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Contrary Relation


Extinguishment is one of the 14 intertype relations. These relations are also known as Contrary relations. The two partners of such relation have the same strong traits and the same weak traits, with the same accepting/producing order, but with opposite introvert/extrovert values. For example, an ENTP and an INTJ would produce an extinguishment relation.

Relations of extinguishment are characterized by an interest in the same kinds of things, but partners approach it in a fundamentally different and often incomprehensible way. Many people note a certain draw in these relations, as if the other person possessed some dual-like qualities, but never materializes into a dual. This possibly occurs because at first contact individuals are likely to act through their Super-Ego functions, which is received positively by the other person. In trying to close the distance and get to know the other person closely, partners are very often frustrated and thwarted in their attempts by the other person's unexpected and out-of-sync reactions. Partners in these relations find it very hard to maintain an organized and stable relationship, due to the promising, yet continually frustrating interpersonal dynamic.

Where these relations can become especially unstable is in the case of a third person/party being involved in the relation. What happens is both Contrary partners attempt to exude their strong sides, which are in opposition to each others' strengths.

In many cases the introvert partner becomes cautious and distant in formal interaction, whereas the extrovert partner becomes especially vulnerable, taking careful notice of his/her own actions, and thus becoming highly suspicious about the entire relation. This disoriented sense of communication tends to build more and more as Contrary partners continue to interact together.

Contrary pairs

Descriptions by various authors

Valentina Meged, Anatoly Ovcharov

In these relations, it is difficult to achieve full understanding. Despite many mutual interests and common ground, partners often argue about petty details, to which they tend to pay too much attention. These relations are called "extinguishment" because partners extinguish each other's initiatives - sometimes by highlighting their shortcomings, other times by their inability to further and support such initiatives. With such a partner, it is difficult to find considerable support for one's projects, but it is always interesting to exchange opinions, suggestions and requests. Contrary partners get along better when they work separately, since together they pay too much attention to minor mistakes of each other. Such criticism are received especially painfully in the presence of strangers. Third partner upsets this delicate balance even more. If someone's personal interests have been infringed upon, these relations can fall apart. They are more tolerant at a certain distance. With close and prolonged contact, fatigue and irritation set in due to protracted disputes.

I.D. Vaisband, publications on Socionics

Partners communicate well when they are interacting one-on-one, occasionally feeling amazed by originality of each other's insights and approaches. However, a third participant often upsets this balance. Partners look at the same problems from completely different view points. Where one observes external properties of an object, the other observes its internal properties, because for the other partner the functions are oriented in completely different direction. It is as if they talk in different languages. Communication thus becomes rather superficial. It is very difficult to do something together and coordinate actions because attention is lacking even in details. Partners often feel attracted to one another, mainly due to sense of mystery which fuels their mutual curiosity. In families formed between contrary types partners often find it difficult to reach an agreement, which strains these relations.

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

Extinguishment partners are very much alike. Their interests often intersect over a very wide area. However, those functions that are in the Ego block of one partner, form the Id block of another. Thus, your extinguishment partner talks about those things that you implement subconsciously and find too commonsense to talk about. This can be re-phrased as follows: extinguishment partners have opposing views on same topics. Often such a partner seems attractive; he has much in common with you, and at the same time is able to offer a fresh and very different approach. Thus, friendships and romances between extinguishment partners are quite common. In marriage, extinguishment partners start to experience difficulties when a child appears in the family. This triggers relentless competition between their opposing views, which previously seemed to be innocent and only brought some spice to relations. Presence not only of children but also of any third party tends to upset the balance in this pair.

