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Benefactor Relation

Benefactor is a transmitter side of benefit relations.

Benefit Rings

Benefactor → Beneficiary (e.g. ISFJ is the Benefactor of ISTP, and so forth.)


Benefit, also called relations of request or social order, is an asymmetric relation in which the type at higher level is called the benefactor (or request transmitter) and the type at lower level is called the beneficiary (request recipient or recipient of social order).

Often, a mutual two-way yet asymmetric interest develops between people in benefit relations. The person in role of the beneficiary admires the person who is in role of benefactor. Benefactor's abilities seem impressive to the beneficiary from a distance. The manners, behavior, and the way the benefactors holds himself seems attractive to the beneficiary. Beneficiary comes to consider benefactor's lifestyle and values to be worthwhile. Sometimes, this admiration prompts the beneficiary to attempt to over-identify with the benefactor to the extent of typing them into identical type or typing themselves into benefactor's type.

In conversation, the beneficiary notices that the benefactor missing information pertaining to the aspect of benefactor's activating function. The benefactor's conscious attention seems to be shifted away from this aspect in favor of the aspect of the creative function. The activating function is weak and semi-conscious for the benefactor, yet for the beneficiary this is a strong conscious leading function capable of high levels of discernment. Thus the beneficiary easily notices benefactor's inadequacy, mistakes, and omissions on the activating aspect, to which the benefactor is usually oblivious. At closer interaction, the beneficiary attempts to help the benefactor on this aspect: inform and teach the benefactor, supply analyses and assessments, make corrections, deliver prognoses, and so on. The benefactor is interested in receiving information of this kind, since the benefactor discovers that such advice helps them to resolve the problems of their weak activating function. However, for the benefactor this aspect is only of instrumental normative significance, and not a global value, as it is for the beneficiary; the benefactor thus sometimes makes irritated attempts to cut down what is viewed as excessive help, obtrusive advice and lecturing coming from the beneficiary. The benefactor will also "refine" information coming from the beneficiary in accordance to benefactor's own TIM and valued information elements in benefactor's quadrant, modify beneficiary's statements, or even outright reject some of them.

The benefactor are interested in receiving highly refined information on their activating function, thus benefactors often take note of their beneficiaries (as well as their literary, artistic, and musical works). However, the benefactor also eventually takes note of the beneficiary's weak and unconscious suggestive function, which happens to be benefactor's strong and conscious creative function. The benefactor tries to guide the beneficiary on this function, however, the beneficiary doesn't respond to this advice in the way the benefactor expects (as benefactor's dual type would respond): the beneficiary often responds with delay, may follow through in unsatisfactory to benefactor manner, or even brush benefactor's suggestions aside considering them as unnecessary on their own leading function. Due to this, the beneficiary always appears to be somehow falling behind, making avoidable mistakes, or even lacking and incapable to the benefactor. No matter how much advice the benefactors gives, the beneficiary never seems to retain it and build on it and continues to make the same omissions, or learns at a catastrophically slow pace in benefactor's view. The benefactor over time may come to consider the beneficiary as incorrigible on this aspect, "give up" on the beneficiary and decide to part ways, depending on the state of their relations.

Since the beneficiary typically appreciates and admires benefactor's values and lifestyle, the beneficiary is often supportive of the benefactor in implementation of benefactor's ideas and values, treating any of the benefactor's suggestions as a call to action. This realization of benefactor's suggestions often comes unexpected to the benefactor, since the benefactor has not directly requested the beneficiary to do anything. Nevertheless, once the benefactor consciously recognizes this support, the benefactor may become more appreciative of the beneficiary. If the benefactor acknowledges and positively evaluates beneficiary's support, the benefactor is then encouraged to continue with the relationship. The benefactor now sees the beneficiary as the implementer of his or her own ideas and feels hesitant to part ways and lose such a person. The impulse that mobilizes the beneficiary to activity is generally attributed to the effect of benefactor's creative function falling on beneficiary's suggestive, and is sometimes called the "social request" or "social order" that the benefactor sends to the beneficiary for actuation. This "request" is often not directly stated or evident to either of them, and in the initial stages of Benefit relations comes as a surprise to both the benefactor (that someone has carried out their suggestion) as well as the beneficiary (that they are enacting someone else's request).

A peculiarity of these relations at later, established stages is that the beneficiary may find themselves unable to turn down benefactor's proposals and suggestions, thus in a way falling into unconscious control of the benefactor; which is one clue that allows to identify benefit relations.

