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I'm an INTP, and I have an ISTP friend who I talk to often. When we talk about the online game we both play, we tend to talk a lot and without pause, but when delving into other subjects, I sometimes feel a disconnect, like I have to tone down my abstract thinking so that he doesn't become uninterested. I even notice this when I make certain jokes that he doesn't "get." Sometimes if I talk too much, he responds with one-word phrases, or just stops responding altogether. I know he's a nice guy, and he often does seem really excited to talk to me, but other times he acts so aloof; not sure whether it's just his personality or whether I tend to scare him away with my intensity. Does anyone know how I can mitigate the differences between us to keep the conversation running smoothly?
 

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first of all, don't think of "tuning down" any aspect of yourself to talk to a sensor. It's a little condescending, if I have to say it so bluntly :/

maybe it's not the fact that he's a sensor, maybe you're just a bit more talkative than he is? Perhaps during one of those conversations, you should let him speak his mind then respond, instead of the other way around. I find that if I respond instead of starting subjects to talk about, I learn a lot more about the other person than if I was talking the whole time. You don't have to listen to me, but I think that listening is the best remedy...some people just don't have the initiative to talk first and he might be like that.
 

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first of all, don't think of "tuning down" any aspect of yourself to talk to a sensor. It's a little condescending, if I have to say it so bluntly :/
I dont think this was supposed to be offensive... Its just more of a mis-communication. For example, I have to be a little less "out there" than I naturally am when I'm conversing with my sensing best-friend. She has taught me how to live more in-the-moment and not be such an airhead. She also tones down her practicality a bit and has learned from me to be a little more whimsical and nonsensical than she used to be.

But! as for the question, I'd say just make sure you're talking about things that are relevant! I find that many of my sensing friends are more interested in talking about things that ARE as opposed to things that... arent. haha :). If that makes any sense...

He may just not be very talkative, but maybe try talking about current events and delving into his other interests until you find a common ground.
 

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I think, istps can only talk theory for so long. They do have their own theories, but they tend to remain more pragmatic. I know intuitives, can often talk about theories for extended periods of time.
 

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I sometimes feel a disconnect, like I have to tone down my abstract thinking so that he doesn't become uninterested. I even notice this when I make certain jokes that he doesn't "get." Sometimes if I talk too much, he responds with one-word phrases, or just stops responding altogether.
This is how I often feel while talking to Sensors. It's a natural difference in communication styles and interests: Intuitives love going waay out there and discussing weird abstract theories that have very little, if any, practical applications. Sensors, however, seem to get bored if the topic has no practical applications. It's not that they're incapable of underdstanding abstract theories; they just find it a waste of time.

There's a solution, though: If you can provide a practical application for your theories, a Sensor will be much more interested in your abstract musings. I realized this while enthusiastically explaning the theoretical basis of the MBTI to my ISFJ dad, who after a while asked me "Yeah, but what's the use of that information? What can I do with it?"


Toning down is a two-way street, though. My Sensing friends also have to "tone down" while talking to me. Sometimes, when they get really excited about a subject they're very interested in, they begin providing me with countless physical details and factoids I couldn't care less about. So, to keep me from spacing out, the Sensor will have to tone down on the number of concrete details.


A couple of examples how Sensor-Intuitive communication can really succeed if both are trying to meet the needs of the other:

If I talk about computers with an ISTP friend of mine who's a computer expert, he begins spouting makes and models and model numbers, while I couldn't care less about those details. In those instances, I get quiet, listening to him but trying to extract the general abstract meaning behind details I find absolutely irrelevant and totally uninteresting.

So, while I need to tone down my abstract theories about computer science in general, the ISTP will have to tone down the number of details. When he gets impatient with me, he'll say "Yeah, enough with the theories, what's the use of it?" and when I get impatient with him, I say "Yeah, enough with the details, what's your point?" When we both manage to tone down, our computer discussions will be really pleasant and insightful for both of us.

