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People thinking you're judging them.

r4ch3l

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So as INTPs I'm sure many of you deal with routinely making people uncomfortable, which seems to be a product of our overall quietness and problems making small talk.

I've tried very hard over the years to develop my social skills and work on the whole small talk thing (as it, unfortunately, seems to be important in order to just get by in this world). But despite all my effort it still remains challenging and I continue to make people feel uneasy for reasons I can't quite define.

I've been told by people who are now friends that initially they thought I was judging them, and it made them feel uncomfortable. Recently someone I was seeing told me that his friends have the impression that I am quietly judging them at all times.

It's frustrating to me because I feel that they are picking up on the mental activity which is me analyzing the social situation and knowing what is appropriate to say or do next, because I don't have this intuitive understanding of socializing and have to analyze it in order to keep up. Me trying my best to put everyone at ease is still not enough. Or something.

So, INTPs...have you gotten comments like this re: assumptions that you are eternally in a state of judging people? Any strategies you use to make people more comfortable and less...um...suspicious? The thing that makes me frustrated is that once people get to know me well they see that my ice queen exterior is just a product of me dealing with overwhelm and that I can find common ground with anyone and do not care about being right or better than other people. I don't need everyone to like me but it would be nice to not freak people out all the time for reasons I don't seem to be able to control even if I could clearly identify them.
 

SpaceYeti

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Nobody has said anything about me judging them, but people do presume I'm in a bad mood when I'm simply thinking about stuff. It's not uncommon for someone to ask me what's wrong when nothing at all is. Or, at least, nothing that hasn't been wrong for the past bunch of months, since being in Korea, away from my family, is wrong all the time.
 

Rome96

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I've been described as cold, weird, unsocial, distant and absent-minded. My friends tell me that I sometimes make people uncomfortable because I act like I don't give a shit about them, which I don't, most of the time. People get the feeling that I'm constantly judging them as well and that I think that I'm more intelligent than they are and that they aren't worth my time.. I don't really have answers to your questions though, usually if I spend enough time with a person they realize that I'm not that big of an asshole and they start appreciating my sarcastic sense of humor and cold demeanor. I'm usually charming when I feel comfortable and have no problem speaking to people when I, or they, actually have something to say. I don't really care about the people that are put off by my apathy, although I think that I could make a bit of an effort to be more likable in the beginning of a relationship, at least attempt some small talk or something.. It can be difficult when you enter into a social group where you don't know anyone. I usually quietly observe until I get the hang of things, which I guess makes me a total weirdo and people assume that I'm shy. Thing is I don't even understand small talk. Why would I be interested in the weather, or what this random person is doing over the weekend? I think people should be quiet, unless they actually have something to say. There are too many people in this world that talk without talking.
 

Rome96

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If you ever figure out the secret to socializing with the general populus, do tell.
 

Ink

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Practice being invisible when necessary
 

Thurlor

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They are not annoyed because you are judging them, because everyone judges the people around them (this is how we form opinions on them). They are annoyed because you are giving off signals (to those who can pick up on such) showing that you are indeed judging people (not in a negative way) thereby demonstrating that 'people judge'.

Everybody does it.
 
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Why would I be interested in the weather, or what this random person is doing over the weekend? I think people should be quiet, unless they actually have something to say. There are too many people in this world that talk without talking.

My god, where is your Fe?

It's frustrating to me because I feel that they are picking up on the mental activity which is me analyzing the social situation and knowing what is appropriate to say or do next...

They are annoyed because you are giving off signals (to those who can pick up on such) showing that you are indeed judging people (not in a negative way) thereby demonstrating that 'people judge'.

Have you ever tried just relaxing? Smiling? Picking up trails of random topics and just saying what comes to mind? You can analyze, but if you want to change people's perception of you, you'll have to hide that mental activity by participating (showing that you are as much a part of the conversation as they are, that you are 'one of them' [and are not judging them!]). Or, if you can, analyze after the interaction is over.
 

