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  1. #1
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    Unhappy Introverts: Sounding stupid during 'small talk'?

    Hi guys, I'm sorry that my first post has to be a rant about myself doing very badly in small talk. It does not come easy to me, because I don't talk much unless I have a point to make.

    Recently, I have been trying to talk more because this characteristic of mine has always resulted in some sort of emotional distance between myself and just about everyone else I know. Now, here's the thing. Although this trick has helped with my 'quietness', I now often end up saying the stupidest things possible. It is as if forcing myself to talk more is making me sound stupid because I resort to thinking while talking, which doesn't work very well.

    Do you guys have the same problem? In this case, is it quantity over quality? After all, it is small talk.

    I know I definitely don't want to sound nonsensical and retarded. But if I keep my old ways, I am forever going to be deemed 'too serious' and 'not fun' by everyone in contact with me. What should I do?

  2. #2
    resonance entropie's Avatar
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    Well you have a connection here: by increasing the amount you say and talk about, you too will increase the bullshit you talk about. Cause especially smalltalk requires you to talk alot and thats just not possible for someone who likes to express himself precisely, quick and too the point.

    Besides that the amount of people thinking you are intelligent will shrink the more you talk. Because people most often find the mysterious types highly intelligent, because they have no other category to put them into.

    The problem you are seeking isnt to become more sociable, you'll be that all on your own if you want. Being more sociable doesnt involve to change your personality, on the contrary, people even respect you if you are weird as long as they aint afraid to talk to you or your ego is too big.

    You need to become more self-confident in your abilities and learn that you are just like everybody else out there. Having a more sensitive way to see things, a more fine-tuned vision, lets you see often the billion things that can go wrong in a situation, you have an ability that many others do not. Still its your task to turn that disadvantage into an advantage and to say to yourself, even if everybody is laughing at you, because you did something stupid, learn to laugh about it aswell, you'll do a lot of stupid things in life.
    [URL]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEBvftJUwDw&t=0s[/URL]

  3. #3
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    Also consider the possibility that you don't sound stupid while attempting small talk, you just feel stupid. If you pay attention, it's amazing how much inane banter is vocalized everyday and noone bats an eyelid. Once you realize the point: not exchanging information, but making connections.. then maybe you'll feel more comfortable with the process.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by prislee View Post
    Hi guys, I'm sorry that my first post has to be a rant about myself doing very badly in small talk. It does not come easy to me, because I don't talk much unless I have a point to make.

    Recently, I have been trying to talk more because this characteristic of mine has always resulted in some sort of emotional distance between myself and just about everyone else I know. Now, here's the thing. Although this trick has helped with my 'quietness', I now often end up saying the stupidest things possible. It is as if forcing myself to talk more is making me sound stupid because I resort to thinking while talking, which doesn't work very well.

    Do you guys have the same problem? In this case, is it quantity over quality? After all, it is small talk.

    I know I definitely don't want to sound nonsensical and retarded. But if I keep my old ways, I am forever going to be deemed 'too serious' and 'not fun' by everyone in contact with me. What should I do?
    Most of my INTJ friends have the same problem that you have here. A couple will "indulge" in small talk for awhile... but it is always as a means to an end in achieving some mysterious goal/project they are working on. Ie, I need to get this person on board with what I want to accomplish... and if that means I have to sit for 5 minutes and talk about the weather then so be it... So long as the actual SRS BSNS project gets started promptly afterwards.

    And for the record... most of "small talk" is kinda dumb. I can be pretty good at it since it's just a part of my job working with lots of women... but I am not particularly fond of it.

  5. #5
    (blankpages) Xenon's Avatar
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    Small talk is not something I enjoy or engage in much, but I've become less noticeably awkward for the most part. At least I don't get the "you're soooo quiet!" type of comments anymore. I still find it rather boring, and frustrating when I want more from people and don't know how to move into it. So I might not be the best person to ask, but I'll give you my thoughts anyways.

