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The Awkward Pause

Xel

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So I tired joining a conversation today. I only knew one of the other people in it. But they mostly talked without me. When some of them left it was just me and two other people. The one person I knew and one I did not. I was hoping for that person to at to bring me into the conversation. But that did not happen. What ended up happing was me and the person staring at each other in silence. I slowly walked off, stupidly.

I'm not sure how to take this. I feel pathetic. What should I have done?Another thing to mention is that i introduced myself poorly. I said hi, but I don't think they heard me. I should have gotten out then. How much harm is done?Do other INTPs end up in situations like this often?

I think I should give up trying sometimes. But thats so unsatisfying for some reason.
 

chocolate

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Hi Xel that happens to me too and I'm extraverted (but I'm shy). Once I sat for lunch with some girls at school; I said 'is this seat taken?'. They said no, so I sat with them and they were talking about people and things I didn't know about. I tried to look at them and be in the conversation but they practically ignored me. One of them even turned her back to me. I didn't know what to do but I left as soon as I could and finished my lunch elsewhere.

Also once I introduced myself to a girl at a party, and halfway through, after I extended my hand, she looked away to talk to someone else. Then she turned back to me and said oh hi nice to meet you eileen (my name's elaine) and just ignored me again.

Some people are just not very socially gracious I guess. Does this happen to you a lot? Or just sometimes? I don't think you should give up. Everybody's different, and just because some people aren't very inclusive, it doesn't mean everyone's like that.
 

flow

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wow elaine the entp...it's almost like you're elaine from seinfeld..hmm... high school interactions are painful for the intellectual type. just remember that life goes on...don't dwell on the past!
 

chocolate

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wow elaine the entp...it's almost like you're elaine from seinfeld..hmm... high school interactions are painful for the intellectual type. just remember that life goes on...don't dwell on the past!

is seinfeld elaine entp? She does seem to be a rational now that I think about it...

haha, those things happened recently, in grad school! :)
 

flow

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Actually I've always thought of her as an ENTJ..and Jerry being an INFJ, they ultimately weren't compatible.. but very good friends!
 

Ermine

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So I tired joining a conversation today. I only knew one of the other people in it. But they mostly talked without me. When some of them left it was just me and two other people. The one person I knew and one I did not. I was hoping for that person to at to bring me into the conversation. But that did not happen. What ended up happing was me and the person staring at each other in silence. I slowly walked off, stupidly.

I'm not sure how to take this. I feel pathetic. What should I have done?Another thing to mention is that i introduced myself poorly. I said hi, but I don't think they heard me. I should have gotten out then. How much harm is done?Do other INTPs end up in situations like this often?

I think I should give up trying sometimes. But thats so unsatisfying for some reason.

This is the story of my life. I still haven't found a solution. Even if I do introduce myself properly, I don't know how to stay in on the conversation, especially if it's with a tight knit group of people. In any conversation, I am much more content to listen for long periods of time and then respond. I've come to see conversations with 3 or more people as a power struggle, a battle ring. It seems everyone has to talk constantly and loudly in order to stay included in the conversation. It doesn't even look like the people competing in the conversation even care about what's being said.

Since I have totally different goals and expectations in a conversation, I usually stick to one on one conversations unless I know everyone in the group, and can understand the group dynamics.
 

EditorOne

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"Some people are just not very socially gracious I guess"

For some folks our INTP awkwardness is like a big old deflatable balloon for their snarking indulgence. However, once they've in effect "decloaked" and you can see they are actually Klingons, they become targets for your intellectual rapier .

Once upon a time I'd have bothered to unsheath the rapier, but these days I find it more rewarding to simply act like I belong wherever I happen to find myself and with whoever happens to be there. Doesn't involve conversation, merely bearing/demeanor. It is an art acquired through long years of journalism (you can see how looking like you "belong there" would be an advantage). It's just a mask, but I like it.
 

sagewolf

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Even with my friends I feel like there's nothing for me to say in a conversation, if there's more than two or three of us, but in a one-on-one with even a total stranger I can hold my own perfectly well. In a group, though, no-one even notices that I'm not talking, because they're all just talking to each other. People cut me off very easily, I find; I pause for about half a second to collect my thoughts and they jump in. Mastering the art of talking to people is hard... :(
 

Kuu

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But that did not happen. What ended up happing was me and the person staring at each other in silence. I slowly walked off, stupidly.

Lulz... that used to be me. Wait, that is still me. Just replace stupidly with silently. I've stopped feeling inadequate with these situations some years ago. If they don't care, why should I?


This is the story of my life. I still haven't found a solution. Even if I do introduce myself properly, I don't know how to stay in on the conversation, especially if it's with a tight knit group of people. In any conversation, I am much more content to listen for long periods of time and then respond. I've come to see conversations with 3 or more people as a power struggle, a battle ring. It seems everyone has to talk constantly and loudly in order to stay included in the conversation. It doesn't even look like the people competing in the conversation even care about what's being said.

