Mirror is an intertype relation of intellectual stimulation and mutual correction. The pair shares common interests, but differ slightly in thought process and methodology.
Initially, Mirrors find plenty of things to talk about. They easily understand each other's philosophies (and usually find that they agree) on basically all issues. They are surprised to find that the other can provide a subtly different outlook and recognize valuable things they themselves would tend to overlook. As the relationship gets closer, their differences become more of an obstacle. When everything is apparently all said and done, one Mirror will point out something they consider to be a loose end. This perplexes the other, because the point appears to them inconsequential and a distraction from the main point of the process. They may even think the other is intentionally derailing their efforts, because of their otherwise understanding attitude. This perpetual sense of almost understanding leads to some frustration between mirrors, despite it being a generally positive relationship. Any tension is easily resolved by creating some distance; confrontation is almost never necessary, and if it happens is quickly forgotten.
Perhaps more than any other relation, Mirrors can stimulate each other's creativity and work in tandem on the same project, but this interaction is primarily intellectual (i.e. work-related) and does not result in a feeling of closeness or needing the other on a more instinctive level. While they may find the discussion interesting at first, too much of it can lead Mirrors to have a sense of emptiness and disappointment about the relationship. They complement each other within their shared strengths, leaving an entire half of the informational world essentially neglected. They reinforce each other's attempts to engage the Super-id, but these usually remain half-hearted, continually returning to the comfort zone of the Ego.
The intellectual stimulation and surprise involved in Mirror relations make it quite durable and friendly even over a long period of time. Thus, Mirror is a common relationship among friends.
Each quadra contains two mirror pairs.
- ENTP and INTP — This pair is also known as the Alpha NTs
- ESFJ and ISFJ — a.k.a. Alpha SFs
- ESTP and ISTP — a.k.a. Beta STs
- ENFJ and INFJ — a.k.a. Beta NFs
- ESFP and ISFP — a.k.a. Gamma SFs
- ENTJ and INTJ — a.k.a. Gamma NTs
- ENFP and INFP — a.k.a. Delta NFs
- ESTJ and ISTJ — a.k.a. Delta STs
Descriptions by various authors
Valentina Meged, Anatoly Ovcharov
Partners positively evaluate each other's creative work, accomplishments, as well as concerns and doubts. In these relations it is good to check correctness of each other's statements. Desire to learn from each other manifest. But warmth in these relations is lacking. Partners may try to teach each other, to impose their own views. They are so similar yet so different from each other that they may try to resolve and remove all differences, but this is not possible. Usually discussions are peaceful and do not worsen relations. Closing distance, irritation may arise from inability to fully convince your mirror partner in your point of view. In addition, both people usually understand each other well enough to be constantly of interest to one another. They are capable of providing each other with sympathy and help, however, this help is not always effective because they are not able to fully complement each other's weaker points. Mirror relations are favorable for discussions of common topics of interest and problems that are solvable, however, expect that each partner will keep his own opinion.
I.D. Vaisband, publications on Socionics
Partners may experience difficulties being together because each strives to teach and remake the other. Presence of a third member of the same quadra, who is dual to one and activator to another, makes their interaction more pleasant. Mirror partners are very similar to one another - both are logical types or ethical, sensing or intuitive, but one will be an introvert and the other will be an extravert. Much of information that gets exchanged in these relations happens across partner's strong functions. That which one partner thinks - the other is already actualizing. Mirror partners can learn from each other, however, this sometimes leads to temptation to teach your partner. Serious conflicts in this pair are usually few.
O.B. Slinko, "The key to heart - Socionics"
Your and your partner's creative and base functions are switched in their positions, thus, what you're merely thinking about your partner is constantly implementing in practice, and vice versa. This peculiarity of mirror relations can be both beneficial and harmful. Most often, mirror partners help each other understand a problem from different angles. When engaged in a common project, they will divide responsibilities. On the other hand, your mirror partner can sometimes cause you irritation or even deeply offend you. This is facilitated by the structure of not only his creative block, but also of superego block: the role function that he falls upon coincides with your vulnerable, most painful function, and vice versa, thus your mirror partner can irritate and be feel irritated by your own vulnerable spot.
