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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone have a hard time with initiating or maintaining conversations? I don't know if this is a personality type thing or not but it's a very conscious and uncomfortable process for me. I don't really have the desire to enter into your daily light, scripted kinds of chat even though we have to on some level to function socially. It's like I'm constantly asking myself "What do I say next?" at the same time as thinking "I really don't care." I notice that I tend to come off as awkward due to this combination. I prefer to write and take my time around topics of interest. The daily BS is really draining for me but it seems to suit others just fine. I don't know. Anyone else relate?
 

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I really have trouble maintaining conversation with STJs, even if I like and admire them a great deal, but that's about it.

But put me in a room with any other type and the conversation will flow.
 

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I can initiate a conversation fairly easily, 'hey, how are you?' etc... and I can maintain it through the, 'I'm good thanks' and possibly a small amount of conversation about my weekend or whatever...but beyond that I run out of fuel for conversation. There are a few people I work with whom I can maintain decent conversations with but that is only because they tend to like a lot of the same things that I do, and they read the news and like to discuss significant issues (and they have the same twisted as fuck sense of humour as me). But most people. Nope. Not a chance.
 
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Yeah I relate, but I'm getting better at it. Basically for me what helps is to follow your own tangents, no matter how weird they may seem, in that way you are more of yourself. So pretty much don't be afraid to be random, because you probably are deep down. But also if you don't have anything to say on a particular topic just accept that and don't stress yourself out trying to think of something to add, that wears you out socially and stunts the flow of the conversation. Also smile when you talk, helps a lot.
 

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Yeah I relate, but I'm getting better at it. Basically for me what helps is to follow your own tangents, no matter how weird they may seem, in that way you are more of yourself. So pretty much don't be afraid to be random, because you probably are deep down. But also if you don't have anything to say on a particular topic just accept that and don't stress yourself out trying to think of something to add, that wears you out socially and stunts the flow of the conversation. Also smile when you talk, helps a lot.
I absolutely agree with the 'follow your own tangent' comment. I was at a backyard barbecue a few months ago and one of my brother's best mates asked me what I had been up to, which would normally have resulted in me saying something like, 'not a lot', or 'keeping busy', at which point the conversation would hit a brick wall and that would be the end of it. Instead, I thought screw it and I launched into a detailed story about fighting to secure a ceasefire in Ukraine and from there we ended up talking about world politics for a while. You just have to get into the 'I don't give a shit what you think of me' mode and let it flow. If they don't get it, so be it, but at least you've been yourself.

I think that at one point conversation turned to football, a topic that I have pretty much no interest in or knowledge of, so I just said that I would nod and smile politely while they talked about it. I confessed to having no idea. The world did not end.
 
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I absolutely agree with the 'follow your own tangent' comment. I was at a backyard barbecue a few months ago and one of my brother's best mates asked me what I had been up to, which would normally have resulted in me saying something like, 'not a lot', or 'keeping busy', at which point the conversation would hit a brick wall and that would be the end of it. Instead, I thought screw it and I launched into a detailed story about fighting to secure a ceasefire in Ukraine and from there we ended up talking about world politics for a while. You just have to get into the 'I don't give a shit what you think of me' mode and let it flow. If they don't get it, so be it, but at least you've been yourself.

I think that at one point conversation turned to football, a topic that I have pretty much no interest in or knowledge of, so I just said that I would nod and smile politely while they talked about it. I confessed to having no idea. The world did not end.
Yeah buddy you get it :D

If you're an INFP your conversations are always going to have an 'off beat' and kind of bouncy flow to them, and you can either repress that and make things uncomfortable, or embrace it and people generally prefer that and as a bonus you're being yourself :)
 

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yeah, i relate... it sucks when it feels like the conversation is down to small talks... that was pretty awkward.
as much as possible i want the conversation to be on a deeper level, serious, and meaningful. but there were times that i couldn't talk to everybody else if it's not silly. most people just want to have some fun so i tend to adjust and provide them what they want which is also rewarding for me. i don't care being the center of attention if it is for the sake of making people laugh. but what i found to be the most difficult is when i am on my serious, deep-thinking mode. people can't relate to what i'm trying to say, making the conversation run dry.

EDIT: oh, i remember there were times when people are more interested talking about 'showbiz' celebrities, their life and issues. though i'm not into people and events discussion, i try to relate and share a bit i know just to escape boredom -___-
 

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double post -.-
 
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What pearslug said. It's going to lead to a few people avoiding you, probably, but there are others out there that feel the same way you do and those are the people you want to attract. I'd at least respond positively to that. I can relate, though. I hate smalltalk and unless I absolutely have to I don't engage in it. Every time I try the conversation just stagnates after a few minutes, and we're left with that awkward silence. I've been trying lately to sort of bring out my internal monologue when talking to people, in an effort to be less reserved and more "myself". It's working out a lot better than trying to fake interest in the weather or what strangers did over the weekend, and it's certainly more interesting for me.
 

