. SEIs are looking for a sense of freedom in their personal matters.
3) A SEI might disappear. Not really ‘disappear’ but more in a ‘off to do their own thing’ sense. Not likely to be the kind of people to feel the need to take their partner or a friend everywhere they go. They would not mind and may actually enjoy taking a trip abroad alone, starting a new activity alone, etc. Even when living in domestic bliss they can still ‘disappear’. A sudden desire to go for a walk even if it’s raining. What do they do? Well, they get a rush from devising things in their head: they might walk for miles devising a new song if they’re musicians or contemplating the implications of a new theory they’ve read. Or they just become a blank space that gets imprinted with sensoric impressions from the environment. But they do it privately.
4) When not fully acclimatized to a person, SEIs might avoid them. Particularly authority figures. They may lack (and admire) the ability some have to establish natural yet assertive relations with their boss, for example.
As I was writing this I realized that I was wandering perhaps too much into ISTp-Si territory. The inclination to protect their freedom and teach a lesson to anyone who threatens it they seem to have (and yet in Myers and Briggs, ISFPs lack no willingness to bite hard for the same reason). I would say then:
- Strong preference for Si quite blurs the line a between SEI-Si and SLI-Si for me, presenting many similarities (both subtypes are secretive, undemonstrative, at least somewhat indepedent, into the arts, on the search for internal and physical harmony, like nature, can be said to work well with their hands, etc).
- Or I am basically and SLI-Si and female socialization has turned me into a semblance of a SEI-Si.