R.K. Sedih, "Information psychoanalysis"
The structure of the interaction between blocks is the same as in the identity relations, but the order of functions is different. This makes the interaction somewhat more confusing but also more attractive than identity relations. There exist more possibilities here to provide help, but also to hurt one another. However, in this pair it is usually the first possibility that gets realized rather than the later, though helping each other is difficult. This combination is especially well suited for solving problems of professional and creative nature if partners work in the same field. Mirror relations perhaps take the second place in how much partners can learn from each other. They are not recommended for marriage, however, because it is difficult for mirror partners to take care of each other. Conflicts of mirror partners usually occur due to some immediate reasons. Most frequently, they are initiated by the partner of irrational type in this pair.
Laima Stankevichyute "Intertype relations"
Although these relations are between types of same quadra, they can be difficult especially in cases that they are married. Partners are frequently attempting to teach and re-educate one another. When two ethical mirror types meet, they may feel at unease around each other and keep some distance. When two logical types meet, they may start a dispute or sit together in an uncomfortable silence. These types of relations because much more pleasant when a third type from the same quadra is present who is dual to one partner and activator to the other.
A.V. Bukalov, G. Boiko, "Why Saddam Hussein made a mistake, or what is Socionics"
Left functions of one partner are right function for another, thus it is as if they are looking in the mirror reflection of their own psyche. However, this mirror seems curved, which prompts partners to try to correct one another. Having compatible subtypes is important in these relations. Situation is more favorable if partners are both of leading function subtype or both of creative function subtype. When both are of leading function subtype, each of them usually yields to the other in use of his or her creative function, which softens the desire to correct one another and lowers the chances of a conflict. These relations are valuable because they let each partner see the other 50% of the visible world, to observe it from two different sides. Relations markedly improve if a third type from the same quadra is present, and improve even further if the quadra is complete, forming two dual dyads and two activity pairs.
Victor Gulenko, "Criteria of reciprocity"
There is usually an interesting and even exchange of views with one's mirror partner. However, there is also a sense of growing intellectual competition, which over time leads one partner to disengage. Follow-up discussions often assume increasingly controversial content and are disorienting in nature. However, the interest towards opinion of the partner does not disappear, thus partners make each other return to their original positions. Much greater degree of reciprocity is found when they engage in joint affairs.
Binary signs of intertype relations
This pair will qualitatively analyze problems from two opposite sides, which allows partners to achieve deeper insights into the root matter. Thus mirror relations are beneficial in one-on-one discussions. However, in public one can observe a rather unhealthy tendency for competition in these relations.
Mirror partners strive for accuracy and clarity in relations, which leads them to subject everything to analysis. They even have a tendency to rationally analyze each other and sort out all information they obtained. Thus, mirror partners make many interesting discoveries about each other and unlock many new abilities. These relations encourage self-introspection and in-depth reflection. Mirror partners always emphasize the "other side of the coin" for one another - an aspect of the problem that has escaped the attention of the other partner. In this way, a partial picture is filled in to make it complete, which leads to positive results in joint professional and intellectual work. Each partner nevertheless insists on his own opinion, although he will take into account the arguments of the opposing side. There is no merger of opinions here, only improvement of one's views by complimentary suggestions and views of the partner, which grow more and more divergent over time. The practical "payout" of mirror relations, however, is usually rather low.
This relationship is often lacking in passion. There is a tendency in these relations to live by some kind of established order or system that get worked out with time and that the partners attempt to extend to all things around them. Thus, in long-term established mirror relations, partners can easily predict the main trajectory of each other's objections. These relations are also susceptible to sharp changes in circumstances that require changes in the established rhythm of life. Transition to a new state of things is a rare occurrence that needs to be thought out and concluded. After this, the old system gets discarded and new one is accepted in its place. Mixed states and confusion between old and newly imposed order and agreements disturb mirror relations and undermine their fundamental quality - tendency towards analysis.
