[ESFJ] Taking a backseat in group conversations - Question!

Taking a backseat in group conversations - Question!

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  • 1 Post By SummerRoads
  • 2 Post By Kelly Kapowski
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This is a discussion on Taking a backseat in group conversations - Question! within the ESFJ Forum - The Caregivers forums, part of the SJ's Temperament Forum- The Overseers category; Hi Everyone, Was wondering if any of my fellow ESFJs have experienced this. I recently went on a group trip ...

  1. #1

    Taking a backseat in group conversations - Question!

    Hi Everyone,

    Was wondering if any of my fellow ESFJs have experienced this. I recently went on a group trip with people that I know only casually for a a few months and I noticed that I felt like I was being pretty quiet the whole trip. Letting others do the majority of the talking and instead having quieter more one-on-one conversations etc. I don't know if this is just because I'm getting older but I'm not feeling the need to be the center of attention in a group. I don't even know if this is supposed to be an ESFJ stereotype or not but I feel like people always say we're so chatty. And yes, I can make small talk with anyone and do enjoy talking with close friends but I guess I just wonder how you ESFJs feel in group talks. I'm not sure if it's just that I don't know them all that well and am trying to figure out how the social dynamics play out before commenting or just that I don't want to compete with other people who are more "aggressive" in getting their turn in etc... just curious how you all feel you are in group conversations.

    Thanks so much for your insights!
    Kelly Kapowski thanked this post.

  2. #2

    My husband is an ESFJ and he is as you described. :) He's very smart & funny and can talk to anyone, but he usually takes the back seat in group situations. It's something I admire about him. He doesn't need to be the center of attention & is often a quiet observer. I think this adds a lot of value to the times when he does speak up. He doesn't speak just to speak. I've asked him about this before, why he doesn't speak up more when I thought he should/would. He's said he's quiet because he feels like an idiot, which surprised me because I see him as wise. I admire people that know when to hold their tongues.

    There is 1 exception to this rule, however. When he's with his family. He has a HUGE family & when we all get together, he LOVES being the center of attention. He's the youngest, so I think that is part of it. He's also just more comfortable with them. It actually kind of drives me bonkers. It's too much. I sit there kind of like "WHO IS THIS MAN".

    It's interesting to observe his patterns. It really depends on the people around him. I guess he's just good at reading the room & knowing when to play what role. When he's with my family, I have a brother that is super funny & enjoys the spotlight. My husband has no problem sitting back. He & my brother get along really well & my husband is often the quiet side-show stealer in that situation.

    I should clarify as well- the situations I'm speaking of in the first paragraph are meetings, etc, where he's surrounded by people that fall under the "aquaintance" category. Around good friends I'd say he's outspoken & outgoing. :)

  3. #3

    I don't even know if this is supposed to be an ESFJ stereotype or not but I feel like people always say we're so chatty.
    It's funny that you say this because just today my coworkers told me that I "talk a lot." Whatever that means.

    As for how I am in group chats. It really depends on the group. When I feel comfortable and at ease with everyone (or at least the majority) of a group, I tend to unconsciously dominate the conversation. I've been getting very self-conscious about this recently because a few people have pointed out to me just how much I talk. They weren't complaining or telling me to stop, but now I'm slightly paranoid about being obnoxious or annoying.

    If I don't know anyone in a group, or don't know them that well, I take the back seat. In these circumstances I will respond when invited to participate, but only rarely initiate. I prefer to listen more than talk until I get to a point where I feel comfortable with the company--this almost always takes longer than just a few hours or days. I prefer to get to know people this way, however, as I find small groups much less intimidating than one on one chats when it comes to talking to people I don't know well. I'd rather not talk one on one with someone until after I get to know them a little better.
    SilentScream and SummerRoads thanked this post.

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  5. #4

    Thank you so much for your comments! (And sorry for the late reply!)

    Kelly, I can totally relate! When I'm at a family reunion with my siblings then I can be super energetic and chatty and all else too! I guess the backseat thing does happen more around people I'm still feeling out. I think when I don't know how certain groups operate yet or what values or beliefs they hold, I tend to be more reserved to feel out the situation more until I feel comfortable with how I've read the group.

  6. #5

    I agree with what most people are saying. When I'm with a group of friends, I can talk alot. When I in a big group of strangers, I tend not to talk much (or I'll single out an introvert and chat with them). I want a feel for the people I'm with, and how they'll respond to different things, I guess. Occasionally, if I haven't seen people in a while, I might talk a lot in a group of people I don't know well. 90% of the time afterwards I get worried I said too much or might have offended someone, so I try not to do that.


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