R.K. Sedih, "Informational psychoanalysis"

In this type of relations, it is relatively difficult to achieve mutual understanding. The "adult" part of one partner interacts with the "self-confident teenager" part of the other. The "teenager" meanwhile tries to prove that he indeed knows something, too. "Adult" is annoyed by this arrogance and, when possible aims to put the "teenager" in his place. Ironically, this situation often leads to professional success of partners. For example, in my research I have been very much helped by discussions with my extinguishment relation. Listening to him was not always pleasant, and from aside our conversations might not have looked pretty, yet they were very helpful and even irreplaceable. Both of us were engaged in the same field and treated each other with much respect. This saved our relationship on many occasions. If both of us were not to a large extent dualized, we would not have had the strength to overcome the conflicts. Now this is not a threat. Numerous intellectual debates have turned our relationship into a a lasting friendship. This is not the only example of successful realization of possibilities inherent to such interactions, but, unfortunately, such examples are rare. To make a relationship with your extinguishment partner easier, try not to realize your desire to correct your partner even when it reaches its apex point. In all cases, you will suffer no less than him if you are not be able to control yourself. Interaction of "child" - "insecure teenager" is fraught with similar problems. Only the desire to "debunk" is even more dangerous here because insults to the weaker blocks are more difficult to forgive. In marriage, this is one of the most difficult relationship types.

Laima Stankevichyute "Intertype relations"

Often people of extinguishment types feel an attraction for one other. Attention is especially drawn to the physical qualities of the partner, such as the beauty of their eyes. When alone, these people can have many interesting one-on-one conversations and feel amazement and wonder at each other's originality of thought, how the other person is seeing the same issue from a different side. When a third person joins the conversation, and one of the partners indirectly gains advantage through his or her attention or support, the fragile balance immediately disappears. If two people of extinguishment types have to live or work together, conflict is inevitable. Partners seem to talk about the same topics, but from opposing points of view.

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

These are also called relations of neutralization since the extraversion-introversion orientation of functions of these partners is opposite. In these relations, the introvert as if extinguishes activity of the extravert. For example, an ILI informs an ILE with skepticism that nothing will come out of his ideas and initiatives, that all of it is nonsense, and it is not known yet how everything will turn out, thus extinguishing his enthusiasm. The ILE may be inclined to detaches philosophical ruminations that for ILI sound as empty noise devoid of practical application. However, extinguishment partners also tend to have many common interests. Together they communicate well, but the presence of even one other person evokes the desire to recruit him or her to your side and seeds a sense of competition. At this point reaching an agreement becomes impossible. Often partners are amazed by each other's unusual insights, but at all times they are aware that their thinking styles are different. In case of marriage, they will have to go through a lengthy process of getting used to each other, which is further complicated by the fact that they have different expectations of sexual interactions based on differences in expectations of romancing styles. Most of the conflicts are not major, however, because partners cannot seriously hurt one another.

Victor Gulenko, "Criteria of reciprocity"

Comfortable discussion

Initiating communication partners are drawn to debate, in which they feel comfortable. The more active partner relays his opinions, while the less active one offers commentary and imparts his corrections. Partners usually appeal to one another with style of behavior. Each other's peculiar thinking style feels like a pleasant surprise. However, in presence of a third party extinguishment effect occurs – your partner impedes your attempts to develop a mutually interesting idea, arguing against it.

Binary signs of intertype relations

For relations of extinguishment, it is not recommended to have discussions in presence of a large audience. In a small circle, there is mutual correction and enrichment with new factual information, but if relations become more extraverted then th unpleasant process of extinguishment will begin – this manifests as arguing against each other's propositions without substantiation.

In extinguishment relations partners can predict each other's behavior quite well. This becomes uninteresting, especially if their behavior is rationalized. This pair needs to engage in periodic relaxed philosophizing and critical analysis of events around them. The pair is very flexible and adapts to the stresses of changing environment.

In extinguishment pair, the flaws of the other partner are easily visible. Accusations of not thinking things through, skepticism, and criticism are all too common. These relations should not be approached emotionally – deep emotional grievances will tear them apart. While meticulously counting the flaws of the partner you forget about vulnerability of your position – your own flaws which he also easily sees.

In relations of extinguishment you are interested in the methods of your partner, his concepts, the general principles of how he operates, rather than his actual achievements and current status. There is persistent hope to use his methods to "arm" yourself, but it does not have sufficient grounds. Extinguishment partners quite successfully predict the behavior of each other.

