Once upon a time I was an open book. My friends and family didn’t have to ask about the details of my life because I would freely share with them. I had no secrets so why not share and share alike, right? Wrong. It often became one sided with me sharing and them not giving any details at all about their lives.
I don’t like one sided relationships … at all.
When there isn’t anything coming from the other party, I have nothing to talk about where they are concerned. The only thing I know to talk about is my stuff.
That gets old … fast.
So, an open book now? Not so fast! Not any more!
If a person truly wants to carry on a conversation with me, they will share about their life, their dreams, their goals, even their work day and their family. I wouldn’t care if they talked endlessly about their dog or cat, as I’ve been known to go on and on about my horses. Just so long as they were engaged in the conversation.
Even if they feel like they don’t have anything of worth or value to add, maybe I would feel differently … and I do!
I believe I read this in one of Dr. Gary Chapman’s books or articles, but it was suggested that at the end of the day a couple should reconnect and share at least three things that happened during the course of their day when they’ve been apart. Each person needed to share three things … not just one person. Again, there’s that one sided conversation and relationship again which I now avoid!
This doesn’t just apply for couples in a relationship but could be for friends, too.
I can understand that some people want to hold certain things back, and that is fine. I am in total agreement, but when the conversation is mainly me talking, me sharing, and me asking questions to get things going … it just becomes too draining for me.
I feel as if the person truly doesn’t want to talk or share or anything … because they don’t!
When once uncomfortable silence made me nervous, I just allow silence to fill the air. Whether we’re in person, on the phone, or even in emails or private messages. While I appreciate someone sending me a “Hi, how are you …” … “hope you’re having a good day …” message, where is the meat in the conversation?
Small talk makes me uncomfortable. There, I said it.
I’m not one that mingles well at parties either. I just don’t do small talk well at all. I guess I would be more of a wallflower because I would tend to stay to myself. BUT, put me in a situation where there is deep conversation, and I will talk and listen for hours on end … and have. (My husband and I once talked for ten hours straight when we were dating, no kidding!)
So, to my friends: If I am more quieter than usual, now you know why. If you want to have a conversation, it is going to take two participants, not just me.
I will reserve parts of my life and not be so much of an open book any longer. I have nothing to hide, but if people want details, they will have to share theirs as well and not just idle conversation.
That’s where I am today.