    Quote Originally Posted by Qlippoth View Post
    Also consider the possibility that you don't sound stupid while attempting small talk, you just feel stupid. If you pay attention, it's amazing how much inane banter is vocalized everyday and noone bats an eyelid. Once you realize the point: not exchanging information, but making connections.. then maybe you'll feel more comfortable with the process.
    Yeah, this. I've learned that a lot of people just say anything to fill up the gaps, and most of it isn't particularly interesting and doesn't need to be said for any reason other than to have something to say. If you listen in on other people's "small talk", my guess is you'll notice they say a lot of things that you'd likely keep to yourself, thinking they're banal or pointless or whatever. Plenty of people don't even give it a second thought; they just say it anyway. Sometimes it works well and sometimes it doesn't, and they don't worry about the times it doesn't.

    It might help to change the way you think about these exchanges. They're more about connecting with people, getting comfortable, building a rapport. It doesn't need to be particularly interesting or profound.

    Also, if you used to be very quiet and have just started trying to change that, it's pretty much expected that you won't be great at conversation yet. It takes some practice and struggle until you get comfortable. I've heard a lot of people say they've needed to go through a period of awkwardness to learn decent social skills.

    There's a website called Succeed Socially that's full of advice on social skills. Here are some articles that seem relevant to your situation:

    The Point of Small Talk
    How to be Less Quiet in Conversations
    Thoughts on How to Make Conversation
    Why It's Practical to Know About Things Others Care About

  6. #6
    Senior Member INTPness's Avatar
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    What? You guys don't like small talk? Small talk is the best!
    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

  7. #7
    morose bourgeoisie
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    I like small talk. You can't talk about serious things all fo the time. It's a way of establishing that you are friendly and accepting.
    Just smile a bit, don't frown. Be OPEN. Body language is more important than talk. Have fun, that's all. Talk about Kant when you're at school...

  8. #8
    Senior Member INTPness's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nebbykoo View Post
    I like small talk. You can't talk about serious things all fo the time. It's a way of establishing that you are friendly and accepting.
    Just smile a bit, don't frown. Be OPEN. Body language is more important than talk. Have fun, that's all. Talk about Kant when you're at school...
    What's the weather like in your home town today? Did you hear about Sarah Palin and her Paul Revere comments? Jennifer Aniston has a new boyfriend - word on the streets is that they are "very affectionate" with each other.
    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. #9
    morose bourgeoisie
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    Quote Originally Posted by INTPness View Post
    What's the weather like in your home town today? Did you hear about Sarah Palin and her Paul Revere comments? Jennifer Aniston has a new boyfriend - word on the streets is that they are "very affectionate" with each other.
    OK, let's practice: It's sunny and warm today, in stark contract to the last 6 months! I'm loving it!
    Sarah Palin is an entertaining fool. Don't'ya know!
    I hope Jennifer Aniston is happy. Actually, I don't care. At least she's gettin' some...unlike myself.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by prislee View Post
    Hi guys, I'm sorry that my first post has to be a rant about myself doing very badly in small talk. It does not come easy to me, because I don't talk much unless I have a point to make.

    Recently, I have been trying to talk more because this characteristic of mine has always resulted in some sort of emotional distance between myself and just about everyone else I know. Now, here's the thing. Although this trick has helped with my 'quietness', I now often end up saying the stupidest things possible. It is as if forcing myself to talk more is making me sound stupid because I resort to thinking while talking, which doesn't work very well.

    Do you guys have the same problem? In this case, is it quantity over quality? After all, it is small talk.

    I know I definitely don't want to sound nonsensical and retarded. But if I keep my old ways, I am forever going to be deemed 'too serious' and 'not fun' by everyone in contact with me. What should I do?
    I used to worry about that too when I was younger. Don't worry about trying to appear to be fun to everyone. It's not INTJ's expertise. I just keep a few lines for small talk. Something like: How are you, I'm fine, thank you, etc... If it's anything more than that, it would be a deep one-on-one conversation, which is something you should be able to do better.
    "It is empty and meaningless that it is empty and meaningless".

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