Jun 15, 2008

SLI Type Description

SLI in a nutshell

The SLI is an experience-oriented type that welcomes adventure and new impressions while maintaining sensory balance and internal integrity. The SLI strives to maximize enjoyment, ease, and utility while preserving autonomy from strong emotional stimuli.

Typical characteristics

introverted sensing as a leading function means that the SLI learns about the world primarily through direct personal experience rather than through contemplation, analysis, or talking about things with people. "An experience is worth a thousand words" might describe the SLI's attitude towards learning. SLIs strive to have direct experiences with things they are interested in rather than being content with simply learning of their existence as, say, extraverted intuition types often are. As an introtim, the SLI is less interested in the objective facts of external reality than in their impact on the individual. Ultimately, the SLI is most interested in building a world where he and those close to him can be comfortable and have their needs met.

The SLI easily and naturally provides for his own physiological needs and usually has a need to take care of others as well: pets, close friends and family, houseplants... SLIs typically empathize with those whose physical needs have not been met and usually are quick to respond to genuine signs of helplessness and neediness in others, as long as the person who needs assistance is not hyper or melodramatic. SLIs tend to have a strong maternal (parental) instinct and tend to be attentive parents and leaders with a lenient management style. They are against forcing anyone to do anything and look for ways of motivating people by offering satisfaction of their individual needs and desires.

SLIs are attentive to the day-to-day behavior patterns, lifestyles, and tastes and preferences of those around them, as well as what and how they eat, how they dress, how they respond to different stimuli, and many other details of their physical existence. Only when they have directly experienced these aspects of a person do they feel that they truly know them. Contrast this to ethical extratims who can come to know people well through emotional interaction (conversation) in a matter of hours. The SLI's mechanism is slow, but thorough; SLIs are limited in how many people they can know well, but they learn about them "inside out."

SLIs tend to feel distant from all people whom they do not physically interact with on a day-to-day basis. As soon as they begin to interact with a person on a near-daily basis, that person begins to occupy their consciousness and affect their inner life. In contrast, many other types are able to effectively ignore people around them and keep distant others in their thoughts. SLIs easily forget about those who are not near them and thus rarely take the initiative in digging up old contacts. The inherent potential of these distant and myriad contacts is most often lost, and the SLI is left to cultivate the opportunities directly around him, believing that if something distant and external is really important, it will find him itself. This is due to extraverted intuition as a suggestive function.

Despite their often emotionless and indifferent exterior, SLIs are fun-loving and adventurous. They feel most comfortable interacting with people informally in situations with some physical or hands-on component, such as watching at something together, building something, walking around, touching things, or otherwise involving their senses and body. The more formal and purely verbal interaction is, the less involved they feel and the more unsure they are of how to behave.

All SLIs share an affinity for simplicity -- a reduction of all that is extraneous, superfluous, unused, unneeded. Since their inner world is most affected by their day-to-day living habits and the objects and people they interact with on a daily basis, complexities in these areas make clear thought and feeling difficult. SLIs are resistant to fashions and ideas that increase complexity and demonstrate independence and a lack of stereotyped thinking in their lifestyle choices and personal habits. It is almost impossible to get an SLI to do something that is more complicated than what he is already doing. The same holds true on a mental level; SLIs admire people who are able to reduce phenomena to their essential characteristics, thus making it easier and easier to think about things.

SLIs easily lose their clarity of thought when people direct anger and negative emotions at them, and discord in their personal relationships makes them feel depressed and helpless. They prefer an atmosphere of polite good will or at least businesslike emotional neutrality and tire of strong emotions such as anxiety, worry, or bad feelings between people, but also euphoria and overenthusiasm.

SLIs tend to be "down to earth" and "laid back" and become excited only by positive sensory experience or when others approach them with playful, good-natured humor and "positive energy." Otherwise, SLIs can become uncommonly stubborn if people use too much emotion, abstract reasoning, haste, or pressure when dealing with them. To get through to an SLI, give him personal sensory experience (introverted sensing), a dispassioned account of the facts (extraverted logic), fascinating prospects (extraverted intuition), or a warm and sensitive attitude (introverted ethics).

