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Now that you know CT, What do you think of Socionics?

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    Now that you know CT, What do you think of Socionics?

    On Ct, on this thread, Auburn showed the founder of Socionics - who is a woman, and self-typed at NeTi, but is actually TeNi according to vultology. To take this up with him, please go to his thread. He also asked the community at CT: What do we think of Socionics? I responded, and I'm curious to hear from you guys too.

    It makes a lot of sense that the founder of Socionics had mistyped as a Fe user when she was a Te user.

    I don’t have a contribution about the founders of the whole system, but I do have some personal experience studying Socionics for about 3-4 years and joining groups toward the last year. I thought I was ESI, which is FiSe, one step away from my type. I was very open to SeFi, but I am a social introvert with a long-term vision for my life. I don’t need a Ni lead to tell me to see past my nose – I was practically born with a vision that I followed through on. This was my hesitation with Se, although I strongly related to volition, force, using clothes & aesthetics to make an impact, etc. Also I related to the structure of the type. Fi creative, Fe demonstrative, Ti polr, Te HA, and Si ignoring. This all made sense to me.

    I loved some of the distinctions in the literature about Se and Si. The Se descriptions here have REALLY improved and come closer to the good parts of Socionics, but I’m still not seeing the Si principles in the literature. The CT members who are typed Si/Ne seem to agree with me (and Socionics), at least the ones whose opinions have come to my attention. In socionics, Se is about using visuals or aesthetics to make an impact. It is more alert to objective beauty, the power of beauty, things like that – whereas Si is about feeling the sensuality inside your own body. While Socionics would propose that Se leads have high Si and Si leads have high Se (suggesting both types have a grasp on both), it also proposes that Se leads ignore Si and Si leads ignore Se, because it’s impossible to operate in both “main” modes at once. For a Se lead, operating in Si mode would require a change of your most basic mindset. So basically, most of the time, Se leads are ignoring the way things feel inside their body, as it gets in the way of their flow, their volition and their need to keep going, expend force and continue. They may have an intricate sense of physicality, but they are not stopping to smell the roses because that interrupts the flow. And the same would be true in reverse. The inner sensory experience of Si feeling the sensations and savoring the tastes means they have to ignore that Se volition & force in order to prioritize the inner experience of sensation. Jung, too, basically proposed this – he talks about Se leads being aesthetes, and Si leads having more attunement to inner sensory experience. He does describe Se leads as sensual and chasing new sensations, however, and I feel that Socionics took this distinction and made it much more clear and realistic when explaining how these two types actually operate. That theory of mine seems to have held up inside this community, though I am curious to explore it more.

    With this in mind it was much easier for me to differentiate Ne from Se quadras, even before I found CT — although I’ve made one or two mistakes; I’ve been consistently good at this distinction. After Socionics, however, I felt like I had a caricature of Ne that made the function seem ‘pointless’ — so I came here wondering what Ne actually meant and what it’s really about. From interacting with the members who are Ne lead, and placing devo as Ne lead, I’ve understood it a lot more. I felt like in Socionics communities there was an overall sense that Ne-Si quadras are more about exchanging aimless ideas and enjoying random sensations, which did not speak well for them – but I always know that sweeping generalizations like this, which apply to half the population, must have some internal error. So that’s why I was determined to understand “What is the POINT of Ne/Si — what good does it do in society or for the individual?” when I got here. I certainly was not getting that from Socionics boards, as even self-typed Ne leads often made it sound like it’s good for trolling and nothing more, and Si is good if your wife is Si and cooks. On CT, I drew my own conclusions about the real people here. I notice Ne is more open minded to really consider different ideas (what if they DO have a point?) and slowly synthesize this into their world view, because it doesn’t have to be one view the way it is for Se-Ni, where “as above, so below” and the world view is holistic — instead it’s divergent, so it can consider many possible avenues and then draw conclusions, or pathways, from different sides. I’ve seen this valuable skill demonstrated in Auburn himself as well as others. I see how Teatime argues politics. This also allows Ne quadras to be good with words in a way that Se isn’t. Of course, aptitude varies among individuals and types (FeNi is very articulate, often times)…. but there’s a certain ability with wordplay, choosing the most interesting word from many possible ones, perhaps? and conceptual overlay that I don’t see in Se quadras quite the same way. Socionics communities were not able to recognize this in a way that made sense to me, and it made me wonder if a lot of prominent self-typed Ne leads were mistyped. Also, Delta kind of felt like the dumping ground for stupid or ineffective people. There was a lot of prejudice against Delta, and I even picked this up in the literature before joining a community.

    And finally we get to Fe/Ti vs. Te/Fi. This was the biggest mess of all!

