Like me, I expect you know people whose idea of a conversation is that you mainly listen while they mainly talk.
And the only time they encourage you to say something is if you’re asking them a question.
So they can talk even more.
I was brought up to be a listener rather than a ‘teller’, but as I get older I’m realising that there’s sometimes a sweet spot in between these two positions.
You know, it’s not always selfish to talk about yourself.
Particularly when it’s in moderation.
Disclosing something of yourself almost always helps another person understand you better.
But it’s when you both do this, when the confidences are reciprocated, that a conversation takes on a life of its own, allowing you to both walk away from it having had a good experience.
Sometimes even a great experience.
It’s not always easy to do, particularly if your disclosure might relate, say, to the fact that you’re not always a happy bunny.
Perhaps it makes sense, then, to tread carefully, to think before you disclose, and only to do this if you believe it’s not going to make the other person uncomfortable.
An uncomfortable conversational partner rarely makes an exchange a good one.
But there’s not a lot to beat the satisfaction of a genuine two-way flow of honesty.