[INFP] Tips for dynamics with "comfortable silences"

Tips for dynamics with "comfortable silences"

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This is a discussion on Tips for dynamics with "comfortable silences" within the INFP Forum - The Idealists forums, part of the NF's Temperament Forum- The Dreamers category; My true friends are always the ones where I can have comfortable silences, however there is somewhat of a skill ...

  1. #1
    ENFP - The Inspirers

    Tips for dynamics with "comfortable silences"

    My true friends are always the ones where I can have comfortable silences, however there is somewhat of a skill to it, and as someone who spent probably from age 16-22ish developing the exact opposite perspective of filling silences and being "the outgoing one" (at age 20, during my peak I was the most stereotypical ENFP you could use imagination to conjour up), I'd like to outsource my plea for advice to my favourite introverted types in INFP/INFJ/INTJs, since you have probably developed this perspective/skill for longer than I have.

    For the original inspiration please check "Shy" ENFP page 3 for my post.



  2. #2

    I always figured if the silence wasn't comfortable, it was on the other person, not me. I don't feel a need to fill silences, even if I am a more "outgoing" INFP. I speak because I have something to say, not to just open my mouth and hope for the best. Even if it's someone I enjoy being around, if there's nothing to be said, then there will be nothing said.

    I would say the balance though, is being comfortable in who you are as a person, and not playing up to what others expect? I've always seen hating silence as assuming the other person hates not having anything to discuss, so you get wrapped up in meaningless chatter for hours, when it really could've been a relaxing time studying side by side, people-watching, etc.

    My closer friends are introverted, and more often than not, it's them breaking the silence. I do have an ENFP friend, and our 'silences' are more of her not actively engaging me in conversation, but just thinking out loud. I'll add an acknowledgement in if I want to speak on it, but eventually she'll go quiet for a bit. Not that I don't mind her talking (because she's a close friend!), but I don't have to be ENGAGED to want to spend time with someone.

    Is there a skill to it? I can't really say. Probably just more finding your comfort zone. Some people won't be silent (like my ESFJ acquaintances). Others will be silent for hours on end (my ISFP siblings). Figure it's a person by person thing.

  3. #3

    Comfortable silences are basically how I operate in the everyday existence xD

    There is no outside skill to it imo, the only skill is to feel comfortable in your own skin, to feel relaxed with yourself. I don't feel like I have to say extra info if I don't feel like it, because I'm not there to impress anyone. I'm not saying that people are trying to impress always, but sometimes yes, but sometimes I see that Fe-doms and auxs are hyperaware of the person next to them and they just want to give give give are you uncomfortable? are you uncomfortable? Guess what! You are making me uncomfortable by speaking unnecessary extra info that clearly doesn't inspire you. I can sense it. I can sense that they are tense and that's why they speak so much.

    Sit in your Fi throne and relax. Feel calm in your own skin/throne. Trust that silence is also a language.

    I find those natural silences so sexy and inspiring. The other person and I are sharing a moment :) Silences are very important in relationships with other people.

    Quote Originally Posted by neutralchaotic View Post
    I always figured if the silence wasn't comfortable, it was on the other person, not me.
    This.

    Stop thinking about the other person feeling uncomfortable. If you are comfortable, they will be. Lead them. What I do is that when I sense that the other person is feeling awkward, I lead them energetically, with my own energy. It's too abstract to explain really loool But the basis of it all is to feel relaxed and confident.

    Think of those times when you're in the car with someone. There's all that landscape to stare at and just be in awe of the sights, and if you roll the window down it's pure bliss, and you are sharing that moment with the other person. If there was speaking involved, the moment would be ruined! I like to just feel the moment, and look at the other person and smiiiiile. Same with every other scenario. Many moments are ruined by talking. It's best to just look at each other and be like :D
    OrangeAppled, AshOrLey and Lord Pixel thanked this post.

  4. #4
    ENFP - The Inspirers

    Quote Originally Posted by neutralchaotic View Post
    Is there a skill to it? I can't really say. Probably just more finding your comfort zone. Some people won't be silent (like my ESFJ acquaintances). Others will be silent for hours on end (my ISFP siblings). Figure it's a person by person thing.
    It's really the inconsistent factor. In all fairness, if you've ever known an ENFP, we do tend to be like this.. Where our mood can vary, especially the closer you get to us, and it's totally normal for us. I mean, if you exist outside a very personal sphere, such as our living space or in a relationship, we can easily prepare a social mood whenever we meet you.. But the 24/7 realities of being an ENFP are very different. If it's 11pm and I suddenly want cereal because I can't sleep, I don't really want someone looking at me trying to figure out if they've offended me because I'm suddenly ignoring them whereas normally I'm talkative.

    I take your point though- just be authentic, and that's enough. It's a little more complicated when you vary, but it's essentially the same answer I guess.
    Lord Pixel thanked this post.