Since I have totally different goals and expectations in a conversation, I usually stick to one on one conversations unless I know everyone in the group, and can understand the group dynamics.

My thoughts exactly. Most conversations are "social battles" and the content becomes irrelevant.

I've always held close to "talk little, listen much". I'm an observer, not a player after all. Analyzing people usually is more interesting than actually trying to communicate (they can rarely connect).
 

Ermine

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I don't know which would be a more truthful answer when I can't hold my own in a group, that I prefer to analyze people or that I'm just too slow to analyze group dynamics.
 

bdubs

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in a one-on-one with even a total stranger I can hold my own perfectly well. In a group, though, no-one even notices that I'm not talking, because they're all just talking to each other. People cut me off very easily, I find; I pause for about half a second to collect my thoughts and they jump in. Mastering the art of talking to people is hard... :(


Yes, this about sums up my conversations with most people. However, when I am conversing with a group of friends I rarely get cut off. My hypothesis is that in a group of strangers or acquaintances the dynamics are quite different. (this is all just conjecture)

The objective of many people in a 1 on 1 conversation or a conversation among friends is to listen to the full argument of the speaker and then respond after some thought. (This is what I do in all cases.)


The objective of many people in a group conversation is to listen to only enough of the speaker to form an opinion that they want to express and then join in asap.

This second dynamic creates problems for me because while I am listening to the full argument and spending several seconds forming my ideas before I speak, others already have a response ready to go. (I always hate it when I have a great thought to add to an idea that has already been thrown to wayside. It also takes way to much effort to return the group back to the previous topic.) I think, that this feeling I have about being left behind may ironically, be the reason why many people use this second dynamic.

Heh, I can see how my slight pauses in speech could be seen by someone who is not entirely absorbing what I have to say as a "go" sign to insert their own opinion.

As I said before, this is all conjecture that I am making based on my own obervations. .
 

Xel

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So it doesn't seem to have impacted what the person's opinion me much. We talked and interacted normally yesterday. But I can't read minds, I'm guessing they thought it was odd but not that much more than that. I can't really tell.
 

chocolate

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I learned a long time ago that people don't notice things that you think they do. What I mean is I think I acted like a total idiot, and they didn't notice anything. I think we (at least I) tend to be overly critical of myself. NP always questioning maybe?

Regarding conversations, I am a very curious person (and I imagine INTPs are as well?), so I find my favourite conversations are asking someone about what they study or do as hobbies. Usually I have a bunch of questions that keep popping up and they are very happy to talk about what they do and I am very happy to listen and learn something new. My sister calls me an interviewer :) Some people are not into that though and it leaves a dead end.

I usually find INTPs to be great conversationalists because I keep asking them questions and they never think it's dumb. They'll say "that's a fascinating question" and keep talking and teaching me things. Those are just awesome conversations for me.
 

Jesin

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I'm reasonably good at keeping a conversation going when I want to, provided the other person is willing to talk about stuff I find interesting.
 

sound_of_green

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Xel,

i must say two things:

1 - based on the encounter you described, you aren't pathetic...you're introverted. there's nothing wrong with being introverted, so you must stop destroying your own ego. you may not realize it, but other types are much better at extroverted sensing, and can sense your anxiety, so they will judge you based on it. at the very least, if you are just meeting someone, then pretend (without being rude) that you don't care what they think about you.

2 - you don't need anyone to get you into a conversation. i really agree with chocolate. if you want to talk to someone then use your strengths. analyze them--politely and without making judgements--ask questions and find out about them. i generally dislike smalltalk, and at one time thought all smalltalk was the same, but if you don't know a person then that is where you start. most people like to talk about themselves anyhow, so it works out well for you because they can do a lot of the talking. once they mention something you are interested in (and confident in your understanding of) then you can feel more comfortable speaking freely.

well, that's my 2 cents anyhow,
best wishes
 

Melkor

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Hrm...


During the awkward pause, I usually make a 'pop' sound with my mouth..

It's a way of saying:
'ahh...so this is what we've came to'
 

EditorOne

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Honest, folks, you've answered your own questions without realizing it.

Just as people can get you talking for hours by asking the right questions, so can you. And the easiest topic for most people (most people, not necessarily you) is themselves and what they're up to. That's for striking up a conversation. If you want to keep it going, one thing you can always do to fill in a pause is to give whatever they just said back to them in the form of a question. "So, you're saying it's not going to work so long as the administration is focused on a dress code rather than a conduct code?" It has the practical advantage of letting them know what you took from what they said and of confirming it or giving them a chance to clarify. It keeps things moving and it keeps you in the conversation.