    From the first day I entered WSS, I started arguing. and arguing. and arguing. I was typing as ESI and open to other gamma types since, based on what the literature said, not to mention the Filatova portraits (pictures of people) — I was CLEARLY Gamma. I had been tentative about Delta or Gamma XF until the moment I found socionics , when I said, Gamma is my jam, period. There were some Beta principles in me which I now know comes from my father. (The rest of my family may have some Beta as well.) But the difference between Gamma values and the rest was loud and clear, and could not possibly apply more. The complex of tied hands, attributed to Gamma, was so spot on – and something I knew about myself thoroughly after losing my voice and ability to do music. There are so many complexes I could have developed, but that was the one. (As a side note, the “complexes” of each quadra are extremely accurate and informative, if you ignore the more extreme, dehumanizing junk.)

    However, I got to WSS and suddenly I was told I just HAD TO be FeNi or NiFe. Beta NF! What’s even worse is that Daeva - who is clearly different from me typology wise - ALSO was typed as Beta NF. What possibly could explain this?! I saw so many people typing at Beta NF and straining for that typing – it was like a craze! I don’t remember how to find this video but at the time I saw Jack say somewhere that he gave out his test at a college and 70% typed at Beta NF… or something like that. And that reflected my experience not only on WSS, but also on other Socionics forums I joined.

    I knew exactly why this was the case. In Enneagram communities, when there are polls, 80% of members type as four, and usually most of the rest as 5. In RH books, 4 and 5 are the only descriptions who are HUMAN, with depth, intelligence, creativity, uniqueness etc. Especially 4. So everyone initially assumes they are one of those types. (The more aggressive people assume 7 and 8, because those are given assertiveness and fun, as well.). The same thing was clearly happening in Socionics. The Beta NF descriptions were human. These people could be smart, but still passionate. Top scholars, but still expressing feelings. Interesting, yet really caring about correct data. They could be social or shy, artistic or political, romantic or upstanding, etc. Of course, the whole community decided that Beta NFs are usually fours (which makes NO sense when you think about what the types actually mean) — because four was the most human popularized enneagram description, and Beta NF, likewise, the most human Socionics description. The rest were wannabes, pale imitations, caricatures and one-sided cardboard people, in both systems.

    Hamlet is an obvious six. “To be or not to be?” This is not four stuff, it’s head stuff. Fours don’t question their beingness or identity, they express it. They are heart types. Hamlet is the namesake for EIE.

    Some of the mistakes like this were so nonsensical I did not know where to begin, but I assumed I just didn’t understand enough, and went into the forum and addressed my own type. Immediately I had to be EIE. I argued that I don’t care about group sentiment. I express my own feelings. And I posted Jung quotes and MBTI quotes, differentiating Fe from Fi. So many of them! For instance, Fe is persuasive whereas Fi has trouble getting it out in words. Fe is connected to Ti which parses out concepts; Te is pragmatic. With Fi-Te, there’s one side that is a hard-nosed pragmatist and one that has separate, individual inner feelings, morals and identity that need to be expressed– with Gamma SF, often through aesthetics. On the other hand Fe-Ti assumes rules of conduct, honor and group morality; then the Ti parses out what is truly behind this. Although both types can comprehend both sides of this, the way it is conducted moment to moment is clearly different. I am not warm-smiling, persuasive etc; my charm is my lack of charm. My sloppiness in expression, stuttering to get the words out. My ‘authenticity’ as many people have called it. But you know, I’m intense, colorful, expressive, emotive — so I must be Beta NF. At least they type Milo as Beta NF, too. At least they’re consistent in that regard!

    I was told Fi does not express its own feelings, it just remains quiet to preserve the friendships. Fi is “relations,” so apparently Fi goes out of its way to maintain peace among the friends…

    ….really?! What?

    Like, at that point, everything falls apart. How does this connect to Te again? Oh, right – Te leads go out and earn tons of money and Fi leads keep harmony in the household.

    Sounds… dare I say…. sexist?

    I’m not trying to moralize here. I’m not the type to be “offended” or carry on about immorality. I don’t think for example that Jack or any Socionics believer is necessarily sexist or has bad motives. Not at all. But I’m talking about the intrinsic setup of the system. ENTP and ENTJ (“masculine” types) – go out and earn the bucks, make the deals… and their FiSe and SiFe dream women just stay home and politely keep order, with no needs of their own. Neither type can argue well. SiFe is charming and wifely, while FiSe wears black leather boots. Every man’s wet dream. Like really.. where did these descriptions come from?

    If Socionics was founded by a woman, that does not change my view on this – because what kind of society did she grow up in? What type of woman did she feel that she was being “pushed” to be? If she self typed as NeTi, maybe she thought she didn’t fit this ‘expectations box’ where men want women to be like SEI or ESI’s. A relatable feeling. So she may have projected this into the system, thinking “some women are like that, but not me.” I am not assuming this since I literally know NOTHING about her, but just pointing out that there could be reasons for a woman to conceive of it this way too.

