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  1. #1
    Senior Member bcubchgo's Avatar
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    Lightbulb attractive opposites

    I have been doing a lot of research lately on different MBTI sites. I have really been interested in trying to figure out the "puzzle" of how I can relate better to the people in my life after several difficult circumstances forced me to re-evaluate the way that I interact with others. More often than not, I have been trying to understand what it is that either attracts or repels me to the people I have known, both intimately and casually. Based on the evidence presented at different websites, it seems that they suggest that most often the "compatible" types that are listed "share" qualities in some way.

    Because of some recent negative interactions, I am coming to the conclusion more and more that perhaps this isn't completely true. I am wondering a lot about the fact that when two qualities are shared, that they aren't necessarily reinforcing each other, but they are actually either "limiting" (two I's) or "overemphasizing" (two E's) in some way. Or for instance, when two J's butt heads over who is right, or two F's reinforce each other's touchy-feely side. Another example might be that two sensors probably would end up becoming overly "practical" and "stagnant" together, whereas two intuitives would end up with their heads in the clouds. There is also a possibility that you can end up being challenged or ridiculed by someone who shares your basic qualities, because, well - they can sense your weak points and exploit them.

    Essentially, what I'm getting to is that I'm really starting to believe that complete opposites should attract as an equalization - if only for the fact that it really creates a situation where each person has a command of a realm that the other doesn't. Sharing traits sometimes makes everything "comfortable", and can help to reinforce your own beliefs, but it doesn't necessarily expand your horizons. It also doesn't provide you with a reality check when you need one. It can also be quite challenging to deal with your own adversary in certain regards. (imagine two ENTJ's - I've been there and it's well, interesting but also exhausting.)

    Maybe i am weird, but when i think of the people that I have truly felt an emotional affinity with, it usually ends up being someone whose personality contains 3 or more "opposites" from mine. When I think of when I've broken up with somebody, it's usually because somehow we were too similar in some way for our own good (ie shared two or more traits). Since relationships are really growing experiences, what better way to ensure growth for a long time than to settle down with someone who understands life from the opposite perspective?

    It sometimes seems difficult to understand how one can create true stability with a complete opposite. I am really starting to believe, however, that once you get past the "awkward" phase of trying to understand each other that you find something truly special can happen. You end up enlightened and completed by the other person if you allow yourself to be open to the experience. But you have to be open to it, and in an age where people gather together on the internet to reinforce their own qualities and attitudes, i think it's becoming harder and harder for people to find the ability to compromise, as well as recognize the value of this. We sometimes drown in our own sameness.

    So there you have it - my assessment du jour of love and happiness. Relationships and friendships are inherently weird, and scary. But they don't have to be if you can discover how to find a center and balance in some way. I think it's possible, and moreover, probable to find this with an opposite but it takes work and patience.
    Last edited by bcubchgo; 11-29-2010 at 12:41 PM.
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  2. #2
    ReflecTcelfeR
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    That is put very well. I agree. I don't have much to add right now.

  3. #3
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    I completely agree. I'm married to an ESTJ and he has helped me grow in SO many crucial ways and I was instantly attracted to him (sometimes I do find myself wishing we had N in common, though.... I think it would help immensely in some situations..... but then he wouldn't be himself. :P ) I find myself attracted to what are largely opposite types from me.

  4. #4
    nee andante bechimo's Avatar
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    Agreed on the J/P and the E/I (particularly since I'm an anti-social extrovert, where extreme extroverts burn me out pretty quickly). But the N and T aren't negotiable.

  5. #5
    As Long As It Takes.... Redbone's Avatar
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    Opposites create powerful attractions but they are also the same things that can drive people apart over the long-term.

    People that share the same cognitive preferences can still be too different to cause stagnation or reinforcement.

    Perhaps it depends on one's preference in what we want in a relationship. I want someone that I can relate to, not struggle to communicate with on the most basic things.

  6. #6
    small potatoes NotOfTwo's Avatar
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    I have mainly opposite friends but for an s.o. I would prefer, more like than unalike. I have had both and opposite men are exhausting.
    "It's never enough." The Cure

  7. #7
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bcubchgo View Post
    I have been doing a lot of research lately on different MBTI sites. I have really been interested in trying to figure out the "puzzle" of how I can relate better to the people in my life after several difficult circumstances forced me to re-evaluate the way that I interact with others. More often than not, I have been trying to understand what it is that either attracts or repels me to the people I have known, both intimately and casually. Based on the evidence presented at different websites, it seems that they suggest that most often the "compatible" types that are listed "share" qualities in some way.

    Because of some recent negative interactions, I am coming to the conclusion more and more that perhaps this isn't completely true. I am wondering a lot about the fact that when two qualities are shared, that they aren't necessarily reinforcing each other, but they are actually either "limiting" (two I's) or "overemphasizing" (two E's) in some way. Or for instance, when two J's butt heads over who is right, or two F's reinforce each other's touchy-feely side. Another example might be that two sensors probably would end up becoming overly "practical" and "stagnant" together, whereas two intuitives would end up with their heads in the clouds. There is also a possibility that you can end up being challenged or ridiculed by someone who shares your basic qualities, because, well - they can sense your weak points and exploit them.
    I think the things that cause one to be "repelled" by another most frequently relate to a projection of that person's negative qualities or how they operate when in the grip of the inferior.

    I believe the best way to think about all of this, in terms of how you interact with others, is to simply accept that people are different and be accepting of the differences regardless as to whether those differences have anything to do with personality type.

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