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Thread: How comfortable are you in a group conversation vs. one on one?

  1. #11
    Senior Member Array BlueGray's Avatar
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    Oct 2009


    I'm much more active in large groups. The number of people I can hold a one on one conversation with for any length of time is very small, however in group settings I tend to feel the need to direct the group. I find myself being by far one of the most active members of groups with 10+ people. Something about large groups turns my brain on. I become much more focused and productive.
    Ne > Ti > Si >> Te > Se >> Fe > Fi > Ni
    5 so/sp
    Chaotic Neutral/Evil

  2. #12


    I'm always comfortable engaging or disengaging as I see fit. Just because I choose not to speak in certain social settings does not mean I have nothing to say. I enjoy being a casual observer than an active participant, most times.

  3. #13
    Senior Member Array Viridian's Avatar
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    Dec 2010


    Group convos tend to make me feel either ignored or very self-conscious.
    Tentative typing: ISFJ 6w5 or 9w1 (Sp/S[?]).

  4. #14
    Away with the fairies Array Southern Kross's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    4w5 so/sp


    It depends. There are positives and negatives to both.

    Group conversations can be good because there isn't much burden on me to constantly contribute. This means I can relax and fade into the background a bit if I want. I can just listen and add something now and then, when I feel I have something vaguely worthwhile to say, or when the subject shifts to something more interesting to me. The downside is, as others have said, the conversation sometimes becomes bland and impersonal, or it all gets lost in noise.

    One on ones can be great if you talking to someone that's interesting and easy to communicate with but if they're not particularly so, it's just awkward and uncomfortable for me. I'm talkative but very shy, so any sort of uneasy situation just makes me desperate to get away. This is in part why instant messaging makes me nervous and I generally avoid it. Also I'm not good when all the attention is on me and I'm talking to someone I'm not totally comfortable with.

    Of course one on ones are where all the best conversations come from, but I'd rather disappear into the crowd than be stuck in an awkward situation - so I guess I like to play it safe more often.
    INFP 4w5 so/sp

    I've dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas;
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  5. #15
    won't be missed Array /DG/'s Avatar
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    Mar 2009


    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross
    Group conversations can be good because there isn't much burden on me to constantly contribute. This means I can relax and fade into the background a bit if I want. I can just listen and add something now and then, when I feel I have something vaguely worthwhile to say, or when the subject shifts to something more interesting to me.
    This is actually why I tend to actually prefer group interactions to one-on-one situations. I tend not to have much to say and I'm a bit awkward. In group situations, I'm not pressured to keep talking.

    I tend to see the preference one-on-one interactions correlated to introversion, but I don't really think this so.

  6. #16


    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    I've always been really good with one on one conversations. I feel comfortable. I like getting to know people. I really enjoy talking to them. On the other hand, when I'm part of a group - more than 3 people - I tend to clam up. There is this fast paced bantering going back and forth that often happens and I lose track of what they are talking about. I don't hear the jokes. Part of it is getting bored. If I can't influence the direction of the conversation, I have a hard time staying with it. I'm pretty good at catching the body language between people and getting a sense as to how they are feeling. Often there is a lot of background noise though and that doesn't help because I sometimes have a hard time hearing what people are saying (I have always had this problem). If I'm in a group and am actively contributing ideas and asking questions, etc. (i.e. at work) and we are talking about something interesting, and we are in a meeting room without the background noise, I have no problem. It's more with social situations. So, if I'm at a party, I will talk to people one on one. I'll make the rounds but I'll stay out of those group discussions and if my one on one discussion turns into a group, I'll generally find myself going somewhere else at the first possible opportunity.

    I've wondered if this is type related at all. Anyone else experience this?

    this is me as well. Im much better in smaller groups of 1-3 or just two others. Any more I lose focus and it usually gets boring, It depends if we are somewhere quiet or really loud too. The quieter and chiller the better.

  7. #17


    I just wanted to add to what others have posted on pro's and con's to both:

    - I agree with liking the anonymity of really large groups (sometimes) I have to be in the mood, like going to parties. I can control my surroundings and I feel really independent in a way. It makes me feel more extroverted and social.
    - Also yes larger groups take pressure off you in a way, you can listen more if there isn't a lot of background noise.
    - Sometimes one on one's can be negative for me, if I'm having an intense conversation with another person whom I don't know too well. Sometimes because it is one on one I feel obligated to give them an answer. For me I can't make up a "sorta real" experience so it becomes very personal, sometimes too personal and it is not what I intended on sharing with this individual. I would normally only share this personal and private information with very close friends.
    - I generally love one on ones and I'm really good with one or two others especially coffee walks. When the other person pries for personal info and opinions off the top of my head, it freaks me out and I can't think of my best answer. It's all around uncomfortable. But again this is usually with people I don't know too well. ( Unfortunately I usually regret everything I've ever said to them. Over and over.) Kinda like the post. oh well. I'll keep it up.

  8. #18
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Array Mole's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    I love dinner parties.

    For at dinner parties we share delicious food and delicious conversation.

    Some say Heaven is a dinner party, but if truth be known, this is a dinner party.

  9. #19


    In real life, I feel uncomfortable in both situations. I like to observe, so I'd prefer group situations where the attention is not on me and I can get away with staying silent. One on one convos are loaded with pressure in person and I hate that, so I tend to clam up.

    It's the opposite with instant messaging though. Then I prefer one on one to group convo any time.

  10. #20
    Temporal Mechanic. Array Lexicon's Avatar
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    Sep 2008
    5w6 sp/sx


    Depends on the number of people in the group, the temperature of conversation, etc, etc. Same can be applied to one on one conversations, as well. II'm fine at noisy crowded parties, but I do prefer small groups, as well as 1:1. Ideally small group dispersing into a 1:1 conversation. Makes the transition feel more natural, less abrupt. Again, highly depends on the person. Even at crowded gatherings, you'll find me lurking in a corner somewhere, interacting with one or two people, at a time, at most.
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