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  1. #41
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cerpin_Taxt View Post
    Let me just say, this is one of the funniest thread title's I've ever read.
    I despise small talk and refuse to indulge in it in a active manner, but if people try to talk to me I let them--for a time. I find nodding works, and a wry grin--as long as it dosen't look maniacal. So this instead of this .

    Does posting in this thread count as small talk, if it does I think i'm going to have to go have a shower now.
    OK, I'm seriously not understanding. Why is small talk conceptually something so difficult for NTs to wrap their heads around? I've seen this kind of thread far too often and it boggles my mind. Would you prefer to walk up to people and automatically start talking about, I don't know, science, math, philosophy, whatever, or would you rather not talk at all?

    I understand that you all may have difficulty finding common subjects of interest, but the outright disdain for it is baffling. No one takes it as seriously as you all do. As Geoff and Rivercrow said, it's purpose is to ease social interaction. If you want more than small talk then find a group that you don't have to engage in it. But judging by the amount of chatter I see on here and INTPc, it's something yall heartily like to engage in also. Extrapolate!

  2. #42
    shoshaku jushaku rivercrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    OK, I'm seriously not understanding. Why is small talk conceptually something so difficult for NTs to wrap their heads around? I've seen this kind of thread far too often and it boggles my mind. Would you prefer to walk up to people and automatically start talking about, I don't know, science, math, philosophy, whatever, or would you rather not talk at all?

    I understand that you all may have difficulty finding common subjects of interest, but the outright disdain for it is baffling. No one takes it as seriously as you all do. As Geoff and Rivercrow said, it's purpose is to ease social interaction. If you want more than small talk then find a group that you don't have to engage in it. But judging by the amount of chatter I see on here and INTPc, it's something yall heartily like to engage in also. Extrapolate!


    When NTs meet, they connect, and there is no or very little small talk. I have carried on lengthly conversations with other NTs about "big" subjects without ever getting into the "Hi, how are you? I'm blah from blahblah corp, am married and have 2.5 kids" build-up. We just go right for the main event.

    Now, if I don't have anything to say, my inclination is to not say anything. Or, if I am off in my inner world, I literally forget about the outside world. Either way, if I run into you in passing, my first impulse will be to 1) not say anything or 2) I may not even notice you are there. Neither of those are meant as slights--it's just a thing.

    If I have an inner thread going and I stop to natter, I may lose that thread. It might take me a while to find it again. That's frustrating. I've only come to understand the need for small talk the last few years. I've also gotten better at suspending inner threads so I can engage with people.

    Your other comment--"But judging by the amount of chatter I see on here and INTPc, it's something yall heartily like to engage in also"--is something that I think is related to age, situation, and venue. I have a theory that younger NTs have a harder time with fluff and small talk than do older NTs. I'm always interested in the age of people who worry the small talk issue. So far, my hypothesis is right.

    Keep in mind too that many of us are introverts. Online chatter seems much easier for introverts to deal with than verbal chatter. We can choose when and how to engage. Many of us are much more comfortable with written communication.

    Make sense?
    Who rises in the morning, looks in the mirror and says, "I think I will do something stupid today?" -- James Hollis
    If people never did silly things nothing intelligent would ever get done. -- Ludwig Wittgenstein
    Whaling is illegal in Oklahoma.

  3. #43
    Pareo cattus Natrushka's Avatar
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    It comes down to the energy expended when engaging others (for me). Engaging people that I know I have nothing in common with - I am thinking of my coworkers right now, feels like a waste of energy. I know rationally that sounds egotistical. My time is my time, I have things that I have to do with it like be productive at work, keep my home clean, make sure the cats are fed and watered, etc. That little time I have left that's truly mine to do with as I choose is precious. Spending it making small talk with people I don't much like is a waste of that time.

    I realize small talk is part of the grease that makes the office go 'round so I do it now, I see that it can be useful (to me). I've met and chatted with my neighbours. I don't like it, and if I had my way I wouldnt do it. I feel like I'm acting when I do it. Like I'm being fake. And I detest that, too.

    And rivercrow, I do think age plays a factor. I know I've mellowed with age. Scary when I think of how anti social I can be that this is an improvement.

