Ever wonder why some people are chattier than others? Some Myers Briggs personality types are great at small talk, while others hate it.

We decided to do some research to find out how each of the personality types perfom when it comes to small talk and which ones have the gift of gab and why.

According to the characteristics defined by Myers Briggs, the personality types below are the most chatty:
Extraversion, Intuition, Feeling, Judgment
Extraversion, Intuition, Thinking, Judgment
Extraversion, Intuition, Thinking, Perception
Extraversion, Sensing, Feeling, Judgment
Extraversion, Sensing, Thinking, Judgment
Extraversion, Sensing, Thinking, Perception 
Introversion, Sensing, Feeling, Perception
Extraversion, Sensing, Feeling, Perception

Some people despise shallow chit-chat, but others take enjoyment from these simple social conversations. Part of this depends on our different personality types. Let’s take a look at how each Myers Briggs type is likely to handle “small talk”.



INFJ | Fans of In-Depth Conversation

Introversion, Intuition, Feeling, Judgment


INFJs dislike small talk and may become frustrated when they have to participate in it for long periods. Their minds are always in motion, weighing their own thoughts and feelings as well as trying to read the reactions of their conversation partner. For them, small talk is draining and confusing, something to be avoided.

Rather than idle chit-chat, INFJs would rather participate in thoughtful, significant discussions with those close to them. INFJs thrive on introspection and tend to be big thinkers. In addition, they can become drained of mental energy when required to socialize too much.

Social interaction is even more draining if they end up cornered into small talk with people who don’t share their deep interests, or who would rather chat about television or the latest sports scores.

Because social interaction requires so much of their energy, INFJs prefer to spend that energy on conversations about what truly matters to them.

ENFJ | See Small Talk as the ‘Stepping Stone’

Extraversion, Intuition, Feeling, Judgment


ENFJs also prefer meaningful, in-depth discussions, but they aren’t totally against small talk. In their minds, small talk is a helpful way to learn about other people. While their partner is sharing about themselves, an ENFJ is good at reading between the lines, picking up on their body language and emotional reactions in order to understand them better.

They know that this kind of casual, apparently meaningless conversation is a stepping-stone to anything deeper, and can be an essential part of forming new relationships. They also know that it is a necessary part of life, and you can’t communicate or get along with people without participating in the small talk from time to time.



INFP | Intrigued By What Makes People Tick

Introversion, Intuition, Feeling, Perception


Like INFJs, INFPs are not fans of small talk and may become drained just thinking about it. They don’t like shallow conversations, preferring to jump into meaningful ones about important issues. However, INFPs actually like getting to know people and feel that superficial topics keep them from finding out what makes others tick.

To an INFP, with their limited social energy, small talk may seem too shallow to be worth their while. They want to talk about topics that spark their intrigue and that of others, allowing them to broaden their viewpoint and create new connections.

ENFP | Love to Talk About Ideas

Extraversion, Intuition, Feeling, Perception


ENFP types want to lead exciting, passionate lives, and as a result, are also not fond of small talk. ENFPs like to really connect with others and enjoy pursuing lengthy conversations about important issues. They like learning about the passions of others and finding out who they really are.

They’re great at carrying on conversations, but basic chatter isn’t stimulating enough for them; they prefer to find exciting, unique ideas to discuss, and will usually end up steering the conversation in the direction they find most interesting.



INTJ | Despise Superficiality

Introversion, Intuition, Thinking, Judgment


People with an INTJ personality despise small talk and are often drained by inconsequential chatter. Like prior personality types, they tend to keep their limited social energy for conversations they find truly intriguing. They’ll happily pursue topics of theoretical and academic interest for hours, but find superficial ones exhausting.

INTJs are skillful at communication but may try to politely escape a discussion that isn’t holding their interest. They are often private, thoughtful people who spend a lot of time ruminating inside their own minds. Conversations that drag on too long or lack intellectual substance will quickly bore an INTJ and wear them thin.



ENTJ | Enjoy Social Chatter

Extraversion, Intuition, Thinking, Judgment


ENTJs are good at small talk and will usually enjoy a bit of a relaxing chat over drinks or dinner. Keep them too long in a trivial conversation though, and they’ll soon lose interest. ENTJs, like INTJs, enjoy philosophical or academic thought and enjoy talking over the many paths such topics can provide.

However, because they are more social at heart and aren’t quite so drained by dealing with others, ENTJs tend to have more patience for preliminary niceties. They understand that not everyone is looking for a philosophical discussion… but they will value and hang on to friends and acquaintances who can participate in the kind of stimulating conversations they prefer.

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INTP | Small Talk on Autopilot

Introversion, Intuition, Thinking, Perception


INTPs, on the other hand, definitely dislike chit-chat and may even feel very awkward when made to engage in it. To get around this, they may end up memorizing rote responses to common topics of discussion, in order to more quickly get through these situations.

People with an INTP personality prefer conversational partners who can provide diverse and interesting dialogue: things that let the workings of their innermost minds shine through. They may not be the best at starting these conversations themselves, but when given the chance to join in on a compelling topic, INTPs will be happy to contribute to a discussion that is both rousing and enjoyable.



ENTP | Possess the ‘Gift of the Gab’

Extraversion, Intuition, Thinking, Perception


ENTP individuals have magnetic personalities and are skillful at making good conversation. They’re usually great at the art of small talk and are instantly appealing to other people. However, while they may be skilled at small talk, this doesn’t mean they don’t get bored with it sometimes.

