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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuchIrony View Post
    It's hard when the topic of conversation gives you nothing you can contribute and its hard to ask questions without looking completely ignorant.
    I think that your problem is the bolded part. I've heard that sort of thing from INTPs before, and it always catches me by surprise: What's wrong with looking completely ignorant? After all, it's the truth. Besides, once you admit that you're completely ignorant, then you can ask lots of questions and steer the conversation in a variety of ways.

    For example, if someone wants to talk about sports, I'll say, "I'm so far out of it, that I don't even know if the home team is having a good year or a bad year. How are they doing this year, in fact?" And basically I'll take the opportunity and make the fellow mentor me on the home team: What are their odds for the season? For the next game? Who is the star player? Any big controversies with the team?"

    Like I say, I make the guy mentor me. It's a lot quicker than sitting down and actually watching a game to find out what's happening. And then whatever information that guy gives me becomes fodder for conversations with other sports lovers--"Hey, I hear that the team is having a crappy year..." Pretty quick I'm having knowledgeable conversations about sports without having ever watched a game.

    Same with the movies in theaters. I don't know what they are, so when the subject comes up I ask lots of questions: Who starred in it? What are the critics saying about it? Why is it striking a chord with everyone? Is it part of a larger film or culture trend? What about celebrity gossip on the stars--have the stars been in the news for other reasons? Again, these are subjects that come up frequently in social conversation, so I welcome the opportunity to get mentored on the quick-and-dirty and then re-use that same info in later conversations on the same subject.

    As for people who talk about their families, I tend to get a little bored too--I don't have children either. But there are still tricks for getting involved. One fun trick is to try to predict the other person's emotions: "You must be so proud!" or "That must have been awful!" or "You must have been furious at him!" Half the time you're wrong, which often results in an interesting backstory as to why things didn't go as you would expect they should have. Another trick with family stories is to use them as bridges to discussions of social issues. Stories of kids in school can lead to discussions of the state of the local school system, and then to discussions about taxes being raised to pay for local government services. Stories of a kid majoring in some subject in college can lead to discussions of the job market or where the economy will be by the time the kid gets out of college. Stories about ferrying the kids to ballet and soccer lessons can lead to discussions of traffic jams and construction tie-ups and the overburdened road system.

    Also, if you can retain a little info about someone's kids, it's a great way to curry favor with people--ask them how their kids are doing. Parents usually take pride in their kids, so it's a no-brainer for easy cultivation of feel-good ties with co-workers.

    To sum up: By all means you should take 10 minutes or even 30 minutes to school yourself on subjects of general interest. You don't even have to watch the movie or sport yourself; just ask your friend to mentor you on the subject. After that, you have an easy point of common interest with that person. Presumably the subject was of some importance to them, which means that henceforth you have an easy way to connect with them on a subject that matters to them.

    The key is to be comfortable admitting ignorance and asking lots of questions. Sometimes I even know a bit about a subject but feign ignorance anyway. People like to mentor, and I can use my hidden knowledge to steer the subject and/or ask insightful questions.

    Again, this may not be a role that INTPs like to play in a conversation. But it's kind of how the rest of the world does these things.

  2. #12
    likes this gromit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metaphor View Post
    pay attention so you build an internal database of who they are which includes interests and potentially perceive them as real people
    Quote Originally Posted by whatever View Post
    I get around this by finding almost EVERYTHING interesting
    Good advice from Metaphor and whatever.
    Your kisses, sweeter than honey. But guess what, so is my money.

  3. #13
    Senior Member Moiety's Avatar
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    I just stop the conversation politely and say "you guys are boring me out of my own skull, I'm gonna smoke a cigarette" or something.

  4. #14
    The Memes Justify the End EcK's Avatar
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    I second that
    There no point in hiding it, it's hypocritical.
    Either you care enough about the person so that what she or he says is interesting, or you don't and you're just afraid of the consequences of not being the slave of everybody else's reality.

    If i'm not interested I just don't talk. And I don't give a damn if people think i'm not sociable or something. That's their opinion, if i cared about it i'd probably be interested in talking to them in the first place.
    Also, if i'm talking about something and the other party is just not interested, I think the least they could do is tell me so we don't waste both of our time.
    Expression of the post modern paradox : "For the love of god, religions are so full of shit"

    Theory is always superseded by Fact...
    ... In theory.

    “I’d hate to die twice. It’s so boring.”
    Richard Feynman's last recorded words

    "Great is the human who has not lost his childlike heart."
    Mencius (Meng-Tse), 4th century BCE

  5. #15
    ¡MI TORTA! Amethyst's Avatar
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    I can't hide my boredom. People know when I'm bored, either I'm trying to end the conversation as fast as possible, or I fell asleep or am doing something else and stopped listening to them.

    I wish I was more subtle about it, but I surely am not.

  6. #16
    Honor Thy Inferior Such Irony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    I think that your problem is the bolded part. I've heard that sort of thing from INTPs before, and it always catches me by surprise: What's wrong with looking completely ignorant? After all, it's the truth. Besides, once you admit that you're completely ignorant, then you can ask lots of questions and steer the conversation in a variety of ways.



    The key is to be comfortable admitting ignorance and asking lots of questions. Sometimes I even know a bit about a subject but feign ignorance anyway. People like to mentor, and I can use my hidden knowledge to steer the subject and/or ask insightful questions.
    Thanks for your insight, especially the above part. I know I have some insecurities about wanting to appear knowledgeable on things. Goes with being an NT I guess. Knowledge is overrated sometimes.
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  7. #17
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    It's not that I get bored, I just have no idea what to say most of the time. I mean, why do people have to keep talking? What do they find to talk about?
    Some useful hints in this thread, thanks, cos I think people think me very antisocial, detached and uncaring. I'm not but it's probably the impression I give until I know someone very well.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuchIrony View Post
    Thanks for your insight, especially the above part. I know I have some insecurities about wanting to appear knowledgeable on things. Goes with being an NT I guess. Knowledge is overrated sometimes.
    Now you're talking. The quickest way to endear yourself to people is to admit common human failings. Be honest about your vulnerabilities, and people are going to be swooning all over you. An NT with a soft side...

  9. #19
    Senior Member Blown Ghost's Avatar
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    Stop wasting your life and go do something else

  10. #20
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    Stop wasting your life and go do something else
    ...like attend a decade long bruce springstein show.

    thinking of you

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