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  4. #44
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Natrushka View Post
    Engaging people that I know I have nothing in common with - I am thinking of my coworkers right now, feels like a waste of energy. I know rationally that sounds egotistical. My time is my time, I have things that I have to do with it like be productive at work, keep my home clean, make sure the cats are fed and watered, etc. That little time I have left that's truly mine to do with as I choose is precious. Spending it making small talk with people I don't much like is a waste of that time.
    I think that is a very valid point. The whole thing is rather much of a trade-off, and the best thing we can do is be aware of the probable results of our choices, and then choose the option we are best able to live with.

    I've met and chatted with my neighbours. I don't like it, and if I had my way I wouldnt do it. I feel like I'm acting when I do it. Like I'm being fake. And I detest that, too.
    That sort of thing always seems to muck about with NTs' heads. We hate being fake and it impacts our ability to relate. (I think I just told someone else about how hard is it to try to change my moods once I get in them, because it feels like a lack of integrity to me -- like I am being fake. It doesn't mean I shouldn't try sometimes, but I still have to accept that often I feel false if I try.)

    And rivercrow, I do think age plays a factor. I know I've mellowed with age. Scary when I think of how anti social I can be that this is an improvement.


    Well, you seem to be doing fine right now. Then again, this isn't "inter-office small talk" and you are with some like minds, so that makes a great deal of difference, I think. I've noticed the age thing too. Part of it is that over the years we just get some experience and develop some confidence/proficiency in our abilities, which helps a great deal.
    "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

  5. #45
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    Would you prefer to walk up to people and automatically start talking about, I don't know, science, math, philosophy, whatever...?
    Frankly yes.

  6. #46
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    lol I didn't read the name before I read the quote (proteanmix); my first thought was...


    "well... that's certainly not an NT talking in this thread!"

    lol. I totally would rather dive into the deep end. Actually, I have done that. You hvae to be careful with whom you do it, though, b/c some people get really weirded out.
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    *Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
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  7. #47
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    OK, I'm seriously not understanding. Why is small talk conceptually something so difficult for NTs to wrap their heads around? I've seen this kind of thread far too often and it boggles my mind. Would you prefer to walk up to people and automatically start talking about, I don't know, science, math, philosophy, whatever, or would you rather not talk at all?

    I understand that you all may have difficulty finding common subjects of interest, but the outright disdain for it is baffling. No one takes it as seriously as you all do. As Geoff and Rivercrow said, it's purpose is to ease social interaction. If you want more than small talk then find a group that you don't have to engage in it. But judging by the amount of chatter I see on here and INTPc, it's something yall heartily like to engage in also. Extrapolate!
    Oou. I wonder what you think about NT's flirting habits! (I wonder what NT's flirting habits are! I've been on another forum and discussed INTJ flirting...) time for a new thread!
    *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

  8. #48
    Pareo cattus Natrushka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post

    Well, you seem to be doing fine right now. Then again, this isn't "inter-office small talk" and you are with some like minds, so that makes a great deal of difference, I think. I've noticed the age thing too. Part of it is that over the years we just get some experience and develop some confidence/proficiency in our abilities, which helps a great deal.

    Online is so different from 'small talk'. You're in control, you decide if you engage or not. You can back out at any time. Hell, I backed out of three posts here this morning!

    Re NT flirting. Based on past personal experience, it's witty, direct and only works on people who get the wit. Otherwise it turns into something less nice

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  9. #49

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    At the times I manage to jump the fence of shyness and indifference, I make small talk by “mind talking” which is basically saying whatever comes to mind, without trying to revise it too much beforehand. The only danger I’ve had in doing this is its less effective when your not comfortable, and you might say something too inappropriate around people who aren’t quite friends yet. For me, it was largely about reciting jokes of a skit nature amongst friends; it gets people to jump in and add to it as well.

    But I’ll always prefer written (online) communication. That extra time to structure your words and the normalcy for the person you’re talking to wait for your response (without transcending awkward silence) is the perfect environment.

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  10. #50
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Natrushka View Post
    Online is so different from 'small talk'. You're in control, you decide if you engage or not. You can back out at any time. Hell, I backed out of three posts here this morning!
    Yes, you're right about that -- there's a lot more control online, and you don't even have to worry about body language or "real time" responses, which really takes off the pressure.

    Still, it's a nice intermediate start / practice ground.
    "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

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