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Hello everyone!
How would other INFPs rate their communication skills in conversations compared to written expression?
Do you ever have trouble expressing yourself verbally on the spot?
Is this a social anxiety/shyness thing?

I ask this because I'm always getting told that I can communicate well in a written format in a fairly sophisticated way, but when I'm asked a question face to face I noticably freak out up and start rambling about totally irrelevant things. When someone reads something I've written and then speaks to me face to face, they often don't believe I'm the same person!
I always make an utter fool out of myself when talking to someone I'm not completely comfortable around, and it really puts me off talking to people.
Anyone else relate to this? :)
 

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I can always write my way out of any controversy :)

Face-to-face depends on whether or not I'm the target of the conversation. If someone's accusing me of something, I tend to get quiet and just let them have their freak out. I usually ramble on and try to keep everything in the "I feel ..." format. No one can get mad at you for feeling something. But as someone who dislikes reactive thinking, writing gives me a much better opportunity to take a step back and process what I want to say.

If I'm not the target, then I can sit there and listen and offer advice to anyone for hours. People also usually ignore my advice and then comment on how they should have listened to it (Rinse. Repeat). But I don't mind

I will continue to recommend the Dalai Lama to everyone on this forum. As INFPs, we have a ton to learn from his writing! A peaceful mind, where others cannot control our emotions, is essential to our personality type -- whether you find that through Christianity, atheism, or Winnie the Pooh :)
 

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I get anxiety in social situations, but it creates a form of hyper alertness where my brain actually wakes up and functions better. Suddenly, I'm an all star conversationalist, BUT I take a major loss in terms of inhibiting what I say -- meaning I may say something without enough thought of the repercussions.

ie: I was doing an oral presentation regarding prison costs for male inmates vs females (women being roughly double the costs) leading me to making a joke about how 'the guys' know what I'm talking about in terms of women being high maintenance. My teacher? She was a feminist, lol.

For the most part though, one of my degrees in is Behavioral Psychology so I excel at reading mannerisms and the train of thought when I'm with someone. pre-University, I'd say I was a better writer though.
 

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Writing works best for me too, there is enough time. Post a conversation, I always can think of a many ways that I could have handled it better, said it better. I don't do that well on the fly. But time to think is a wonderful thing. Words can pour from a pen and flow onto a page and be edited until they are just right, convey the right emotion, say the right thing. For me writing often becomes a way to purge. When I'm stuck in some mental loop that I can't escape I write it down and let it go. When I'm angry and cannot confront the person directly, I write it down - sort through the emotion and then I can speak to the person later with my thoughts in order and emotion under control-ish. I live in entirely in my head - writing allows me to remain there - the pen is the link to the physical world, but it doesn't demand that I be entirely present in it. A conversation however, forces me to step out of my head and be present in a moment and then the flow in interupted and the tongue gets tangled and it can all go hopelessly wrong.
 

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I think I'm a fine writer, and I feel very comfortable articulating myself through written word as well as the oral. I would say I am about equal in both forms; I can make myself seem quite knowledgeable or incredibly stupid through either medium. I don't choose favorites...
 

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The trick is to learn how to quickly organize your thoughts in a single deep breath - a breath you take before responding to anyone during a conversation. I used to stutter as a kid because my mind was going faster than my mouth, so I learned to take a deep breath, compose my thoughts, then speak. It's tricky at first, but will eventually be a valuable tool. Try it out :)
 

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Too often my conversation involves either blanking out or speaking without thinking.

I can write to get ideas across, but I often let the intensity of my ideas or the underlying emotions take over, to the reader's detriment.
 

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I sound like a simpleton when I talk. My thoughts are scattered and sometimes I'm trying hard to think of something to say. Basically, when it comes to verbal communication I'm not articulate at all. That doesn't mean I'm a fabulous writer, but I definitely prefer putting my ideas, thoughts and feelings in writing. At least then I won't seem like an inept idiot.
 

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Yeah, this is exactly why it takes people a while to realize that I'm actually fairly intelligent. It's gotten a lot easier to deal with as I've dealt with my social anxiety, but I don't think I'll ever speak in the same manner that I'm able to write in.
 

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Yeah, I experience that too. I think it's hard for me to organize my thoughts while distracted by someone's presence - by trying to read their reactions, by processing the vibes and emotional bleed-off I pick up from them, by thinking about them and how they are at the moment, etc. Maybe it's not just that though, it's hard to say. I definately ramble a lot more in speech. I think it must also have to do with it needing to be more quick, and sometimes being interrupted, and not being able to go back through and check and edit what I've said to make sure it made sense.

Perhaps this has to do with intuition, making jumps that seemed connected in my mind but which I then realise don't connect in someone elses, so I blunder back and try to explain, and that just makes it more confusing.

I certainly feel like I process thoughts better in the quiet of my own mind, rather than when I have to pay attention to something outside myself while thinking aloud.
 

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Indeed, if you would hear me speak to you, you might judge me the wrong way. For even though I might use a similar vocabulary, my accent and less than masterful fluidity might give you the impression that I don't even know how to speak "proper English" (my ex-bosses used to hate me because, in their bigoted minds, I didn't properly speak "the language", but they are proven racists.) I speak quite well, actually, but I am most at home writing. It gives me a pleasure to express beautiful feelings and thoughts in all manner of ways, a means to use imprecise words to express precise feelings, a way to touch/mend hearts without even being in the same room with your reader. There's no better way of self-expression than my written words to me, and I always mean what I write; even when my meaning might not be clear, or my words may have multiple meanings.
 

