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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ok so usually I'm socially awkward and i cannot think straight when talking to STRANGERS in public.( if it is friend/family or someone i know it is perfectly fine)

i usually worry too much about what to say, and I THINK the result of that is actually not knowing what to say.

(i think i think too hard therefore I'm not letting the conversation operate naturally because I'm trying too hard...... don't know how to stop this though really)

i think i show some social anxiety traits but tbh i highly doubt it's anything serious because sometimes i can completely ignore it...... it just depends on the person , place , and situation............

anyways just wondering if this is just me....... or do most INFP's have this?
 

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It's not just you.

I can be very awkward in social situations, and it's not just social anxiety. I have trouble thinking of things to say, and my words just seem to come out the wrong way. I've accepted that I have no future in improv.

However, I can speak very coherently when someone gets me started on something I'm passionate about.
 

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yeah I do think INFPs tend to be socially awkward even when we aren't actually shy. I think this is because of INFPs value of genuineness along with their contemplative nature. Also, INFPs often find the social rules that make interactions work like clockwork to be silly, or may not even pay enough attention to know what they all are, and thus find themselves trying to 'dance different steps' from their conversational partner.

1) Being 'down-to-earth' 'real' or 'genuine' is often seen as awkward in social situations because it usually doesn't follow the expected script laid out by social convention. Being genuine tends to answer rhetorical questions with honest detail rather than the expected nod or 'good, and yourself?' formulaic responses. Being 'real' tends to skip past the surface, common-knowledge topics (that usually have an expected script to them) and instead brings up more important, or closer-to-home topics that other people may not be prepared to share about.

2) Being contemplative may lead to momentarily spacing out in a conversation because an idea struck you. It can also predispose someone to be longwinded about topics that one has thoroughly thought about, for which other people tend to rely on common sayings and overviews rather than worrying about all the ins and outs of it, which often strike them as irrelevant. And, like genuineness, being contemplative can inspire one to deviate from topics of common knowledge and 'spring' unexpected topics on people that may require them to think more about in the moment as, unlike the INFP, they haven't already spent hours wondering about it and thus may find themselves without any ready answers.

3) INFPs often seem to have 'unusual' interests, which results in them having a lot to say about topics no one else has enough knowledge of to engage them with, and likewise they do not have enough knowledge of more common interests which would allow them to engage naturally with the majority of people. I think INFPs do have a natural sense of tact and thus have the potential to connect well with others, but a lack of common knowledge cannot always be made up for by good intentions towards someone in a conversation.
 

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I think that's cute, when that happens. You just need someone that "suffers" from the same thing. You'll have two conversations at the same time, one social, the other one is with the eyes and soul. I know when someone is doing this, I feel it, I can't explain the processes, they just happen. I'll try to rescue a conversation as best as possible, but I do require feedback or I will feel alone and abandon the whole thing. Yeah, I'm an INFJ, but I get this too.
 

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yeah I do think INFPs tend to be socially awkward even when we aren't actually shy. I think this is because of INFPs value of genuineness along with their contemplative nature. Also, INFPs often find the social rules that make interactions work like clockwork to be silly, or may not even pay enough attention to know what they all are, and thus find themselves trying to 'dance different steps' from their conversational partner.

1) Being 'down-to-earth' 'real' or 'genuine' is often seen as awkward in social situations because it usually doesn't follow the expected script laid out by social convention. Being genuine tends to answer rhetorical questions with honest detail rather than the expected nod or 'good, and yourself?' formulaic responses. Being 'real' tends to skip past the surface, common-knowledge topics (that usually have an expected script to them) and instead brings up more important, or closer-to-home topics that other people may not be prepared to share about.

2) Being contemplative may lead to momentarily spacing out in a conversation because an idea struck you. It can also predispose someone to be longwinded about topics that one has thoroughly thought about, for which other people tend to rely on common sayings and overviews rather than worrying about all the ins and outs of it, which often strike them as irrelevant. And, like genuineness, being contemplative can inspire one to deviate from topics of common knowledge and 'spring' unexpected topics on people that may require them to think more about in the moment as, unlike the INFP, they haven't already spent hours wondering about it and thus may find themselves without any ready answers.

3) INFPs often seem to have 'unusual' interests, which results in them having a lot to say about topics no one else has enough knowledge of to engage them with, and likewise they do not have enough knowledge of more common interests which would allow them to engage naturally with the majority of people. I think INFPs do have a natural sense of tact and thus have the potential to connect well with others, but a lack of common knowledge cannot always be made up for by good intentions towards someone in a conversation.
I love this. So true, all of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
When you do not know what to say, ask a question.
Been there done that lol.

Doesn't work, because the result is never ending questions....... And sometimes when I ask too much questions I start to think that I'm becoming desperate (which is no problem) only thing is I also start to get a feeling that I'm "begging" for a conversation and that I'm just annoying the other person........

