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Why logical types have poor social skills although social stuff has a logical structure

Ex-User (14663)

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Presumably it is a common notion that logical types struggle socially because social stuff doesn't lend itself to logical analysis too easily. It's messy and chaotic. A logical type initially tries various rules: say he's heard that people like it when you show interest in them, so now he starts showing over-the-top interest in everyone he meets. That fails, he tries the opposite. That also fails, so now he thinks: fuck it, social stuff is too messy so I just avoid it altogether.

But while he thinks that he's dealing something without a logical structure, in actuality it has a logical structure – it is his logic that is insufficient. The flaw of his logic is not seeing the game-theoretical aspects of social interaction and how such aspects entail optima not conducive to binary or linear functions.

So to take the example again: a more sophisticated model of the situation is to introduce 2 new things: 1) a continuous-scale magnitude of showing interest and 2) a temporal dimension to the whole thing. So now the optimal strategy might look like something like this: step 1: you show 60% interest (a little bit more than average to show that you put in a bit of effort but not so much that it's creepy). 2: you observe the response from the counterparty. If their interest is at least 60% you dial your interest down to maybe 45%. Then if they dial it down too you dial it up and so on. I don't know if that is exactly how the optima would look like but you get the idea – the main point is that there is some game-theoretical optimum in that situation, and that it cannot be thought of as a one-step binary problem.

Obviously if one has been in a lot of social situations and practiced some self-awareness, one would develop an intuition for this and respond in a near-optimal manner without having to think about it. My point would not be that you can gain any advantage by thinking about social stuff logically, but that it has a logical structure and that an initially naive approach to a logical analysis of it is what causes logicals to shoot themselves in the foot at an early stage in their lives.
 

Animekitty

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Sense I am an Fi type it is mostly my confidence levels that allow me to engage in conversation. I might not know the topic or I give one-word answers. But if I know the subject I can do fine. It does have to fall totally to carry the conversation. The person I am with has to follow along also.

I can follow in the midway point if the other person follows that way also. I understand the tone and all that. I can carry myself. But sometimes I do not understand what to say and it is difficult. But I take the other person's lead because it doesn't have to be all on me. As I said, I can forget what I want to talk about. I do not know my own subject that well. I have to rely on what I know so I falter sometimes. I don't know what I am supposed to say and trip up. That is why I take the midpoint.
 

The Grey Man

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Logical types struggle with social situations for the same reason they struggle with everything else in life: because there's a difference between thinking cogently about a thing and actually doing that thing. No amount of reasoning, however acute, will turn you into a social adept if you lack the flair for assessing another person's interior disposition and adjusting your posture accordingly. Socializing is not grammar, it's rhetoric. The aim is not to know the rules of the game, but to embody those rules in a practically successful way. The type of person who tends to treat everything as a theoretical problem with a solution to be expressed in abstract terms often forgets that some problems can only be solved by action.
 

ZenRaiden

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You actually reduced social situations to one situation that is pretty easy sometimes. But not always. While there is logic to social stuff it is not logical in the same way other things are logical. Also there lot of unknowns included and you have to allocate sufficient mental resources to deal with certain social situations which means when you focus on social stuff you have to pay attention to that particular social thing and not with the stuff you have to deal nonsocially.

Whats more dealing with certain people in my life is so easy I can get along with them almost always while 90 percent of other people are problematic.
There are people who never have problem and some people always seem to have a problem. There are people who can take a joke and people who cant take a joke. There are people with various rates of intelligence and I always have to adapt to their level just to get along with them. Ergo a stupid man I have to talk to him like a child and he reacts completely differently and talks differently and has different way of seeing things from more intelligent person.

There plenty rude and irrational people who no matter what you do seem to have a major issue whatever happens. I known this dude who always had a problem with me. Couldnt figure out for the world of me why. I could tell when he would have a problem with me and what the problem was, because it was pretty predictable, but nevertheless I never figured out the reason why the friction existed. Plainly he was an idiot, because none of what he did made any sense afterwards or before. Was it my age, hair, accent, some level of insecurity???? Who the fuck can say, I am not a mentalist that can size up people in 5 seconds.

You also ignore the fact people come from different family backgrounds and have different personalities and have different psychological make up overall they are a bundle of many problems and many people just wont make social life any easier.
Other factors such as culture, education, overall life experience also play major role on how people behave.
 

Cognisant

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The Grey Man said:
Logical types struggle with social situations for the same reason they struggle with everything else in life: because there's a difference between thinking cogently about a thing and actually doing that thing.
Yup like riding a bike, the more you think about it the harder it is to actually do it.

That being said I agree that it's a game, as with any behaviour when people are socializing they're trying to obtain/achieve some kind of goal/objective, that may be as benign as simply wishing to pass the time (bored office workers) or enjoying someone's company for its own sake but just as often there will be some tiresome ulterior motive.