Again, it's also a journalist technique, but it can also serve to establish you as a presence in a group.

Don't discount the value of merely listening. The ability to listen to what everyone else is saying and point out, during a pause, how two folks aren't hearing each other or how they've overlooked the flimsiness of an assumption, or how to go upstream from their problem and tackle the source of the problem, makes you a valuable and timely contributor. Let them talk. Offer an insight without advocacy for contending sides. People enjoy an analysis that lets them change their minds without sacrificing "face."

And as others have noted, don't worry so much about what they think of you. One way or another they're probably worried about what you think of them, although you may not be able to detect that. Sometimes, keep in mind, they may be afraid to say something stupid in front of you because of our relatively low threshold for bullshit coupled with a mild compulsion to note bullshit whenever it is encountered.

If they're just talking about something you find incomprehensible, like gossip or whatever, why join in anyway?

On those occasions where I am forced to go to some kind of business party or brunch or whatever , where there's a lot of pre-event socializing, one of my favorite tricks is to find someone who looks as uncomfortable as I'm feeling, who is alone, and go chat them up. That allows us to form our own conversational group, to which others eventually migrate. And I can easily relate to anyone who looks like they're not confortable in a group.

Hope some of that is useful to somebody somewhere....
 

Sugarpop

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Hope some of that is useful to somebody somewhere....

Some old tricks, some new tricks. I think we INTP might have the 'benefit' of not knowing how to socialize, enabling us to approach it as a science. The socially experienced INTP is probably a good guide to successful socializing because they are more aware of how they go about.
 

Zezon Vice

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I used to feel exactly the same. I often wondered if there was a large stamp on my forehead saying "ignore", but soon i found a solution to looking idiotic. I gave up. I will probably never make any new friends from it and mine all seem to be disappearing and that worries me. I suppose though that if a person should find me interesting enough to talk to me then its worth my time but if not..then its really not worth the effort.
 

Ermine

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I'd say it's worth it. I've tried that approach for a while, and it failed miserably. As a general rule, if you don't talk, you are invisible. That is usually how extroverts think. As for introverts, would they even have the initiative to go over to someone who hardly ever talks? Maybe, but it would be really hard and awkward for both parties. I've missed out on a lot of great people that way.

I've decided to compromise. Instead of avoiding conversation altogether, I stick to smaller groups, since more intimate conversations are often worth the effort.
 

chocolate

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Just to give the other side's point of view too; it may help to keep it in mind.

With people who are very introverted, I sometimes think they don't like me, if I try to talk to them and it doesn't go so easily. So I stop trying because I just assume I did something wrong. This has happened to me a couple of times with ISTPs and INTPs in particular. After a few months I realize that wasn't in fact the case.

So I have learned to not take things personally if someone is not very open with me at the beginning, but I really have to keep it in mind. I agree with the person who said that they seek out a quiet person. I will go up to someone and ask them a few questions about themselves. I am really glad I did this because I find introverts some of the most interesting people, but the thing is I have to remember to make the first move or else they will just sit there most of the time! I think a lot of extraverts assume everyone is like them so if a person isn't talking to them, then they don't like them, and they don't understand that it's just that the introvert isn't as likely to initiate a conversation.
 

EditorOne

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"Just to give the other side's point of view too; it may help to keep it in mind.

With people who are very introverted, I sometimes think they don't like me, if I try to talk to them and it doesn't go so easily."
-----

Yes. Our "output" or lack thereof is often translated inaccurately as arrogance. You can see how that would be off-putting. And many of us who have, over the years, pasted a little smile on our face to take away the "arrogant" label are then abused for smiling at the wrong time in a conversation, often with disastrous results for friendships. Projecting the wrong emotion at the wrong time is worse than deadpanning it, it turns out.

Life ain't easy, but try to imagine making decisions based on how you "feel." We're not so bad ly off.
 

Black Pat

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@ chocolate: " ...I think a lot of extraverts assume everyone is like them"

Ha! Unfortunately, if you are polite to an extrovert, they mistake civil manners for extroversion. If you're more faithful to yourself, they think you don't like them or you're arrogant, aloof, etc.

@ Editor One: "And many of us who have, over the years, pasted a little smile on our face to take away the "arrogant" label are then abused for smiling at the wrong time in a conversation, often with disastrous results for friendships."

It's almost like you know me, sir. I've done that exact thing and I wondered if I was just weird (I found out about MBTI just recently.) Glad to find out I was a "normal INTP"...

For my part, I'm usually not in social situations with strangers unless there is booze around and I'm drinking some of it (a party, a bar, a picnic, a bowling alley). So the pauses are less awkward 'cause I stop caring and go on "social automatic pilot". Now that I write that, it sounds like *not* the best way to deal with it, but there it is.
 