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It gives me a pleasure to express beautiful feelings and thoughts in all manner of ways, a means to use imprecise words to express precise feelings, a way to touch/mend hearts without even being in the same room with your reader.
this is slightly off topic, but this stood out to me in contrast to the INTPs I know who search for precise words that mean exactly what they want to say.....it struck me that when I write I often do seek to capture an exact meaning/feeling through ways other than seeking to find a word with the exact definition.
 

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Whew... I just finished a meeting with a client in which he was giving me and my counterpart in India feedback about some of our employees there and how they were or were not meeting his expectations. I knew there was something important for me to add to the conversation around preparing people to be credible and competent in this key role and I rehearsed it in my mind, jotting down notes a couple of times before finding an appropriate moment to insert my insight into the conversation. And this area is my sweet spot -- one of my strengths is developing people through well designed instructional experiences. But when I opened my mouth, suddenly, I was choking on my words and coming across as less than confident -- exactly the complaints our client had about one of our team members. Just sitting here beating myself up for it.

And the feedback I get when I put it in writing is that I am too verbose. I think I'm being thorough. So it goes. :confused:
 

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I think that I do well both orally and through writing. Although with writing there is always that backspace. I can look over what I'm about to say before I say it. I can't say that I can do the same when I'm having a conversation. I'm not uncomfortable with speaking to people, but I do prefer writing since it's easier to pick up on when I'm about to say/write something that I probably shouldn't.
 

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Writing.. woohoo yeah I would rather write than participate in discussions any day. But I CAN manage myself in discussions, .. well, there's the occassional input from me. I'm more comfortable speaking with people I know more intimately. I can articulate rather well when I'm with people I know. Rather than a group of classmates who I barely know. But if I have to do it...no matter how painfully awkward and unnatural it is for me. And presentations ..eh, I really don't like doing those. But, like I said, if I have to, I'll do it. But it seems as if most of the people here have communication skills that have improved over the years. :D
 

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My writing is at least a hundred times more eloquent and advanced than my oration. Hence, I desire to write much and speak little.

this is slightly off topic, but this stood out to me in contrast to the INTPs I know who search for precise words that mean exactly what they want to say.....it struck me that when I write I often do seek to capture an exact meaning/feeling through ways other than seeking to find a word with the exact definition.
Yep. INFP writing is periphrastic while INTP writing is terse. It's the easiest way to tell them apart. I think INFPs are more likely to derive words from scratch using their own (multiple) words, while INTPs are okay being a mite bit more demanding by expecting everyone to improve their vocabularies. INTPs are always asking themselves which word could stand in for several, while INFPs are always asking themselves how to replace each word with several.
 

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I get anxiety in social situations, but it creates a form of hyper alertness where my brain actually wakes up and functions better. Suddenly, I'm an all star conversationalist, BUT I take a major loss in terms of inhibiting what I say -- meaning I may say something without enough thought of the repercussions.

ie: I was doing an oral presentation regarding prison costs for male inmates vs females (women being roughly double the costs) leading me to making a joke about how 'the guys' know what I'm talking about in terms of women being high maintenance. My teacher? She was a feminist, lol.

For the most part though, one of my degrees in is Behavioral Psychology so I excel at reading mannerisms and the train of thought when I'm with someone. pre-University, I'd say I was a better writer though.
How odd. I get the same way. You are type 6 right? :p...this is freaky. I's gr8 for passing oral exams thou. Almost like being on autopilot and highly awake. Anxiety has it's plus side it seems.

Btw funny joke lol.
 

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Well yes. Usually when I speak, I don't really have any verbal thoughts in my mind, just a general feeling of what I want to say, and sometimes it comes out pretty well, but usually I stutter and ramble on and on, and sometimes I just have to stop and think for a while.
And as expected, I'm much better at communicating through writing. Oh how many times I've wished I'd lived in the times when writing letters was still common practice... I sort of suffer of the same problems when speaking in instant messaging media, such as messenger; if I have to talk about something "serious" involving my values, feelings or somesuch, I really have to take my time writing the response, and even then I may not be completely satisfied.
 

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I'm exactly the same way. Usually when i'm trying to explain something abstract and deep I cannot for the life of me make any sense. I start rambling about the oddest things and most people come to the conclusion that i'm an idiot because they can never understand what i'm saying, or people think i'm on drugs. I obviously have an easy time talking about feelings or relating an experience, but everything else I can't explain unless i'm writing. When I write it's as if my thoughts start flowing freely and there are no restraints on what I can say or do. It's sort of like a release for me. I love when i'm sitting down to write a poem and it's as if the poem writes itself. Most of my teachers don't think i'm that intelligent because I never really participate in class unless it's something I truly feel I need to speak up about. Most of the time I keep quiet though because it takes me awhile to gather my thoughts together and think of something coherent to say. When they read my essays and opinion pieces they start to treat me differently and realize there is more to me then just a shy, "innocent" girl, the stereotype which I absolutely despise, because that's not the 'real' me. When i'm trying to explain something to someone, I feel like there's too many thoughts and too much there in my head for me, so much so that I only have a general idea of what I want to convey, I can't breath them down into a few sentences. It would be a lot easier if infps had telepathic abilities, where they could convey feelings as well as thoughts.
 

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I am so bad at talking to people. I feel like I can only effectively express myself when I'm writing or typing. I tend to have a really hard time talking to people I don't normally talk to and speaking in front of a group of people is a nightmare for me. whenever I'm put on the spot I start to verbally "stumble" and I have a hard to talking properly.
 
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