Today’s blog is a repost of a long tweet of Nicolas Cole, because it is something I haven’t been able to stop thinking about, since this morning; and more specifically, since my therapy session earlier this week.
Here we go (everything after here is a copy pasted from here):
Relationships fail because most people have conversations like this:
Short post here, but it’s important.
If you listen carefully, most conversations are one-sided.
Someone asks the questions. (A) Someone talks a lot. (B)
And when the person who talks a lot does direct the conversation back at the other person, they do not ask them questions.
Instead, they say statements.
A: “How are things going?”
B: “Honestly, really good. So much is going well for me! I just moved into a new place. I just started a new job. It’s all fantastic.”
A: “That’s great! Are you adjusting well?”
B: “Oh absolutely. By the way these tacos are great.”
A: “Yup, I love tacos.”
B: “No, they’re like really good. You know I’ve always been a fan of tacos. Tacos are the best.”
A: “I agree.”
B: “Yeah, if I could, I would always eat tacos.”
If you read the above, you have to listen closely to see how person A might feel, at some point in this conversation, unheard.
Person B does not ask them directly, “What’s going on with you?”
They just keep talking (usually about themselves) and saying things at the other person — instead of allowing them the opportunity to talk about themselves too.
This is one of the most common mistakes I have witnessed in human interactions, period.
This dynamic ruins relationships.
It causes unnecessary conflict and misunderstanding.
It stirs resentment.
Everyone wants to be able to share themselves — and if no one ever asks, they turn bitter.
Which makes them less likely to listen to someone else and ask them questions — and then that person turns bitter, etc.
It’s so simple.
When you’re with someone, ask them questions and actually listen.