I just don't wanna feel like a nuisance...........if I feel like I'm the one insisting on the conversation I always end up feeling like a nuisance......
 

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Been there done that lol.

Doesn't work, because the result is never ending questions....... And sometimes when I ask too much questions I start to think that I'm becoming desperate (which is no problem) only thing is I also start to get a feeling that I'm "begging" for a conversation and that I'm just annoying the other person........

I just don't wanna feel like a nuisance...........if I feel like I'm the one insisting on the conversation I always end up feeling like a nuisance......
You don't want to make it look like an interrogation or an interview.. Sometimes one ask you a question in order to find what interest you. That is how one finds a topic of conversation. Since you don't know what to say, you find a middle ground where both of you can talk about.
 

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I gotta say, similar to what @Aelthwyn was alluding to, trying to follow social conventions feels like wearing a straight jacket, it feels kinda awkward. Im grateful for Fe in some situations though, it can be supportive when you are down in a group out of a social consideration and if everyone in the group has Fe, then you get a collective support from everyone although it makes me shy :blush:
 

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When you do not know what to say, ask a question.
Yeah, i've started to do this more often if lost on what someone is saying, i've been thinking that when I used to avoid doing that, it may have been related to inferior Te and feeling insecure about if I lacked logic to understand, especially when it's certain heavy hard logic conversations or those that I have little previous knowledge about(Si), the main insecurity is Te, it doesn't mean necessarily lacking but insecurity around that area. I don't worry so much now about looking Te insecure, I try to break the habit of not requesting more information and getting the facts(Ne+Te) and people usually oblige as they are only too happy to explain if you show sincere interest, it means to them that others genuinely want to understand. Win!
 

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I do really well socially one-on-one with all iNtuitives and most Sensing-Perceivers. I find they can pick up on cues I'm giving and fill in the blanks in a conversation with their own zany ideas.

SJs, it can be awkward. I have to accommodate them by trying to speak about things sequentially, concretely, and in detail (which is almost impossible for me) and they have to accommodate me by turning their silly-switch to "on" (which they're rarely interested in doing).

"But what do you mean?" and/or a blank stare are common responses I get in my interactions with SJs. All I can think during that time is "How do you not know what I mean!?"
 

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I'm socially awkward too, but lately I've kinda found a way around it. Every time I feel too anxious about things I'm like "Fuck this!" and just GO for it. It's really not that hard once you get used to it. Don't overthink things. That's what's stopping you. People are not there to harm you, chances are most of them will even help you out. You gotta have a little faith :)
 

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I think when you start overthinking what people are thinking about you, it becomes incredibly 'socially awkward'.
Coming from someone who used to become exhausted with conversation at school, I found the best way to over come what you might think is socially awkward is literally just to fake it until you make it. since iNFP's like to adopt personalities, and if youre a type 4, you're likely to take on aspects of people you like or admire, just think of the charismatic funny people you know, and believe that you're really enjoying yourself. it'll exhaust you at first, but when you start being able to have a extrovert persona, entertaining is a lot easier than having to conduct an actual conversation.
Yes, we space out, yes, we have really 'unusual' interests, and yes being genuine really does freak people out, which makes it so hard for the earnest INFPs to break out into the strange weird world of small talk and societal expectations- but the best advice I can try to give, is if you stop worrying about the way people perceive you and just nod, smile a lot, and give appropriate answers and occasionally on topic inserts of interesting facts you know, it'll usually carry you far enough to not feel like a complete hack.
 

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Depends on the situation you know. In general, small talk environments can be hell for us and we can get perceived as weird, arrogant, shy etc. But people get surprised over how good you are at talking when an interesting topic is being discussed.

Or with people that we know very well and feel comfortable around, we can then open ourselves up more and share our daily philosophical thoughts about life or a certain phenomenon and talk about those things and turn it into a funny conversation. But with people that we don't know, we will often not share our inner thoughts because we know that people will think that you're weird (not everyone but you get it). At least we have the feeling of that we are weird when people seem to not really understand what we are talking about.


I have a teacher in psychology who said to me:
" 'Heylo', I know how you feel, I share the same personality type and I can see how you feel your environment all the time. You may often wonder why people don't respond to you like they do to others, or why you feel like no one is listening. It's simply because they don't understand your thoughts, your way of thinking. They don't dislike you, they just don't understand and therefor don't know how to behave in front of you".

Something like that. I think it was pretty accurate.
I hope I helped some.
 
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I do really well socially one-on-one with all iNtuitives and most Sensing-Perceivers. I find they can pick up on cues I'm giving and fill in the blanks in a conversation with their own zany ideas.

SJs, it can be awkward. I have to accommodate them by trying to speak about things sequentially, concretely, and in detail (which is almost impossible for me) and they have to accommodate me by turning their silly-switch to "on" (which they're rarely interested in doing).

