General Description of Conflicting Relations
Conflict is the intertype relation considered to be the least comfortable and fulfilling psychologically. One's conflictor is the quasi-identical of one's dual, so they may seem similar at first glance, despite being polar opposites in terms of psychological compatibility.
In relations of conflict, partners' Ego functions correspond to the Super-ego functions of the other. This is similar to Super-ego relations except that partners' 1st and 2nd functions correspond to the other's 4th and 3rd, respectively (as opposed to 3rd and 4th). This means that each person conveys a large amount of verbal information to the weak vulnerable function of the other. This function is not able to digest such a large body of information in stride, and the person's thinking processes becomes disorganized and muddled. The difference in rationality also makes this relationship develop much more haphazardly and awkwardly than Super-ego relations. In relations of conflict, two people belong to opposite poles of all four basic dichotomies (e.g. SLI, which is irrational, introverted, sensing, and logical, and EIE, which is rational, extroverted, intuitive, and ethical).
At a distance, conflictors may find each other interesting, but as they become closer are sure to notice a fundamental difference in their motives and point of view. They can only sidestep this by limiting their relationship to the most formal and superficial interaction possible in a given situation (the most natural psychological distance for this relationship is very long). When interaction is unavoidable, uncomfortable misunderstandings or, most often, a sense of awkwardness and ambiguity usually result, even when both partners have the best of intentions. When actual conflict occurs, conflictors tend to repeat themselves over and over without ever making themselves understood; thus, they are often not even sure why the conflict exists in the first place. Conflictors can have known each other for a very long time without having the slightest understanding of each other's motives. This makes true collaboration and intimacy difficult.
It is quite common for conflict partners at work or in other formal situations to make a point of being civil and friendly to the other and openly demonstrating their good will. In the process of doing this, they usually end up trying to engage one another's vulnerable function, but this only makes the other suspicious and withdrawn. Compare this to the suggestive function, which one readily allows others to engage and support.
Because of their disparate life goals, conflictors seldom have the same interests, but when they do discussion of these interests can provide a means of interaction formal enough to not be impeded by socionic factors.