Advice for getting along
In mirror relations it is best to work out some kind of agreement or order, for example, a schedule for taking care of ongoing domestic problems and chores. Once such agreement is worked out it is better to not change it, otherwise confusion will result. One-on-one communication is recommended for this relationship type; try to avoid external influences and outsiders. Subject every important to you event to logical analysis. It is very important to reach an overall consensus about such an event, while in details there may be disagreements and this is not dangerous.
Don't try to sort out your relations on basis of emotions or force. Allow your partner the right to hold a different point of view. Express your positive disposition in kind words, compliments, and by doing small favors for your partner.
Mirror pair requires independence. Try to provide for yourselves, avoid going into debt. It is best to furnish your home modestly but on your own paychecks. Relations of this kind are strengthened by collaborative intellectual work, such as solving a crossword puzzles or watching educational TV programs together.
V.V. Gulenko, A.V. Molodtsev, "Introduction to socionics"
These relationships are well suited for friendship based on shared interests and hobbies. Mirror partners are often good friends who find it interesting to spend time together, though in communication there is often lack of openness and warmth. In mirror pair, the partners are both either theorists [intuitive types] or pragmatists [sensing types]. Therefore, they can always find common topics for discussion. These relations warm up when when a third person is present who is dual to one of partner and activator of another.
These relations are called "mirror relations" because words of one partner are often reflected in actions of another: that which one mirror partner is passively thinking about, the other is actively actualizing. However this actualization is never full. The mirror is curved, so that partners correct each other's actions from their own point of view. For this reason there may be confusion and even criticism and reprimands. Each attempts to adjust the behavior of the other but such attempts usually fail. If we consider the verbal side of communication, mirror relations could be called relations of constructive criticism. Each sees one half of the same issue, so it's always interesting to hear what your mirror partner thinks regarding the subject matter. In course of completing joint work there is mutual correction and clarification, but criticism is easily understood and is often considered constructive.
Subtypes have strong effect on these relations. If one partner is rational subtype, then for stability of the mirror pair it is best that the other partner has strengthened irrationality. When both are rational or irrational subtypes this is a worse fit, making teamwork more difficult due to differences in temp. For family life, these relations are not desirable: minor goals coincide for both partners, but global, far-reaching and long-term goals often do not. Methods of achieving these goals also remain different. The basis of this is functional mismatch of base functions - rationality versus irrationality.
Ekaterina Filatova, "Art of understanding yourself and others"
In these relations, partners are quite similar - they are both ethical or logical types, both sensing or intuitive, but one is an extrovert, and the other - an introvert. They also differ on the scale of rationality - irrationality. In their interaction, an active exchange of information occurs but on powerful functions. That, which one speaks or thinks about, the other implements without further ado. They have much to learn from each other, though sometimes this leads to the temptation to teach and instruct the partner.
Eugene Gorenko, Vladimir Tolstikov, "Nature of self"
Configuration of functions of both partners is such that they often have common interests and values. There is good exchange of information happening via strong functions of this pair. Each of the partners can easily pick up on and support the initiatives of the other and help realize them in action and implement them into life.
Heteroverted - Symmetrical - Arrhythmical
These are relations of mutual correction. Mirror partners have similar interests and ideas, but a slightly different understanding of the same problems. Each partner can see only half of one problem. Therefore the partners always find what the other partner is thinking interesting. Usually partners quickly realize that they are very like-minded.
The area of confidence of one partner is always the area of creativity for the other partner. What one partner considers solid and final appears incomplete and changeable for the other partner. This difference may often puzzle the partners especially when they fulfill their mutual plans. It seems for them as if the other partner simply misunderstood the main concept. Therefore partners attempt to correct each other's understanding but usually fail, because each partner acts from their confident side. For the same reason, Mirror partners can be involved in really hot disputes and can even come to blows in the name of their opinion.
However, Mirror partners are often very good friends. When they work together on the same project, their mutual correction and adjustment becomes a constructive criticism that is usually accepted as useful. The main discomfort in these relations is caused by the difference in Judgement and Perception between the partners. Mirror partners generally agree about setting near future goals, but disagree about global aims. Mirror relations usually lack warm atmosphere between partners. This situation normally changes in presence of a third person who is Dual to one partner and an Activity partner to the other.