Jennywocky

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I developed a lot of socializing ability over the years, simply as a matter of course. it was easier when i stopped viewing it as an evil and simply as another way to interact, even if not really something I prefer or am good at.

Along with that, I figured out what kinds of cues people expect and I give it to them. I mean, if there is someone I really don't like, I typically manage to avoid talking to them as much as possible (rather than pretending to their face that I think they're the greatest thing on earth) as how I preserve my integrity, but typically I don't mind talking to people. It's more likely I have no idea what to say if I'm saying nothing. Anyway this meant learning the basic casual paths of conversation, greetings, endings, smiling at people when it makes sense, and providing other cues during conversation that means I am listening. It's especially good if you do happen to care, but you're keeping that "blank face thing going -- people really don't have any idea you're positively disposed towards them unless you give them SOME kind of feedback. So it's just about learning how to communicate in ways that others can more easily follow.

I can't say it always works or it's something I'm great at. My performance is variable. The other week for our division picnic, I pretty much spent the time with 2-3 friends and then another friend who hates socializing encouraged me to make a break with her and we snuck out of the gathering at about 2pm (when the picnic was running until 5pm or so). And I am still very capable of having a mini-meltdown where I feel alone in a group of people and just want to leave if go at all. One-on-one is far better for me.

EDIT: Oh yeah. The topic. "judging people."

On occasion, people have said that they feel like I'm judging them. ironically, it happens more among the people who know me better and who I have disagreements with regarding life philosophy, if anything. It does mean the people who don't know me well must be satisfied with what cues I give in conversation (smiling, asking questions, sharing same-level information about me, laughing a lot, etc.)

I actually am very open, and my "judgments" are typically more about the ideas than the person. I can be critical of ideas, but it doesn't really convey to the person in question -- although if someone is habitually throwing out stupid ideas, I will eventually come to decide they can't think straight. But again, I'm more apt to avoid than openly get in their face. I guess communication strategies involve putting out cues that show that I can enjoy talking to them, even if I am critical of something they believe or have done.
 

Walking.are.the.Dead

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totally understand where your coming from though, and i to find it hard to make small talk about irrelevant topics i am not interested in.
Also I think it relates to the INTP's habit of over thinking and analysing, where in a social environment this is often not what is needed.

Don't worry about it though, just keep trying to feel relaxed in your environment as much as possible, it just means that the INTP's inferior Fe needs a little more work that the other cognitive functions.

It also might account for why I am absolutely horrible at first impressions, don't know if this is the same for you ?
 

ActiveMind

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I find that I like to people watch. Not in a creepy way, as you all might know. 'Staring' at people is frowned upon in society. Therefore, the best way to be observational of others without having to necessarily interact is by wearing dark sunglasses.

Of course, it's best to not be completely obvious, but being able to observe others(how they talk, act, walk, interact, etc.) is how I'm able to perceive much more fully than by small talk. Anyone do this?
 

Jennywocky

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Yes, I'm a people watcher.

Ever sit in the mall food court and just watch people and eavesdrop? I don't do it to be nosy, i don't even care who they are, etc; but I think it's interesting to hear how people talk, how they relate, what they think.
 

Spirit

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You may look into reading the book "What every body is saying" by Joe Navarro. It is perfect for an INTP people watcher and it also will give you patterns to emulate when you are talking to the "average" person. Also, it is helpful in conveying feelings to those that rely on body language cues. I may not feel what they feel but if I show them the right cues most of the time they will think I care even if I am impartial to their situation.
 

Hadoblado

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People think I'm judging them because I bloody well am. If you judge that I judge people and that you don't... well you're pretty fucking silly aren't you?!

I try to use my judgements as a springboard for interaction when necessary, as otherwise small talk can be very difficult to manage.

Now that I think about it... fuck those guys. If you are in a perpetual state of judging then you are the definition of a non-judgemental person. A 'non'-judgemental person would judge you in the first three minutes and then be confident they have your measure. That someone feels the need to continuously reevaluate is to be applauded.

