In Socionics, there is the so-called “Inert/Contact” subtype system. According to it, people can either be the “Inert” (first function) subtype, or the “Contact” (second function) subtype – or neither (“no subtype”). Click here for examples. Your subtype determines which alternative Sociotype you will emulate and/or resemble – your “Pseudo-Type“.
What that means in more practical terms, is that many people lean towards using their first or second function more than other people of their type. Or in other words, a lot of people have a certain tendency to focus on one function in their Ego more, and through that “strengthen” or “boost” other functions, than is the case with the most basic version (aka “no subtype” version) of the type.
That results in the person commonly appearing to be like another type – their Pseudo-Type – on a surface level. Most people will tend to mistype the individual as their Pseudo-Type (initially), for most people do not actually delve deeply enough into the psyche of the person to realize that they are only seeing and typing the Pseudo-Type, not the “real” type. This typing mistake occurs the most often when people attempt to type celebrities or strangers.
Unfortunately, even people who study Socionics commonly mistype themselves as their Pseudo-Type, for several reasons. For example, it might fit their “Alter Ego” or Enneagram type’s persona better. (Of course they are unaware of the fact that this influences their perception on their type.)
When it comes to typing someone’s Subtype correctly, having a look at their two possible Pseudo-Types could give a hint at which subtype they are more likely. For example, an LIE who could seem like an ESTj at times is more likely going to be the Te subtype, whereas an LIE who could be mistyped as ENFj or INxp by some people is more likely the Ni subtype. And if the LIE could be mistyped as either at different times by different people, or seems to not have a strong tendency for either Pseudo-Type, they are probably “no” subtype. People with “no” subtype generally have no set “Pseudo-Type”, or what type they appear to be to others is much more fluid. Often times, they appear to be just like what their type is “supposed” to be like, or they engage in their HA to the point they might get mistyped as having this as their Lead function by people who cannot type too well.
Someone’s Pseudo-Type can have an effect on first impressions and superficial interactions. In that sense, the interaction of Pseudo-Types can create Pseudo-Intertype relations. The specific Pseudo-ITR can involve both peoples’ Pseudo-Types, or just one person’s Pseudo-Type and the “real” Sociotype of the other. Those Pseudo-ITRs primarily occur in the early stages of the relationship and/or are to be observed by outsiders.
In that manner, compatible Sociotypes may appear to be less compatible in an interaction to outsiders because of their less compatible Pseudo-Types (“How can they be a couple, they are so different!”). Whereas incompatible Sociotypes may appear to be more compatible in an interaction to outsiders because of their more compatible Pseudo-Types.
It should be noted that the “real” Sociotypes and their true ITR compatibility will always matter more, ultimately, especially when the people attempt to get more close emotionally and psychologically. However, when the people keep their relationship primarily on a surface level, the Pseudo-ITR may actually stay in the forefront.
I have had a closer look at the clumsily translated Inert/Contact subtype article by Meged and Ovcharov, and realized that the table at the end seems to be partly flawed. I am providing what I deem to be a more accurate overview of the Pseudo-Types (based on the shared +/- orientations of the IEs according to Gulenko, see below).
In bold are the IEs that are particularly “boosted”, “shielded”, etc.