Don’t you just love those conversations that start with openers like “I don’t want to brag or anything” followed by the biggest brag session! The opener we all love to hate “I’m not saying I know everything but I do have knowledge of most things.” Where do you take the conversation to from there?
I recently found myself in a conversation with an acquaintance as we sometimes do and from the outset I had no doubt that she had turned me into a student in her lessons of life. I was bombarded with facts and lots of opinion. While I was preparing my answer and deciding in my little head whether I should engage with her. I quickly realised she was trying to prove how much she actually knew in comparison to me. Well what she thought she knew anyway. It was in those seconds I decided to let her live out her dream of sharing her superior life experience with every living creature she meets.
This was my very intellectual response because when somebody has chosen to be your adviser the least you can do is engage them. In that moment I looked at her and thought “you are not going to spin me in your web.” I started nodding, smiling and giving the occasional ‘mmm’ which actually meant you’re so clever why don’t you just go on speaking to yourself while I compile a shopping list in my head.
As someone who tends to speak far too much I am always aware of the person I’m having the conversation with and unless they ask for advice I don’t give any. If they do ask and I’m clueless I say so. Sometimes all that’s required of you is to listen to the person and offer heartfelt support.
A conversation is a two way game and it just shows you care for the person you’re engaging with when you allow them to express themselves.
Will you listen today?