Of course, there are people who just accept you for who you are and are truly non-judgemental, but those people are few and far between.
 

ObliviousGenius

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Good replies.

No one has ever said to me they think I'm judging them. But then again, I try to be very responsive and practice active listening when interacting with other people. They'll never know what I'm thinking because I don't show it. I also tend to be very jovial and light-hearted and that lowers the guard of whoever I'm talking to. One thing I've learned is how I'm perceived is as close to fact as it's going to get. I may know the truth but sometimes others don't. So do what you're good at, providing clarity. In this instance you just need to adjust your own behavior slightly.

I like to observe as well, but I'm very subtle. I like to avert my gaze intermittently rather than just a blank stare. I can be guilty of that if I'm not careful.
 

Jennywocky

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People think I'm judging them because I bloody well am. If you judge that I judge people and that you don't... well you're pretty fucking silly aren't you?!

you... you... MONSTER!

Disclaimer: This is said in spirit of observation and not in judgment, as it's perfectly fine to be a horrid monster and demented human being, and I am simply taking note of it rather than commenting on the appropriateness (or lack of it) involved in being such a grotesque beast.
 

defghi

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Usually when people incorrectly try to guess what I'm thinking I ignore them entirely; I wouldn't remember if someone thought I was judging them. They're the ones making the faux pas, not you.
 

Rome96

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Anyway this meant learning the basic casual paths of conversation, greetings, endings

How do you initiate and withdraw from a conversation? I never know how to greet people or how to politely excuse myself. The greetings keep changing from person to person and it gets a bit confusing sometimes, especially when I have to greet groups of people. Also, I HATE hugging as a greeting, this is mandatory when it comes to girls so I usually just pull away and say goodbye in a very awkward manner... Share your life secrets. :)
 

Brontosaurie

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A 'non'-judgemental person would judge you in the first three minutes and then be confident they have your measure. That someone feels the need to continuously reevaluate is to be applauded.

+1

as for me i dunno. i think i manage to be whimsical and childish enough to avoid being interpreted as secretly judging. but people have called me a "cynic" as well.
 

r4ch3l

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People think I'm judging them because I bloody well am. If you judge that I judge people and that you don't... well you're pretty fucking silly aren't you?!

Now that I think about it... fuck those guys. If you are in a perpetual state of judging then you are the definition of a non-judgemental person. A 'non'-judgemental person would judge you in the first three minutes and then be confident they have your measure. That someone feels the need to continuously reevaluate is to be applauded.

Exactly. I am not making snap judgments, my brain is working really hard at taking in new information and processing it. I don't just assign a judgment to a person or an idea and then let it remain static.

On this topic: sent this in an email yesterday to my friend:

"Wait -- isn't there like a fair amount of irony in someone calling someone else judgmental when that person has not actually said anything judgmental? Pin the projection on the quiet one. Or maybe, more likely, the projection is ricocheting back and forth in an unspoken feedback loop of awkward. What is the difference between being very perceptive and struggling to organize all the input in order to give input back and being judgmental? Does it have to do with the addition of a moral/value judgment or dichotomous-ordering element of some kind? We talked about this before and you said that only a truly judgmental person would ask this question. But it seems to me that you'd have to be personally attached to the idea of being non-judgmental to believe that there is some clear-cut boundary or qualification between the two."
 

r4ch3l

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Have you ever tried just relaxing? Smiling? Picking up trails of random topics and just saying what comes to mind? You can analyze, but if you want to change people's perception of you, you'll have to hide that mental activity by participating (showing that you are as much a part of the conversation as they are, that you are 'one of them' [and are not judging them!]). Or, if you can, analyze after the interaction is over.

Yes, that is why I am frustrated. I feel I have made a lot of progress yet something is still off. I try and participate in conversations but it is hard when I'm around groups who know each other well and I am just getting to know them. I am analyzing to figure out when and how to contribute/interact but it often feels like trying to jump into a game of double dutch jump rope with a broken leg.

I am great with people one-on-one but struggle a lot in groups.

