How to correctly understand and anticipate relationships with people that come and go out of our lives, and more importantly how to fix them? A doctor of socionics Tatiana Cvijovič claims that a method exists
How many times has your partner, your child or colleague driven you completely crazy? You ask yourself why are they like that, why don’t you understand each other, why do you perceive the same things differently, how could your own child seem so distant or why doesn’t your intuition warn you from the “wrong” people. Then again, your friend accepts you for who you are; you work in a perfect team or you and your partner can talk without words? All of these relations are complex, but not unexplainable. Karl Jung’s psychology concluded some possible explanations, by developing types of personalities and their basic functions. But there’s one more interesting theory, still not popular enough in our region, the socionics. The theory was developed by DrAušraAugustinavičiute, Lithuanian psychologist and sociologist from the 70s of the past century. Socionics lies somewhere between psychology and sociology, and is based on Jung’s typology and functions of personalities, but also on the theory of informational metabolism of the Polish psychiatrist Antoni Kepinski. By implementing the mode of estimation developed by socionics, human behavior and relations between individuals, groups or even entire society become clear and expected. Each one of us processes information on different levels of competence, and afterwards interacts with adequate competences of other person. In short, socionics claims that those interactions, ones that we have with people that come and go, or stay in our lives, can be understood and anticipated, and therefore made better.
I first learned of socionics during our stay in Moscow. While Dr Tatiana Cvijovič explained basic elements of socionics, I was getting into it, and naturally, became an object of her “analysis”. During the third day we spent together and without any real testing, I got the label of a “gold standard” of one type of personality. My behavior, opinions or reactions were all predictable to her. I tried explaining my point of view, but she just kept pointing her pen at “my” graphic symbols, the traitors that knew everything better than me. This is why I kindly asked her to bring us into her world of fascinating socionics.
Tatiana, you have a PhD in medicine, you are a radiologist and are licensed to conduct socionics. How did socionics lure you into complete devotion to it?
When people were your interest since the childhood, you are interested in their faces, emotions, works, you believe that everyone clearly sees and feels people around them! Throughout my whole childhood and adolescence, I watched, remembered and analyzed human characteristics. I couldn’t understand many of my friend’s problems. It was all so clear to me, how could they not get that, for example, this boy is in love with you and simply, isn’t ready to admit it, or that your mother didn’t mean to insult you, she’s just worried about her daughter! They were clear to me, motives of human actions, their feelings, and if I may put it this way the “level of good and evil” in each person. Therefore, my main motive for choosing the medical profession was helping people. I was a doctor of diagnostics for years. Nevertheless, I couldn’t just see diagnosis and medical stats, but also people. After a decade of working an ultrasound, I became capable of anticipating a diagnosis while the patient is still entering a room.
But, in my private life, not everything was so instantly perfect. I found my love at the age of 33; we have a complete mutual understanding and share common interests. The upbringing of my eldest son went smoothly. I was comfortable communicating with family and friends. Building relationships with people entering my life wasn’t difficult, because the understanding of acceptance or denial of a person occurred quickly, while the necessary distance was managed automatically, tactfully and with minimal energy requirements. And then the second child was born… My idea of building a relationship with a child was crushed during the third year of his life. I had an incredible feeling of helplessness; it seemed as if it was testing my patience 24/7. I spent two years reading books on pedagogy of early childhood and trying to implement those theories into practice.
And then, my older intelligent son, on one especially “fun” night said to me: “Do you know that socionics can help you?” That’s how a long and interesting path started revealing itself, people from my surroundings and of course, my younger son, who became the main “user” of his mother’s findings on the theory of socionics. Being aware of the fact your child thinks differently, that it processes information differently, that it respects different values in life and, if you want, sees what I can’t possibly see, turned our world upside down. Simple knowledge, just knowledge, that logical scheme of the metabolism of our two types, brought our lives back to the level of understanding and acceptance of each other. I found an excellent method of learning, we attained experiences trough a lot of work, and it all took four years. Now I know the technology of the integral manner of determining the type of informational metabolism, I understand strengths and weaknesses of each type. Now I can explain his behavior, actions, and motivation. I can explain sharp angles of interaction of intertypes, apropos, reasons for misunderstandings between different types. With such personal baggage, I began with practical implementation of my knowledge; I began counseling socionics, opening people up to the world of self-cognition as well as of people around them.
Can you summarize the basics of socionics, functions of personalities, and mainly the meaning of graphic symbols that know everything better than we do?
