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  1. #21
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Wow you guys take small talk seriously!
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  2. #22
    Pareo cattus Natrushka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    Something that further complicates small-talk for me is maintaining the balance: being friendly enough to avoid being disliked, but not so much so that people start to think we're becoming friends. I believe VERY strongly in keeping personal life and the workplace in their separate containers.
    <shudder> Yes, I understand. My husband's family is populated with Extroverts. Feeling Extrovers who think I am teh devil because I don't chit chat or like to talk on the phone.

    </hijack>

    This signature left intentionally blank.

    Really.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername View Post
    Steps to Mastering Small Talk:

    1. Identify your Small Talk Skills Person to emulate. This is someone whom you respect but still manages to pull off the Small Talk Conversation with ease. As an NT, this will likely be an NF. Probably an ENF.
    2. Spend time watching what they do.
    3. Spend time thinking about what they do.
    4. Perform, using your information that you have gathered, structured, and integrated into your working interaction system. You will be awesome. Just Perform like the Small Talk Skills Person, with your own NT minor flair to it.

    Things to remember:
    *Don't say anything offensive
    *Don't bring up topics where people feel very personally about (war, politics, religion, pro-life/choice, etc.)
    *Smile
    Input from an NF here.

    I agree with Usehername's advice (along with the advice of Haight and Jennifer in the early posts in this thread). Find someone good at small talk and study them. Watch how they approach new people, listen to how they initiate conversation, pay attention to what exactly they say, etc. In my day, I studied an ENFP and an ESTJ and learned quite a lot from them.

    One more piece of advice in addition to what was said above: Along the same lines with what JJJ suggested, invest some time in studying the things that interest the people around you. If your acquaintances routinely chat about a favorite TV series or soap opera or sport, then watch a couple episodes. Not because you expect to like the shows, but because it's an easy way to get up and talking with people and have something in common with them. It's a small investment of time with a big pay-off.

    If people are into celebrity news, then hunt down an Internet gossip column (try the Perez Hilton website) and take 5 minutes a day to scan the latest news. If people are into the stock market, then take 5 minutes to stop by the Wall Street Journal website. Again, it's a small investment of time that yields an easy entry into the world of small talk.

    Small talk isn't rocket science. You just need to pay attention to what interests others and do a little research so you can get on the same wavelength. (Then, once you're in the loop and have built a bit of a bond with the others, you'll gain rights to lead the conversation in more substantive directions.)

    FL

  4. #24
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    Input from an NF here.

    I agree with Usehername's advice (along with the advice of Haight and Jennifer in the early posts in this thread). Find someone good at small talk and listen to how they initiate conversation, what they actually say, etc. In my day, I studied an ENFP and an ESTJ and learned quite a lot from them.

    One more piece of advice in addition to what was said above: Along the same lines with what JJJ suggested, invest some time in studying the things that interest the people around you. If your acquaintances routinely chat about a favorite TV series or soap opera or sport, then watch a couple episodes. Not because you expect to like the shows, but because it's an easy way to get up and talking with people and have something in common with them. It's a small investment of time with a big pay-off.

    If people are into celebrity news, then hunt down an Internet gossip column (try the Perez Hilton website) and take 5 minutes a day to scan the latest news. If people are into the stock market, then take 5 minutes to stop by the Wall Street Journal website. Again, it's a small investment of time that yields an easy entry into the world of small talk.

    Small talk isn't rocket science. You just need to pay attention to what interests others and do a little research so you can get on the same wavelength. (Then, once you're in the loop and have built a bit of a bond with the others, you'll gain rights to lead the conversation in more substantive directions.)

    FL
    Perfect addition.

    Except, an NT would never voluntarily catch up on the latest celebrity gossip. They would rather sit in a corner and be seen as a jerk
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
    *Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
    C.S. Lewis

  5. #25
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    Input from an NF here.

    I agree with Usehername's advice (along with the advice of Haight and Jennifer in the early posts in this thread). Find someone good at small talk and study them. Watch how they approach new people, listen to how they initiate conversation, pay attention to what exactly they say, etc. In my day, I studied an ENFP and an ESTJ and learned quite a lot from them.

