Relationships

Every personality type will perceive every other personality differently than the other. Sometimes how you perceive someone depends on your own health and experiences, and sometimes, you’re clouded by personal bias.

There are four basic relationship archetypes to talk about: The Protectors, The Rivals, The Heroes, and The Muses. A protector is someone who helps keep you safe from stress or anxiety by dealing with things in your life that you’d rather not think about, for example feelings, or intuitive matters. A rival is someone that challenges you by providing alternative perspectives and approaches, showing you the other side of a discussion or conflict.

A hero is someone that sets a positive example of what you can be at your best, and a muse, a muse is someone that can provide inspiration or alternatives in areas where you’re less comfortable or certain.

Muse, Hero, Rival or Protector?

TypeHeroMuseProtectorRival
INFJINFJENFPISTJESTP
INTJINTJENTPISFJESFP
INTPINTPENTJISFPESFJ
INFPINFPENFJISTPESTJ
ENFPENFPINFJESTPISTJ
ENTPENTPINTJESFPISFJ
ENTJENTJINTPESFJISFP
ENFJENFJINFPESTJISTP
ESFJESFJISFPENTJINTP
ESTJESTJISTPENFJINFP
ESTPESTPISTJENFPINFJ
ESFPESFPISFJENTPINTJ
ISFPISFPESFJINTPENTJ
ISTPISTPESTJINFPENFJ
ISTJISTJESTPINFJENFP
ISFJISFJESFPINTJENTP

The other twelve types have combinations or versions of these above elements.

The Hero

The hero is our basic benchmark for self-comparison. We can’t help but compare ourselves with others of our type, like a person admiring or criticising themselves in front of a mirror. The hero shows the potential of our type and what our type can do but also the common issues and pitfalls we have. So we can project our own insecurities over ourselves towards this type.

The Protector

When we have the role of being someone’s protector, we feel we are responsible for providing whatever it is they lack in their life. We may be their moral or emotional conscience or perhaps their intuitive genie. Your protector may be a grounded and conservative, and critical individual that can protect you from those who might abuse your kindness. But they can also hold us back by keeping us from chasing our dreams.

The Rival

We can be the rivals of others by going against their values and challenging them, taking them outside their comfort zone and showing an alternative path forward. As rivals, we can help each others through showing the world is not only what the other person sees, helping give the other person a more complete view of the world. The Rival can guard you from the pitfalls of your own personality type.

The Muse

The muse is a source of inspiration. They may represent alternatives that have been in the back of your mind, but that you have not yet dared to try out. They can also represent a raw honesty you wish you could possess too. Or perhaps their ambition and hard work is something you admire and look up to.

When you’re cautious, the muse is brave, and when you’re stressed, the muse is relaxed and comfortable. So this relationship is prone to misunderstandings, because we can assume this type is rushing us, or that they are stressing us out, when they are really trying to guide us to growth.

Cognitive Function Relationships

Every cognitive function has a unique relationship to the other. I’ve only started to scratch the surface of this complex system of 16×4 potential cognitive function relationships. Which ones do you recognise?

Discerners

  • Introverted Feeling as a hero is a Utopian. As a muse, they are perceived as Dreamers. As a protector, they may be perceived as Innocent. And as rivals, they may be perceived as conflict avoidant.
  • Extroverted Thinking as a hero is a Leader. As a protector, they can be described as a manager or supervisor. When in the role of a muse, they can appear highly ambitious. As rivals, they can be seen as sources of conflict.
  • Introverted Thinking as a hero is a Reformer. As a muse, they are perfectionists. From the perspective of a protector, they are intelligent. From the perspective of a rival however, they can appear overly critical.
  • Extroverted Feeling as a hero is a Lover. As a muse, it is an Idealist. As a protector, they are loyal. From the perspective of a rival, they may come off as irrational and affective.

Observers

  • Introverted iNtuition as a hero is a Sage. As a muse, however, they can be mystic seers. As a protector, they can be a source of important perspectives. In the role of a rival, they can be seen as eccentric.
  • Introverted Sensing as a hero is a Teacher. As a muse, they are more like a librarian or a museum guide. And as a protector, they are meticulous and correct. And as rivals, they’re often seen as stuck in the past.
  • Extroverted iNtuition as a hero is a explorer, but as a muse, they’ll appear more like lost seeker. And as a protector, they’re best described as potential-filled. As rivals, finally, they’ll often be seen as chaotic.
  • Extroverted Sensing as a hero will be seen as a great adventurer. As protectors, they’ll be seen as present and realistic. And as rivals, they’re going to be seen as reckless.

How you perceive a relationship or cognitive function can say something about what perspective you are using to study a person. In times when you use Extroverted Thinking, the friend you normally see as idealistic may suddenly reveal their flaws as overly irrational and emotionally turbulent.

Sometimes, we love and admire others qualities, and other times, we may become overly critical or negative towards them. Health and our ability to remain clear in our perspective of others is a key to success in relationships. Understanding and acceptance of others, as well as boundaries and an acceptance of self, is the key balancing act we’re all stuck trying to figure out.

Boundaries in relationships

The protector and the rival can be like an energy thief in our life, stealing or sapping away our energy without providing the key values and rewards we value and need in our life. The muse or the rival can be a source of anxiety and stress in your life, constantly turning your life upside down. But with healthy boundaries, this does not have to be an issue.

When a rival or protector is interested in something, their interest can carry over to you. Because they find it interesting, you will find it interesting too. By learning to tap into their energy and feel it as your own, you can experience the enthusiasm and interest they have about a topic you would normally be ignorant of. Relationships can help us experience things we could never experience alone. Relationships can also help us accomplish what we would never be able to otherwise.

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