If you spend time with cows or hoses you'll notice they sometimes nip, headbutt and kick each other without provocation, they do it to assert themselves in their herd's hierarchy. Likewise people will sometimes approach you with "something to prove" trying to initiate and win some petty conflict to improve their social standing.
 

ZenRaiden

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Yup like riding a bike, the more you think about it the harder it is to actually do it.
Doesnt seem to make a iota of sense to me. If you think logically about something you do it, because it makes sense. Either its logical or not no? So you are saying that if you logically figure out something you arent going to do it?

Riding a bike doesnt require much logic compared to social situations though. You can pretty much teach a tree year old to ride those small bikes. However a tree year old can hardly figure out how to function in social settings.

If by this analogy you mean doing something instinctively well yeah its obvious that some people can do it so, but thats not logical.

If you spend time with cows or hoses you'll notice they sometimes nip, headbutt and kick each other without provocation, they do it to assert themselves in their herd's hierarchy. Likewise people will sometimes approach you with "something to prove" trying to initiate and win some petty conflict to improve their social standing.
You got a point. A lot of people act like horses and cows, only you would expect them to have some reason to it as well. For what its worth my experience with a lot of people is the reverse. They act purely out of instinct and pretty fairly sure most of the time they themselves dont even know what the fuck they are doing. This astonishing lack of self awareness is self perpetuated anyhow.

Lot of people just act out whatever crosses their mind with little regard to reality. No they are not insane or anything, but they rarely put much effort into observing what they are doing. Hierarchical stuff is pretty self explanatory. There is someone dominant and there is someone submissive. The question is can people operate in real world on this primitive pretense and expect optimal results. Question is what logical thing am I supposed to do to deal with these sort of people.
 

Ex-User (14663)

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Logical types struggle with social situations for the same reason they struggle with everything else in life: because there's a difference between thinking cogently about a thing and actually doing that thing. No amount of reasoning, however acute, will turn you into a social adept if you lack the flair for assessing another person's interior disposition and adjusting your posture accordingly. Socializing is not grammar, it's rhetoric. The aim is not to know the rules of the game, but to embody those rules in a practically successful way. The type of person who tends to treat everything as a theoretical problem with a solution to be expressed in abstract terms often forgets that some problems can only be solved by action.
I definitely favor action over thinking when it comes to these things, but at the same time I disagree, because rigorously thinking about these things and then trying out your ideas in practice is what actually leads to improvement. Indiscriminate action very rarely leads to anything of value, sort of like if you start playing chess and just move pieces randomly for thousands of games in the hope that you will build up an intuition for it.
 

Hadoblado

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I don't disagree with anything stated in OP

but also

Explicit logic is a different cognitive system to the one we use for socialisation. To the extent people realise you're thinking in explicit terms about the subtle implicit complexity of socialisation, they'll tend to implicitly reject your approach and perhaps you by extension.

Strong socialisation means fluidity and cohesion, with signals being sent and received rapidly between people to reinforce group identity. If you stop to think about the best answer instead of giving the first thing you think of you're paying a cost (depending on social context - people aren't a monolith). In this sense, talking the talk is also walking the walk - demonstrating skill and not just being correct - and that means showing that your interactions aren't effortful.

It's a trade-off between insight and speed. When I'm in a scenario where impressions are meaningful most of my words are ad-lib structured to buy time for me to articulate insight.

TBH as with anything in the domain of people, it's probably a whole bunch of things. Too much variance. It'd be interesting to design a study to measure the relationship between logical thinking and social awkwardness. My guess is that the existence of autism alone could result in these sorts of wide-spread impressions without there being an effect in neurotypical individuals.
 

rlnb

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I have often ended up paying a price for my poor social skills, especially in the workplace. And I have come to accept that paying more attention to social interactions and understanding the underlying logical structures to peoples behaviour will help me improve my situations.
But often I am at a loss, as there is some much ground to cover and competing with the SJ types is really difficult as they have a lifetime of experience playing the social game.

With time, I have improved a lot at reading people and their intentions but I am still not at a place where I can beat them at their own game. And dealing with these people can be really tiresome, as while I am spending my time trying to find solutions to problems, these folks are working toward saying the right things, kissing the right asses etc trying to improve their position/ career. And the only option left is to play by their rules, which is both nauseating and takes a lot away from actually solving problems which is what I enjoy doing.
But I guess, if you want to live in the world(which is dominated by xSxJ ), you have to play by the rules
 

Ex-User (14663)

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Explicit logic is a different cognitive system to the one we use for socialisation. To the extent people realise you're thinking in explicit terms about the subtle implicit complexity of socialisation, they'll tend to implicitly reject your approach and perhaps you by extension.
yes exactly. People tend to be very forgiving of mistakes in the content of what you say, but very unforgiving of lack of fluidity. I feel like that's even true for myself who spends most of his days in hyper-logical mode. At the end of the day, who gives a shit what you say, as long as it adds to the mood and vibe of the situation
 