EditorOne

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"It's almost like you know me, sir. I've done that exact thing and I wondered if I was just weird (I found out about MBTI just recently.) Glad to find out I was a "normal INTP"..."

One of the nice things about this forum: We find out, again and again, that things we endured in isolation really have been experienced by others who can now share coping techniques and avoidance strategies and whatnot that may help.

Be glad you discovered you're an INTP. Some of us just thought we were "broken" well into our 40s. :-) Knowing what's going on is much more than half the battle.
 
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I have no friends and I am content with this.
 

Kuu

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^ And? You still have to converse with people sometimes...
 

chocolate

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Ha! Unfortunately, if you are polite to an extrovert, they mistake civil manners for extroversion. If you're more faithful to yourself, they think you don't like them or you're arrogant, aloof, etc.

I don't agree (personally, can't speak for others); I know many introverts who I would consider polite. I think it's more like if someone never asks me any questions about myself, I consider that they have no curiosity about me and therefore aren't interested in me. When I like something/someone I have a natural curiosity about it/them, so I apply that reasoning to others.

Having been in repeated contact with an ISTP for several months, I have seen that being curious about someone and liking them are two different things for some people, so I don't equate them anymore.

The funny thing is I used to try to initiate conversations with him to no avail and almost gave up at one point, thinking he must hate me or something. But he was my sis's bf, so it was in my interest to try to like him. Eventually he got comfortable with me and now the funny thing is, when I see him he won't stop chatting. :)
 

Black Pat

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@chocolate: "I think it's more like if someone never asks me any questions about myself, I consider that they have no curiosity about me and therefore aren't interested in me."

Yeah; that's exactly what I'm talking about. I'll ask questions even though I'd rather not*, because it is considered poor manners just to answer questions without interaction. And it has nothing to do with whether I like the person or not; plenty of my friends and family are a particular type of extrovert and I enjoy them; it's just that I'd rather not chit-chat**. Unfortunately, some people don't realize I'm just being polite and will take it as an opportunity to small talk even more. One way I'm considered rude and aloof, and one way I'm enduring a bunch of babble that I don't care about (again- it doesn't mean I dislike the person!)

* Here's an example. "Where are you from, Black Pat?" "Michigan, originally." I'd like to stop right there because this is kind of dumb. But that makes me aloof and rude, so I say, "And you?" This prompts the person to continue chit-chat with me even though I'd rather not make more small talk with a stranger. "What do you do?" "Do you have siblings?" "Did you see that basketball game?" I just want to be mostly left to my analyzing things, not talking to strangers...

**As an NP, though, I can talk literally for hours in a row given the right topics and the right interlocutor.
 

snowyashes

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Honest, folks, you've answered your own questions without realizing it.

Just as people can get you talking for hours by asking the right questions, so can you. And the easiest topic for most people (most people, not necessarily you) is themselves and what they're up to. That's for striking up a conversation. If you want to keep it going, one thing you can always do to fill in a pause is to give whatever they just said back to them in the form of a question. "So, you're saying it's not going to work so long as the administration is focused on a dress code rather than a conduct code?" It has the practical advantage of letting them know what you took from what they said and of confirming it or giving them a chance to clarify. It keeps things moving and it keeps you in the conversation.

Again, it's also a journalist technique, but it can also serve to establish you as a presence in a group.

Don't discount the value of merely listening. The ability to listen to what everyone else is saying and point out, during a pause, how two folks aren't hearing each other or how they've overlooked the flimsiness of an assumption, or how to go upstream from their problem and tackle the source of the problem, makes you a valuable and timely contributor. Let them talk. Offer an insight without advocacy for contending sides. People enjoy an analysis that lets them change their minds without sacrificing "face."

And as others have noted, don't worry so much about what they think of you. One way or another they're probably worried about what you think of them, although you may not be able to detect that. Sometimes, keep in mind, they may be afraid to say something stupid in front of you because of our relatively low threshold for bullshit coupled with a mild compulsion to note bullshit whenever it is encountered.

If they're just talking about something you find incomprehensible, like gossip or whatever, why join in anyway?

On those occasions where I am forced to go to some kind of business party or brunch or whatever , where there's a lot of pre-event socializing, one of my favorite tricks is to find someone who looks as uncomfortable as I'm feeling, who is alone, and go chat them up. That allows us to form our own conversational group, to which others eventually migrate. And I can easily relate to anyone who looks like they're not confortable in a group.

Hope some of that is useful to somebody somewhere....