Any information that comes from beneficiary's own creative function, however, falls on the "ignoring" or "limiting" function of the benefactor and as a result gets curbed or ignored. This makes the beneficiary feel like the benefactor hears him only partially, that some of beneficiary's suggestions, persuasions, and calls to action are ignored by the benefactor. From the other end, benefactor feels that while the beneficiary makes interesting and insightful statements, nevertheless these arguments don't always have sufficient persuasive power and need to be checked and adapted to benefactor's TIM aspects and values. The beneficiary also feels disconcerted by occasional shows of benefactor's suggestive function, which corresponds to beneficiary's vulnerable function.

The above interaction of leading-activating and creative-suggestive function creates a two way uneven exchange of information that is of interest to both people in Benefit relations. While the beneficiary provides mental support and feedback for benefactor's activating function, the benefactor motivates and stimulates the beneficiary on suggestive function.

This simplified diagram shows the interaction of functions in benefit relations:


The other side of this interaction of functions is that the beneficiary may view the benefactor as a capable and admirable person, but somehow lacking in discernment and intelligence on the activating function (which is leading for the beneficiary). The benefactor may view the beneficiary as informative, insightful, and intelligent person, but somehow incapable, lagging behind, and inept on beneficiary's suggestive (which is creative for the benefactor).

Benefit relations can be conceptualized as an asymmetric exchange of energy and information, where information is sent from Beneficiary's leading function to activating function of the Benefactor, while the energy impulse is sent from Benefactor's creative function to the suggestive function of the Beneficiary. Thus, the Benefactor may feel informed but de-energized in these relations, while the Beneficiary may feel energized but under-informed.

Since Benefit types are on the same side of Introversion-Extroversion, and either Sensing-Intuition or Logic-Ethics dichotomies, people of Benefit types often have commonalities in interests and lifestyle. This, in turn, spurs numerous contacts between Benefactors and Beneficiaries, some of which evolve into friendships and long-term serious romantic involvements, making Benefit Relations a moderately common intertype pairing among married couples.

If this relation occurs in a work setting, the beneficiary will strive to help out the benefactor, and to comply with his expectations. If the benefactor doesn't offer the beneficiary some praise for his efforts, the beneficiary will feel inadequate - rather similarly as the supervisee in a supervision relationship. However, a supervisor will take more of a clear leadership role, dominating the exchange, whereas the beneficiary feels no obligation to the benefactor to hang around once his contributions have been slighted. The relation between benefactor and beneficiary is sometimes compared to relations between an older and a younger sibling, while supervision is compared to relations of a parent and a child. The complementation between the beneficiary's first function and the benefactor's second function also makes for a more caring and less competitive relationship than supervision.

Descriptions by various authors

Valentina Meged, Anatoly Ovcharov

Beneficiary experiences activation in the presence of benefactor, tries to help him, to do something. He understands the needs of his partner very well, but reciprocity exists only in the beginning. Over time the harmony in these relations breaks down for the reason that benefactor is dismissive of the arguments and conclusions of beneficiary, and even tries to impose his own point of view and control his behavior. However, beneficiary feels that it is difficult for him to refuse in anything for such an admirable, authoritative partner. This inequality in future may lead to arguments, at which time the beneficiary will wish to distance from the benefactor.

The benefactor perceives his partner as someone who needs his protection, patronage, and advice. He appeals to the desire of the beneficiary to understand him and help him in difficult situations, but from his point of view the assistance is not effective, thus he involuntarily underestimates the abilities of beneficiary or starts increasing his demands. The benefactor can partially take on the execution of responsibilities/work, but over time he becomes tired on this and loses interest in his partner. Benefactor may feel irritation because he is unable to understand the requests and needs of the beneficiary. Beneficiary, in turn, trying to reach an understanding, can begin to over-dramatize the situation. He feels that the benefactor is not considering his interests and may make attempts to re-educate his partner, but this proves to be useless. The benefactor still does not understand what was wanted of him.

The matter can end with break up of relations if the beneficiary does not accept his role and continues finding faults with the benefactor instead of simply helping him accomplish common tasks or projects. Mutual work is what unites this pair, in this case the relationship becomes stimulating and productive.

