A few days ago, I found myself having a conversation with someone I didn't know very well. It's always awkward when you are trying to get to know a person, because you never know what you should ask, or what might be inappropriate and certainly you don't want to get too personal with them accidentally. Those of you who know me well probably know I'm going to ask the hell out of some questions, not so much to be nosey, but because I really want to understand them and know where they fit in the world.
Wait, maybe that's the textbook definition of being nosey. Well, I don't meant to be nosey, if that makes a difference. I need to know where to mentally file people. I have to know about them to do that, so I ask questions.
So we have our conversation and it was nice. I found out a lot of interesting things, and as I was leaving I thought "Wow, we really learned a lot about each other today!" I kind of pushed the whole thing into the back of my mind and went on my way, but later something started bugging me about it. The conversation had been nice and civil, I couldn't think of anything I'd asked that would have been inappropriate, I'd told them a lot about myself, too, so I wasn't asking anything I wouldn't have been willing to answer myself, but something seemed off.
That's when it hit me. I'd told them a lot about myself, and that person had never asked me anything at all. They'd never asked one question about me, but I'd just gone on to talk about myself, as if they'd asked all of the same questions I'd asked them! It didn't occur to me at the time, because it just seemed natural to reciprocate answers, but now I wonder if they had even been interested in what I was saying at all! Then I also realized that I do that a lot! I can think of lots of conversations where I've done the same thing.
Look, you guys, I'm so sorry about that! I don't mean to talk about myself so much! I'm actually really embarrassed about it now that I realize what I have been doing. I'll try, in the future, not to answer questions that you didn't ask.
Self realizations are never comfortable, are they? Oy.