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I've just started learning about MBTI types etc. so still a huge noob, but hoping to learn from all you experts. Also hoping to maybe take advantage of your knowledge instead of having to figure it all out by myself. ;)

So, I was reading about ISFJs and how they can have trouble making a (first) connection to people. I've known this to be true for myself too. Have been struggeling with how to get better at starting conversations, making small talk etc. but most of the time when I meet a person or when I see them again after meeting them (briefly) a couple of times I have no clue as in what to say and how to (truely) connect. Of course there's the obvious advice of thinking of some topics beforehand, but that never really worked for me so far. I still blank when wanting to (/feelink like I have to) start a conversation.

Any ISFJs familiar with this problem and maybe found some ways to deal with this? Advice from other MBTI types also welcome of course. :peaceful:
 

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I come off as like I don't like people, because I take things serious with people until I feel comfortable to let my guard down and fool around. People need to grow on me. I say if you want to make friends, just continue to be around them. You don't need to talk to them. Just continuously being around them should open you up to them. :)
 
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This is going to sound weird, but listen to great comedians. They are masters at taking an external stimuli (heckler at worst, people laughing/not laughing at their jokes usually) and running with it. Making a random connection like that is a better ice-breaker than just approaching somebody, and talking about trivial things ("How's that local sports team?").
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I come off as like I don't like people, because I take things serious with people until I feel comfortable to let my guard down and fool around. People need to grow on me. I say if you want to make friends, just continue to be around them. You don't need to talk to them. Just continuously being around them should open you up to them. :)
Yeah that's kinda what I do now too. Or I just think 'well, too bad, I think you would have been nice to know.' if chances are small I will run into them again sometime soon. But I do want to be able to start conversations if I think a person is worth talking to. I just have to figure out how to stop myself from overthinking things and how to loosen up a bit and joke around with strangers. I think if you start doing it just as like an imitation of what you would do with people you feel comfortable with you should at some point start feeling comfortable for real with the person you're talking to as well. Then it's just forced at start but then at least it won't take weeks or months to be able to talk to someone. ^^


This is going to sound weird, but listen to great comedians. They are masters at taking an external stimuli (heckler at worst, people laughing/not laughing at their jokes usually) and running with it. Making a random connection like that is a better ice-breaker than just approaching somebody, and talking about trivial things ("How's that local sports team?").
Do you have more specific examples of what to listen to? I know a few comedians I like but maybe you can reccommend a certain (part) of a show that, according to you, is a good example of how to take these external stimuli and use them to make a connection. I know I have a terrible sense of humor tho so not sure that it'll work, but it's worth a try. ^^' Otherwise it's entertaining to watch comedians anyway (if they're any good ofcourse).
 

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Do you have more specific examples of what to listen to? I know a few comedians I like but maybe you can reccommend a certain (part) of a show that, according to you, is a good example of how to take these external stimuli and use them to make a connection. I know I have a terrible sense of humor tho so not sure that'll work, but it's worth a try and otherwise it's entertaining to watch comedians anyway (if they're any good ofcourse).
Bill Hicks, although he is an acquired taste.
Here's a set where most of his early jokes fall flat, and he has to recover from that.

Gabrial Ingelsias is more of a general recommendation for a fun comic. He interacts with his crowd occasionally.
 

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Yes.
This used to be a big issue for me until I realized that I would never get my way if I couldn't talk to people.

I think most of us can relate that when we face a problem, we get shit done and take care of it.
That is, unless we're the problem ourselves, because we need time adapting and it's usually a lot of trouble.

Thing is, I realized a long time ago, we're going to make a fool out of ourselves anyway at one point or another, and I've seen some people do some stupid shit in my lifetime.
Do I remember them? Nah, except for their faces at that point in time.
Thing is, my social anxiety came from the fear of saying something stupid, but realizing that nobody will remember me anyway if I do made me want to tough up and initiate conversation to the best of my ability.

In the mean time, I've developed in a way that I'm often mistaken for a solid E type, but I'm not
The only thing I struggle with right now is accepting new people as friends, and even deciding 'when' people should be considered friends, but I like it this way.
It's a nice filter, keeps me on my toes, and keeps all the 'baddies' out of my circle.

As my ISTJ mother would always say; 'Don't ask why, just do it!'. I took that mentality and used it to kick my social anxiety's teeth out. Prolly not what my mum had in mind, though.
 

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Hiya @Adentity and glad you found the ISFJ boards! We're pretty friendly folk here. I have found that, silly as it sounds, the weather can be a great icebreaker for a conversation starter. It seems to be a very acceptable topic for small talk. I will move on to ask something related to the situation/place I'm seeing said person in.

What also works for setting me at ease is to mentally think of everyone I speak to as already my friend. I may stumble over my words sometimes as I am unable to edit myself as I do in text, but I've gotten less embarrassed over that....it happens to everyone, really. I focus on the other person. I listen to what they have to say. It takes the focus off my own anxiety.
 

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Read click the magic of instant connections sometime, it does a great job giving ideas on starting a relationship. Main thing is to just start the conversation, doesn't really matter that much what you say as much as it does that you start talking. Here's a good template that I've used to get better at starting things. Once you've found some common ground the conversation should go smoother.
Small talk topics
1. Employment
2. Hometown
3. Hobbies or activities
Three questions and then a comment and then question four
 

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It's a sort of mental block. If you worry about it, you'll rationalize it too much and you will be unable to talk. You only have to oscillate between asking questions / declaring your thoughts. Of course, there are some persons that will be hard to talk to. But in general, if you meet someone who has similar tastes or interests, you can easily extrapolate.

Willing to talk is actually the most important criteria in a conversation, if both partners want to talk with each other it will be natural. But if someone don't want to talk to you, or vice-versa, the conversation will end.

If you want to connect to someone, you can just ask them questions about themselves, or you can find a common ground / situation. If you've met a person, I guess that there is something linking you.
 
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