When I relax I tend to space out and not care that I am not talking. So I stay hypervigilant to keep up. And yes, I smile, a lot. Didn't used to but I learned that the ditzy, nonthreatening blonde act helps when I need to fly under the radar. If people just assume you're kind of dumb they don't think you're judging them.
 

Ink

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not trying to be offensive; are you narcissistic?
 

r4ch3l

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maybe. i'm fairly self-obsessed, which could be an introvert thing or...not. i dislike myself though, and am always trying to figure out what is wrong with me and how to be a better person by my own standards.

i'm genuinely curious about and interested in other people and in person tend to ask other people questions about themselves.
 

Pizzabeak

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Think I might know what you're talking about, and was going to make a thread about it but can post here instead. I've talked about it with some other people but they just said I was thinking about it too hard or was delusional.

Basically it seems like people get mad if you don't talk to them... Then they start talking about you for some reason, from what I can gather it's because you're apparently acting like you're better than everyone else. Occurs especially if it seems like you'll get along with the other parties involved in the first place, or if you mainly stay close to two or three people you know and shy away from any new people. Then they get mad.

Similarly, they can set you up for some conversation or provide hints that initiating a convo would be a decent idea, but while a lot of the times these requests are recognized I sometimes 'fail' for whatever reason to comply, or to act. I can see why people will think someone is appearing to be better than everyone else when all that happens, but that is not the reason for not communicating more or being more outwardly friendly but the quickest conclusion is probably that that person is an asshole and doesn't wish to make friends or something.

Some people like banter though, and it could probably lead to the next step in that particular case of human interaction, if any emphasis is to be placed on it rather than communicating for the sake of common courtesy. One reason for just chillin' instead of "participating" is probably some weird belief or memory perhaps created due to past experience with social interaction... Basically, it's kind of weird seeing kids/tweens being much more socially adept than I am, but again...

I think after a certain point, especially after you've known a group for a few years, it might be expected of you to act your age or take on more responsibilities or something. People just might expect you to say hi to them first or something for a change, although we'd all probably get along great if those people actually said something to me first, kinda, instead of offering hints that they'd like me to say something. In cases similar to this I'd like to experiment to see how much of what I interpret manages to be accurate assumptions..

Another thing is people always expecting stuff you say to be funny. At most gatherings I noticed people just trying to be as funny as possible, on purpose, with most of the stuff they say, which ties into people being attracted to "people persons" and always trying to make others laugh; subconsciously take their mind off the negative energies that apparently permeate the experience of life (possibly due to the government/capitalism; etc, as well as conflicting egos). It's kinda weird/annoying... I think there's this one ENTP dude in the group, he's the one I can usually chat with expect sometimes after a story when I do let out a simple remark such as 'wtf..' he'll say something like, "so bad" and it sounds like he's referring to the stuff I say might not be funny or entertaining enough. This is only in groups/teams though, one on one is different.

And so that's another thing, "teams". Anyone ever get ganged up on by teams? They usually do that cause they're scared to "debate" one on one so they get in a group and "subtly" talk some shit. I suppose it does take some skill to work in a team setting, but it's still possible to combat them. It happens somewhat frequently to me, probably because I look like I'm apparently acting better than everyone else, but it seems to be related to people offering hints that it's ok to initiate convo, maybe introduce yourself and when you don't do that they get insulted and the banter begins. Maybe one shouldn't get so offended actually. They apparently are unaware of dominant Ti suppressing inferior Fe which MIGHT be an explanation.

