Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach

We Don’t Care That It Happened To You Too

It’s happened to all of us. You bring up an experience you want to talk about and a few sentences into your story, the other person goes, “Me too!” And then hijacks the conversation.

Yeh, yeh, yeh, shared experiences deepen the connection. So it’s not all bad. But if you rush into your similar story too quickly, it’s an incredibly selfish thing to do.

Listen and make the other person feel heard first, will ya?

That counts double when the person you’re talking with is opening up about a significant event. Not only are they likely trying to get something heavy off their chest, but it’s highly improbable that your tale is of a similar weight to theirs.

You accidentally stepping on your pet turtle as a kid, isn’t the same as an angry boyfriend mowing down your friend’s cat with his Toyota Land Cruiser. 

Rarely are two incidents of sorrow or sadness the same.

When someone is expressing their emotions, the kindest thing to do is to shut up and listen.

The same can be said of celebratory moments. If your friend is excited about having placed second in their local tennis tournament, don’t go on to say how you once made first at the junior nationals.

That’s what communication specialists call, a dick move. Nobody likes a story topper.

All I’m saying is this: resist the urge to talk about yourself and give people a chance to really feel their emotions. 

Want to be a good conversationalist? Ask a few questions so they can really reflect about how their experience impacted them.

Does it look like they’re satisfied? Then you can share your matching anecdote and hog the spotlight.

Until that moment arrives, remember that nobody cares that it happened to you too.

By Jeroen Elsing
Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach