Hello Everyone. I wanted to make this topic to start a discussion on two types that are often confused, something that I struggled with. LII and EII. This was a problem until I compared myself to my mother, who is very similar to me, but with a few key differences. Here is a quick link to a general description.
Each becomes a bit more like the other and a bit less like his usual self.
This quote in particular stuck out to me and describes exactly what happened with my upbringing.
I will be going over how we relate to each function and quadra values, though feel free to correct me if there are errors. The goal of this is to help describe business relations as well as help others struggling to type themselves.
My mother: EII
So, let’s begin with comparing the functions, going down in order of Model A for EII.
Base vs Role Fi: This function is what made me struggle with my type. We are both polite and attentive in public. However, my attempts come off as stiff and formal. Some even regard me as cold. Whereas my mother is warm and able to manoeuvre conversations with relative ease. She does tire of being around others for long, but she always goes out of her way to make sure others are all right. She loves children and cares for the needy. Me, I avoid social interaction at any cost and find myself acting more like a ghost in the background.
Creative Ne: We both share this function, though we go about it in different ways, filtered through our Fi and Ti. My mother speaks possibilities among people and relationships. “I have an idea for this gift I can give someone! Imagine how happy they will be!” As a writer, she envisions romance and character dynamics. I speak about possibilities in structure and theories. Taking a Sherlock example. “How can someone die of a gunshot wound if there was no bullet? Unless the bullet was made of ice and melted.” In writer terms, I focus more on plot and consistency.
Role vs Base Ti: This is what helped me decide my type. On my own, I perceive myself as an emotional person. The old stereotype that thinkers can’t feel stopped me from considering myself one. However, the key difference comes into play when I converse with someone I know well. I can go on for hours about a topic like technology without there being any material benefit from the discussion. My mother, on the other hand, can only discuss these subjects for a short while before she needs to get to the point. Thing is, due to her helpfulness, some people look to her for advice on those topics, creating the illusion of her being a thinker, but it tires her out.
I recall it was mentioned in one of Gulenko’s articles already, but I think we underestimate how prominent the role function can be. It’s literally our persona, the mask we put on in front of others. People don’t perceive me as a thinker until they get to know me, and I think it works the same for anyone’s role function.
Vulnerable Se: This one is easy and was the one that narrowed down my decision between LII and EII at first. I hate conflict and being pushy. Same with my mother. Our first reaction to such problems involves either escaping conflict or shutting such people out of our lives. I like to think the weaker functions are easier to recognize because they are so painful for us, at least when it comes to the superego block.
Suggestive vs Ignoring Te: This one was troublesome at times, because I often show strong Te preferences at times, until I made the connection with my mother’s Te-seeking. Now, we are both indecisive people when it comes to choices, but she always speaks with the expectation of a fact or result. Something with actual worth. “What is the best route to take?” or “What is most effective?” Being Ti-Ne focused, I have trouble choosing the best because I’m always doubting whether my choice is correct. However, I have learned to develop my Te and it has made me a bit of a perfectionist in a sense, though only whenever my mother is around. Whenever I am on my own, I am more than happy to waste time experimenting with what some might consider insignificant pursuits than something with any real purpose.
Mobilizing Si: Once again, big similarities here. We both like lazing around in an enjoyable and peaceful atmosphere and any disturbances can quickly annoy us. However, maintaining the household can be difficult, so we take turns with chores since we highly value order and cleanliness. Though being a mom, my mother has learned to tackle these aspects better than me.
Ignoring vs suggestive Fe: This is where we often lead to disagreements. I have a hard time gauging the mood of a conversation unless someone is very expressive around me. My mother is often vague with her emotions and when she speaks with anyone who is very friendly, she will call them fake or hiding an ulterior motive. I will just think the person is nice. Due to my Fe-seeking nature, I notice I have a tendency to seek a visible reaction from people, which has often led to some calling me needy despite my unemotional façade.
But the real trouble shows when we come under this term called the “grip”. Now, this is mostly an MBTI concept, but I believe it holds weight based on my experience. Below is an article detailing this phenomenon. Since it’s MBTI, swap the P and J when looking up introverted types. INTP = INTj/LII. The inferior function correlates to Socionic’s suggestive function.
The gist of it is when your leading functions fail you, you fall on your weaker ones to compensate, which leads to negative behaviour associated with that function. For example, when I am pressured to complete a task, I first analyse (Ti) then look at possibilities (Ne). After that, I will seek a quiet space to think (Si). If that fails, my inferior Fe rears its ugly head and I become emotional and scattered, blaming my incompetence or making stupid mistakes. My mother is the reverse. She first tries to understand the emotional context (Fi), then tries to seek a solution (Ne). If that and Si quiet time fails, she becomes a cold and calculating taskmaster, expecting results (Te). As you can imagine, when the two of us are stressed, it can get ugly.
Now, I know we shouldn’t mix MBTI and Socionics, but I think this should be taken into consideration when dealing with types in an unhealthy state. I could look like an unhealthy ESE at a bad time, which confuses the typing process. Which is why they say typing yourself based on how you usually are is better than on a bad day.
Demonstrative Ni: We both can see the consequences of an action and know how much time each task will take. Like the descriptions say, we think everyone should be able to do this, so we don’t pay much attention to it. We also don’t have the will to force others to listen. While staying with an ESE and LSI couple who were remodelling their home, we would often give advice on how things would turn out. The ESE would only budge a little, though the LSI said, “My way or the highway!” and DIYed it herself. It was like watching a train smash in slow motion and we were too scared to say anything around the LSI.
Next is quadra values. While this isn’t the most important for types, I do have some observations regarding the phenomenon. Note: This is just me relating experiences since they correlate pretty well to Socionics descriptions, but this is no replacement for learning functions, so feel free to ignore this section.
Alpha: People often perceive me as serious, though inside I am actually a silly person. It just takes the right kind of people to bring that side out, which is why I think many LIIs struggle with relating to the childish mentality of this quadra, but boy did that change for me during high school. Two friends who have stayed with me from that time are the reason. A soft-hearted, caring ESE who always wears a smile and loves to help others. Truly, the most selfless person I ever met. The second is the opposite. A juvenile prankster of an ILE who loved getting on the teachers’ nerves, though he always aced his tests, so they could never get rid of him.
Together, we are the most immature and loud-mouthed group you would ever find, to this day. We can talk about anything whether silly or taboo and laugh about it like nothing. I can’t begin to describe the ease of communication we have despite our contrasting personalities, but it works.
It was this strange chemistry between the three of us that led me to research how we can get along so well, which brought me to Socionics.
Either way, my mother perceives my friends as interesting, but rowdy and childish. She especially wants me to stop speaking with the ILE, since she sees him as a bad influence. Supervision in action. Now I know why they never get along.
Delta: My mother, in comparison, is friendlier in public, but stern and poised in private. She doesn’t seem aware of this, though this seriousness is her relaxed state. Which brings me to her best friend. A woman from work who knows her business as well as she runs her house, like a well-oiled machine. Whenever we visit, she always prepares the best food and discusses business strategies with my mother, to which she takes in with interest. It goes without saying that this friend is an LSE, and their talks remind me of the descriptions of Delta interactions.
Subdued and mature sprinkled with dry/witty humour. Imagine British royals having tea and you have the idea. I find being around them comfortable, but dull. Strange, given how formal I usually am, but that helped me to understand our differences.
And that’s it from me. I know it’s long and maybe not the most accurate, but the point of this is to put forward more real-life experience to help each other understand Socionics better.
Thank you for reading.