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Thread: Am I DOOOOOOOOMED?! (to suck at socialising)

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    24601 ClownsandEntropy's Avatar
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    Default Am I DOOOOOOOOMED?! (to suck at socialising)

    Typical of an LII, I have what I would describe as sub-par conversational skills. I feel awkward starting conversation, struggle to keep conversation going even with close friends, and have been told a few times that I seem a bit "odd" as a first impression ("when I first met you I thought you were pretty weird...but then I realised it's a good kind of weird."). I fear that I'll never be able to talk to everyone anywhere, which for some reason I really wish I was able to do (role-Fi?).

    At the same time, I think it would be cool to be a management consultant. To summarise, they go into failing companies and provide a third-party perspective on what the underlying problem is, researching a solution, and pitching their solution to them. They may then hang around to see the implementation of it. I like the exposure to lots of different industries- I think it will give me good versatility, contacts and ideas when I leave. The analysis and solution-crafting sounds intellectually stimulating too.

    The issue is that as part of this job, I need to be good at talking to people. When an interviewer is screening candidates, they're always asking, "Is this someone I would want to spend an hour stuck in an airport with." And in many cases, the answer is probably no. ("Do you want a coffee? No...okay I'm just gonna sit here and read.")

    I'm planning to try and improve...somehow (haven't thought that far ahead), but I'm kinda worried that as an LII I'm forever doomed to lack the people-ness to talk to others. Both Filatova:

    Usually LII communicates from a large psychological distance and does not like excessive familiarity. People, with whom he feels close, are usually few and mostly his childhood friends. In this, the weakness of his ethical function also manifests itself.

    Thus, as a child and as an adult, she fails to develop and maintain many friendships. In this the weakness of the ethical function manifests itself.
    and Gulenko
    Insufficiently flexible in relations. Prefers to talk about what interests him and ignores extraneous details in conversation with a partner. If the topic is not interesting for him, tries to avoid having a conversation because he doesn't want to waste time.
    make it sound like be a bad socialiser is one of the many joys of being LII. So I'm not sure if I should give up on my dream, or believe and then achieve
    Warm Regards,



    Clowns & Entropy

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    Haikus Beautiful sky's Avatar
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    Yeah lol

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    the flying pig Capitalist Pig's Avatar
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    http://www.wikihow.com/Be-a-People-Person

    Personally, I abhor small talk and prefer not to be engaged by strangers or to engage myself. Sometimes I will, though, because I happen to overhear a conversation or idle exchange and I have some dire need to share whatever knowledge I have on that particular issue (as tersely and as politely as possible, of course). My job also requires me to have something of a personality when interacting with customers and fielding their questions. Even on days where I'm mad at the world, or crippled by some upsetting news or developing situation in my personal affairs, at work I have to "put on the happy face" and suck it up.

    It's easy once you get in the swing of it. Conversation is a really simple matter that doesn't really require a lot of thought or deep introspection. You'll find that people who are particularly talkative seem pleased with just the sound of their own voice, and will survive on your apparent attentiveness (even if you're only pretending), and endless supply of uh-huhs, okays, and that's interestings. Other people will be more keen to these kinds of replies as an unspoken message that you've lost interest, or are not comfortable being engaged, and will move on.

    It sounds like the job you're after is mostly talking shop. If so, then conversation should be all the easier the more knowledgeable (and therefore confident) you are in what you're talking about. However, I would still advise reading the link above and taking the advice.

    One thing not mentioned that I found has been useful for me, is to capitalize on your talents. Are you good at finding the humor in things (i.e., by pointing out ironies or employing humorous metaphors)? If so, use that! People like to laugh, and it will make you appear charismatic. And don't be afraid to profile people. It's a lot easier to engage people when you understand your demographic. Like, for example, lots of men enjoy sports (personally, I don't, so watch out for us). If you don't enjoy sports, then I don't recommend trying to delve into it. You won't get very far. And of course, weather is the #1 fallback topic for generating small talk.

    The more you interact with the same people, the easier it will be to pin down their interests and hobbies and the easier it will be for you to have a conversation with them (provided you can connect with them on any of those levels).

    Just remember: You have nothing to fear by talking to someone! Unless that person is really crazy and thinks you're their CIA handler ready to implant a new microchip in their belly button or something. In which case, run. Very far. Do not look back!

    Edited to add: I would also stop thinking of your abilities in terms of your type profile. It's only going to reinforce your self-delusion that you are socially incompetent and incapable of ever achieving success at connecting with total strangers. People are social creatures by design, it's what makes society and civilization possible. Don't insulate yourself with excuses for why you think you can't do something. It's counter-productive and you will undermine your ability to progress. Typology isn't science and has a very limited scope on what makes us people. Your best bet for learning how to understand people is to actually experiment in the field and put yourself out there in the world. Books and pop psychology will only get you so far, and may even be misleading by spreading negative stereotypes and generalized characterizations. People are individuals, not statistical aggregates.
    Last edited by Capitalist Pig; 01-14-2014 at 08:48 AM.