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I think another trap people can walk into is to think that sociability is a general parameter of you as a person. They look at, say, ESFJs and think: these guys are killing it socially. Yet you've probably seen more ESFJs whose guts you hate than INTPs – which is the whole point. Sociability is relative to specific people or specific groups of people. In order to build social bonds, you have to express your true thoughts and feelings, which means that some people might outright dislike you. So if you try to optimize your average sociability, or your worst-case sociability (i.e. trying to adapt to every conceivable person you meet) you'll end up with no sociability.
 

rlnb

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Sociability is relative to specific people or specific groups of people. In order to build social bonds, you have to express your true thoughts and feelings, which means that some people might outright dislike you.
I can be quiet social with my friends , people with whom I share interests and a broadly similar worldview. But the problem is being sociable with people which whom you need to be just to get things done which is often the case at the workplace.
In this case, it is much easier to work with other NTs, as we can just discuss what needs to be done and find a way to do it and dispense away with the usual BS.
 

sushi

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social skills is very Fe centric, or Se, or dependence on experience through learning loop.
social norms like saying appropriate things, not being blunt, reading social cues that are nonverbal, following norms set to conform.

i once dress appropriately for high table, casually , not wearing tuxedo and it was a faux pas.

fe is feigning fake face, whie Se depends on reckless.
 

washti

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It's bundle of tactics in form of rapid adaptation based on.... guessing game about moods, dynamics, experiences and intentions like why someone today wants to spent time with me - many reasons are actually pretty insideious and far away from simple - I'm being liked.Are they for validation, deception, info gathering, sustaining position, favors, entertainment?are you just replacement for someone temporary unavailable or dummy for social skill training? How you are perceived? The way you want to be? Do you even know how you wanna be perceived?

There are anchoring rituals in groups which if you fail to recognize and aproprietly participate make you excluded from other activities and your position is lower

Do you recognize unofficial hierarchies for specific things(who is good in what and how to exchange favors with them)

Can you tell in which stage this group and singular relationships are? Who has what stakes? What types of rivalry are present?

I'm a feeler and shit in all of it.
 

ZenRaiden

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We also all have our own reality. That is our own way of seeing things. Now being who I am not to mention INTP I see things always slightly or even extremely differently.

For example the words I use carry a meaning, but to others these words may carry very different meaning. I may feel differently and dissociate from others feel. I mean I am pretty unreadable as it is. Whats more everyone has his own way of seeing things.

Now I know there are people who are more likely to yield to a point of view than me. But even when I do hypothetically yield my reality to others reality I cant really figure out what they are thinking. Its hard to carry conversation when there is such big rift between the meanings.
 

Tenacity

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Presumably it is a common notion that logical types struggle socially because social stuff doesn't lend itself to logical analysis too easily. It's messy and chaotic. A logical type initially tries various rules: say he's heard that people like it when you show interest in them, so now he starts showing over-the-top interest in everyone he meets. That fails, he tries the opposite. That also fails, so now he thinks: fuck it, social stuff is too messy so I just avoid it altogether.

But while he thinks that he's dealing something without a logical structure, in actuality it has a logical structure – it is his logic that is insufficient. The flaw of his logic is not seeing the game-theoretical aspects of social interaction and how such aspects entail optima not conducive to binary or linear functions.

So to take the example again: a more sophisticated model of the situation is to introduce 2 new things: 1) a continuous-scale magnitude of showing interest and 2) a temporal dimension to the whole thing. So now the optimal strategy might look like something like this: step 1: you show 60% interest (a little bit more than average to show that you put in a bit of effort but not so much that it's creepy). 2: you observe the response from the counterparty. If their interest is at least 60% you dial your interest down to maybe 45%. Then if they dial it down too you dial it up and so on. I don't know if that is exactly how the optima would look like but you get the idea – the main point is that there is some game-theoretical optimum in that situation, and that it cannot be thought of as a one-step binary problem.

Obviously if one has been in a lot of social situations and practiced some self-awareness, one would develop an intuition for this and respond in a near-optimal manner without having to think about it. My point would not be that you can gain any advantage by thinking about social stuff logically, but that it has a logical structure and that an initially naive approach to a logical analysis of it is what causes logicals to shoot themselves in the foot at an early stage in their lives.
Logic is an art that can be mastered, no matter the context, social or individual.

From the perspective of etymology "logic" was derived from the Greek term logos -> word, reason, then evolved to mean "(art) of reason" from logikē (tekhnē). Thus, technically, what is "logical" is also in itself up for debate.

Generally I'd have to agree that social constructs -can- be logically observed/analyzed in order to better predict a future set of interactions. Whether the interactions can then be fruitful, helpful, or positive is another story.
 
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