« Last post by wolfie on Yesterday at 08:48:18 PM »
I meant what do you do if the other person offers to tell her experiences and you don't especially want to take up the offer. I suppose 'I'll keep that in mind" is as good an answer as any.Personally, I have a big personality and I pay attention to how much time I've "held the floor." If I notice that I've held the floor for a while or all the energy is flowing to me, I shift the focus to someone else by bridging to an interest I know they have on the topic or asking them something about themselves. I have a natural curiosity about people and really want to know about them; it's a nice counterbalance to my story and joke telling tendencies.
I like the tennis example, and I'd add that while one or another of us might blow that in one interaction, for ongoing relationships, we can focus on re-balancing for the next conversation. So, if I was too one-sided in a past interaction with someone, I'd start the next conversation by drawing the other person out, maybe "The last time I saw you I walked away and realized I forgot to ask about...." I also keep a running mental "tally" about what's what in someone's life. For instance, my dental hygienist moved her mom in with her recently and she has a little chihuahua who hates to pee outside. So when I went in today, I asked how her mom was, if she's picked up any weight since moving in with the hygienist, and how the little chihuahua has handled the chilly weather.
Another thing I do if I have "me too" experiences is try to "ask before telling." To use the previous example about a trip to Germany, I might say, "Oh, I was in Germany in 2012, if you want any travel tips or fun facts let me know." I do this when I hear people taking a cruise; I say, "If you want my top three cruise tips, let me know." A majority of the time people ask, especially if it's their first cruise, but that way, I haven't put it out as unsolicited advice.
I thought of the "me too" thing when we were discussing Alex Trebek's behavior when he interviews Jeopardy! contestants. He never misses a chance to top their stories. If you've been skydiving, he's been skydiving twice. But sharing similar experiences is a great way to keep a conversation going. At what point does it become one-upmanship?
I like the idea making a point to ask the other person more in the next conversation if you feel the previous one was too one sided. But regarding the "ask before telling"--if you really don't want to hear someone else's travel stories or insomnia remedies or whatever, is there ever a polite way to say so?
what do you mean? In the "if you want to hear my X let me know" example if you really don't want to know then just say "I'll keep that in mind" and continue the conversation. You don't have to ask and at that point the other person shouldn't tell. If that isn't what you mean can you elaborate?
You acknowledge the offer and then move on. You don't need to say that you dont want to hear it.