Another example, an ESFP friend of mine. She loves talking about the MBTI and Enneagram because they have a practical application: understanding other people. Discussions with her can get really theoretical and abstract, and she very rarely gets impatient with theory. During our discussions, though, the ESFP tends to talk about her friends and acquaintances and specific personal experiences, while I get more abstract and try to theoretically explain someone's behavior and figure out their motives.

Again, I sometimes get too theoretical for her and she gets bored, and she sometimes provides me with useless details about other people I couldn't care less about. But, again, when we both manage to tone down, it's all great.
 

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Chances are he understands you just fine, but simply doesn't care for it much.

Ti is Ti after all, if however applied to fields outside my personal interests I cannot be bothered with in depth analysis for the sake of it.
This.

@AD Carry:
I don't believe in "driving ISTPs away with (...) intensity".
I find my INTP friends and relatives fun to be with in moderate doses. If we haven't spoken for a while, the conversations tend to be refreshing with interesting observations and new viewpoints. If we've been around each other a period, I've heard about their projects and they've heard about mine, and we've exchanged our thoughts on the respective problems involved, and any more communication will mostly be redundant (since we don't small-talk), which means the conversation gets a limited share of brain cycles and causes very limited response, until the next major breakthrough or new and interesting project. It's nothing personal; it's just Ti in conjunction with infoholic personalities.

That said, there's a huge difference between how well I work with different INTPs (and, I guess, how well they work with me), partly depending on the level of overlap of our areas of interest, but mostly on their level of curiosity and drive to achieve their goals. I think it's pretty common to ISTPs to not be able to stand procrastination in others, since that's what we hate and fight in ourselves.

In essence, I believe that if you want to make the most of ISTP/INTP communication, try being extremely curious and be driven to finish projects. I told an INTP some time ago that what I need to be able to stand being around him more than a short while now and then, is for him to be interesting - but even an interesting INTP will meet with the fact that we are introverts and fiercely independent. And we lack the Ne need to express every thought that passes our brains. :)
 

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oh, i get it, i get it. he's not very responsive to you sometimes, it must be because he doesn't understand theory and that must be because he's a Sensor! Inductive reasoning much? Honestly this forum is dominated by intuitives (or rather, people who self-type as intuitives) and I never had so much difficulty following anyone's line of thought to the point that I don't 'get' what they're saying, nor have I ever seen anyone spout one of those 'weird, abstract' theories that are supposed to go over my head.

my patience just about ran out with this kind of topic and i'm sick of patient sugarcoating niceties...and. uhg.

Ok, I'll give you my side of the story. I've had my frustrations with communicating with some Ns on this forum because their thought process is very scattered and unfocused and they infer things where there are none. For example, I would be making a point, and then bring up this scenario as an example to illustrate my point, then the intuitive i was talking to would zoom in on another aspect of that scenario that is almost unrelated to the original point that I was making/what we were talking about originally and went on a rant on that. When I refused to address that tangent, because I find it irrelevant to the topic at hand and absolutely unnecessary, but instead stuck to my original point, another intuitive came in and made a jibe towards me, insinuating that I'm 'not getting it' because I'm a sensor. WELL FUCK THAT. There's also another instance that I won't relate because it would require me to give a lot of background context and I'm not up for verbosity today :cool:.

Of course I won't say this is due to their being Ns because almost all the time I communicate with the Ns on this forum just fine, and I've also seen Sensors being completely incoherent on this forum.

@Stephen said that communication is 50% what you say and 50% what the other person hears, which comes at the right time because I was getting so frustrated with being misunderstood (they seem to be so busy reading between the lines that they don't even notice the actual lines :rolleyes:). This helps me to be able to relax a lot more, just do my best and make my points as clear and as coherent as i can and then take fukitol.

