Imagine two friends where one of them is constantly in need of help that the other can provide, but this other person never gets their efforts repaid as they expect. The friend who continually requests help may try their best to reciprocate and help the other in return, but they always fail to do so adequately. This is essentially the dynamic of Benefit: one person, the Beneficiary, benefitting more from the interaction than the Benefactor.
The Beneficiary usually holds the Benefactor in high esteem, because they are (reasonably) good at exactly what they need – the Beneficiary’s Dual-seeking function. Additionally, they both have complementary Cognitive Styles, so how they view the world is of great interest to both of them; and their functions have the exact same +/- modality, so how they express the IEs is the same. All these aspects can make them sympathetic and feel closer towards each other. The Beneficiary is commonly striving to become acquainted with the Benefactor, but the interaction will never fully develop when they don’t manage to truly catch the interest of the Benefactor. If they do manage, the Benefactor will then adopt the lead, maneuvering the course of the relationship (more indirectly when the Benefactor is the female in a heterosexual relationship).
In the early stages of the interaction, the Benefactor will more or less readily supply the Beneficiary with their Dual-seeking function, expecting to be repaid in the same manner later. Over time, the Benefactor realizes that the Beneficiary will never repay their efforts – the Benefactor’s Dual-seeking function being the Beneficiary’s Vulnerable function. How the Benefactor deals with this disappointment will determine whether the relationship continues or ends. Generally, at first the Benefactor becomes more stingy with supplying the other’s Dual-seeking function. They will be more irritated than usual, while the Beneficiary tries harder to be better at their Vulnerable function – without success. The Benefactor may come to terms with the fact the Beneficiary will never be able to give them what they truly desire, and instead value the Beneficiary for what they can provide, which is mainly the Benefactor’s Mobilizing function, a complementary world view, a shared strength in the Lead versus Demonstrative functions, and appreciation and devotion.
If the Benefactor cannot accept the Beneficiary’s shortcomings, they will break off the relationship, though not without pain, for on some deep level the Benefactor is concerned with the Beneficiary’s welfare. It is rare for the Beneficiary to end the relationship, though they might when the pressure of supplying the IE of their Vulnerable function becomes too great, and they start to see the Benefactor both as worthy of respect but also cruel, for they cannot truly “see“ and accept the Beneficiary for who they are entirely.
Despite the imbalance of power and reciprocity in this relation, Benefit is rather common for both friendship and romantic relationships. Interestingly, in most long-lasting (heterosexual) Benefit relationships, it is the female who is the Benefactor. Usually those female Benefactors have had a rough time with dating in the past, so they find some degree of comfort in being with their Beneficiary who is unlikely ever going to leave them for as long as they manage to accept his shortcomings.
Generally I would not recommend this relation for marriage, for ultimately the Benefactor is “settling“ for an unequal deal at their cost. In contrast, for the Beneficiary the relationship may seem without any fault. They may feel like they got someone “above their league“ – but this comes at a prize, mainly the Benefactor never truly appreciating everything they bring to the table and never being fully satisfied. On the upside, the Benefactor may find new-found strength in the “superior” role, especially when they are a female who has been burned by relationships in the past and/or is inclined to worry about her mate leaving her for someone else – a case which is rare to happen with one’s Beneficiary.
If you consider entering or staying in a romantic Benefit relationship, make sure the Benefactor’s relationship requirements unrelated to Socionics are being fulfilled as much/best as possible, so that the dangers of disillusionment and dissatisfaction are minimized. In that case, the relationship can be long-lasting – against the odds.
(Benefactor > Beneficiary)
ILE > EIE
EII > SEI
LII > SLI
SLE > ESE
ESE > IEE
IEI > LII
SEI > LSI
LSE > ILE
LIE > SLE
EIE > SEE
ESI > IEI
LSI > ILI
SLI > ESI
ILI > EII
SEE > LSE
IEE > LIE
Stars: ★★ out of 5. (With matching subtypes: ★★½ out of 5.)
Note: For a long-term romantic relationship, at least ★★★ stars are recommended.
Click here for examples of intertype relation matches.