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh, dearest Rick, sweet love, your blog is as lush and verdant oasis of truth amidst the scorched deserts of misinformation. Your gently flowing words are like a pristine well in both depth and clarity; I drink of them with prodigality, that I might forever quench my thirst for vital knowledge of socionics ("and a lot of other things" that are presumably semi-related).

Rick said...

OK, I got a good laugh from that post :)))

Those "Anonymous" people can get away with anything!

More type descriptions to come (eventually).

Ritella said...

On the right-left brain hypothesis: I know that they have done various studies on which parts of your brain are in use during certain tasks. I once did an fMRI during which I was asked SAT questions. If you can find studies where it's possible to correlate the tasks socionics elements, then you maybe be able to partially verify/disprove your hypothesis.

Anonymous said...

Words such as helplessness, neediness and caring (maternal) all have an emotional context therefore you're talking about ethics.

Si inherently has zero emotional context, if someone is acting as described they are using ethics heavly in one way or another.

Rick said...

>> Words such as helplessness, neediness and caring (maternal) all have an emotional context therefore you're talking about ethics.

That's an interesting point you bring up. Essentially, each socionic type is inclined to jump in and help out in certain situations when they perceive a need that they can fill with their strengths. According to your thinking, that would imply an emotional context and thus a use of ethics. But a person can help others through the use of any function.

In the case of introverted sensing, the assistance provided is generally of a physical nature rather than emotional. These types respond to perceived physical needs and helplessness and apply physical caring.

Anonymous said...

By emotional context what I mean is:

Any Africa donate advertisement which involves starving children with big eyes, deep sad violin or cello music and an appeal to ‘please, please, please do ANY thing you can’. These adverts are all appealing to your emotions and refer to concepts surrounding neediness, helplessness and maternal instincts. And have hallmark ethical expressions (the music, cute children, begging).

OR

Think of the example of a women coming across an injured bird on the side-walk.

"Awww, those poor darlings look parched, they could really use some water." *clutch pearls**shed tear*

When expressing neediness, helplessness and maternal instincts you have to take up an ethical way of speaking.

Also I don't think types really are out to really 'help' needy others (without ethics involved somewhere) but rather to have their strengths recognized and used (rather egotistically and self-servingly). For example you didn't start your internet socionics project to help the poor suffering members of the internet socionics community.

Rick said...

For SLIs, responding to needs doesn't have to involve emotional expression at all (though it often does). For example, they tend to notice people who look haggard, unwell, stressed, hungry, etc. and make comments about it. If they have some relationship with the person, they are likely to feel sympathy for them (i.e. empathize with their physical state, which doesn't involve using an ethical function) and offer help and ask the person about their state. This is one of their main ways of expressing that the person means something to them. If the person never needs to be cared for, then the relationship does not become as tight, because it's unclear what the people can do for each other.

This altruistic response is usually stronger among SLI women. Men generally seem to use their introverted sensing strategically for territorial gain, or when asked for help (this common gender difference applies to all the types).

I agree, advertising appeals to help the needy usually try to engage the emotions, but then so does advertising of technology. That's a characteristic of the medium, not the subject itself.

In your example: "Awww, those poor darlings look parched, they could really use some water." *clutch pearls**shed tear*" -- you could easily remove the ethical component and still respond to the need:

"Look, they are completely parched. Here, you need to drink some water."

This is much more in the style of the SLI. Your example sounds more like someone whose ethics dominates over sensing and who cannot relate to someone else's state without getting sentimental.

Rick said...

For SLIs, responding to needs doesn't have to involve emotional expression at all (though it often does). For example, they tend to notice people who look haggard, unwell, stressed, hungry, etc. and make comments about it. If they have some relationship with the person, they are likely to feel sympathy for them (i.e. empathize with their physical state, which doesn't involve using an ethical function) and offer help and ask the person about their state. This is one of their main ways of expressing that the person means something to them. If the person never needs to be cared for, then the relationship does not become as tight, because it's unclear what the people can do for each other.

