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31-10-2019, 11:04   #16
completedit
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It's most of it TBH.

You've got to be able to be a good listener and not dominate conversation. If you go on a date for example, that is extremely important.

Obviously you want to put some of your own observations and opinions on a particular topic as well; it's essential that you have your own takes on things.

I personally don't think it's true at all that all people like to hear others opinion; a lot only like those opinions that tally with there own.

In those cases where I have had to make general chit chat I actively listen, state my position, then try to steer the conversation onto other topics after a time.

So ironically by being a good listener you actually will be more open and perceived as such to being more talkative in general.
This is good advice for people who love to hear themselves speak but if you don’t instigate enough information, you don’t feel like yourself. I want to be proactive and be the spark of the conversation, not the person who just fills the silence for the other speaker. It’s a much more enjoyable conversation if everyone is contributing. With only one person nodding in agreement and making short quips, the conversation gets dull, time creeps along and it will fizzle out.
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31-10-2019, 11:27   #17
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....But even then, the thoughts in my head are often one dimensional and I don’t find myself really thinking about much at all.
There is much good advice in the thread already. However, the most important thing, in my view, is to be passionate. If you are really interested in some topic, read and talk about it.

People who dominate conversations are passionate about something -- either the topic itself, or hearing themselves talk, or trying to impress others, any of a myriad reasons.
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31-10-2019, 11:45   #18
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Let me start by saying something that's ignored too often: not everyone has the character to be always the centre of the attention. Some people are more introverted, thoughtful, and are simply not comfortable with "moving air" just to hear their own voice and give themselves an ego boost. And you know what, it's entirely OK. It makes it so that, when you have something to say, it matters.

But yeah, most people are extroverts and won't understand that - you'll just be "quiet" or "boring". The best counter to this, I found out, is...well AGE, or "experience", if you prefer. Seriously.

By nature, I am a rather extreme introvert - I am solidly in the "INTJ" category on the Myers-Briggs chart. Which means, the worst possible for casual conversation and "chipping in" in a group...and yep, I've experienced the brunt of it growing up; It can easily be said that, as a kid and during my early college days, whenever somebody said "it was 4 or 5 people", I was the "or 5", most folks barely even noticing I was there.

Over the years, however, by listening and observing, I figured out what "most people" expect - if you met me in person, you'd call me a royal bullsh1ter about being an introvert - but I still am. Heavily.

Simply, I've learnt how to "adapt" to the crowd I'm in; Not taking myself too seriously goes a long way - sometimes a good mix of a "show of competency" and self-humor can go a loooong way. Knowledge helps MASSIVELY - being able to converse and joke about a wide array of topics is vital. I tend to avoid politics, religion or "social matters" on which people have strong feelings (if the discussion steers towards those, I simply leave or just listen in), but most other stuff, game on.

If you're somebody who loves to be "withing his/her thoughts", then this will be easy to you - read, absorb information, understand what makes people tick. If, say, you know nothing about football, look into it, understand why so many people around the world love it. Same with anything else.

This alone will be a great help, because you will KNOW what to say. With time, you'll start to get comfortable and the rest will come naturally. Just one word of advice - if you are an introvert and love reading/learning, well, learn to restrain yourself. You'll often be in a situation were somebody thinks he/she is an "expert" on something they love, and you realize they barely know anything on the subject and they're basically air-blowing clowns. In such situation...LET THEM BE. Else, you'll immediately pass for a showoff and fall back into the "boring know-it-all" category.

Now...I know this all sounds like, well, some sort of experiment...because it is at its core. As an introvert in a society that wildly encourages and favours extroversion, you can only count on your observation and attention.

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31-10-2019, 11:57   #19
victor8600
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....understand what makes people tick....

Now...I know this all sounds like, well, some sort of experiment...because it is at its core. As an introvert in a society that wildly encourages and favours extroversion, you can only count on your observation and attention.
Sorry to derail the topic, but why? Why talk about something not relevant to you just to appear talkative?