Dr Aušra Augustinavičiute had a mathematical mentality (Don Quixote type). Taking Jung’s typology of four main functions, logic, ethics, sensation and intuition, she portrayed each of these functions in their extroverted and introverted types. Therefore, those are white and black graphic symbols. Standard mathematicalcombinatoricslet us determine 16 types of combinations. Each one of which is considered a model of informational metabolism. Therefore, model Ais based on characteristics of functions that are represented here by graphic symbols, above which are the personality types, “popularly” named after some people:
black square: applicable logics (knowledge that can be logically applied)
black L shape: emotional ethics, empathy
black circle: sensation (management of will)
black triangle: intuition of possibilities (possible outcomes)
white square: structural logics (knowledge that falls into some structure)
white L shape: ethics of relationships (friendship, partnership…)
white circle: sensation of feelings (personal comfort, food, clothes, home décor…)
white triangle: intuition of time, possibilities
I will try to explain, summarizing, on the example of the Don Quixote type.
The first upper function, left function (BASIC) represents the strongest function – intuition of possibilities. It creates a vision of all possible outcomes of an event. It’s the ability to flexibly adapt to changes of reality, to look for a new and different solution. In this position, the function works at maximum capacity.
The second upper right function (CREATIVE) represents structural logics. It’s the ability to attain knowledge with ease, build causal-consecutive relationships, ability to freely operate with numbers and orientate in charts. In this position the function is strong and can be enhanced or diminished consciously.
The third function is in the second row on the right (ROLE) – strong will, sensory. It provides an active intervention during an event. Works on the vector: I want – I can achieve. In this position it works on the method of fast inclusion and exclusion. Let’s say that the protective function is strong, the injustice must be corrected and is why this is labeled as “role”, in other words, Don Quixote.
The fourth function is left in the second row (WEAKEST) – ethics of relationships. Working on this function gives the least trust in validity. This function is responsible for building relationships with people, the ability to manage these relationships, to be certain in understanding feelings, motivation, and behavior. With this type, the function is weak.
The fifth function is on the right third row (SUGGESTIVENESS) – sensation of perception. This function enables understanding of comfort, feeling of your own body in nuances, enables good assessment of quality of objects, for example garments or food. In this position the function isn’t strong but is the favorite.
The sixth function is on the left third row (REFERENTIAL) – ethics of emotions. This function is responsible for adequate representation of emotions, capability of emotional empathy, ability to change emotional background (Don Quixote’s) in the right direction. In this position the function is weak but the favorite. Humor, general entertainment and a good mood are always welcome.
The seventh function is in the bottom left row (CONSTRICTING) – intuition of time. This function is a strong function, responsible for time perception, gives clear understanding of which event will occur in the future, and is responsible for understanding the moment. Vector functioning looks like this, early – on time – late. In this position the function is strong, but it’s somehow mandatory: “I don’t have time” or I’ll think and decide tomorrow. It often represents an escape route from an uncomfortable situation, procrastination, it is constricting, but also a matter of a personal preference.
The eighthfunction is on the bottom right (FOUNDATION) – business logics. This function is responsible for business, implementation of knowledge, in reality, earning money, the ability to create technological units. In this position it is a strong function, it allows easy creation of business opportunities, understanding of business processes, understanding of which attainable resources are and which are not, which results can be expected.
Therefore, depending on the very location of some function in model A, which I briefly explained, it can be either strong or weak. Furthermore, each function is manifested in its own way which stands for all types. Of course, different types, which have the same functions in the same locations as model A, will have similarities.
Socionics is a universal key for avoiding conflicts, healthy relationship building, and conscious choice of spouses
How can socionics help us to understand our own behavior and interactions with partners, family, and coworkers?
After understanding and learning your strengths and weaknesses based on the socionics model A, you understand which is your strong field in which you can achieve maximal success. But, stop blaming yourself for manifesting a weak function. Stay clear of situations in which you have to act with your weak functions. Therefore, understanding weaknesses of others around you will provide you with a dose of tolerance towards the weaknesses of your surroundings. Socionics is a universal key for avoiding conflicts, healthy relationship building, for creating of a productive team of associates and conscious choice of spouses. Of course, you should stop judging people for being out of sync with your standards. This is the key to raising your child. If you know your child’s type, you will understand it from its earliest life phases and be able to guide its educational process, support or professional orientation without conflict or imposing your life program.
Napoleon Bonaparte, would based on the typology of socionics, be a Yesenin type. And the need for power within him came from a complex of his favorite, but weak function
Socionics knows a distinct number of generalized types of personalities. Why are they named after famous people, even book characters? Napoleon, Pushkin, Dreiser, but also Hamlet, Don Quixote?