...congratulations! You have mastered the art of INFP conversation! This is (for me, at least) the primary method of mediation. Obviously, it is great just to keep the conversation moving, but this will cause others to see you not as the aloof one who is "too good" to contribute, but as the wise one who speaks only when they have something worthwhile to contribute. If you grow extremely proficient at this, you will notice something incredible: When you open your mouth and begin to speak... everyone stops and listens. Just make sure and keep it simple (yeah, we know you guys are brilliant, but we'll think you're even smarter if you can communicate it in "normal people language.") I like doing the rephrasing in the form of a question thing, because if you can tell that there is a communication gap between two people, it is a very subtle way of telling them "Actually, no, you didn't understand-- this is what he/she is really trying to say," without, as you say, their having to sacrifice "face." If you use this strategy effectively, people become grateful to you and they tend to include you in conversations more. They also ask your opinion, which is always nice.

Even if you don't know exactly how to bridge the gap in communication, or you are not even aware that there is a gap in communication, if you use EditorOne's great technique, statistically, it's very likely that you'll bridge the gap rather often, even completely inadvertently. And who can tell whether you're doing it on purpose or not? Not your audience, for sure.

The only thing you have to be careful about is that, I've noticed, some INTPs--not all--have a tendency to, when rephrasing in the form of a question, make it sound more complicated than it really is. The need to be precise can sometimes defeat the purpose by making it impossible to communicate at all, let alone accurately. So just remember, as I said, keep it simple. It's okay to be a little less precise (except for the parts you're trying to clarify) if it helps you get the message across.

But, once again, kudos for the brilliant insight, EditorOne! That's very interesting that that's a journalist technique. Hmm, I have a couple of friends who are interested in journalism... I should pass that stuff on to them. Woah... the two friends are my ESFJ friend and my INTP friend! (Exact opposites!) That's really cool... Of course, they would probably write about completely different things-- but still. :)
 

chocolate

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One way I'm considered rude and aloof, and one way I'm enduring a bunch of babble that I don't care about (again- it doesn't mean I dislike the person!)

* Here's an example. "Where are you from, Black Pat?" "Michigan, originally." I'd like to stop right there because this is kind of dumb. But that makes me aloof and rude, so I say, "And you?" This prompts the person to continue chit-chat with me even though I'd rather not make more small talk with a stranger. "What do you do?" "Do you have siblings?" "Did you see that basketball game?" I just want to be mostly left to my analyzing things, not talking to strangers...

**As an NP, though, I can talk literally for hours in a row given the right topics and the right interlocutor.

Oh I see. Yes, I sometimes ask questions to be polite and the answers are so boring it's almost painful -- I find it really hard to listen then. I usually ask questions about people though because I am genuinely interested. If you told me you were from Michigan my brain would be thinking "Oh, I've never met anyone from michigan before, let's see what michigan's all about", and I'd probably start asking you a series of questions about michigan (e.g. its history) and what you think about it and why lol in the hopes of learning something very interesting about your point of views and/or michigan. Does that sound painful to you? lol :) I am seriously curious about almost anything new.
 

Vexbeast

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I never give my name until asked.

There's just something inherently wrong with assuming people want to be told what to call me. -shudder-
 

Black Pat

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@chocolate: "If you told me you were from Michigan my brain would be thinking "Oh, I've never met anyone from michigan before, let's see what michigan's all about", and I'd probably start asking you a series of questions about michigan (e.g. its history) and what you think about it and why lol in the hopes of learning something very interesting about your point of views and/or michigan. Does that sound painful to you"

"Painful" is too strong a word, but yes; almost assuredly so. It would be like someone forcing you to introvert by taking advantage of your unfailing manners (recall the response of "Michigan, originally" was just a polite response rather than an invitation to discuss Michigan). Painful* and a little irksome, possibly.

Introverted thinker types are frankly unprepared to be interrogated about things they haven't thought through or things their not interested in...If you could imagine someone asking you "20 Questions" about a subject you thought was silly/boring/you'd never thought of, especially if it interrupted some other thought you really wanted to think, well, it can be crappy. Now imagine that you didn't naturally get any energy from extroversion, and you could see how it is sometimes unpleasant.

Of course, I have a very close ENTP friend; XNXPs are usually swell people. I'm not some anti-social crank even though I probably sound like one. But my ENTP friend and I got "small talk" out of the way years and years ago, so we just launch into discussions about our shared interests anymore.

* I would use the word "uncomfortable". "Painful" is when a man sits awkwardly on a bicycle seat...
 

chocolate

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Very interesting, thanks. I think I would define small talk as talking simply for the sake of it.

But yeah I can see your point, it's a very different way of thinking. I also think the difference is that for you you have thoughts that could be interrupted whereas I (not to make myself sound stupid or anything) normally have thoughts during/as a result of a conversation (clearly b/c of E), and also feel comfortable flitting around from thought to thought (also likely an E trait).

