Five Things I Wish People Knew About Talking To INFPs.

As an INFP, there are a few things I would like people to know about talking to us. Don’t get me wrong. Talking to an INFP is actually a very easy thing to do. We are good listeners, we probably won’t judge you harshly, and we are more worried about what we are going to say. However, I think some people might get the wrong impression of me and I wish I could give them a guidebook so they knew where I was coming from.

When I am Silent, I am Thinking.

I actually am a shy person, but often my silence isn’t due to shyness. Usually when I am silent, it is because I need time to form thoughts. There is a reason I hate being put on the spot, or having to go present something with inadequate preparation. Texting and writing is also more comfortable because I can backspace, erase, and think. I was terrible at raising my hand in school not only, because I felt like what I would have to say might not be important, but because by the time I thought of something I wanted to say, the topic had changed. I think that is why things like interviews can be so terrible for me, because sometimes they can throw unexpected questions, and I will have to gurgle out an answer that was obviously not well-thought out.

Small Talk is The Worst.

I often wonder if the societal rules established have been all made without any INFP input in mind. It’s customary to shoot a “Hello my name is” with some questions like “what’s your major?” or “what do you do?”. Maybe some talk about how your family is doing or what you are doing over holiday break. And we can’t forget the great talks about the weather. Yeah, it is all dull to me and feels very awkward and fake. I think I am allergic to formalities in general. Not only do I dislike small talk, I can be very bad at it, so I want to apologize for my awkwardness.

I’m Terrible at Initiating Friendships & Conversations.

When I meet someone, it will take a pretty long time to feel comfortable around them. With some people, I just know I will never get there because we don’t have much in common. But with a lot of people, I do want to be friends, but I probably will need a lot of time to know you actually want to be friends with me. I often second guess all my interactions and think maybe they don’t actually like me. There’s a reason most of the friends I have came from people who were persistent with me. I appreciate that and it’s a nice balance. However, once I am comfortable and we are friends, I will probably bother you with messages all day.

I am Interested. I Just Don’t Know What to Say.

If someone is talking to me, especially if I am not comfortable with them yet, I can be really awkward and not know what to say. When I am with my friends and family, I am incredibly weird and know it is acceptable. With strangers, I have to appear normal, and it’s a whole different ball game. I really can’t help always wanting to make a sarcastic remark or deadpan joke, but I restrain myself. Luckily, with people who love to talk, they don’t really care if you do not say much. I can get away with a smile, nod, laugh, and “uh huh”.  Often, I find other people talking about themselves very interesting, and I like it way better than having to talk about myself.

You Can Tell Me Your Weird Thoughts.

I would just like to inform people that all that small talk is boring to me, but if you have some weird things to talk about, I am down. I wish people knew they could be comfortable with telling me almost anything. It would end up being a way more interesting conversation and I will know we can get along.

 

To my fellow INFPs, let me know if you relate, or if there are other things you wish people knew!

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8 Comments

  1. I think I might put this on a t-shirt. 🙂
    Love the point on small talk. Wasn’t sure if it was just me or all INFPS. Talking without actually saying anything drives me to anger sometimes. Thanks. Nice to know I’m not alone.

  2. I hate when people try to talk to me when i want to be alone. But when i am in good mood and functional, i always use small talks to break the awkward moment. For me, its a way to survive.

  3. i’m a classic infp and have learned that small talk is necessary to soften the conversation mood. i normally will then ‘steer’ the conversation into deeper topics (which infps all love to do)

    for example, to break the ice, i would ask something like “seriously hot today isn’t it?” and then people would agree or disagree, and then i’ll lead on to something like “air-conditioning units are the bomb. can’t live without it. are you the sort of person that totally needs to sleep in coolness?’ which then leads on to stuff like “are you the sort of person that totally needs material comforts in their lives or do you prefer a spartan living?”

    INFPs dislike smalltalk, so, wade out of it and dive into deeper conversation waters!

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