I.D. Vaisband, publications on Socionics

The beneficiary perceives any grumbling on part of the benefactor as a signal to action. However, to carry it out the beneficiary must gain distance from the benefactor. In a family situation this is difficult, which strains the relationship. The benefactor feels that without him the beneficiary won't make it, while beneficiary finds it impossible to leave such an outstanding person that he perceives benefactor to be. The benefactor activates the beneficiary, but to realize this momentum the beneficiary must spend some time away from him. These relations generate some of the most romantic love stories: partners agree and grow close, disagree and come apart, find that they can't live without each other, but neither can they be with each other. This doesn't make for the most successful marriages. One partner called the benefactor uses his "creative" function to activate the weak function of beneficiary. However, good reverse feedback does not exist in these relations, since both strong functions of beneficiary have no effect on the benefactor. This mechanism dictates the nature of these relations: everything that beneficiary says or does, the benefactor doesn't see as very important and significant, the beneficiary, in contrast, sees the benefactor as a very significant person. The request is impossible not to fulfill: it received by beneficiary's weak function that itself is unable to critically evaluate the information. Therefore, it is put into action without careful evaluation and without any resistance. The benefactor is not inclined to give much recognition to the beneficiary, seeing him as a weaker partner, so he tends to periodically patronize the beneficiary, order him around, attempt to teach him. Naturally, on occasion, beneficiary will try to distance from the benefactor. In a family, these conditions can be satisfied only if the beneficiary is actively involved in some activities or hobbies outside of home, he can then transmit the energy he has received from the benefactor onto his activities. If the beneficiary is not involved in any such activities, the likelihood of conflicts in such union increases.

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

One partner acts as a transmitter of social request [benefactor], the second - as its receiver [beneficiary]. The beneficiary is at a higher level of social development than the benefactor, however, in these relations he is assigned a subordinate role. The benefactor seems interesting, significant, sometimes even unapproachable, and at the same time the beneficiary feels that he understands benefactor's concerns and human flaws. The benefactor is as if always asking or requesting something from the beneficiary, the beneficiary as if owes something to the benefactor, he perfectly picks up on the position of the benefactor. Benefactor, however, does not fully hear the beneficiary and does not look into his problems: it seems that the beneficiary will somehow manage on his own and arrange his life in any case. To fulfill the social order, the beneficiary must get away from the direct influence of the benefactor. Therefore, in these relations the beneficiary will periodically put up some resistance and grumble at the benefactor in order to distance. Nevertheless, this kind of "disloyalty" has almost no psychological effect on the benefactor. These relations are distinguished by their emotional warmth, making benefit relations marriages to be quite common. In such families, both partners end up feeling some pressure: the benefactor because he or she willingly ends up taking the main share of responsibilities for both on his or her shoulders, and beneficiary from the constant psychological pressuring coming from his partner.

R.K. Sedih, "Informational psychoanalysis"

This interaction we shall analyze as a combination of activity and quasi-identity. Ego - Id plus Super-Id. The similar element spurs a surge of activity in the individual. In this way benefactors are similar to one's activity partners.

Quasi-identical component brings the possibility of mutual learning, but simultaneously there are difficulties in trying to convince your benefactor, prove something to him, or adopt his point of view. This sometimes leads to explicit or implicit long-standing arguments and disputes. These attempts, however, are not completely useless, because the partners do learn a lot from each other, but often still don't manage to reach a consensus. This often makes close proximity one-on-one communication between them rather tiresome and tedious. The component of activation can make the partners seem very attractive to each other after only minimal interaction. Following this, the partners get to know each other, become closer, which prompts discussions, during which they eventually grow tired of one another, temporarily part, then, after getting some rest, come together again. If you don't allow yourself to argue until losing your voice, the appeal of this interaction can persist for a long time. However, if you don't restrain yourself, antipathies may arise instead of sympathies. Especially dangerous is the development of such situation in marriage, because here communication happens on very close distances thus partners may attempt to persuade each other with great fervor and stubbornness. It is not necessary for negative feelings to arise. The couple can find an outlet for the excess energy that is released by investing it into activities outside their union.

For example I know a family where the wife is SEI and the husband is LSI. Over thirty years of living together they have done a great deal of social work. The husband, who is a biologist by profession but working school teacher, has organized more than sixty expeditions with his students and helped found the nation's largest museum of biology. His wife of many years in addition to her regular job was also the head of women's council at a large organization and led an embroidery club. I must say that there were plenty of problems in this family. These conflicts were due to the fact that they were both sensing types. Their tastes in clothes and food did not match, neither was there agreement on how to conduct financial affairs of the family, and so on. Realizing that after decades of living together trying to prove anything to each other is useless, they, nevertheless, from time to time could not refrain from periodically quarreling.