Also I suspect my Ne is practically off the charts and I have noticed I tend to be much more curious than the average person, about pretty much anything. My way of thinking is that there is something to be learned from almost anything, and even the most 'trivial' things can lead to amazing insights. But that's just me, and I do have my limits (tv shows, where you bought something, sports game recaps...).

As I write this I am thinking that perhaps my learning is somewhat random (and conversationally-based) and I go searching for information for that reason (Ne?)...whereas the INTP's learning is more methodical and planned...(Ti)? I am developing my Ti though and learning to be more comfortable with book-learning.

Once again, your post is quite illuminating; thanks for taking the time to explain it.
 

cheese

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"I've always held close to "talk little, listen much". I'm an observer, not a player after all. Analyzing people usually is more interesting than actually trying to communicate (they can rarely connect)." - Tekton

I think this is what can make XNTPs some of the best conversationalists around - when they do converse, they are truly interested in the content of a coversation and therefore what the other person is saying. I have found a fair amount of success in some social situations because of my genuine interest in the person's thoughts - people often seem a little surprised but flattered at my obviously sincere curiosity, and often seem to go away thinking I'm quite fascinating! (True listening is so underrated.) Unfortunately this interest does not always extend to every area of their lives, which inevitably disappoints them when we get closer, if they're needy ES types. There also tends to be a big discrepancy in the "connection" each party feels - they think we're soulmates, and I find them wanting. =(

[Side note on boring small talk: my best friend, a possible ESFP, just gave me one of her typical long spiels about the little mundane events in her life. When I asked her to get to the bottom line, she said, "I have no bottom line". I think this explains a lot about interactions between us and other types, and especially about talks between Ns and Ss (who can provide far too much detail).]

"Regarding conversations, I am a very curious person (and I imagine INTPs are as well?), so I find my favourite conversations are asking someone about what they study or do as hobbies. Usually I have a bunch of questions that keep popping up and they are very happy to talk about what they do and I am very happy to listen and learn something new. My sister calls me an interviewer :) Some people are not into that though and it leaves a dead end.

I usually find INTPs to be great conversationalists because I keep asking them questions and they never think it's dumb. They'll say "that's a fascinating question" and keep talking and teaching me things. Those are just awesome conversations for me."

Absolutely spot-on for me - I'm pretty sure I'm INTP, but I seem to have a fair amount of E and ENTP in me, especially with the insatiable curiosity you mentioned. I am curious about almost everything, but I think being an I makes this difficult to keep up all the time, which can lead to the disappointment I mentioned earlier.

"Just as people can get you talking for hours by asking the right questions, so can you. And the easiest topic for most people (most people, not necessarily you) is themselves and what they're up to. That's for striking up a conversation. If you want to keep it going, one thing you can always do to fill in a pause is to give whatever they just said back to them in the form of a question. "So, you're saying it's not going to work so long as the administration is focused on a dress code rather than a conduct code?" It has the practical advantage of letting them know what you took from what they said and of confirming it or giving them a chance to clarify. It keeps things moving and it keeps you in the conversation."

"Don't discount the value of merely listening. The ability to listen to what everyone else is saying and point out, during a pause, how two folks aren't hearing each other or how they've overlooked the flimsiness of an assumption, or how to go upstream from their problem and tackle the source of the problem, makes you a valuable and timely contributor." - EditorOne

Yes!

"I think we INTP might have the 'benefit' of not knowing how to socialize, enabling us to approach it as a science. The socially experienced INTP is probably a good guide to successful socializing because they are more aware of how they go about." - Sugarpop

YES!
I find I feel slightly guilty about this sometimes, because my interest in other people, at least in the beginning, was far more intellectual than emotional, and I feel almost like a fraud for scientifically dissecting them in my head while they think what a lovely person I am for listening. However I've found that approximating natural E-behaviour with the principles we have derived by observation, while good for effecting the form, is far more easily achieved through internal change of substance. This might be an F or N trait, I'm not sure, but I find temporary mental transformation into the desired type makes interaction smoother and more natural than following a list of rules. (I think this might be an acting technique.)
Having said that, the INTP method is still very useful!

"With people who are very introverted, I sometimes think they don't like me, if I try to talk to them and it doesn't go so easily. So I stop trying because I just assume I did something wrong. This has happened to me a couple of times with ISTPs and INTPs in particular." - Chocolate

Yeah same here. I think I don't actually understand I's very well even though presumably I'm one myself. Does anyone else have this problem?

"if someone never asks me any questions about myself, I consider that they have no curiosity about me and therefore aren't interested in me. When I like something/someone I have a natural curiosity about it/them, so I apply that reasoning to others.

Having been in repeated contact with an ISTP for several months, I have seen that being curious about someone and liking them are two different things for some people, so I don't equate them anymore." - Chocolate

Again, same problem. I'm going to feel a lot more comfortable around some of the I's I know now!


