As a teenager, I was well-practiced at being the center of a crowd. I could easily tell engaging, dramatic and humorous stories on command that would entertain and enthrall.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve mostly steered away from this behavior and only occasionally let out the extravagant exuberance with family and close friends. Yair and I have both grown to appreciate and esteem asking good questions (I’d give myself an A+) and truly listening to the answers (probably only a B+ at this point). I realized that – as a result of the questioning and subsequent listening – we often don’t talk about ourselves and what’s going on in our lives with friends, even with friends who don’t read the blog.
During hangouts, people are so engaged with talking about their lives (granted, we ask many questions) that they don’t ask about ours. Or some friends do ask, but I find myself deflecting with “No, no, no! I want to hear about you!”
The deflection is genuine. I do want to hear about our friends’ lives. But it’s also an automatic reflex response at this point. I’d like to be more present in the conversation and connect with our friends in two-way directionality, which means scaling back on our reticence and taking a more active role in casual conversation. We’ll see how easy that transition actually is.
posted by ayo