There is one topic that almost everyone I know likes to talk about. They can usually talk about this subject for quite a while and are usually very knowledgeable about it. In fact most are an expert on the topic. So what is this magic subject that everyone knows so much about? It’s themselves.
Think about it, nothing is more familiar to you than you are. You are an expert on yourself. You know what you secretly love, you know what annoys you the most. As Dr. Suess put it “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”.
That being said, how many of us have encountered someone (maybe several people) who talk about themselves a bit too much. I’m not talking about someone who you asked them questions about themselves either. I’m talking about someone who volunteers information about what they are thinking, what they want, what they hate and any other thought that crosses their mind and you get to hear about it just because you are around them. People who participate in this type of behavior often make other people around them want to RUN in the opposite direction. The sad thing is that often times they do not even realize what they are doing.
To be able to have a conversation where both participants are equally engaged, the conversation should have equal parts talking and active listening from both (or all) participants. If you can make a conscious effort to remember that letting the other person have their share of talking time is just as important as yours then you will be doing them and yourself a great service.
Of course there are exceptions to every rule. Maybe you have a friend who is going through a rough time and needs to vent. You could also be with someone who is very shy or just doesn’t have much to say in general. Whatever the case may be, using the equal parts to a conversation rule should be applied as a default setting. It applies when you are just hanging out with friends, it applies when you are on a date, it applies when you are talking with your parents. Don’t dominate the conversation and ask the other person about themselves, it will take you a long way.