"One of the nice things about this forum: We find out, again and again, that things we endured in isolation really have been experienced by others who can now share coping techniques and avoidance strategies and whatnot that may help.

Be glad you discovered you're an INTP. Some of us just thought we were "broken" well into our 40s. :-) Knowing what's going on is much more than half the battle." - EditorOne

I cannot express how deeply I relate to this. When I found out I was INTP (only a few months ago!) all the pieces of my life suddenly fell into place. I wasn't a freak, I hadn't been brought up badly, I wasn't retarded or insane. Finding out there were others like me - especially finding this forum (even though I've just joined!) - was like truly finding my home. Even my family commented on how much happier I've been the past few weeks.

"But yeah I can see your point, it's a very different way of thinking. I also think the difference is that for you you have thoughts that could be interrupted whereas I (not to make myself sound stupid or anything) normally have thoughts during/as a result of a conversation (clearly b/c of E), and also feel comfortable flitting around from thought to thought (also likely an E trait).

Also I suspect my Ne is practically off the charts and I have noticed I tend to be much more curious than the average person, about pretty much anything. My way of thinking is that there is something to be learned from almost anything, and even the most 'trivial' things can lead to amazing insights. But that's just me, and I do have my limits (tv shows, where you bought something, sports game recaps...)." - again, Chocolate

I seem to agree with almost everything you've said! 0.o

Sorry this is so long guys, I'm not 100% sure what to do on forums, but all this INTPness is so fun and exciting for me - I'm not alone! And I relate to the stuff that's said here so much more than the fluff in the world outside. Plus Rachmaninov was playing on my laptop while I was reading everything, which of course lended to the profundity of the experience!

*edit
Oh crap, it really is long.
 

chocolate

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Haha you're funny cheese! (nice to meet you btw) Nah wasn't too long, you had a lot of interesting stuff to say! (and I mean that genuinely ;) ).




[Side note on boring small talk: my best friend, a possible ESFP, just gave me one of her typical long spiels about the little mundane events in her life. When I asked her to get to the bottom line, she said, "I have no bottom line". I think this explains a lot about interactions between us and other types, and especially about talks between Ns and Ss (who can provide far too much detail).

LOL, I can totally relate. I have an ISFJ friend. Whenever I ask him something like "how was your trip" he'll answer something like "first we got to the city, then we went to this restaurant, it was really nice, it had red walls. The food was good. I had chicken..." well, you get the idea! Sooooooo boring! I don't mean to say anything bad about ISFJs just that to me that kind of conversation is pointless.



YES!
I find I feel slightly guilty about this sometimes, because my interest in other people, at least in the beginning, was far more intellectual than emotional, and I feel almost like a fraud for scientifically dissecting them in my head while they think what a lovely person I am for listening.

Oops, was I supposed to feel guilty for that!? :D

When I found out I was INTP (only a few months ago!) all the pieces of my life suddenly fell into place. I wasn't a freak, I hadn't been brought up badly, I wasn't retarded or insane.

That's so funny! I remember feeling like that too when I found out my type! I don't know if you're a guy or girl, but I think esp. for a girl, being a rational can make you think you're a weirdo if you don't know any better...I'm glad to hear you've found the source of (and thus come to terms with) your insanity ;)
 

cheese

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Haha you're funny cheese! (nice to meet you btw) Nah wasn't too long, you had a lot of interesting stuff to say! (and I mean that genuinely ;) ).

Wonderful welcome, thanks! :) Everyone here seems pretty interesting. And I like the parenthetical clarification at the end - seems to be typical of people like us.

LOL, I can totally relate. I have an ISFJ friend. Whenever I ask him something like "how was your trip" he'll answer something like "first we got to the city, then we went to this restaurant, it was really nice, it had red walls. The food was good. I had chicken..." well, you get the idea! Sooooooo boring! I don't mean to say anything bad about ISFJs just that to me that kind of conversation is pointless

Yes! Do you ever find yourself falling into this trap yourself though? Cos I talk way too much with my inner circle, and bombard them with exactly this kind of pointless information.

Oops, was I supposed to feel guilty for that!? :D

Nah, I just happen to be morally superior :D

That's so funny! I remember feeling like that too when I found out my type! I don't know if you're a guy or girl, but I think esp. for a girl, being a rational can make you think you're a weirdo if you don't know any better...I'm glad to hear you've found the source of (and thus come to terms with) your insanity ;)

Thanks :)
I'm a girl. I totally agree with this - I found it much easier to understand and relate to boys when I was a kid. Not that I wasn't girly (I wasn't, most of the time - but that's not the point), but communal female-ness just didn't come naturally to me. Girly bonding I found repulsive, girliness in general disgusting, and senseless chatter (that inevitably seemed to involve back-stabbing) distasteful. Boys didn't expect you to respond emotionally to what they were saying - far less cooing and fawning, which I wasn't good at - and seemed to have more fun anyway. [I really admire little boys (in a legal way) and to this day much prefer their play to girls'.] I felt a failure as a girl in those ways and was slightly distressed. Now I realise I'm just better.............er, at being insane. But that's ok, I've got all these other NTs with me on this horrible journey so we can all be misunderstood and morose together!
 