And so, is anyone familiar with people talking with you indirectly? Like, they're clearly referring to you but aren't officially engaged in conversation? It's more like blurting stuff out, then the other person blurts something out and you're both referring to each other and talking to each other but in a weird way, instead of standing face to face and talking. I only do it because I've noticed it happening, so figured I'd adapt so to speak. I also only usually do it when someone initiates first. Most of the time it's someone talking shit for some random reason, so I must reply and get things straightened out. Once I was on the lightrail and there was a group of five Asian dudes. At first I was standing near them, then decided to move since I was by the door which kept opening and people getting on/off, so I moved down a bit. I started to lean my head against the glass and closed my eyes, but I wasn't sleeping I just closed them, then I heard someone say, "I'm bored so I'm going to sleep" so I thought 'wtf??' because it sounded like he was referring to me for some reason, so I just simply said, "Noo...." and his immediate response was, "He could do it." I thought it was interesting and from that point there was this weird bond between us, as I was constantly focused on them and what they were saying, and maybe vice versa. I turned around and actually saw one of my friends (ENFJ), but he exited the train as soon as I saw him, I planned on getting his attention somehow but ended up just texting him, and tried to make it obvious that I knew him so I could look cool to these Asian dudes by running into a familiar face. So that ended up happening. Another thing the same dude said was, "I could tell", but I wasn't exactly sure what he was able to tell there, although I had some ideas. The whole time it seemed like they wanted me to say something, or participate in their game but I wasn't sure how. I was actually with my brother at the time and when we got off, they got off too and were walking behind us... My brother tried saying something to me but there were a few things goin on at the moment so I was kinda jumbled up and couldn't really reply properly, and I heard the group of Asian dudes behind us laugh, so to that I just said 'inferior extraverted feeling, big deal' and that was the last I heard of them... I remember turning around to get one final glance and the main dude made some gesture that suggest he was indeed aware of the whole thing, although I could have just been being paranoid.

Girls seem to like this method of communication, although with statistics which I have not studied yet this statement could not be true. There are of course reasons as to why females in this society, or in general, find this method useful, however, I must know if anyone else is familiar with this phenomena. Again, I first noticed it a few years ago but wasn't sure what to do with it until I managed to reach that point. People must have been doin' it for years.
 

DelusiveNinja

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What it sounds like is a problem with the INTPs hard core psychological distance. Maybe we send off signs that we "have something to say" but sometimes we keep it in for the sake of the logical debate void of opinionated feelings of the observers. Ever been in a argument with an INTJ where basically he/she "takes the spot light" for a long period of time to prove himself. After they finish explaining themselves they usually ask two types of questions (in my experience).

1. Do you understand what I am saying? (verification of understanding)
2. Do you agree? (verification of understanding and a agreement which terminates conversation)

I usually agree just to shut them up, but somehow when I don't agree or understand they just intuitively know that I don't and they'll continue talking in an attempt to try to persuade me with their logos and maybe ethos. I think this occurs because of how psychologically distant we seem when we converse with other people. Types with strong Ni can find those patterns in normal conversation and expose them. Especially INFJs who have the ability to tell when you are lying and how you feel thanks to NiFe. They can see right through you and your lies so watch what you say around those INFJs or strong Ni users in general. For they can close that psychological distance with raw, inexplicable intuition.
 

kvothe27

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Yes, people often accuse me of thinking I'm better than them. The fact of the matter is that I just find people to be incredibly boring.

I was told today by my manager that I often look angry and like I want to fight someone (perhaps I have the INTJ stare of death or whatever).

I have no strategies for overcoming this, unless continually looking hostile counts as a strategy. I've chosen to simply not care anymore.
 

Ex-User (9062)

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So as INTPs I'm sure many of you deal with routinely making people uncomfortable, which seems to be a product of our overall quietness and problems making small talk.

I've tried very hard over the years to develop my social skills and work on the whole small talk thing (as it, unfortunately, seems to be important in order to just get by in this world). But despite all my effort it still remains challenging and I continue to make people feel uneasy for reasons I can't quite define.

I've been told by people who are now friends that initially they thought I was judging them, and it made them feel uncomfortable. Recently someone I was seeing told me that his friends have the impression that I am quietly judging them at all times.

It's frustrating to me because I feel that they are picking up on the mental activity which is me analyzing the social situation and knowing what is appropriate to say or do next, because I don't have this intuitive understanding of socializing and have to analyze it in order to keep up. Me trying my best to put everyone at ease is still not enough. Or something.

