A few of my friends have told me that when they read my blog, they feel like they're just talking to me - it's pretty much stream of conscience. And while I do get on here most days and ramble about myself - almost exclusively - I can be pretty awkward when it comes to actually talking about myself in person. My friend Katie and I joke that we go into interview mode, where we just hammer out questions to deflect the conversation.
Certain subjects we have mastered and could talk about for days - because they're safe. But when it comes to the real conversation - the hard stuff - I can get pretty squirmy. For better or for worse, I'd rather listen all day than have to get real about some topics.
I've been working on being better at it for the last few(+) months - on getting real and opening up. And this week I was talking to my friend Jordan and mid-conversation stopped and said, Jor, I'm so sorry. I am completely dominating this conversation. To which she said, No! I love it. You never do this.
And I don't think I'm alone here. If you watch closely, there is a whole crew of girls out there who are constantly trying to shorten their stories, get to the point quickly, ask how are you, before someone can ask them.
Somewhere along the line, we've been trained to think that it's impolite or selfish to share with one another. But as I've tried (seriously - it's hard) to be better at sharing, I've noticed that it's actually just the opposite. It comforts the other person when you can share that you, too, struggle with this or were wondering about that. It drives the relationship and creates a sense of both safety and vulnerability.
So, yes, I once told a therapist: but tell me about you!
But that was long ago, and now I'm beginning to see that as scary as it is to open up and let people into our most personal of spaces, it's a lot happier when there are other people in there with you.