This altruistic response is usually stronger among SLI women. Men generally seem to use their introverted sensing strategically for territorial gain, or when asked for help (this common gender difference applies to all the types).

I agree, advertising appeals to help the needy usually try to engage the emotions, but then so does advertising of technology. That's a characteristic of the medium, not the subject itself.

In your example: "Awww, those poor darlings look parched, they could really use some water." *clutch pearls**shed tear*" -- you could easily remove the ethical component and still respond to the need:

"Look, they are completely parched. Here, you need to drink some water."

This is much more in the style of the SLI. Your example sounds more like someone whose ethics dominates over sensing and who cannot relate to someone else's state without getting sentimental.

Anonymous said...

IMO when you use words such as 'neediness', 'helplessness' and 'maternal'(the words are emotionally loaded). You imply someone with dominate ethics rather than sensing. As described by the 'parched darlings' example.

As for the advertisement, the Africa donate adverts make a direct reference to neediness, helplessness and material instincts (helpless crying children etc.) and then have a strong emotional overtone. Also I don't think you could find a advertisement of this kind that wasn't emotionally loaded.

Compare that to adverts which are popular when advertising technology, which list the features of the technology and maybe make a reference to how useful it is based on the features. Emotional overtones generally are minimal (they’ll make you feel positive about the product or maybe express the information is some sort of story but that’s about it).

Technology adverts which have a high emotional overtone to it usually avoid any kind of talk about boring features and might work on hype or a story of the journey of laptop being made or something.

So basically what I mean is that you can’t put a high emotional context on just kind of advertisement, high emotional overtones suit different messages and these messages relate to elements.

Rick said...

The words 'neediness', 'helplessness' and 'maternal' don't necessarily conjure up images of starving children in Africa, so the discussion of advertising, while interesting, has little to do with the SLI description.

My point is that recognizing and assuaging physical needs, such as feeding people or animals, discussing their health and state of mind, helping them feel more comfortable, etc. does not require use of an ethical function. I think that my choice of words is adequate and reflects the actual behavior of SLIs.

Anonymous said...

"The words 'neediness', 'helplessness' and 'maternal' don't necessarily conjure up images of starving children in Africa"

http://www.google.ae/search?hl=en&q=needy+helpless&btnG=Google+Search&meta=&aq=f&oq=

Although I did find this blog which I do believe was written by a Si type:

http://princess-ismya.livejournal.com/

But generally those words are ment in the ethical sense.

Rick said...

I've slightly modified the paragraph that had those words to make it clearer I'm not talking about emotion-laden behavior:

"The SLI easily and naturally provides for his own physiological needs and usually has a need to take care of others as well: pets, close friends and family, houseplants... SLIs typically empathize with those whose physical needs have not been met and usually are quick to respond to genuine signs of helplessness and neediness in others, as long as the person who needs assistance is not hyper or melodramatic. SLIs tend to have a strong maternal (parental) instinct and tend to be attentive parents and leaders with a permissive management style. They are against forcing anyone to do anything and look for ways of motivating people by offering satisfaction of their individual needs and desires."

Izzy said...

could you PLEASE post a detailed description of SLE? it'd be greatly appreciated.

and... not to be a bother, but maybe some more characteristics of an SLI on this post, helping to distinguish between the two?

Anonymous said...

Since when does empathy automatically equate to altruism or benevolence? And does not empathy also play a powerful role in behaviors designed to inflict harm?

"The SLI... usually has a need to take care of others as well"

"SLIs... are quick to respond to genuine signs of helplessness and neediness in others"

"SLIs tend to have a strong maternal (parental) instinct"

I appreciate the idea that certain varieties of empathy are unrelated to use of an ethical function, but these statements are not necessarily true.

It is problematic that qualities like altruism are being loaded onto a socionics type. This is misleading, and it compromises the integrity of the description.