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    Idiot Iris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capitalist Pig View Post
    http://www.wikihow.com/Be-a-People-Person

    Personally, I abhor small talk and prefer not to be engaged by strangers or to engage myself. Sometimes I will, though, because I happen to overhear a conversation or idle exchange and I have some dire need to share whatever knowledge I have on that particular issue (as tersely and as politely as possible, of course). My job also requires me to have something of a personality when interacting with customers and fielding their questions. Even on days where I'm mad at the world, or crippled by some upsetting news or developing situation in my personal affairs, at work I have to "put on the happy face" and suck it up.

    It's easy once you get in the swing of it. Conversation is a really simple matter that doesn't really require a lot of thought or deep introspection. You'll find that people who are particularly talkative seem pleased with just the sound of their own voice, and will survive on your apparent attentiveness (even if you're only pretending), and endless supply of uh-huhs, okays, and that's interestings. Other people will be more keen to these kinds of replies as an unspoken message that you've lost interest, or are not comfortable being engaged, and will move on.

    It sounds like the job you're after is mostly talking shop. If so, then conversation should be all the easier the more knowledgeable (and therefore confident) you are in what you're talking about. However, I would still advise reading the link above and taking the advice.

    One thing not mentioned that I found has been useful for me, is to capitalize on your talents. Are you good at finding the humor in things (i.e., by pointing out ironies or employing humorous metaphors)? If so, use that! People like to laugh, and it will make you appear charismatic. And don't be afraid to profile people. It's a lot easier to engage people when you understand your demographic. Like, for example, lots of men enjoy sports (personally, I don't, so watch out for us). If you don't enjoy sports, then I don't recommend trying to delve into it. You won't get very far. And of course, weather is the #1 fallback topic for generating small talk.

    The more you interact with the same people, the easier it will be to pin down their interests and hobbies and the easier it will be for you to have a conversation with them (provided you can connect with them on any of those levels).

    Just remember: You have nothing to fear by talking to someone! Unless that person is really crazy and thinks you're their CIA handler ready to implant a new microchip in their belly button or something. In which case, run. Very far. Do not look back!

    Edited to add: I would also stop thinking of your abilities in terms of your type profile. It's only going to reinforce your self-delusion that you are socially incompetent and incapable of ever achieving success at connecting with total strangers. People are social creatures by design, it's what makes society and civilization possible. Don't insulate yourself with excuses for why you think you can't do something. It's counter-productive and you will undermine your ability to progress. Typology isn't science and has a very limited scope on what makes us people. Your best bet for learning how to understand people is to actually experiment in the field and put yourself out there in the world. Books and pop psychology will only get you so far, and may even be misleading by spreading negative stereotypes and generalized characterizations. People are individuals, not statistical aggregates.
    That is great advice. Also, if my corporation was failing, I would be looking for analysis skills, not so much personality, in a consultant.
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  5. #5
    24601 ClownsandEntropy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capitalist Pig View Post
    CP says useful stuff
    Wow, thanks for the advice! Really interesting, an underlying message - it seems - is just practise and I'll work it out, which is good because that's what I was hoping to do. I was worried because my initial attempts when badly (as expected) I began to think about whether people weren't really my "strength". It's like the 80/20 principle, where everyone has their strengths so you should focus most on those, and get the others up to an average standard. And I wasn't sure how high this average standard would be before I start hitting massive struggles. So I started to wonder if other people are/have been in similar situations and what they're doing/what they did about it. It's a self-imposed limiting barriers too, of course, to protect me from the burden and guilt of feeling I need to learn to talk to people, and feeling bad when I have an awkward conversation. But it's also a fair point about strengths/weaknesses.

    It's true that when we're down to business it's a lot of technical stuff, but there's also the sales part of the job: We need to market the firm and convince other businesses that they need us to solve their problems. Then once we're there, we need to gain their trust by becoming "one of them" so as to convince them on an emotional level that this will work. Finally, we need to be able to get respect from whatever divisions we end up working directly in if we're sent to implement the solution.

    It seems like a job requiring a fair amount of social aptitude, but today I was thinking that most jobs these days do anyway. Even a completely solitary job working as an, say, internal machine operator needs to make contacts when they leave their job, or to know what skills will be important in the future.
    Warm Regards,



    Clowns & Entropy

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    xerx's Avatar
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    Just do whatever you want. Not playing because you're over-interpreting your moves is what leads to bad social skills. Don't be mean or step on people's toes though; people will adapt to your style as long as it's in the range of normal. Well, you can step on people's toes a little if you want to be edgy. Just cover your bases with some plausible deniability.

    Don't be afraid of looking like a fool, this stuff takes practice, and doing something embarrassing can sometimes make you endearing.
    It was in the reign of George III that the aforesaid personages lived and quarrelled; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor, they are all equal now.

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