Laima Stankevichyute "Intertype relations"

Those whose first love is their benefactor usually spend a long time as friends and later end up exchanging the vows. These relations make for some of the most romantic love stories, full of passion and other emotions. However, this romance does not last long, because after marriage more confusion starts. Mostly these aren't some major scandals on matters of great importance, however, the daily life becomes colored by persistent discontent. To the benefactor it seems that the beneficiary is always doing something wrong, and that it can be done better. Benefactor sees the beneficiary as dependent, spoiled, poorly adapted to life in some way - it seems that without him the beneficiary will be lost. So he spends his time demanding, teaching, explaining, while the beneficiary keeps trying. At the beginning of their acquaintance, the beneficiary feels proud and happy to have such an admirable person associate with him. From the standpoint of beneficiary, the benefactor is only lacking one small thing to reach his ideal, and this small thing the beneficiary tries to fill. However, it seems to him that he can never please the benefactor, that he is constantly dissatisfied with something. In fact, this is not the case. Just that the beneficiary does not hear the words of support for him. In all corrective comments and even in simple questions he imagines a reproach. Thus people in these relations often start fighting seemingly over nothing. The relationship becomes less pleasant, however, these types rarely part. The benefactor feels that the beneficiary will be quite lost without him, so he cannot leave. Beneficiary cannot leave because it is impossible to leave such an admirable, superior person as the benefactor. Life in such a family is usually complicated. It becomes impossible to perform even the most basic household work together. Therefore, in such families all household problems usually fall to one of the partners. Most often they are placed on the beneficiary. But there are families where beneficiary stops doing anything and finds another sphere of interest, for example, devotes extra time for work and business trips, gets new hobbies, spends more time outside of home gardening, repairs car in the garage, that is, becomes engaged only in those activities where the benefactor has no control over him. Many couples that break up then reform again, after some time, are often in these type of relations.

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

Relations of benefit function as a conduit for transfer of social experience, socially significant information, between the quadra. This is needed for progress of society. Interestingly, in this pair both partners greatly admire each other. The beneficiary sees the benefactor as a person of great interest, while benefactor is delighted with beneficiary's ability to do things that he is not able to do. However, there is an asymmetry of perception: the benefactor is listened to, but the beneficiary is perceived as an interesting person, but not convincing enough. Thus the benefactor will try to help the beneficiary, try to explain something to him. In general, such relations are pleasant and friendly. However, excessive stimulation of the beneficiary prompts him to distance from the benefactor. Beneficiary does this to not get distracted from fulfilling already set objectives. Benefactor may become genuinely surprised by such behavior: "Where did he go? Why did he distance/leave?" From social point of view, relations of benefit are very important, because together with relations of supervision they enable not only transfer of information, but also create ties between quadra, thus forming rings of social progress.

Victor Gulenko, "Criteria of reciprocity"

Recommendations for integration

Such benefit partners want to integrate, they should not work in isolation. If this pair closes off into itself, the beneficiary starts to resist the actions of the benefactor (to reverse the order). If you want to establish reverse control, try to capture the attention of your benefactor with an unusual idea or proposition, but don't demand its immediate evaluation, simply distance yourself. Thinking over your suggestion the benefactor is very likely to accept it.

In this pair, try to not fail each other's trust. Carry out what you have promised. Don't suddenly cancel joint plans and activities. Talk about your intentions beforehand. For issuing direct requests, the benefactor should try to adjust himself to the beneficiary, display goodwill, take care of him. Comfort in these situations is attained by way of mutual psychological work. Beneficiary should try to not over-dramatize events in these relations. It is better to express your emotions through a third party who can guide you away from extreme interpretations and offer comfort.

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

These relations are asymmetric: first partner relates to the second not in the same way as the later relates to the first. First partner, who is called request transmitter, or benefactor, looks at the second partner, called beneficiary, as someone who is a rank lower, underestimating him. The second partner, on the contrary, thinks that the other partner is an interesting, meaningful person, overestimating him at first.