    One more piece of advice in addition to what was said above: Along the same lines with what JJJ suggested, invest some time in studying the things that interest the people around you. If your acquaintances routinely chat about a favorite TV series or soap opera or sport, then watch a couple episodes. Not because you expect to like the shows, but because it's an easy way to get up and talking with people and have something in common with them. It's a small investment of time with a big pay-off.

    If people are into celebrity news, then hunt down an Internet gossip column (try the Perez Hilton website) and take 5 minutes a day to scan the latest news. If people are into the stock market, then take 5 minutes to stop by the Wall Street Journal website. Again, it's a small investment of time that yields an easy entry into the world of small talk.

    Small talk isn't rocket science. You just need to pay attention to what interests others and do a little research so you can get on the same wavelength. (Then, once you're in the loop and have built a bit of a bond with the others, you'll gain rights to lead the conversation in more substantive directions.)

    FL
    Very true. I keep up with celebrity gossip and gloss over the sports section to have a working knowledge of what's happening. You have to find common points of interest to conversate about. If I feel like having a "deeper" conversation, I'll start with something trite like celebrity gossip and then try "What makes a person above the law?" (re: Paris Hilton's recent release from prison) or something else. You've got to understand that most people don't want to immediately jump into heavy conversation. They're just as nervous as you are about looking like an uneducated idiot. If my attempts at deeper conversation don't work then I back off. When you continually pound it in you're deleting all the positive responses you just got.

    When exiting a conversation I try to leave at a "high point" like everyone's laughing or something, that way you leave a better impression in people's minds because they are jovial when you exit. Don't wait until the conversation wanes and people are looking at their toes. Most people are just as eager to get out of the conversation as you are. You'd be surprised once one person says, "Well back to work, " or "Time for lunch" how quickly people disperse in relief.

    Keep your NT analyzing and nitpicking to a minimum because people DON'T WANT TO HEAR IT. I've seen NTs do this and people shut down on them. I don't think their intentions are to alienate, but it happens. I don't go around proselytizing about the injustices of the world unless I can tell people are in a mood to hear it. Don't get mad at them, it's the way the world works.

  6. #26
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername View Post
    Except, an NT would never voluntarily catch up on the latest celebrity gossip. They would rather sit in a corner and be seen as a jerk
    I know! I was thinking, "FL's post shows EXACTLY why an NT has trouble with small talk: They consider it beneath them."

    The attitude is one of the first things that has to change. I like Protean's post very much, about having realistic expectations and how to manage the process (use small talk as a springboard; leave on a high note rather than dragging things out to the end; DON'T CONSTANTLY CRITIQUE/ANALYZE as your style of conversation; etc.)

    It's very much about moderating your own style of conversation and getting some more variety into it, rather than always doing the "analytical/philosophical" thing.

    Streeeeeeetttttch.... you can do it!

    And let's face it, unless you're the Unabomber and want to live alone as a hermit, your life and insights can't effectively impact the world in positive ways without you learning how to interrelate with people on their level.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername View Post
    Except, an NT would never voluntarily catch up on the latest celebrity gossip. They would rather sit in a corner and be seen as a jerk
    What's wrong with hearing celebrity gossip once in a while? If it weren't for the ridiculous thing happening in celebrities' lives, I probably would've never come up with this idea!

    I just love researching on how shallow these celebrities are. And an increased hatred of them can generate some wild ideas!

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I know! I was thinking, "FL's post shows EXACTLY why an NT has trouble with small talk: They consider it beneath them."
    Don't get me wrong. I've never actually visited the perezhilton.com website. I've only heard about it.

    Personally, I allow only the deepest and most spiritual of thoughts into my mind. I don't think I've ever had a shallow thought in my life. For example, here's the deep thought that I'm pondering right now:

    I've decided to start believing in karma. That means I can do bad things to people all day long and I assume they deserve it.

    Pretty deep, right?

    FL

  9. #29
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    For example, here's the deep thought that I'm pondering right now: I've decided to start believing in karma. That means I can do bad things to people all day long and I assume they deserve it. Pretty deep, right?
    <look of amazement>

    I think you have just changed my life. (Why didn't I think of this first???)
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  10. #30
    Senior Member JivinJeffJones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    <look of amazement>

    I think you have just changed my life. (Why didn't I think of this first???)
    Bloody INTP karma chameleons.

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