    However there is some truth to what Socionics describes with these types. I am more familiar with the truth of FiSe. I do think that if we’re going to examine ‘real trends’ such as Se leads being more likely to be criminals, we also must examine the very widespread trend of FiSe being gold diggers. Let’s not pick favorites. ? Of course I’m not implying that this trait is ubiquitous among either type, but I do think Socionics is more fair than CT when it comes to being realistic about negative trends in ALL the types. So I do have some support there. The problem is they are drastically mistyping people by completely mixing up the meaning of Fi/Te and Ti/Fe… so some of the trends might be wrong… but some are onto something. And they distribute gross trends more fairly, rather than just focusing on one or two types who are most likely to do bad things.

    I also think there is SOME truth to duality. I think it’s wrong to say your dual should be your ideal partner, especially considering benefit and supervisor relationships (when typed in CT) are more common. But it is true that beneath a SeFi there is a ‘reaching’ for NiTe — and an automatic expectation to receive information that NiTe’s might distribute. I will write a thread about this sometime, because I think Socionics overplays the meaning and implication of duality, but there is some obvious truth to the idea that you expect or hope for certain type of communication to fill in certain gaps. With that in mind, I also think things like “Conflictors” have proven true. At base, I respect Auburn, like him, and agree with the premises of his system. I can still critique both him and the system, but I don’t have any major disagreement or dislike of him; on the contrary he’s an inspiration to me. Yet, we always get into quabbles because communication can just be difficult among conflictors. We never say things in the way that the other expects to receive it! We were able to mitigate any negativity by discussing Socionics conflictors and how this may not be a ‘personal problem’ but just a functions issue – and that is very valuable, and something wonderful that Socionics has to offer. I see that CT is exploring the principle of ‘relations’ in Socionics, and I’m glad. Socionics is definitely too rigid in how they approach it, but the underlying ‘trends’ are more insidious and, imo, worth exploring.

    Anyway, back to Fi and Fe. After arguing with WSS for MONTHS about Fe vs Fi, and how “expressing personal inner feelings” is not specific to Fe, I left WSS with a kind of dramatic post about the overtyping of Beta NF. It was friendly and there was humor to it, so hopefully I did not leave with bad feelings. Everyone there knew how I felt about it. But when I went back a while later I saw that people had typed under it, oh this dramatic exit, more proof of EIE (FeNi). . Yup , any human trait is EIE so of course being very expressive as a human I must be EIE, regardless of how or why I am doing it. That’s how I felt. I do know that Jack had more reasoning too, such as me being very twitchy and moving around a lot, which they take to mean “Si polr” (Meaning those who move around in their seat are most likely to be FeNi or TeNi according to them). I know there was a LOT of reasoning and I don’t want to reduce that process which people put a lot of thoughts and time into, and of course I appreciate their time, and hold no bad feelings about it; I just want to address some of the conceptual things that seemed off.

    [Continued in next post, as it's too long to fit in one post.]


      ... continued.

      Now… all that being said, to some degree the problem is ‘mob mentality’ itself rather than Socionics as a whole. After I left WSS, my friends and I got together and organized folders of different types. We scrutinized some exemplars. We typed ourselves, and I was very uncertain of my own type (due to the problems outlined above-- though Atelier got my type right as SEE!) - but most of our typings were SPOT ON in CT. So, somehow my small group, with rigorous hard work, was able to combine our knowledge of Socionics, MBTI, Beebe and Jung to come up with typings of (most of) ourselves and celebrities which were identical to CT’s typings, based on psychology, with only secondary “checking in’ with photos. So there must be some truth to it because otherwise how were we able to move away from Socionics communities, into our own small community, and pick up trends with high accuracy? How is it that we gleaned meaning from these functions, recognized the Fe vs. Fi issue for what it was after much ado, and took it to the next level?

      My hypothesis is that we thought for ourselves, separated the wheat from the chaff and took initiative. Most people in these groups just “follow the leader.” And I know that as a TRUE leader, Jack does not even encourage this – he encourages people to think for themselves. CT also encourages this by putting up ALL of the signals so that people are free to look at the methods themselves and determine their opinions about it. But still, many people prefer to approach these systems as a kind of cult. The members of CT do think for themselves but many who have left have accused it of being a cult. Many of these accusers are incapable of ‘attacking the idea and not the person,’ and also, unwilling to debate fine points with good faith. They want it all to make sense overnight.

