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  1. #31
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZPowers View Post
    Then maybe he should use an example that would actually be considered a genuine hardship. He looks like he's complaining about essentially nothing to me. Also, if this is some weird bid for sympathy, why is he making it to someone I assume he barely knows instead of broaching a topic that, you know, you can actually have a conversation about?
    Why the fuck would he want to drop the pending divorce, pink slip he just received, or other tragedic instance that's actually eating him on someone he barely even knows? Especially someone who'll give him such a prickish response to an innocent question?

    He's feeling bad and needs someone to show solidarity. You're right there. Why blame him for that?

  2. #32
    Senior Member ZPowers's Avatar
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    There's a middle ground between "My lawn needs watering" and "My family died today in a terrible car crash". And you are assuming he HAS some intense need for connection, like the dude is contemplating suicide and ONLY THIS CONVERSATION CAN STOP HIM FROM JUMPING OFF A BRIDGE. "YOU MUST ACT UPSET ABOUT MY LAWN OR I WILL KILL MYSELF!" If this guy's that desperate for sympathy, he definitely needs to go to friends or family or even a psychiatrist, not some-dude-on-the-street. I don't know who's going around telling lawn stories to do some weird transference of totally empty, token sympathy to some major issue in their life.

    Beyond that, I think he choose a stupid topic for conversation, essentially. Talk about a shared experience between you and the other person, such as work or school or whatever. Talk about something from pop culture one is likely to know about and be able to talk about. If you are starting a conversation, you could first ask the other person about themselves, like everyone with any sense does. Talk about something else that's at least theoretically interesting. I don't start conversations with people I don't know well by saying "My computer's outta memory! I gotta clear up some space later! Probably I'll delete these things which you have no conception about, because you have never seen nor probably will ever see my computer, and even if you did it still wouldn't matter in the slightest" because I seriously doubt that would go anywhere as a topic. It's a topic the other person has no knowledge of, and has no way to contribute to in any meaningful way. It's almost rude. If I talk to a stranger, I try and use relatable topics they have knowledge or probable knowledge of, and can contribute to. I expect others to have a similar courtesy.

    Would I actually have told someone off for sharing such a pointless thing? No. It would probably actually go:

    Person: [Insert exceedingly banal problem]
    Me: Oh, that sucks.
    Me, in my head: Why are you telling me this? Why do you think I want to discuss this thing, which is entirely boring and unrelated to me, with you, essentially a stranger?

    Unless he very quickly changed the topic to something I could actually talk about, that's it. End of conversation. If he tried to press on with the same topic, I'd probably claim that I had to go or was in a hurry or something. No one has gained anything. The entire exchange was utterly pointless and a waste of time.

    I'll talk to strangers, but if all they're talking about is how cute it is when their kitty Snookums, a cat I do not know nor will ever know, sneezes, then I am going to leave as quickly as possible because I am going to consider it a waste of time.
    Does he want a pillow for his head?

  3. #33
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Ladies and gentlemen, in support of this thread's premise, I give you Exhibit A, ZPowers.

  4. #34
    Senior Member ZPowers's Avatar
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    What can I say? I guess I'm a sucker for the "take an interest in the other person, allowing both parties to talk" approach over the "immediately assume the other person is interested in your day-to-day nonsense, a topic which places the focus of the conversation on only you" approach to small talk.
    Does he want a pillow for his head?

  5. #35
    Senior Member INTPness's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    Ladies and gentlemen, in support of this thread's premise, I give you Exhibit A, ZPowers.
    LOL. Now it's just personal "shot taking". Essentially, "Look everyone - INTP's suck (uhh, at least moreso than ENTP's)!"
    NTJ's are the only types that have ever made me feel emo.
    ENP's are the only types that have ever made me feel like a sensor.


    There are two great days in a person's life - the day we are born and the day we discover why. --William Barclay

  6. #36
    Senior Member hilo's Avatar
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    Hmm. Sometimes I find myself stranded in these situations. I think I'm talking to someone who uses small talk in the usual sense (say as an opener to something else... you don't always want to plow right into "I'm getting a sex change"), so I oblige. Only they turn out to be a habitual small-talker who will keep regurgitating minutia of their lives until you find a means of escape. I usually keep these people in my mental list of "do not engage". Unfortunately it often happens that the escape is not so graceful, or the person is later offended that I kind of avoid them now. Oh well.

    I decided a long time ago that I just don't need to be liked by everyone. If you feel you are offending people at a higher rate than is ideal for you, you'll just have to spend more time in meaningless conversations, I'm afraid to say. And yeah, work on being convincing. For me, at least, my emotions (i.e., totally bored mental state) tend to come out quite clearly on my face unless I focus on the person and really (shudder) try to empathize.
    I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.
    - Umberto Eco

    INTP e9 (sx/so/sp)
    Ti = Ne (41.3) > Si (31.2) ~ Ni (31.1) ~ Te (30.1) > Se (24.1) >> Fe (21) & Fi (20.1)

  7. #37
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by INTPness View Post
    LOL. Now it's just personal "shot taking". Essentially, "Look everyone - INTP's suck (uhh, at least moreso than ENTP's)!"
    Nah, more like "hey, he's being exactly the kind of needlessly hostile, arrogant ass that we've been talking about the entire thread, what a good demonstration"

  8. #38
    Senior Member INTPness's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hilo View Post
    Only they turn out to be a habitual small-talker who will keep regurgitating minutia of their lives until you find a means of escape. I usually keep these people in my mental list of "do not engage".


    I hate to say it, but the guy I had the conversation with was already in this category before this conversation took place.
    NTJ's are the only types that have ever made me feel emo.
    ENP's are the only types that have ever made me feel like a sensor.


    There are two great days in a person's life - the day we are born and the day we discover why. --William Barclay

  9. #39
    Senior Member ZPowers's Avatar
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    My hostile arrogance aside (it's probably up to others to confirm or deny that, since I imagine I'm biased), I'm gonna say that's a little hypocritical from the guy who has been yelling people are arrogant again and again, called the OP "prickish", and then insulted me to my face several times, essentially refuting my views on proper small talk etiquette (Seinfeldian though it may be) exclusively via ad hominem attacks. Maybe I've been hyperbolic, but I haven't straight up insulted people, much less multiple people.
    Does he want a pillow for his head?

  10. #40
    Senior Member INTPness's Avatar
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    "Hey guess what? I picked my nose last night for 15 minutes before I went to bed. It was awesome. You should have been there. Some were green and crusty, some were bloody. It was a real hoot. Now if I can just somehow convince the city that the accumulation of "stuff" that came out of my nose is worth 5 dollars, I could give it to them in leiu of them raising my bill by 5 dollars every month. Whadduya think about that?"

    I mean, I want to be able to be nice in these situations. I joke about it cuz it sometimes seems that meaningless, but I need to get to the point to where I'm like, "Dude, that's great! Let's go to your place, pick up the boogers, take them down to the city and see what the mayor will offer you for them. There's potential here! And I like the way you think! A true entreprenerial spirit."
    NTJ's are the only types that have ever made me feel emo.
    ENP's are the only types that have ever made me feel like a sensor.


    There are two great days in a person's life - the day we are born and the day we discover why. --William Barclay

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