In extinguishment relations, emotional dynamics do not take the first place but rather the sudden changes in behavior of your partner. In these relations partners can predict the success or failure of another, so any deviations deserve attention. These relations have a "cushioning" effect i.e. soften potential damage but also play down success.

In these relations, any aspirations that seem too extremist or made unduly important are cut off. This critical fitting of opinions and intentions culminates in rather tolerant attitude towards behavior of one another. Here one can observe the process of coming to middle ground which suits both partners, even if it is far from their original ideal.

Advice for getting along

Comfort in these relations can be achieved by communicating in a narrow circle of friends or associates. Extinguishment effect gets triggered in presence of other people – partners begin to challenge the views of another without providing solid arguments to back up their points of view. Learn to knowingly accept criticisms of each other and to derive benefit from them – your ideas and incentive in the light of criticism of extinguishment partner will become more realistic.

Get your contrary partner involved when you need to critically evaluate something or make a forecast of a project. Do not expect your partner to participate in the implementation of your plans. Collaborative technical work will proceed very slowly and follow a strict route.

If relations are upset, do not try to resolve them on an emotional level. Separate and spend some time alone, then resume relations as if nothing had happened. Be interested in new information that will give you both food for thought and discussion.

Periodically discharge accumulated irritation through jokes and humor. From time to time, arrange a delicious meal with your favorite food and drinks. Treat each other with pleasantries and remedies. Combine your ideas for practical use - not for finding the ultimate truth. Find answers to your questions in past experiences.

Ekaterina Filatova "Art of understanding yourself and others"

Here we have four identical functions of different orientation in the same channels. And, at the same time - not a single communication channel on identical functions. This implies that for these partners, there isn't any significant sphere in which they would have same point of view.

Where one pays attention to external processes via his extroverted function, the other focuses on the internal states via his introverted function, and vice versa. As a result, it becomes difficult for these partners to understand each other and agree, except if they deliberately set out to look at the same issue from opposite points of view - this is sometimes beneficial in creative research.

So it happens that during a meeting, partners are attracted to each other by their "mystery." Due to this, hasty unions and marriages often arise between people who are exact opposites. Not surprisingly, the life of the spouses in these families can be fairly strained and difficult and often veers on the brink of breakup or divorce.

Eugene Gorenko, Vladimir Tolstikov, "Nature of self"

Partners have all functions in common, except in opposite direction. It would seem that they should have a lot in common, but in practice it turns out that what one sees from the outside that which the other sees from the inside. This leads to misunderstandings. Partners don't find each other very interesting; their dialogue is not too fascinating. Peaceful communication is possible if there is nobody else in presence, but as soon as someone else joins in, the attention of one partner (usually the extroverted one) switches on to the third person. We can say that relations of this type don't have that special spice to them, but at the same time they are quite safe since the partners cannot cause considerable problems for each other.

Sergei Ganin

Heteroverted - Symmetrical - Rhythmical

These are relations of an unstable psychological distance. Both partners experience difficulties in establishing and keeping a stable psychological distance. The only chance contrary partners have to get along well is if they are left alone. In other cases partners usually compete over their strong sides. The reason for this is when somebody else is present, each partner tries to capture the attention of the listener by showing off their strong side. Contrary partners may like some elements of the other partner's behavior. This often helps the partners to begin a more close relationship. However, when they are in company, their interaction can change dramatically. The introvert partner usually becomes distant, relations lose warm feelings and become formal and cautious. Both partners may start regretting that they became too trustful.

The extrovert partner normally gets the false impression that the introvert partner is deliberately acting against them. This can bring a great deal of misunderstanding and surprise into these relations, as both partners are convinced that before everything was fine. The introvert partner usually starts suppressing the activity of the extrovert partner and may reproach and criticize them. The extrovert partner in return can behave in the same way.

The most vulnerable position in these relations belongs to the extrovert partner, who may feel as if they are being betrayed. As a result the extrovert partner could start to worry excessively about their next step so as not to make any mistakes and may therefore become very suspicious. Unfortunately the extrovert partner cannot see that their introvert partner is not as bad as they have begun to imagine.

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