Ok and how does this relate back to the OP. My point is: sometimes it's due to a lot of other things than him being an S. Maybe he's just not very responsive but it doens't mean he doesn't get it (my brother's like that too, it took me years to realize that). Maybe he just doesn't like talking, maybe he's overwhelmed. I get that way sometimes too when people talk to me a lot without leaving me an opening to reply.
 

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My closest friend is an ISTP and as an INTP I haven't a clue what you're talking about, neither of us have any issue in communications. No pauses unless one of us wants to be quiet for a bit. And as said above, don't think of 'tuning down' for him, from my experience ISTP's are practically always on our wavelength when it comes to even the more abstract stuff but they don't care about it, rather than being unable to do it.
 

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if the topics you are discussing outside of the game have no relevant interest for him then he will not be up to talking about the topic for long, unless he is trying to "force it" and that is never good. Instead try to find out what interests him and on finding another common topic, have at it!

I personally can never stay on topic forever on topics which i don't care about. Practical or theoretical, it doesn't matter.
 

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Sometimes if I talk too much, he responds with one-word phrases, or just stops responding altogether.
Sometimes the only answer necessary is 'okay'. It means, 'I have heard what you're saying and I'm still paying attention, but I have nothing to add to the conversation at this point.'

Or it could just be apathy.
 

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For example, I would be making a point, and then bring up this scenario as an example to illustrate my point, then the intuitive i was talking to would zoom in on another aspect of that scenario that is almost unrelated to the original point that I was making/what we were talking about originally and went on a rant on that.
This is what I absolutely hate about my fellow Intuitives, both IRL and on this forum. My ENTP husband tends to do it and it irritates me to no end!

Then again, my ENTP complains I'm doing the same, so... yeah. It's annoying to see my own weaknesses in another person. :tongue:
 

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I'm an INTP, and I have an ISTP friend who I talk to often. When we talk about the online game we both play, we tend to talk a lot and without pause, but when delving into other subjects, I sometimes feel a disconnect, like I have to tone down my abstract thinking so that he doesn't become uninterested. I even notice this when I make certain jokes that he doesn't "get." Sometimes if I talk too much, he responds with one-word phrases, or just stops responding altogether. I know he's a nice guy, and he often does seem really excited to talk to me, but other times he acts so aloof; not sure whether it's just his personality or whether I tend to scare him away with my intensity. Does anyone know how I can mitigate the differences between us to keep the conversation running smoothly?

you're assuming 2 things.

1.) you're interesting when you ramble
2.) your jokes are funny
 

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Sometimes if I talk too much, he responds with one-word phrases, or just stops responding altogether.
Yes... classic early-stage symptoms of boredom. Later stages may be accompanied by restlessness, yawning, begging for silence, and leaving.

Boredom is transmitted from intuitive to sensor in one of two ways:

(1) The intuitive's discourse, though scintillating, goes over the sensor's head
because the sensor is a simpleton.
(2) The intuitive, being out-of-touch with reality, is unable to monitor the
bullshit content of his/her own thoughts.

No one can say for sure which is true. We're all biased.
 

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I can rarely converse fluidly with an ISTP - at work or with the one I live with.

They are spotty conversations but never mean-spirited. They just sometimes don't have anything to say in response.
Sometimes it's the fact they don't care or are bored or simply it is because they have nothing else to say. They aren't the type to just say something in order to keep a conversation going for the sake of conversation. I don't think that is important to them whatsoever.

They could also be processing your ideas. I know I have to give my ISTP time to process ideas quite often. They are very thoughtful people and aren't about to just say something without meaning or use. An intelligent thought is to be valued and thoroughly investigated. That's how I feel about that anyway.

But it is always comfortable to just BE around them just in the presence. Like driving or watching TV or going for a walk or reading the paper. I was much more relieved once I got over the fact that this is OK and having no conversation is OK and in fact, it is quite relaxing.

I feel much more comfortable having these sorts of "conversations" while doing something. That way the silence isn't as noticeable and I don't grow impatient waiting for a response.
 

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Talk about guns and fast cars, and you'll strike a conversation quick.
 
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