      In WSS, I was on the receiving end of cultish behavior when people would come storming into my group, Enneatude, acting like “expressive, dramatic EIEs” and suddenly doorslamming people, making a big show, rage quitting and reappearing etc, and then justifying this behavior by saying “Jack typed me as EIE [so it explains why I act this way].” Like all of a sudden they were on the mission to prove they’re the biggest drama queen. I had thought this was cultish but I realized later that it wasn’t Jack’s fault. He was not even that active in typing people; it was the website. The fault begins with the over-humanizing descriptions of IEI and EIE, and the dehumanizing descriptions of other types; as well as the glorification of those types in communities. But to a large degree this is not Jack’s fault – he is pushing his own ideas, teaching people, helping them with typings etc — and then large masses decide to engage a ‘follow the leader’ mentality. The Nazis also were just following orders.

      Yet my group was able to glean something real out of it, something in line with CT. So, that is something to consider. Yes there are intrinsic problems with Socionics, but a bigger problem lies in the lack of critical thinking. Once we had a small tight knit group who was willing to think critically, we used Socionics as a stepping stone, along with Jung, Beebe, MBTI etc; to form our own conclusions about what types are. Those conclusions happened to overlap EXACTLY with CT, so, hallelujah. If they didn’t, we would all be much more skeptical. (Which is not to say we aren’t skeptical of many ideas in CT, but just that we accept the premise that vultology aligns with psychology, since we discovered something similar ourselves.)

      No system is perfect, since they are all conceived by humans, and then discussed by even less informed humans. Many of these people are looking for an identity, a type to give them a sense of self and tell them who they are. With this in mind, it is VERY difficult to find thoughtful people who are approaching a typology system with critical thinking and intellectual integrity. No matter how smart they may be, most just want their self image to be confirmed so that they may feel free to act out. They will scramble for typings that feel palatable to them, and hate on anyone that disagrees with it. My group worked hard to deal with rumors around enneagram and to give humanity to all the types, and we ended up with a hate group against us, especially me, filled with people who wanted to be typed at four, but weren’t on my forum. A few people who I was VERY kind and thoughtful to, were making up total lies and insults about me behind closed doors in another group. When pushed to explain what is their problem with me, the ONLY thing they could come up with was that I suggested another typing to them, other than four. This was regarded as “abuse,” “cruelty,” “dehumanizing them,” etc. Imagine that! And that is what we’re dealing with. That’s what Jack and Auburn are dealing with.

      Socionics, CT, Enneagram — have all been distorted by the ‘crowds.’ The principles being taught may not be the same ones that the audience is catching on to. This is why I think it’s very important to remember that coming from MBTI, Jung, Beebe and Socionics, me and my friends who are all big on intellectual integrity rather than “finding an identity,” ended up typing people’s psychology the same way Auburn was typing them through vultology. In my view, there’s enough information out there for others to reach similar conclusions on their own – but, for whatever reason, they choose not to. In the end, once a few kinks are ironed out among the top CT-ists and Socionists, there may be more in common between these systems than people realize, and a lot that they can learn from each other. CT has already improved in some respects by taking into account some of my own (and other Se users’) protests regarding the meaning of Se, for example – and I was able to put that in words due to my own experience with Socionics. This probably has happened with other members too. So, while I do encourage addressing the serious systemic issues with Socionics, I also advise not throwing out the baby with the bathwater. (There’s a lot of bathwater, but still.)

      Sheesh, sorry for the long post.


        I need to add that from the time I entered WSS, I suspected Jack was ENTJ/ LIE. I thought he fit the Socionics “Jack London” very well. I was completely willing to be wrong and did not push my argument because I was still learning, but that was my interpretation of his psychology. He and others in the community may or may not remember, since I really did not want to make a big deal out of it, and I remained open to learning more. The only reason I even brought it up at all was due to the disagreements around what Fe and Fi are, and him being used by the community as an exemplar. (Also, it’s impossible to verify this now, since I wrote it on my own long threads that were about my typing — and I took those down when I left, due to the highly personal information included in them.) But anyway, that is yet another example of someone we typed – based on psychology – whose type came out the same in CT. Yet, to me, his personality was consistent with Socionics LIE. Of course, I did not know him well, nor would I have claimed to be a Socionics ‘expert’ – but that’s just what I picked up.


          So CT and visual typing via microexpressions is something that I'm familiar with; I didn't realize that this had diverged from Socionics. Anyway, what I realized after sleeping on it is that I kinda tend to rely on this sort of typing and then kind of impose Socionics structures on top of it as they seem to fit. Which is... meh. Kinda bad? I'm working on getting better about that kinda stuff though.

          Anyway, I'm going through and trying to update my understanding; will plan to document some of my updates to understanding as they are built. Understanding how people's minds really work and developing the deepest control of my own persona as I can is a personal project of mine; hopefully some common good will come out of that.