Relationship Dynamics Series: Calming a Storm while Igniting a Flame within: Types 5 and 8 Building Each Other Up
At the outset, Type 5 Investigators and Type 8 Challengers cannot be more unlike each other. It is easy to summarise their core difference in this way: Type 5 Investigators are happy to live on the side lines as mere observers but Type 8 Challengers take pride in commanding the space they inhabit. Despite this, they are motivated by a common need to feel in charge of their lives, an instinct that is exceptionally fundamental to both types. To add on to the irony, both types actually see each other for who they truly are and this is the beauty of a relationship between Type 5 Investigators and Type 8 Challengers.
My close friend, Mitchell, identified as a Type 5 Investigator. His job as a researcher allowed him to explore his love for soaking up new ideas and knowledge about the world around him. His highly logical and analytical mind benefited his career but not so much his romantic endeavors. Type 5s need a lot of personal space. It is easy for them to regard another person as an intrusion into their life, but they still crave for companionship all the same. It becomes a struggle for them to find someone who can appreciate them and still respect their boundaries.
When I met Felicia, I knew that a successful romantic pairing was underway. As a Type 8 Challenger, Felicia was a force to be reckoned with and that helped in her career as a project leader in an architectural firm. She had a strong presence and was confident in the way she carried herself. Assertive and charismatic, Type 8s seek to claim control over every situation they are put in to benefit themselves and their inner circle at the expense of unknowingly hurting others around them. Though admirable in their determination and tenacity, they are often thought of as overpowering and tactless.
Sources of Attraction
Pairing up a Type 5 Investigator with a Type 8 Challenger can be a nervous affair. While Mitchell was instantly drawn to Felicia’s strong personality, he still had an overwhelming need to study her habits and quirks. Even with his knowledge, Mitchell was still nervous to approach Felicia but her charisma quickly coaxed him out. Their first few dates were tinged with wariness as Mitchell rarely acted on his knowledge, preferring to stay within the safe confines of his mind. He misunderstood Felicia’s enthusiasm as a threat to his own space but quickly learned that as a Type 8, she too needed her own personal space and she understood that about him as well.
Mitchell’s careful study of Felicia surprised her as he recognised things in her that even her family did not realise. The insightfulness of Type 5 Investigators can sometimes present a test to Type 8 Challengers as they are unwilling to let people in on their vulnerabilities, preferring to have full control over the relationship. However, Mitchell established that he had no intentions of undermining her and he simply came from a place of curiosity. Both types inherently seek to be in charge of their lives and the pair soon learned that they did so in different ways. Knowledge was Mitchell’s source of power even if he did not act on it but Felicia preferred to see her dominance in tangible ways.
This difference created an interesting dynamic between them. Where Mitchell was constantly caught in an internal struggle between keeping a safe distance from Felicia and taking their dating to the next stage, Felicia was eager to stake her claim on him. The way which Felicia was forthcoming helps Mitchell reduce the anxiety of a entering into a push-pull game. Felicia knew that she had to nudge him along. She made her feelings towards him very clear so that he would stop overanalysing their interactions lest he interpret it incorrectly. Over dinner one day, she blatantly confessed that she had developed romantic feelings for him, but she wanted him to be the one to initiate the next step of their relationship. She said: “I must admit that I do have feelings for you, but now the ball is on your court” She wanted to give him that control and teach him that knowledge was worthless unless he did something about it. Delighted and nervous, Mitchell speed up the courtship by stepping up to the game.
They recognised each other as intellectual equals, which heightened their attraction towards one another. Mitchell slowly built up his confidence by watching Felicia, and she in turn respected him more for being able to stand up for himself without offending others. It made her feel good that she had a hand in his personal growth and she too came to be more conscious about how her actions might be perceived. Mitchell eventually mustered the courage to ask Felicia to be his girlfriend, knowing that she would not be the one to make the move. Their relationship blossomed into a nurturing one where both parties saw the strengths in each other and helped the other grow.
Potential Pitfalls and Conflicts
While Type 5 Investigators and Type 8 Challengers complement each other in more ways than one, a seemingly harmless criticism could trigger feelings of insecurity and cause both types to react poorly in the eyes of each other. For instance, Type 5 Investigators are more likely to prioritise intellectual pursuits than physical comforts like housing. This was something Felicia could not wrap her mind around; Type 8s assert their power through noticeable shows of success such as wealth and job titles. For Mitchell, a house was simply a pragmatic matter and anything that provided more than the basics were unnecessary. It was something they debated fiercely over as they discussed marriage.
Type 8 Challengers possess a commanding presence that they will not hesitate to enforce when presenting their opinions. Less confrontational Type 5s respond to this burst of energy by withdrawing themselves, keeping quiet or even physically leaving the stressful situation. While Type 8s know that Type 5s need their own space to collect their thoughts, they often forget about the needs of others when caught in a mood and will relentlessly pursue the argument, distressing Type 5s even further. With such different approaches to problem solving, inconsequential debates can escalate into stormy arguments in a matter of seconds. It is therefore important for both to remember that they are partners in resolving issues and not antagonists to each other.
Mutual respect is important for any relationship to stay healthy. At their best, Type 5 Investigators and Type 8 Challengers see each other as equals and work to bring out the best in each other through observation and encouragement. Type 5s can learn to be more grounded in reality while Type 8s widen their periphery in their pursuits. It can be a great exercise of patience and adaptability, but such strong partnerships are reminders that differences can be harnessed as tools for growth.