General Description of Look-a-like Relations
Business relations (also known as look-alike relations) are similar to identity and kindred in that partners have half their functions in common â€” in this case, all the even-numbered ones. This provides a certain commonality of methods and approaches and somewhat similar communication styles. Business partners rarely have serious problems understanding each other and don't need much time to get to know each other and find common ground (or define their differences). The psychological distance is naturally large enough that partners do not generally seek to know each other deeply. Rather, they are content to pal around with the other on a relatively superficial basis. A change in location or life circumstances is usually enough to interrupt the friendship.
Business partners do not tend to view each other as serious threats or competitors. Their preferred spheres of influence, their basic attitudes and purposes â€” defined primarily through the leading function â€” are very different, diminishing potential competition. Furthermore, neither partner can easily stimulate the other's vulnerable function, meaning that partners can loosen up around each other. However, the fact that the first function of each corresponds to the third of the other can make time spent together feel like a challenge and an effort. Each becomes a bit more like the other and a bit less like his usual self.