Win at conversation this Thanksgiving with some easy tips for conversing with each Myers-Briggs® personality type!
Get out-of-the-box with an ENFP. Bring up a new theory you’ve heard about or ask them where they’d like to be in 10 years. Spark their imagination with “what if” questions and interesting hypothetical scenarios. Unlock your creativity and think outside the confines of what’s “practical” and “normal”. Make sure you’re as authentic as possible and don’t be surprised if they play devil’s advocate with you. Yes, ENFPs are feeling types, but they aren’t afraid to challenge opinions or traditions that don’t align with their values.
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Be ready to brainstorm with an ENTP. Bring up a puzzling new idea or theory and unpack it together – watch them as they jump around in time, forming connections and relationships that are nothing short of ingenious. Challenge an existing theory or tradition, ask “Why” and “What if?” questions. Don’t be afraid to get controversial if you think the other people at the table can handle it. ENTPs like a good debate and are able to argue without seeing it as a personal affront.
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INFPs are such good listeners that they often aren’t catered to in conversation. Break that mold this Thanksgiving and be the one to listen to them for a change. INFPs are deeply creative people and they usually have very personal and meaningful interests. Ask them about their favorite books, songs, and artists. Ask them what speaks to them in the stories they love. Ask them “What’s your idea of a perfect world?” Give them a chance to express their vision, their ideals, and the special stories that speak to their hearts.
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The important thing to remember with INTPs is that they HATE feeling interrogated. You never want the conversation to feel too intrusive or prying. They want a conversation that piques their curiosity and makes them imagine and think. Bring up a theory you’ve heard about and ask for their thoughts. Ask them about their favorite books and why they like them. Don’t be afraid to challenge them in a “battle of wits”. Try to solve a puzzling brain-teaser together or get the most complicated riddles you can fathom and try to solve them.
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Don’t be afraid to get raw and intimate with ENFJs. These personality types enjoy deep-diving in conversation to uncover the true essence of someone’s values and personal strengths. They love discussing personal growth, dreams, concepts, relationships. They crave authentic connection and they tend to turn conversations into inspirational coaching sessions. Before you know it you’ll be walking away from the conversation feeling totally energized about the future and ready to unleash your potential on the world.
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Whatever you do, make sure you don’t dominate the conversation with small-talk around ENTJs. They get extremely bored and restless when conversations stay on the surface. They want to talk about goals, strategies, concepts, and the big picture. Bring up a business idea, a theory, or a plan and ask for their unvarnished opinion. Let them envision the future and ask them where they’d like to see themselves in 15 years. Don’t be afraid to bring up “controversial” subjects or get into a debate (as long as the other people at the table won’t mind). Just make sure you debate respectfully and don’t mock them or step on any of their values.
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Be prepared to get really big picture with INFJs. They like to imagine and envision future scenarios, implications, and possibilities. They want to get existential – what’s the meaning of your life? What patterns do you see for the future? How can we make the world a better place for the next generation? They also like an intimate, authentic conversation. They enjoy being confided in and asked for advice, especially if it pertains to the future or relationships. Open your imagination and allow yourself to think beyond the confines of the current moment – the future is where they like to be.
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The best way to intrigue an INTJ is to get really complex and big-picture with them. INTJs enjoy analyzing theories, future scenarios, and intricate problems. They hate being bored, and mundane small-talk is a sure way to drive them mad. They enjoy discussing philosophy, science, business strategies, predictions, patterns, ambitions, and goals. Ask them if they’ve read or learned anything interesting lately. Ask for their input on a complex problem you’re facing (and we’re not talking relationship drama here). Listen to their responses and don’t be surprised if you find yourself falling down an exciting rabbit hole full of new discoveries and ideas.
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With ESFPs more than anything it’s important to be authentic. Keep it real and don’t take yourself too seriously. Is there a funny situation you encountered recently? Is there an exciting opportunity or experience you’ve heard about? Stimulate their passion for action and real-life experiences by talking about the adventures you’ve had in life. Ask them about the most exciting experience of their lives, ask them what they would do if they had one day left to live, or tell them about an amazing new band you’ve heard! Laugh at their jokes, be honest, down-to-earth, and friendly.