Please don't take it a wrong way, I am not criticizing you. What perks did you get since adopting your approach?
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31-10-2019, 12:11   #20
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Sorry to derail the topic, but why? Why talk about something not relevant to you just to appear talkative?

Please don't take it a wrong way, I am not criticizing you. What perks did you get since adopting your approach?
That's the central matter of the entire discussion, isn't it? If you can only talk about things you like/care about/have an interest in, by definition you're cut out of the vast majority of social discussions.

Consider I'm talking about a group here - 1-to-1 chats are a different matter; The very reason two people would have an 1-to-1 discussion that goes past the "how are you? Nice weather eh?" phase, is because they have something in common to talk about.

When 3 or more people are involved, the topic of a discussion usually falls into 5 "mainstream" categories: your local environment (office, school, gym etc.), TV/Movies, food/drink, current affairs and local favourite sport (e.g football in Europe).

I have very little interest in these - my things would be science (especially space exploration/astronomy), cars, motorsports, games, model building. I know a few people with similar interests, and we often talk about these in smaller contexts, but say a table discussion over lunch in the work canteen...I'd be sitting there chomping on my sandwich without speaking a word 95% of the times if I waited for these subjects to come up. I know a few people who are exactly like that, and I was one until about 10 years ago.

Which is exactly the problem we're talking about...being "there", present in a social way, in discussions that are not necessarily your thing.

As for the "perks" - in an extremely extroverted-biased society, it's IMMENSELY important to be perceived; Ultimately you can be as competent, educated, smart and brilliant as you wish, unless others acknowledge it, you're going nowhere. You'll remain invisible. How many managers, directors and people high up in the career path have you met, for example, who are shy, quiet wall flowers?

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31-10-2019, 12:35   #21
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.....Ultimately you can be as competent, educated, smart and brilliant as you wish, unless others acknowledge it, you're going nowhere. You'll remain invisible. How many managers, directors and people high up in the career path have you met, for example, who are shy, quiet wall flowers?
Ah yes, this is correct. But generally people are progressing up the career ladder due to being visible and aggressively pursuing goals in their work, not by being pleasant conversationalists.

Still, you may be right -- if one overcomes the shyness of talking to others and becomes a master in talking about nothing, it may help with work meetings as well.
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31-10-2019, 16:06   #22
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But yeah, most people are extroverts and won't understand that - you'll just be "quiet" or "boring". The best counter to this, I found out, is...well AGE, or "experience", if you prefer. Seriously.
Traditionally, most men were extroverts, but there was always a fairly large number of introverts too. They were just harder to notice since they were off writing poetry or hiding somewhere to avoid the attentions of the extroverts.

However, social and cultural norms are changing drastically. The attentions of psychology and feminism in education is pushing many males into the more introvert zone, not because they're naturally so, but because it's the safer option. The same can be said for those who have entered dating ages and found that a more extrovert attitude is being met, sometimes, with condemnation for being too "aggressive".

Experience is king. Knowledge is the queen. Knowledge without personal experience is next to useless.

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By nature, I am a rather extreme introvert - I am solidly in the "INTJ" category on the Myers-Briggs chart.
And I'm classified as a sociopath, with psychopathic tendencies. Psychological testing is BS. It fails to take into account desire, personal improvement, and experience. Don't fall into the trap of accepting labels from the area of mainstream psychology, because these researchers are essentially making up badly "researched" crap, and barely understand their own claims.

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Over the years, however, by listening and observing, I figured out what "most people" expect - if you met me in person, you'd call me a royal bullsh1ter about being an introvert - but I still am. Heavily.
Because you're judged by your exterior behavior. They're unable and unwilling to really consider who you are inside. Except to make assumptions about who you are based on scant evidence. People are essentially selfish creatures, basing the reality of the world through the lens of their own perception. That perception can expand through learning, but it's still being interpreted based on their own values and bias.

