What is it like to be on the other side of you?
Would people say you do a good job showing you are genuinely interested in them?
Or would they say you behave as if it's more important for you to be interesting?
Neither of these tendencies is all good or all bad.
Active listening, getting to know, and seeking to understand are important relational skills, but relationships are about give and take. So it's important to share yourself with others as well. Otherwise, it's not really a relationship.
If you're someone who, when listening to someone else tell their story about a recent vacation, it makes you think about your recent vacation, and you want to boomerang to bring the conversation back to you -- stop. Hold that thought. Continue to show them the same level of interest you want them to show you. Let them finish their story. Then maybe you'll have a chance to share yours.
If you're someone who's naturally gifted at listening, but has a hard time sharing yourself with others -- stop. People want to know you. Don't rob them of that opportunity. Relationships are about give and take. Share with them things you think they may find interesting about you.
As we're intentional to watch out for this boomerang effect -- to not constantly be bringing back conversations to be about us, but also being intentional to share ourselves with others -- we can develop healthier, more enjoyable relationships.
- How often do you show others the same level of interest you want them to show you?
- How might your relationships improve if you did?
- Are you intentional to tell others about you?
- If not, how might you (and they) be missing out?