Activation, or activity, is an intertype relation between two people that belong to opposite poles of all basic dichotomies except for extraversion and introversion (e.g. ISTJ, which is introverted, sensing, logical, and irrational, and INFP, which is introverted, intuitive, ethical, and rational.) Activation partners belong to the same quadra and thus find it comfortable to let down their guard around each other, making this relationship very easy to start.
Activation is a very common relationship for friendship. Activation is similar to duality in that each person provides those kinds of information that the other most expects, however, the emphasis is always somewhat different than subconsciously expected. Partners are able to provide each other with an abundance of useful information and assistance, but lead separate lives and make decisions based on criteria that don't seem too important to the other.
Activation partners who become close and discuss their strivings and personal worldviews often are struck by how radically different they are, despite the relative ease and benefit of communication. As opposed to duals, who tend to strive for the same things but from differing, though compatible angles, activation partners' approaches to achieving their goals tend to be fundamentally incompatible, due largely to the difference in rationality and irrationality. This means that while activation partners can talk and share their common hobbies with ease, they tend to view each other as separate entities with separate lifestyles and plans.
- ENTP and ESFJ
- INTP and ISFJ
- ESTP and ENFJ
- ISTP and INFJ
- ESFP and ENTJ
- ISFP and INTJ
- ENFP and ESTJ
- INFP and ISTJ
Descriptions by various authors
Valentina Meged, Anatoly Ovcharov
At first the interaction is invigorating. Partners activate each other in all initiatives and undertakings. They strive to provide mutual assistance, but joint activity is complicated. When their interests coincide and become focused on the same goal, the methods for achieving it don't satisfy both partners. Partners start to make higher demands of each other. This leads to unnecessary disputes and mutual frustration. Because cooperation is complicated, each partner ends up having to solve problems on his own. Emotional exhaustion is a common effect, which is why partners should periodically increase psychological distance. Presence of outsiders is beneficial and helps to distract partners from misunderstandings. Activity partners quickly forgive each other. Switching attention to something else or stopping communication for some time normalizes these relations.
I.D. Vaisband, publications on Socionics
These are very favorable relations, although not as much as duality. Partners mutually activate each other, periodically needing rest. Contrary to the relations of duality, these relations do not have a trace of jealousy. There is certain tension due to absence of full compensation. Partners may tire each other out due to different rhythms of life, since one partner is a rational type while the other one is irrational.
O.B. Slinko "The key to heart - Socionics"
One of the most favorable types of intertype relations are relations of activity. Leading function of your activator provides information for your mobilizing function, thus communication with such partner enlivens, improves mood, fills with enthusiasm, and generally brings pleasure. These relations are homovert, meaning both partners are either introverted or extraverted. If both partners are introverts, then this interaction makes them feel more extraverted i.e. they become more freely expressive. Activity partners help each other move work projects along. However, interaction in activity pair cannot last indefinitely; partners need to periodically distance and rest from each other. It should not be forgotten that your activity partner is very different from you, that you may come to disagree with many aspects of his personality and even become irritated if communication lasts too long.
R.K. Sedih, "Information psychoanalysis"
Ego - SuperId. Potential for conflicts is small here as the difference in interacting functions is quite large (second function is much weaker than first one). Nevertheless, partners are not inclined to completely undertake responsibility for each other. Relations between activity partners can look like a constant demonstration of goodwill and good qualities. The base function of one partner feeds into mobilizing function of the other, prompting him or her into action. Periodically partners grow tired of each other and require separation and rest. One of my students told me a story about his uncle and aunt of types ENTP and ESFJ. They were deeply in love with each other, but to take a break from each other they would completely separate for one day a week. Even this wasn't enough. These people who called each other "the bane of my heart" have been through three divorces, which completely baffled their relatives and friends. Luckily they have never separated for good, but learned to direct the extra energy into good causes. Both of them built excellent careers without special effect and done a great deal of social work. If they knew about Jung's typology they would have avoided many of the initial problems. It is much easier, for example, to offend your activity partner than your dual. The strongly categorical creative function of one is met with much weaker suggestive function of the other. This is why it is best to tone down categorical judgements and not waste time on detailed explanations.
Laima Stankevichyute, "Intertype relations"
This is a very favorable type of relations, which differs little from duality, though communication here takes place across all eight elements of the psyche. Activity partners find common language very easily and quickly close distance. Since communication here progresses along ascending line, people who have an activator in their family are more energetic, active, and organized. Conflicts are rare since in these types of relations partners usually express their grievances with each other privately. Sometimes partners may feel mental fatigue but it quickly passes if they separate for some time.
A.V. Bukalov, G. Boiko, "Why Saddam Hussein made a mistake, or what is Socionics"
If dual relations alleviate energy and mental stress of the partners, in relations of activity this is not the case - activity partners serve to mobilize one another. These are relations between two extraverts or two introverts, one of which is rational and another irrational. Partners raise overall vitality, but this effect can be too great leading to tiredness and tension. Assimilation of information is not always full. There is an overload of vital functions that are not adapted to such information, thus prolonged communication tires both partners. They have to increase psychological distance for some time, rest from each other, after which they will be ready to engage again. This type of relations is very good for engaging in common activities together. Partners have the same direction unlike in dual relations, but because partners can exhaust each other which is not ideal for family relations.