The theory or socionics was created by Dr Aušra who was a logics type, but was later adopted by socionics enthusiasts, who were type ethics and the ones to name the types. In order to avoid using long labels in conversations (for example, logical-intuitive extroverted type) they tried using personal names of people, who were in their opinion (ethics) most fitting for this type’s description. Sometimes it would be a 100% match, like for example, Don Quixote. Unfortunately, a historical figure can’t always be correctly profiled without research in archived documents, without confirming strengths or weaknesses of the documented, which is why only nominal properties of personalities when naming types. For example, this happened with Napoleon. Everyone knows that he was a person that craved power at any cost. His name is used for naming the functions of ethics with strong will sensation, which symbolizes power and the desire to achieve it. In reality, Napoleon Bonaparte would based on the typology of socionics be a Yesenin type. And the desire for power within him came from a complex of his favorite, but weak function. Which is why he met such an inglorious end, which isn’t present in real sensation of a strong will? On the other hand, Napoleon types are people who are far from their ambitions. They are usually actors, singers or entrepreneurs. Despite for the strong sensation function, ethics of relationships creates their careers on well-constructed relations with people; they can create great teams of partners-friends. In summary, I believe that, in general, it would be useful to ban the use of these names, which in many ways discredit the coherent logical theory of socionics types.
Are there tests that can assess which type personality are you?
Tests for assessing types are called MBTI tests. A clear determination of type model Acan be conducted ONLY by using the integral method for determining a type. It takes place as a free conversation and some concrete questions are asked. While still talking, answers are monitored and analyzed. The manner in which a person sits is important, how they positions themselves, how they looks, which questions are causing difficulties, and which are answered quickly. In fields of strong reflection, a person relaxes, and concentrates on the weak. An experienced socionics doctor considers a vocabulary, intonation, speed of pronunciation, openness of reactions, all. Only a correctly determined type gives an opportunity to pointing out at nuances of a person’s conduct in certain situations, helping them to realize their mistakes and accomplishments in the past, and by doing so, make assumptions regarding the future. In other words, without the correct type determination it’s impossible to answer questions that a person came to the socionics specialist for. After assessing the type, the consultations can begin, because now we have a foundation from which, with high certainty, we can predict which choices the person will make, decisions if and where the person will be active or not or a position that they will take in an interaction with another person.
In which countries is socionics studied and implemented the most? There are institutes in Moscow and Kiev?
Socionics has the majority of its followers in Russia and almost all the ex republics of USSR. But the Moscow school, Kiev school and Novosibirsk school are the strongest. That’s where exceptionally active socionics live, students of Dr Aušra Augustinavičiute, who have created their centers. They developed socionics, found various fields for the implementation, and of course, educated others, which was the main reason for the creation of special schools.
In which areas of life is it most used? What results have you had while working with clients in companies whose HR managers used these types of consultations?
Socionics is becoming a more and more popular tool, each year and in many fields. Before anything else, it’s a strong tool for psychologists when solving any psychological problems. HR specialists use model Awhen forming work teams in companies with the most productive and comfortable atmospheres within teams. There are educational programs created for certain groups of people, where the support of socionics is needed when selecting the best method of teaching information. Marketing relies on socionics when creating targeted products. One could argue that, places where there are information, are places where socionics is necessary to explain in which shape and for which target group is it intended. In order to address changes in the market in a flexible manner, it’s necessary to understand how one or other information will lead you to the target group of consumers. This doesn’t just apply to sales, business or services. It also applies to politics, education and methods in which information impacts us. If you learn the structure of your reactions to information, you can protect yourself from informational programming. A problem that is becoming truly acute regarding the development of technology today, When it comes to feedback, I will give you an example of a company, which made a selection of candidates for training in life couching. I was invited to choose candidates who would be best suited for the training. I was supposed to, by implementing socionics models, define their ethics and emotions. The company was extremely pleased with the results that the chosen candidates achieved.
Do you have any feedback from clients on private relationships?
Yes, most people, after the first socionics consultation, start reading more on their type, searching for more information on the Internet. Afterwards, they mostly agree that they need additional counseling, because more concrete questions appear. As a general rule, people ask for typing of their loved ones so that they could get socionics’ advice on harmonization of those relationships.
What is a “dual” in socionics and how can you recognize it? To me this seems a universal key to coexistence?