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ESTPs have little patience for mundane chit-chat. These individuals thrive on action and experience. Challenge them to an arm-wrestling match after dinner or ask them about the most exciting experiences they’ve ever had. These types like talking about adventures, survival, and strategy. They like to talk WHILE being active so get up and walk around with them, throw a football around, or play a game together.
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ISFPs are passionate people, but you may not always realize that from the outside. They can seem cool and reserved on the outside while inside they are churning with thoughts, ideas, and passions. It’s important to take your time to get to know them because they don’t like feeling interrogated. Show them respect by asking their opinion about things. Get them talking about their favorite bands, TV shows, or books! ISFPs are usually creative people – ask them about their projects or favorite hobbies. Whatever you do, just be prepared to listen and don’t be afraid to be quiet with them and simply enjoy their presence.
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With ISTPs it’s important to approach the conversation in a casual, down-to-earth manner. Don’t take yourself too seriously or you might find yourself at the center of some friendly ribbing. ISTPs like conversations that revolve around projects, adventures, solutions, and experiences. Ask them what they like to do in their down-time, or ask them to help you figure out an impersonal problem that requires some analysis. Funny hypothetical scenarios can also be enjoyable for them. Questions like, “If you were stuck on a desert island, what three things would you bring with you?” can get the wheels in their head turning. Just don’t get too prying, personal, or pompous with them. They can’t stand arrogance and will enjoy bringing you down a notch if you get too boastful.
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ESFJs enjoy detailing the meaningful experiences of their lives with people. They like swapping personal stories and being confided in. They are usually polite, down-to-earth individuals and they’ll enjoy discussing a variety of topics as long as nobody is being patronizing, rude, or debative. Ask about their experiences or discuss solutions to real-world problems. They like being asked for advice about relationships and inter-personal issues because this gives them a chance to use their gift for understanding human needs and dynamics.
ESTJs are extremely ambitious, productive people, and they enjoy discussing goals, plans, and strategies with others. If you’ve got a business idea, a passion, or an area of study they’ll enjoy hearing about it and giving you their advice. They like to be asked their opinion, and their advice is often full of personal experience and practical solutions. Ask them about their projects and plans and be as direct as possible with them. Avoid being pretentious at all costs – there’s nothing they can’t abide more than people who take themselves too seriously or use big, embellished words just to make themselves look better than everyone else.
ISFJs tend to be very good listeners, so try to prioritize listening to them this Thanksgiving. Ask them about their hobbies and interests and actively pay attention. They enjoy discussing their interests in-depth, but they often keep these passions internalized because they don’t want to “bore” anyone. If you are attentive to them you’ll find that they have a whole world of fascinations and interests that make them come alive! They also like to be confided in and asked for advice. They are usually very insightful into human relationships and inter-personal dynamics and have wisdom they’re more than happy to share if asked. Whatever you do be polite, respectful, and respect their personal space.
ISTJs are usually good-natured but private individuals. They enjoy a conversation that revolves around their current hobbies, interests, or plans. They like to be asked about their experience. If you’re working on a project, ask them if they have any advice or lessons that you could apply to what you are doing. Ask them about their favorite books and movies – this is a great way to get a glimpse into their inner worlds and passions. Whatever you do, don’t pry into their personal lives or meddle in their affairs. Unless you are extremely close with them they tend to hold their personal feelings very close to the chest.
What Are Your Thoughts?
What do YOU like to talk about? Do you have any Thanksgiving success/horror stories? Let us know in the comments!
Find out more about your personality type in our eBooks, Discovering You: Unlocking the Power of Personality Type, The INFJ – Understanding the Mystic, The INFP – Understanding the Dreamer, and The INTJ – Understanding the Strategist. You can also connect with me via Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!
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