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^ Though it's sometimes kind of fun to be dragged into a girly group event and giggle nonstop like the rest of the silly girls. Little do they know that I'm laughing at them, not with them...
 

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Yes! Do you ever find yourself falling into this trap yourself though? Cos I talk way too much with my inner circle, and bombard them with exactly this kind of pointless information.

Yeah I talk a lot but it's different. I'll say "oh I went to the mall today, and they had the sweater I've been looking for and oh cool new jewellry store yay!", and the ISFJ will be more like "Well, I went to the mall. It was big. In the centre was the waterpark. They have lifeguards there...in the middle of the pool they have some stripes painted on the bottom..." and he just loses me...! :) It's the level of detail I guess that's different.

But that's ok, I've got all these other NTs with me on this horrible journey so we can all be misunderstood and morose together!

Yeeeeeeeees. It is so nice they have these NT forums (I also check out an entp forum, it's insane too, but very different from here!). It's so great to have the company!!!
 

cheese

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^ Yes that sounds about right. I don't like detailed descriptions forced upon me. And yeah, having company on board's good ;)

Ermine:
^ Though it's sometimes kind of fun to be dragged into a girly group event and giggle nonstop like the rest of the silly girls. Little do they know that I'm laughing at them, not with them...

It is, but I try not to be too malicious or condescending about it because I can be fairly silly and girly myself, just in different ways. But when there's another T there and we catch each other's eye........:D it gets a little tough to stay up on that high horse. I think it's worth the effort though.
 

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haha no! I can get giggly with my ESTP girl friend. It's so fun -- we talk about boys and hair and how hot we are. But we both know it's just one big joke, which makes it even MORE funny!
 
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haha no! I can get giggly with my ESTP girl friend. It's so fun -- we talk about boys and hair and how hot we are. But we both know it's just one big joke, which makes it even MORE funny!
Shoes too?
 

EditorOne

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Hell ya. But that part's serious.


OK, coffee out the nose and on the keyboard, you owe me one. I really really really needed a good laugh and you snuck right up. Thanks. :-)
 

Ermine

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haha no! I can get giggly with my ESTP girl friend. It's so fun -- we talk about boys and hair and how hot we are. But we both know it's just one big joke, which makes it even MORE funny!

Like, ohmigosh! That dress is soooooo you! It really flatters your figure. Oh, that guy is soo hawt! *wanders off*
 

chocolate

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I really really really needed a good laugh and you snuck right up. Thanks. :-)

You're welcome, we mature folks gotta stick together right?

Sorry to hear you're having what sounds like a tough day. :(
 

cheese

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Ermine:
Though it's sometimes kind of fun to be dragged into a girly group event and giggle nonstop like the rest of the silly girls. Little do they know that I'm laughing at them, not with them...

Slightly, because it seemed to suggest snideness under cover of friendliness - a sort of betrayal of the trust implicit in any shared "bonding" activity. Sorry if I read it the wrong way. :)

I know that snarkiness is a common reaction for INTPs, and I understand where you're coming from, but I've come to realise that it's not fair for me to mind-smirk too much because I am guilty of equally silly things myself - sometimes even the same ones! :eek: - and I know I would not appreciate the same treatment, so I try to avoid it in case I'm caught out one day. Respecting other people leads to greater efficiency (they like you more = they're more useful to you) and is simply a more pleasant way for me to live - I actually prefer harmonious relations, and not just for utilitarian reasons but because I enjoy them, and don't like hurting people.

Chocolate:
I do engage in girly behaviour with some of my girlfriends (all Fs), but almost always feel ashamed and guilty for it. There's a kind of mindless pleasure to be derived from it, and occasionally it provides opportunity for wit (100 ways to say "he's butt-ugly - fail") but the lack of substance disturbs me overall. Maybe it's different when both parties recognise it for the massive mental mutilation it is.

YAY!!!!!
Just a burst of happiness at being an INTP and on this forum! :D


(Excuse the excessive exclamation marks and emoticons - oh my god what if I'm an INFP)
 

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I'm by all means capable of silliness, just not the girly sort. And where's the harm in laughing at human customs if I'm not putting a damper on the party?
 

Sugarpop

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There are two sillies. Silly good and silly bad. It's the difference between Monty Python and George W. Bush.
 
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