A dual is a person whose way of processing information is well-matched for your type in all parameters. It is believed that logic need ethics, sensations need intuition, and an extrovert needs an introvert. But, based on rationality, duals converge. Which is why both (introvert and extrovert) have to live according to their own plans or don’t want a strict schedule of actions. The essence of a dualism is when your dual can close your weak fields without any strain. Perfectly gives advice to its dual, and even takes a lot onthem. And while doing so dual doesn’t feel the burden of “someone else’s” workload. For example, a sensational dual quietly takes over the house chores, takes care of his dual, because that dual also shares his intuitive abilities of projection, constructs possible development of the situation or gives options for alternative solutions. In such way, the unintuitive dual can’t be unhappy wit such “childishness” of his partner. The dual who isn’t sensational, will decide to use everything offered. Therefore, a pair of duals is a harmonious union for processing of information, building a clear picture of reality for two, and a logical coordinated coexistence in it. Duals can come from different cultures, different social classes, but that won’t matter to them because they decipher information identically. They don’t have conflicting zones, understand each other well and value the same main thing. Yes, you can say that it’s a universal key of life (coexistence).
Explain socionics in action, what is your work process with a client?
Gathering crucial information happens right away, at first glance of a person. You see how they look, which words they use to start a conversation, and how they position themselves. An experienced socionics expert could gather a lot of information while still meeting a person, enough to predict its type. Then, a free conversation starts in which specific questions, regarding different functions, are asked. Once Jung’s four characteristics are determined, finding the typology within model A starts. Questions are used to check strong functions, check weak functions, all using the method of cross-examination. After that, the type is approved.
While working, you meet many souls down to their finest details. How much of a mark does that leave on you?
People have so much interesting and unexplored within themselves! Something will always surprise you, something you admire, that’s how you attain new experiences. We are all so different, which is why you shouldn’t feel surprised that on the same type of informational metabolism completely different structures can be built! Because, by knowing the foundation, you can only start your personal restructuration, based on your mind’s set up! I think that providing people with a key to understanding themselves carries a great responsibility, which is why I feel some sort of gratitude.
How do your friends and family fare with socionics, it seems to me that they are at an advantage?
My family and friends went trough a very interesting, but difficult period of my exploration of socionics. In the beginning, while learning something interesting on the daily basis, I shared information with them. I couldn’t ration these great information. They overflowed, started with the words: “Can you imagine …?” Streams of information drowned birthdays, trips in the nature, meetings with friends, walks with my son. All the evenings at home were devoted to my findings based on the socionics view of the rest of our lives! I am very grateful to my surroundings for putting up with my phase of absolute excitement over the discovery of this new world of information. Gradually, the information I shared became more applicable and goal driven. The world that I miraculously built around myself got theoretical confirmation that all of us are perfectly compatible. I then started my own study as a doctor of socionics. I gathered information in order to study and analyze it. I was surrounded by many who shared my point of view; we shared experiences on functions of types, analyzed our own actions and reactions, and adjusted my ideas on types. Through those four years I feel support of those closest to me, as well as approval of my new life activity. Now I’m already in the calm waters of socionics consulting, I can understand which social information a client wants to accept, and where is the field in which they need support and help building a structure which will allow it all.
Do you ever catch yourself subconsciously assessing people?
As soon as I started learning how to determine a type, I activated a mechanism for permanent information gathering. This mechanism really can’t be turned off anymore. Which is why, of course, I tend to type people everywhere, on the street, in traffic, in establishments, wherever I feel the need. Does it all get confusing? No! On the other hand, it helps me! I understand who to address better, a doctor, who to choose as a driver, which hairdressers to trust, etc. Matters of choice aren’t only for HR managers. We are always confronted by our own choices of people to interact with. There isn’t an aspect of life in which socionics information isn’t useful, which comes from the fact that it is based on findings on the human mind.
Charlie Chaplin and Hitler are people of the same socionics type. They just used their information differently
I will conclude with a bit of romantic amateur curiosity: is it even possible to decide in which type do most women fall?
No, the type isn’t gender related at all. But, realization of possibilities, for belonging to a type, is very gender related. Implementation isn’t a type but an addition, meaning culture, religion or education. But in these fields gender differences are strong. Otherwise, a type doesn’t define an intelligent or a dumb person, good or bad. A type gives you an opportunity to grow infinitely, because your strong functions have no boundaries in processing and assimilation of information. On the other hand, a person decides for itself to which extent will develop its mind (brain), how important is the process of learning something new. As well as its moral standards, person chooses itself. For example, Charlie Chaplin and Hitler are people of the same socionics type. They just used their information differently. Therefore, socionics talks about predispositions for certain activities, hobbies, behaviors. Socionics talks about where are the areas in which the advantage should be given to a different type. Which will be the story of your life, is up to you alone. In conclusion, the same way we process the information can create both an angel and a devil.