Beneficiary can become very fond of benefactor and admire his behavior, demeanor, ability to easily do that to which the beneficiary aspires, the style of his thoughts, his creative approach. In presence of benefactor, beneficiary unwittingly begins to try to win his favor, to please him, for some unknown reasons to himself. This starts with little things and then progresses more and more. From aside it looks as if the beneficiary is trying to somehow justify himself to the benefactor.

From aside, relations of benefit look smooth and conflict-free. Initiator of these relations is almost always the benefactor. Beneficiary feels that deep inside the benefactor is positively predisposed towards him. The benefactor tries to encourage and support the beneficiary in any way possible. Reciprocating feedback only happens at initial stages. Further attempts to establish relations on equal conditions are not successful, the reverse connection does not get any better. The benefactor, alas, does not hear the beneficiary. As a consequence of this, beneficiary moves away and tries to keep distance from the benefactor, sometimes may even start to pick on him by way on his base function which is much weaker in benefactor. Thus, these relations can be called a relations of patronage/protection in the absence of reciprocate action. Over time, the beneficiary may begin to completely disregard the benefactor.

Ekaterina Filatova "Art of understanding yourself and others"

These relations alike relations of audit are asymmetrical. One partner - the benefactor - activates the weak 4th function of the beneficiary. Good feedback is not here, since both strong functions of beneficiary do not affect the benefactor.

This mechanism sets the nature of relations: everything that the beneficiary says and does, does not seem as significant to the benefactor, while the benefactor is perceived as a very substantial person in the sphere of benefactor's 2nd function (it is from here that the request is sent). The request is impossible not to carry out because it is picked up by beneficiary's weak 4th function that itself is unable to critically evaluate the information.

A group of four people comprising single ring of benefit can very actively solve various creative problems. Especially effective is a group of eight people, which includes two parallel rings and four dual pairs. Here all participants are mobilized which increased their mental activity, but at the same time they do not become tired because duals support one another.


Eugene Gorenko, Vladimir Tolstikov, "Nature of self"

These are asymmetric relations. One of the partners is request transmitter, the other is request receiver. Transmitter seems like an admirable person to the receiver. Receiver very attentively listens to what the transmitter requests of him or requires, even if it is only a hint. Transmitter at the same time does not pay much attention to the actions and words of the receiver, although we should note that this is not always the case. Here we must also take into consideration the social level of the partners. If the level of the receiver is higher than that of the transmitter, then very fruitful mutual contact is possible.

Sergei Ganin

Homoverted - Asymmetrical - Arrhythmical

These relations are asymmetrical. One partner, called the Benefactor, is always in a more favourable position in respect to the other partner who is known as Beneficiary.

The Beneficiary thinks of the Benefactor as an interesting and meaningful person, usually over-evaluating them in the beginning. The Beneficiary can be impressed and delighted by their partner's behaviour, manners, thoughts and their ability to easily deal with things that the Beneficiary conceives as complicated. When partners are together, the Beneficiary involuntarily starts to ingratiate themselves with the Benefactor, trying to please them without any obvious reason. In the worst cases this starts from little things and then becomes bigger until the Beneficiary realises the foolishness of their situation.

The Beneficiary can see the weakness of the Benefactor, wishing to help their partner to strengthen themselves. Because the strongest point of the Beneficiary is the weak and unconscious point of the Benefactor, the Beneficiary is convinced that they are able to help. However, when the Beneficiary tries to help, the Benefactor usually refuses the help without any good explanation. The Beneficiary usually listens to every word the Benefactor says but there is no feedback, the Benefactor can not hear the Beneficiary. This may be sometimes unpleasant and even irritating for the Beneficiary.

The Benefactor accepts the Beneficiary as somebody who is lower in rank or social position and often undervalues them in the beginning. The reason for this is that the Benefactor feels that the Beneficiary needs something from them, that special something that only the Benefactor can provide. Therefore the Benefactor naturally finds themselves in an advanced position in respect to the Beneficiary, but are at the same time willing to encourage and take care of the Beneficiary.

Relations of Benefit may appear even and conflict free. Usually it is the Benefactor who initiates the contact. Partners can even feel some kind of spiritual connection between them. However, relations last only as long as the Benefactor has something to give and the Beneficiary has need of it. If this major condition is no longer fulfilled, relations enter quite an unpleasant stage of their development. The Beneficiary may begin ignoring the Benefactor completely or they may start to accentuate too many of the Benefactors inability, provoking arguments and quarrels. Finally, when the Benefactor is in a superior position to the Beneficiary, it can work quite well, but not when it is the other way round!

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