"But what do you mean?" and/or a blank stare are common responses I get in my interactions with SJs. All I can think during that time is "How do you not know what I mean!?"
Could you give an example of the kind of thing you would say or idea you would bring up that SJs don't like? I live in the UK, and literally no one here is assertive, so I feel like maybe people are just agreeing with me but maybe they actually don't understand me but are just being nice.
 

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Could you give an example of the kind of thing you would say or idea you would bring up that SJs don't like? I live in the UK, and literally no one here is assertive, so I feel like maybe people are just agreeing with me but maybe they actually don't understand me but are just being nice.
I live in Canada and we're just as passive aggressive as Brits, if not more. I had a Brit tell me he thought we were more passive aggressive.

I can't give an exact example. SJs just have trouble making (or simply dislike) making inferences and participating in flight-of-ideas conversations, I find. You have to have a solid "point" for them and lay it out clearly or they get all "WTF", whereas I could just walk up to an ENTP and say "If I had testicles, they'd be sweaty today" and we'd end up having a forty-five minute conversation about balls - loaded with an exchange of random anecdotes, philosophical musings, and obscure facts. If I said it to an ESFP or ISTP they'd tell me "You're right, because my balls are sweating!"

Basically, iNtuitives and SP will play along with stuff simply for the fun of it, but also because even vague prompts send them into a flight-of-ideas which they then want to share.

An SJ would just want to know why I said something not understanding that there is no why. It simply felt like a sweaty ball moment and had to be said.

This isn't to say SJs can't be funny (some are hilarious, esp. with impressions and story-telling) or good sparring partners. It's just that randomness and spontaneity is less infused into who they are.
 

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My INFP sister does what @streetsofazure mentioned- she starts entertaining people. Her Te has developed a lot over the past few years though, which is why she's much better at taking charge now. She doesn't get nervous around people, she just gets really tired after a short amount of time. That might be her enneagram though- 9w something, either sx/so or so/sx.

IMO INFPs always tell me they feel really awkward, but they're some of the best at blending in as extraverts when you first meet them. I four INFPs, and I mistyped all of them as E at first- they seem to enjoy entertaining people, though I'm not sure if that's an INFP thing or just a them-specific thing.
 

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I live in Canada and we're just as passive aggressive as Brits, if not more. I had a Brit tell me he thought we were more passive aggressive.

I can't give an exact example. SJs just have trouble making (or simply dislike) making inferences and participating in flight-of-ideas conversations, I find. You have to have a solid "point" for them and lay it out clearly or they get all "WTF", whereas I could just walk up to an ENTP and say "If I had testicles, they'd be sweaty today" and we'd end up having a forty-five minute conversation about balls - loaded with an exchange of random anecdotes, philosophical musings, and obscure facts. If I said it to an ESFP or ISTP they'd tell me "You're right, because my balls are sweating!"

Basically, iNtuitives and SP will play along with stuff simply for the fun of it, but also because even vague prompts send them into a flight-of-ideas which they then want to share.

An SJ would just want to know why I said something not understanding that there is no why. It simply felt like a sweaty ball moment and had to be said.

This isn't to say SJs can't be funny (some are hilarious, esp. with impressions and story-telling) or good sparring partners. It's just that randomness and spontaneity is less infused into who they are.
My INFP friend had once posted me a cartoon image of Pusheen the cat playing a piano and she told me that her paws looked like a pair of boobs. For some reason the conversation had ended with me purposing to her that we ought to produce Boobs The Musical. Of course that will never happen.
 

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My INFP friend had once posted me a cartoon image of Pusheen the cat playing a piano and she told me that her paws looked like a pair of boobs. For some reason the conversation had ended with me purposing to her that we ought to produce Boobs The Musical. Of course that will never happen.
Stereotypical INFP/ISTP interaction. ISTP immediately takes it to the next level, if the next level is defined by insane and inappropriate, lol.

My ISTP ex and I in a restaurant - true story:

Me: "That guy is dick."

ISTP: "What if I had a dick on my face? Like it hung down where my nose was supposed to be. Like, just imagine! *motions toward face, outlining a flaccid penis.* They should make a movie about that." *laughs to himself for twenty-minutes*

I heard so many "what ifs" out of that guy. Man, I love Perceivers.
 
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Stereotypical INFP/ISTP interaction. ISTP immediately takes it to the next level, if the next level is defined by insane and inappropriate, lol.

My ISTP ex and I in a restaurant - true story:

Me: "That guy is dick."

ISTP: "What if I had a dick on my face? Like it hung down where my nose was supposed to be. Like, just imagine! *motions toward face, outlining a flaccid penis.* They should make a movie about that." *laughs to himself for twenty-minutes*

I heard so many "what ifs" out of that guy. Man, I love Perceivers.
Oh wow, if thats what ISTPs are like then I know loads of them and theyre fricking hilarious!
 
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