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Simply, I've learnt how to "adapt" to the crowd I'm in; Not taking myself too seriously goes a long way - sometimes a good mix of a "show of competency" and self-humor can go a loooong way. Knowledge helps MASSIVELY -
If you're somebody who loves to be "withing his/her thoughts", then this will be easy to you - read, absorb information, understand what makes people tick. If, say, you know nothing about football, look into it, understand why so many people around the world love it. Same with anything else.
Agreed... although I'd suggest recording your impressions at least for the first year, because your mind is not attuned to remembering such information about others. Instead, your mind is on the parameters that you've previously trained it to be... doing the above will change those parameters over time, but you'll still struggle to remember most of the info.

Know and understand your audience. Determine the types of people who prefer particular types of topics, and also the type of behavior from you, that will elicit the best kind of responses.

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Just one word of advice - if you are an introvert and love reading/learning, well, learn to restrain yourself. You'll often be in a situation were somebody thinks he/she is an "expert" on something they love, and you realize they barely know anything on the subject and they're basically air-blowing clowns. In such situation...LET THEM BE. Else, you'll immediately pass for a showoff and fall back into the "boring know-it-all" category.
Very situational. Sometimes you need to shoot other people down to assert your position within group hierarchy. You need to judge the value in allowing them to BS versus what it will cost you. Also whether you're considered a "showoff" depends on your delivery, and intent. Your intent will generally be shown in your mannerisms. It's worth knocking people off their pedestals to see what is the best way to do so without alienating yourself, or making the target angry. You can refute their claims without destroying them.

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Now...I know this all sounds like, well, some sort of experiment...because it is at its core. As an introvert in a society that wildly encourages and favours extroversion, you can only count on your observation and attention.
You can also count on yourself. Introverts are sexy to many women. Look at what many women want from a man. The poet, the musician, the gentleman. You can take your introverted state and develop it into something appealing to others. It's just that most guys don't bother developing themselves, and wonder nobody appreciates them. It's the same with Fat women who wonder why guys don't find them attractive when they're unwilling to do anything to their appearance to improve their chances.

Don't live in Ignorance. Understand the requirements needed for the life you want and develop yourself. I'm still an introvert even though most consider me to be an extrovert. I read books in bars, both because I enjoy a pint with a book, and because many women will express curiosity in what I'm doing. The self-confidence not be embarrassed about doing something that most people think is weird... helps there too.

Point is. You can be yourself. Just work on improving yourself to be suitable for the people and lifestyle you want.

Last edited by klaz; 31-10-2019 at 16:10.
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31-10-2019, 16:16   #23
Dj Stiggie
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Look at every conversation as an opportunity to learn something, and fill in the gaps of things the other person doesn't know that you do. That's a good starting point.
Pretty much all the replies have good advice, but this one stands out to me. Due to my job I have to small talk a lot of the time and I hate it so when I'm talking to someone socially, I always try to learn something. Especially if their job/hobby/interest is something I know little or nothing about. Approach everyone and everything with an open mind
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31-10-2019, 19:43   #24
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This is good advice for people who love to hear themselves speak but if you don’t instigate enough information, you don’t feel like yourself. I want to be proactive and be the spark of the conversation, not the person who just fills the silence for the other speaker. It’s a much more enjoyable conversation if everyone is contributing. With only one person nodding in agreement and making short quips, the conversation gets dull, time creeps along and it will fizzle out.
That depends if you're a big talker or not.

You can't force yourself to be a big talker, it's either a personality trait you have or you haven't.

People who find you interesting will listen to you and what you have to say regardless. I'm not a big talker but I can hold my own in any conversation with most people. Some people are such big talkers in which, after an acceptable amount of time, I just politely take my leave and find someone else to converse with who won't simply talk the face off of me.

A lot of this depends on the kind of company you are engaging with and wheneither or not they are good listeners themselves.

Big difference between someone talking to you and at you.
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31-10-2019, 23:51   #25
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You can't force yourself to be a big talker, it's either a personality trait you have or you haven't.
I disagree. I teach people every year to enjoy, and to take control over conversations. It's a primary aspect of my job when teaching communications for business management. The gift of the gab.