ENTPs like it best when they can have passionate debates regarding the subjects and ideas they find most exciting. They like to follow these topics to their deepest reaches and in the process, learn more about their conversation partner’s point of view.

For an ENTP, having these spirited discussions is a way to explore their own conclusions about things and come to a better understanding of various subjects.

ISFJ | Seeking to Understand You

Introversion, Sensing, Feeling, Judgment


ISFJs are quite conscious of social standards and usually have a good grasp on how to join in small talk. They have a general grasp of what to say, and are often able to do so without any trouble. However, participating in this kind of talk depletes an ISFJ’s social batteries, and they will need to recuperate with some alone time afterwards.

Small talk is exhausting to ISFJs, but they’re the kind of people who will endure it anyway in order to please others. They may initially see it as a good way to learn about new people, but once the basics are past, they would rather leave the chatter behind and delve deeper into what makes the person unique.

ISFJs prefer to understand their friends and loved ones on a more profound level, including their fondest hopes and dreams, and small talk only serves to hold them back from this.



ESFJ | Happy to Offer Advice

Extraversion, Sensing, Feeling, Judgment


ESFJs know how to take part in small talk and are usually good communicators. This is in part because they have a healthy awareness of facial expressions and body language, which allows them to read others and keep the conversation interesting for all involved. However, they may not necessarily enjoy superficial chatting, since they would rather put their efforts towards serving the emotional needs of others.

ESFJs enjoy conversations which allow them to give support, insight, or useful advice to those in need. They’re willing to participate in small talk when it’s needed, but given a choice, they would rather talk about more important things.

ISTJ | Keeping it Short and Sweet

Introversion, Sensing, Thinking, Judgment


People with an ISTJ personality frequently view small talk as a required part of living, which is necessary to get along in the world. They may memorize a variety of scripted responses and are good at carrying on this type of casual surface communication.

Perhaps because they see small talk as necessary rather than enjoyable in its own right, ISTJs tend to keep their responses short and sweet, enough to keep the conversation comfortably flowing but without much elaboration.

They are not likely to engage in much chit-chat on their own time, preferring quiet moments with loved ones while reading, watching television, or just enjoying each other’s company.



ESTJ | Natural Charmers

Extraversion, Sensing, Thinking, Judgment


ESTJs tend to be great at small talk, especially as they’re usually charming and sociable in nature. They know that being able to connect in this way is often essential to social advancement, and they don’t mind going over the little facts of their lives and others’.

They aren’t bored by small talk and may even enjoy swapping observations about the weather, the news, or the latest gossip. ESTJs are social creatures and draw energy from being able to participate in a community, even if it’s only for a chat over the water cooler.



ISTP | Happy with Silence

Introversion, Sensing, Thinking, Perception


At the far end of the spectrum are ISTP individuals, who tend to be incredibly introverted. Extended conversations leave them depleted of energy and uncomfortable, and when those conversations are full of superficial, unimportant information, it will be even worse for them. ISTPs prefer discussing topics that pique their interest with people whose company they enjoy, but even this can be tiring.

They will often avoid situations that may involve small talk, whether consciously or not, knowing how drained they will be afterwards. When stuck in such a situation, an ISTP person is likely to be left feeling awkward and wishing they could escape.



ESTP | Exchanging Adventures

Extraversion, Sensing, Thinking, Perception


ESTPs are usually very social individuals who love having long discussions, regardless of whether they’re small talk or something deeper. They enjoy being with other people and will often act as the life of the party, contributing fun and excitement to any situation.

They lead lives of adventure, even from the comfort of their own home, and find joy in each of life’s moments. ESTPs are happy to entertain themselves and others with small talk, but will also gladly pursue more substantial discussions about their innermost thoughts and dreams.



ISFP | Not Opposed to Occasional Chatter

Introversion, Sensing, Feeling, Perception


Although someone with an ISFP personality is unlikely to initiate small talk, they aren’t opposed to it. ISFPs are kind-hearted and like to find out more about the people around them, but they also like to separate conversations by how close they are to their conversation partners.

If they don’t know someone well, or don’t consider the relationship close enough, they prefer to stick with small talk and other surface subjects. Only when they find a strong connection to another person will they let the discussion move on to serious, heartfelt topics.



ESFP | Loves Random Chats

Extraversion, Sensing, Feeling, Perception


Most ESFPs love to talk and may even initiate random chats with complete strangers. They’re social butterflies who are energized and cheered up by communicating with other people. ESFP types are very unlikely to get bored with small talk, and can usually come up with all kinds of new things to discuss.

They genuinely enjoy interacting with others, whether with a loved one or a brand-new acquaintance. Because of their charismatic and outgoing personalities, ESFPs rarely find themselves with a shortage of people to talk to.

At Never the Right Word, our aim is to give you practical examples of how to handle life’s difficult conversations. If you have an awkward situation that you’d like example templates for, request a topic here.   

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Never the Right Word

Never the Right Word

Hi there! I’m Amy, and I’m the person behind Never the Right Word. I’m a designer-by-day who’s fascinated by human psychology; you’ll find me learning about what makes others tick through all types of media and good old-fashioned conversation. Learn more about me here.

In 2019 Never the Right Word was born to fill the gap of ‘how-to’ websites with copy and paste examples showing you EXACTLY what you need to say to steer difficult conversations into positive outcomes.

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