I'm beginning to see how identical relations are being a very healthy and helpful thing. If the person is doing well, it's easy to see what you should be doing differently in order to do well, and if they're not doing well you can see where they're messing up. I think that finding an identical who is where you want to go (or for those who don't think in those terms, one who you admire or see as successful in the areas of life that are important to you, whatever that is), and either reading about that person or observing them can teach you a lot.
Recently I've spent a fair amount of time around identical who is pretty much exactly where I want to be in 5 years. I think this is about the best thing that could have happened to get me back on track... not that I'd lost sight of my goals, but I have been feeling pretty frustrated because of many various factors and needed a reminder that I am indeed doing what I should be doing to get where I'm trying to go. It's just not easy, that's all.
I definitely see the PoLR in him, but I see ways that he's successfully dealt with it, and that's very helpful. It makes it seem like it doesn't need to be all that difficult.
The first and second functions are obvious, and it was nice to talk to someone who looks at issues the same way I do. He also made some good points that I wouldn't have thought of, points I attribute to his having been around longer. This is a very valuable thing because he doesn't even need to explain his reasoning, just say what he thinks about it and I automatically see his point, and it's like I'm able to readily utilize knowledge he's gained through experiences that I haven't had.
I also have a much better understanding of the Role function now. I think it's something that is, in a way, a lot stronger than we make it out to be when we talk about it on the forum. It's something that we're very aware of, but don't value. Combined with our first function, this awareness proves to be a very useful thing. It's like... you can see why others behave the way they do, and you know how to deal with them better as a result. It feels like you're able to see why they're doing what they're doing, but the downfalls of it, the things they didn't consider, are apparent to you. You can use your awareness to do what you need to do to get along with them and give them what they want without making the mistakes they're making (which you're actually seeing with your first function). Of course, as with anything else in socionics (and perhaps life), it's all a matter of perspective. Everyone values different types of information and styles of thinking, and no one is really right or wrong, just seeing different things.
I remember someone here saying to me that talking to another person from your quadra, especially your dual, makes you think, "Wow, there's another sane person in the world". I don't know if I'd use the word sane, but I definitely see what he was talking about. It's like they "get it", and there are very few other people who do. I've never known an identical all that well. There were a couple that I sort of knew, and I did get along really well with them, but they were where I was and headed in the same direction rather than already being where I am headed.
The best part of all of this for me right now is seeing how an identical successfully overcame his PoLR. Dealing with my PoLR has been much more of an issue for me than I've realized, and I have been letting it have way too much of a negative effect of my life. At this point I know of some things I can do to make a big difference. They're things I already *knew*, but now they seem much more realistic. There's no absolutely reason I can't do them.