Suggesting that it's something you're born with, is an excuse... to give comfort so that you don't have to work at changing. But you can change virtually all personality behaviors if you're willing to commit yourself to learning and consistent practice.
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01-11-2019, 00:17   #26
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I disagree. I teach people every year to enjoy, and to take control over conversations. It's a primary aspect of my job when teaching communications for business management. The gift of the gab.

Suggesting that it's something you're born with, is an excuse... to give comfort so that you don't have to work at changing. But you can change virtually all personality behaviors if you're willing to commit yourself to learning and consistent practice.
Oh, I'm not disputing that at all. I just think for some people more are listeners and others are talkers.

I don't think neither is necessarily bad, just the natural make up of an individual.

Again, a lot depends on the kind of people you interact with in life.
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01-11-2019, 00:28   #27
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Oh, I'm not disputing that at all. I just think for some people more are listeners and others are talkers.

I don't think neither is necessarily bad, just the natural make up of an individual.

Again, a lot depends on the kind of people you interact with in life.
Growing up I was more a listener than a talker. Mostly due to environmental factors. Bullying and that I didn't know how to break into conversations when others were talking. Later, I gradually changed as my skill increased. It wasn't a personality change as such. It was the skill and confidence in understanding how conversations flow.

I'm not a fan of the theory of personality traits being assigned at birth. I've seen too many examples of people who change due to their experiences, and whether they encounter someone to show them another path. That's the truly important part. That you find someone or something to show that there's another way.

When I did my degree in Psychology, the course was full of these kind of assumptions, but with very little in the way of detailed research to back up the claims. Instead, most of it is based on inherited assumptions from Victorian philosophy and doctoring. So, no, I don't go with this natural make up of an individual. Over a decade in teaching has shown me that people are fully capable of changing if they have the desire to do so.
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01-11-2019, 01:41   #28
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Growing up I was more a listener than a talker. Mostly due to environmental factors. Bullying and that I didn't know how to break into conversations when others were talking. Later, I gradually changed as my skill increased. It wasn't a personality change as such. It was the skill and confidence in understanding how conversations flow.

I'm not a fan of the theory of personality traits being assigned at birth. I've seen too many examples of people who change due to their experiences, and whether they encounter someone to show them another path. That's the truly important part. That you find someone or something to show that there's another way.

When I did my degree in Psychology, the course was full of these kind of assumptions, but with very little in the way of detailed research to back up the claims. Instead, most of it is based on inherited assumptions from Victorian philosophy and doctoring. So, no, I don't go with this natural make up of an individual. Over a decade in teaching has shown me that people are fully capable of changing if they have the desire to do so.

Neither am I. I'm a big supporter of self improvement and striving to be the best person you can be.

I believe that personality traits are what they are; in other words, our actions are as a direct result of who we are. There is a whole other debate regarding who we are in relation to nature/nurture and possible societal and environmental constraints.

I believe that there is a sound case for an individual being a good listener; I think there is a certain merit in that. You and I will differ on that of course.

What you and I may agree on is that, ultimately, this is all a case of confidence. Confidence in leading a conversation, confidence in letting a conversation flow before you. Confidence in who you are as an individual, which of course, can always allow room for continuous self improvement.
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01-11-2019, 03:15   #29
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I believe that there is a sound case for an individual being a good listener; I think there is a certain merit in that. You and I will differ on that of course.
I don't think we do disagree. It's the idea that being a good listener is somehow good enough, and that there's little need to develop their speaking skills that I'm against. Listening is a good first step to develop an awareness of behavioral aspects, but listening is extremely passive. True experience comes from active participation.

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What you and I may agree on is that, ultimately, this is all a case of confidence. Confidence in leading a conversation, confidence in letting a conversation flow before you. Confidence in who you are as an individual, which of course, can always allow room for continuous self improvement.
Definitely. TBH I suspect we're in complete agreement and I just didn't express my perception properly before.
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01-11-2019, 06:20   #30
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Some people are talkers and others are not. Not saying you can't improve but don't force it. Just ask questions, most people like talking about themselves so if you want to talk ask questions. Ask about themselves, their family job etc.
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