So, INTPs...have you gotten comments like this re: assumptions that you are eternally in a state of judging people? Any strategies you use to make people more comfortable and less...um...suspicious? The thing that makes me frustrated is that once people get to know me well they see that my ice queen exterior is just a product of me dealing with overwhelm and that I can find common ground with anyone and do not care about being right or better than other people. I don't need everyone to like me but it would be nice to not freak people out all the time for reasons I don't seem to be able to control even if I could clearly identify them.

The thing about judging:
Doesn't everybody do that?
Yeah, it's easy for them to pick on it, because, although they can judge and act and be playful and charming at the same time,
we can't do this delicate multitasking operation and it shows.
Who cares?
They are doing the exact same thing which they criticize us for.
The only difference is that they can put on a nice face while they're doing it.
Don't believe for a second other people don't ascertain and calculate and judge.
They are just smooth operators.
And they fear that you might catch on to something.
That's why they want you to shut your cognitive operations down and just "live the moment".
Beware of such people, they want to take advantage of you.
 

Frug Werner

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Hi quick introduction Frug here! In response to your thread i would like to say i very much encounter the same thing on a regular basis. Much of the time when i am in silent contemplation many of my colleges will seem to gain the imppression that i am judging them "condeming" their behaviour in some way. This will happen most often during a class when i observe someone on their phone this usually gets me reactions like don't judge me or an over exaggerated "what" sound. I find these moments very amuzing as most often I don't really have an opion on what they are doing but just observing. To me this indicates an overall feeling of guilt in which others give them for misbehaving but that may be true only for situations similar to the one mentioned.
In terms of advice however I'd reccomend brutal honesty, saying something such as "I don't make judjments about people or that i don't really have alot to talk about. Also in reference to your problems with small talk. I'd say focus on your interests heavily it's one of the best ways to learn how to small talk, for example if you really like Physics try to steer the conversation so it's only about your one interest. Teach it to them if you have to then after trying it out for while try learning about their interests even if they are intensly boring. That second part actually may be really hard so using topics that you both can relate to may be best if possible.
Hope this helps:confused:.
 

Ex-User (9062)

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Hi quick introduction Frug here! In response to your thread i would like to say i very much encounter the same thing on a regular basis. Much of the time when i am in silent contemplation many of my colleges will seem to gain the imppression that i am judging them "condeming" their behaviour in some way. This will happen most often during a class when i observe someone on their phone this usually gets me reactions like don't judge me or an over exaggerated "what" sound. I find these moments very amuzing as most often I don't really have an opion on what they are doing but just observing. To me this indicates an overall feeling of guilt in which others give them for misbehaving but that may be true only for situations similar to the one mentioned.
In terms of advice however I'd reccomend brutal honesty, saying something such as "I don't make judjments about people or that i don't really have alot to talk about. Also in reference to your problems with small talk. I'd say focus on your interests heavily it's one of the best ways to learn how to small talk, for example if you really like Physics try to steer the conversation so it's only about your one interest. Teach it to them if you have to then after trying it out for while try learning about their interests even if they are intensly boring. That second part actually may be really hard so using topics that you both can relate to may be best if possible.
Hope this helps:confused:.

Thank you Frug Werner for your reply.
Well, the thing i ask myself is this:
If they constantly accuse you of judging them,
it must be a projection of their inner world towards me.
Also, the experience you shared here, about your classmates makes me think:
Why do they fear to be judged?
Do they know deep down that they are doing something wrong?

About conversations:
It's really tough to find a common interest.
All that trivial bollocks people talk about in small talk conversation
just jams my brain with junk information.
I have no use for it.
Let's use an allegory:
A five-star chef has to live in a world full of fast food enthusiasts,
they are constantly talking about the last rotten piece of meat they ate at restaurant xyz,
what do you have to contribute to the conversation?
It wont be pleasing to their ears, would it?
And would i then be honest to myself and them in making them feel good about the choices they make?
 
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