Dec 6, 2016

How to Forget about, or Unlearn Socionics


  1. Either find a convincing intellectual explanation for why part or all of it is false. (e.g. this post)
  2. Or find a system of ideas to replace it which explains the same domains of personality and relationships.

4 comments:

Synchronic said...

I've been trying to forget about Socionics for a while now. It doesn't help that I've been learning so much about it for the past ten years. The unending uncertainty of it all really messes with me at times. It also doesn't help that Socionics hasn't really seemed to provide me with better relationships. The only thing that has done that is trial and error. After ten years, I think might know what type I am and who my dual is, but I don't know for sure and probably never will. I can't say it's been a waste of time, though, because I've had the pleasure to meet a lot of interesting people and learn a lot from them. Getting involved with Socionics made me start thinking about people and psychology in general, and I think that this helped me indirectly form better relationships. But as far as using type and intertype relationships, that hasn't really helped me much. It's hard to convince myself that it's false when I see it working subtly for so many others. For me the best thing to do is just to continue trying to think about life from other perspectives and to develop new interests that gradually supplant old ones. Read new books, go new places, see new people. Maybe, one day, I will find a man. Maybe not. I still have a hard time accepting that not paying attention to love will somehow cause one to find it. ("It happens when you're not looking for it.") But even Socionics experts will acknowledge that duality really only happens unconsciously when people act from instinct. So learning about Socionics is great for armchair fun, but it can never really help us integrate in real life, because that can only take place naturally. It's kind of funny that the ultimate use of Socionics is ignoring it once you know it. Maybe retrospect will help us learn more.

Rick said...

Synchronic, I feel for you.

Your comment confirms my observation that people are only really ever to put socionics fully behind them (once they've gotten in deep) if they experience one of the two conditions listed above. I haven't yet met a counterexample. I think it's because we continuously think about people and relationships anyway and use whatever point of reference we have. Because socionics is packaged as a unified system, it can only be replaced by another unified system of at least similar explanatory power.

I am thinking about how to adapt techniques from, say, rehabilitation of cult followers to help people who want to put socionics behind them, but are unable to.

My first idea was to treat socionics-related thoughts the same you would intrusive irrational thoughts that you want to get rid of. I haven't yet read up on the subject, but I imagine some combination of self-awareness, meditation, and cognitive-behavioral tools might work. Again, I need to read the literature on rehabilitating cult victims.

My other idea is to create a kind of simple brochure allowing people to debunk their own invasive socionics thinking. The brochure might include, for instance, mental tools to help people look for counterexamples they have been ignoring due to the confirmation bias. It might also include a set of different science-based tools for thinking about personality and interactions. I'm not entirely qualified to create this, but I am at least able to recognize the self-confirming thought patterns that people apply and the ways they conveniently forget phenomena that go against a socionics worldview.

Synchronic said...

So maybe treat it like an obsessive compulsive disorder, but only with the obsessive aspects? I think you're going in the right direction. That means CBT might have some effect. The issue is that when you try not to think of a pink elephant, you always end up thinking of one. The only way to put obsession behind oneself is to have something else in front of one. I don't think it has to be a theory of similar explanatory power, though. That would only draw one deeper into the net of typology which is kind of exactly what we don't want. It's learning how to engage with our everyday lives more fully and with different people we know. Developing and deepening relationships along with hobbies and personal interests outside the Socionics worldview is the only thing that really helps in the long run, because there's no real method that you can lose track of while doing it. It takes years, of course, but it works. Maybe I have a unique perspective because I was actually part of a real, legitimate religious cult as a teenager before learning about Socionics. So I know a lot about the cult mindset and how to deal with it. In a way, Socionics provided me with a way to escape that mindset.

But it's not really Socionics that did it. It's the relationships, some of them very close, that I formed with a few members of the typology community. I haven't really been able to replicate the depth of honesty and experience I've shared with the people I've met online in the Socionics and typology communities. I think that's a bit of a stumbling block for most of us. We're a bit more intellectual than those around us, so we have fewer outlets overall. And in turn, we're more liable to fall prey to obsessive interests like Socionics. Something to think about.

Rick said...

That all makes sense.

I was thinking of a non-typological system of explanations, not just another typology with the same inherent problems. I'd look for new answers to the same questions in psychology, brain science, and physiology.

I agree about relationships. Socionics is not a true cult, however. There's no guy at the top who tells the other members to stay away from you, nor is there a teaching in place to make socionics aficionados uncomfortable around you if you "leave." So you can basically continue relationships, as long as they are not based exclusively upon socionics.

If you completely lose interest in socionics, it is quite a bore to be around people who only talk about socionics. There are others, however, who have a lot more to say to you about different subjects. I've cut off some connections or let them slowly die while others are still alive and well.