  5. #5
    INFP - The Idealists

    I don't know, I am not always comfortable with silences, not always comfortable in the presence of people in general. I am that person who spreads out awkward atmospheres in the rooms I enter. It doesn't have to be that silence is a sign of being angry or something similar, though it could be a worry, but silences are less telling, and then there is space to start to come up with possible negative things the other person might be thinking. Even if talking about things with little essence, you usually get a sense of what mood the other person is in, where they are at, you can sync up a little. So I think I usually prefer the silence to follow at least a brief chat, just a small handful of sentences can do. I am generally more comfortable with a silence if I have something to do as well, if I was eating cereal and didn't want to talk, I might read the paper while eating for example. (or I would bring the bowl to where I could eat it in solitude, and relax properly).

    To me, trying to read and analyse the small signs of someone silent might be as, or usually very much more, exhausting, than chatting about not important stuff for a little while. My introversion work like that I think, I don't gather energy from being silent, but from being alone.

    so to me, more comfortable if:
    -small exchange of words before a silence to get a feel of where the other person is at
    -being occupied with something, being inactive around someone in silence is the most likely thing to be uncomfortable to me, mind start overanalysing, don't know where to look, what to do with hands... If I have something to do silences rarely bother me much.
    -having a wall between us, or a couple of kilometers
    twirler thanked this post.

  6. #6

    Many people uncomfortable with silences seem to be uncomfortable “going inward”. It’s the same as being alone...it’s a moment to introspect and mull over your own ideas and thoughts which arose from the previous exchange. You can also just focus on your body sensations in the presence of someone else - just being.
    AshOrLey thanked this post.

  7. #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Tridentus View Post
    It's really the inconsistent factor.
    I understand what you're saying here. Some nights my friend is out into the early hours of the morning having the time of her life, other nights she's in her room in the dark for hours, listening to music (she posts on social media enough that I can keep track of her). And about once a week, she'll be in the gym for the evening, exercising with her other friends.

    ENFPs vary more externally than INFPs. Your "changes" in mood appear more volatile than ours. I tell my friend a lot that she's me, but she speaks everything on her mind, and reacts quicker than I do. That could contribute to the fewer silences, you just "live" more outside of your own thoughts than others do.

    If you're taking advantage of these silences to reflect / figure things out, then being more conscious of it will help you. But if you're trying to develop something that is naturally "against" how you generally behave, for the sake of it, you may not get what you're looking for.
    Tridentus thanked this post.

  8. #8

    I am terrible with short, awkward silences, I usually have no answer, but it doesn't really get to me after such an exchange. It's just an image thing, I get over it. For comfortable silences, I can actually worry for some reason about not reciprocating if I'm with someone, so I talk - whatever comes to my mind... If I were to force myself to be silent, that would make me feel too uncomfortable... What the hell, am I extroverted? Perhaps no one has experienced a comfortable silence with me LOL. Hope it helped.

  9. #9

    Quote Originally Posted by entheos View Post
    Sit in your Fi throne and relax. Feel calm in your own skin/throne. Trust that silence is also a language.

    I find those natural silences so sexy and inspiring. The other person and I are sharing a moment :) Silences are very important in relationships with other people.
    Yes, girl, yes!

    The Fi throne though, so true. Feels good. To relax inside with another person too. Conveys trust and a deep bonding between the two. Comfort in each other's presence.

    You could even flat out talk to the other person about this. So that, speaking in enfpnese, more possibilities can enter the reasonings for future silences. Like, your friend will understand even if they did not initially. If that makes sense...actually not sure if I worded this how I wanted...

  10. #10
    INFP

    Quote Originally Posted by Tridentus View Post
    It's really the inconsistent factor. In all fairness, if you've ever known an ENFP, we do tend to be like this.. Where our mood can vary, especially the closer you get to us, and it's totally normal for us. I mean, if you exist outside a very personal sphere, such as our living space or in a relationship, we can easily prepare a social mood whenever we meet you.. But the 24/7 realities of being an ENFP are very different. If it's 11pm and I suddenly want cereal because I can't sleep, I don't really want someone looking at me trying to figure out if they've offended me because I'm suddenly ignoring them whereas normally I'm talkative.

    I take your point though- just be authentic, and that's enough. It's a little more complicated when you vary, but it's essentially the same answer I guess.
    Wow, so you can have a hard time with people because the times you usually talk are being compared to the times when you don't talk, and since you talk so much the times when you don't talk look extra bad? Wow I never considered this to be a possible problem for someone lol, haha, mini mind blown lol.

    One time I spoke to an ESFJ girl, she liked to talk, but there were these "commericials" from the conversation where we would be silent and go back to what we were doing. What made the silences comfortable was that we both had things to do and focus on, so it was relaxing to be able to go back and do our work and get a break from the conversation.

    So maybe having something else to focus on would help, I imagine this is why people look at their phones so often.
    Tridentus thanked this post.


     
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