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Me too. I have a really hard time communicating with people, just communicating in general tbh- enough so that I get stutters. Usually I find that it's harder for me to talk to people that I idolise/ look up to in any way- probably because I feel pressured to make sure that the conversation isn't awkward/ they like me.
 

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Does anyone have a hard time with initiating or maintaining conversations? I don't know if this is a personality type thing or not but it's a very conscious and uncomfortable process for me. I don't really have the desire to enter into your daily light, scripted kinds of chat even though we have to on some level to function socially. It's like I'm constantly asking myself "What do I say next?" at the same time as thinking "I really don't care." I notice that I tend to come off as awkward due to this combination. I prefer to write and take my time around topics of interest. The daily BS is really draining for me but it seems to suit others just fine. I don't know. Anyone else relate?
Depends on how close I am to the person in question. Party with acquaintances/wife's friends? I'm not the person to start any conversation. I don't know how deep people want to get in casual conversation, or even how deep I even want to get. It turns into something like the "Talk not like an INFP" thread. I'm intensely aware that "how about that weather" is the universal sign of giving up on topics :).

I can hold my own with co-workers. I love talking about my current work, and learning insights into students. The most casual of topics here are usually about vacations or weekends. In that case I dip into my self-depreciating side and it works out well enough.
 

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I've been told that i leave big holes of meaning in my verbal communication which forces people to fill them. This is usually most troublesome with ST types since they generally need layman terms when explaining things or they'll leave scratching their head. Trying to exactly describe a depthy feeling on a subject with words is challenging, especially when your attention is goofing around... but at least people find it amusing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
But also if you don't have anything to say on a particular topic just accept that and don't stress yourself out trying to think of something to add, that wears you out socially and stunts the flow of the conversation. Also smile when you talk, helps a lot.
Yeah I try and force myself to say things to keep up with others but it doesn't work. I'll end up tripping over words or saying something that doesn't quite fit. I think I'll just stay silent more often, even though people think I'm too quiet as it is. And smiling is forced too. I really don't feel like smiling most of the time but I try. It's all just a big effort for me.
 
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Yeah I try and force myself to say things to keep up with others but it doesn't work. I'll end up tripping over words or saying something that doesn't quite fit. I think I'll just stay silent more often, even though people think I'm too quiet as it is. And smiling is forced too. I really don't feel like smiling most of the time but I try. It's all just a big effort for me.
If you end up saying something that's just plain embarrassing, learn to just let it slide by, INFPs are super critical of themselves, so try to avoid that. But like I say, don't see it as a negative thing necessarily, people can enjoy the extra flavour you can add to a group. If you have a -different- style of speaking thats ok. I wouldn't recommend you stay quiet, I tried that a while ago and people just considered me overly intense and unapproachable.

I know what you mean about socialising being a lot of effort sometimes, and you just don't feel like talking or smiling and you have to resist the temptation to give sarcastic one word answers and stuff, it sucks when its like that, for me its like that sometimes, but it's becoming less. This might sound weird but I'll say it anyway, for me I socialise best and it flows easiest when I love the entire world as it is, not just the person I'm talking to or the conversation were having or the activity we're doing the, but the entire experience of being on earth. If I'm in a state where the I see the world as bad or cold or artificial, it's like my mind is in a box, but if I love the world, my mind makes connections and my imagination is colourful etc. Anyway when I feel like, that smiling comes more easily and naturally. I wish I could explain it a a bit better, but I hope you get it. Harness your inner curiosity I guess is what I mean.

Other than that, get enough sleep, If I'm tired socialising is doubly hard. Also don't try to be serious all the time, just generally try to be enthusiastic.

Hope that maybe helps a little more :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I wouldn't recommend you stay quiet, I tried that a while ago and people just considered me overly intense and unapproachable.

If I'm in a state where the I see the world as bad or cold or artificial, it's like my mind is in a box, but if I love the world, my mind makes connections and my imagination is colourful etc. Anyway when I feel like, that smiling comes more easily and naturally.
I'm working on caring less of what others think. If others believe me to be unapproachable then that's their mistake.

I cannot view the world any differently than what I know. I understand it to be both valuable, full of possibilities and also terribly controlling/cruel. I can and do really smile but I don't like feeling obligated to do so.

After some further reflection, I have decided that perceived social functioning is not as important as staying true to self. There are consequences to that but I will have to learn to live with them.
 

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.... :tongue:
yeah, i know you're going to tease me again.... the next time, i'll put a bomb when my post got doubled so the laugh would be on you xD so yeah, be careful...
 

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yeah, i know you're going to tease me again.... the next time, i'll put a bomb when my post got doubled so the laugh would be on you xD so yeah, be careful...
Its pretty tempting to get burned actually :)
 

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Yes, even as a mature adult I don't always find it easy (depending on the situation).

I still find some things difficult but I have learnt not to over-think it (mostly). That will usually lead to inaction I think because I see future possibilities and if I'm lacking self confidence in that particular situation, they are likely to be negative scenarios. Developing and maintaining a positive mental attitude is very important.
 

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Also, over-thinking can lead to inaction because by the time you've decided you will say what you've been thinking you'll say, the moment has passed.
 
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