V.V. Gulenko "Criteria of reciprocity"
Talking with each other is interesting, but communication is not very deep. Establishing contact is easy, but breaking it is just as easy as well. Effort is needed to keep your attention on your activity partner for longer periods of time. Desire to start discussions is lowered: after expressing your views conversation adopts a neutral tone. Getting to know each other closer, partners treat each other on equal footing. The partner who is accustomed to taking lead lowers his demands. The partner in lower in rank feels an increase in his communication status. Because of this effect there is an element of tension present in communication.
Binary attributes intertype relations
In activity relations, it is difficult to maintain the rationality of joint projects and ventures without which activity pair will fall into periods of confusion and inconsistent behavior. These relations require a lot of verbal communication and more open and active displays of affection, which can significantly exhaust the partners.
These relations are permeated by turbulent emotion. Activity pair becomes quite scattered and restless. These relations are more suitable for informal contacts rather than business ones. Emotional over-activation inhibits logical functions.
These relations have an element of sensory caretaking. However, the partner that provides the care is expecting same in return or a submissions to his tastes and wishes. Harmonious activity pair can cultivate and maintain their space quite well.
The dynamics of activity relations is characterized by a steady increase of tensions, which leads to violent discharge of emotions. Activity pair puts all their effort into achieving what both partners desire often not taking other people's time into account.
Both partners try to accentuate their independence, their individuality and the ability to achieve one's goals. Over time, activity partners overload each other, and if measures are not taken to discharge this load it may lead to an explosion within the relationship. Partners periodically find themselves thrown back, but then with renewed vigor they work on restoring the situation.
Advice for getting along
Activity partners awaken a lot of emotional energy in each other which requires an outlet. The stronger the activation, the more people get involved in the sphere of activities of this pair. Partners should strive to explain to each other the motives and reasoning of their actions, otherwise there will be misunderstandings and reproaches. In this pair one partner typically assumes a caretaker role and demands emphasized positive attention and special benefits from the other.
Partners should strive to spend some time alone, away from each other, as too much activation will exhaust them emotionally potentially leading to nervous breakdown. Remember that due to strong activation effect both of you may over-dramatize problems in your relationship and make hasty decisions. In communication it is better to not touch upon serious topics. These relations are most stable when interaction is light and pleasant. Try to invite people over to your house, go out to visit cafes, attend various local events. Allocate more of your time on taking care of household duties, taking care of children, organizing holidays and vacations, and so on.
Ekaterina Filatova, "Art of understanding yourself and others"
These relations are quite favorable, though not as much as duality relations, since here strong creative function of one partner activates weak suggestive function of the other.
These relations are symmetric, but lack full compensation. Partners periodically grow tired of each other due to difference in rhythms of life, since one partner is rational and the other irrational.
Homoverted - Symmetrical - Arrhythmical
These relations are the easiest and quickest to start. Activity partners do not experience any visual difficulties when starting relations which can be surprising to them at the beginning. Partners stimulate each other into activity. Interaction with an Activity partner becomes really satisfying especially if both partners feel a mutual attraction. However, with continuous interaction over a long period comes overactivation which normally results in an overall tiredness of each other (a good example is when you watch a comedy that is so funny that after half the film you do not have the energy to laugh anymore). When this happens Activity partners need a short rest from each other, after which they can enjoy a positive interaction once again. This pattern repeats itself giving these relations an oscillating character. If partners cannot take a break from each other, it can cause negative stimulation to take the place of positive.
Although overall interaction between partners is nice and easy, when it comes to fulfilling everyday duties and matters together, partners usually meet with many problems. Instead of solving the problems, Activity partners tend to give advice to each other on how to solve these problems, often affecting each others weak points. The advice of an Activity partner is always useful as it can strengthen your weakness, but not so much that it will ever become your strength.
The other problem with these relations is that information between Activity partners always needs some adjustments. One partner may think of it as too foggy and not concrete enough, whereas for the other partner it is too unrefined. Collaboration is also difficult, because partners cannot predict each others behavior and actions in what seem to be ordinary situations. Because of this, partners cannot rely or count on each other in full. Most of the problems that arise during Activity relationships are because one partner is always Perceiving and the other is always Judging, meaning that they live in different life rhythms.
These relations are excellent for leisure, but not for day to day activities. When two Duality pairs gather together (forming a complete Quadrable) they experience a feeling of elation. The reason for this is that when two Duality pairs interact with each other, the two introverts (one from each Duality pair) and the two extroverts (again, one from each Duality pair) interact with each other as relations of Activity. Introverts in relations of Activity become slightly extroverted and more open, whereas two extroverts will often calm down a little.