It’s not you, it’s me

Okay, you may have trouble swallowing this considering how I go on at you every week. But when we meet in person, I am infinitely – infinitely – more interested in you than I am in me. Have I said this to you before? I tell you everything, I must’ve mentioned it: my attitude when nattering away with someone is that I know all about me, I was there, I saw me do it, let’s talk about you.

Truly, time spent talking about me is wasted and boring. I’m not knocking myself, I’m just not interested and I have plenty of time to know me, I might get only minutes with you. And look at you: look at all you’re doing, all you know that I don’t, how could I possibly waste any time talking about me?

I got told off for this today.

I saw a friend for a coffee – she’s Steph Vidal-Hall, she does coaching for creatives and you could look her up right now – and she is doing so much that is so interesting. I was really looking forward to learning about it all.

And I did find out a lot but she also tricked me.

Before I knew it, I was telling her about a job I have on that is worrying me, about projects that are vastly delayed because of my cold, and I was even telling her about a thing recently that went spectacularly well for me.

Clearly I will never have coffee with this woman again.

She argued that this is how conversation between friends is supposed to be. I can’t disagree. I do also wonder if I’m a bit selfish in conversations, wanting to ditch me and talk about you.

This is all a small and maybe obvious point but I’m thinking about it a lot now. Previously, I admit this, I’ve liked that I put the spotlight on you. That’s mostly because that is exactly where the spotlight should be, but also we’ve all had people who can barely hide that they exist to tell you about themselves. So I have enjoyed not being like that.

Plus, my lights, you cannot believe the things people have told me. It is amazingly flattering and I’d give you examples but for how that would be rather destroying the whole trust that I seem to have got from strangers and friends alike.

I’ve looped around this thought before and always managed to kick it to the kerb. But today’s friend did two things that fixed the issue in my head and also made me want to talk to you about it.

First, she pointed out that she has previously enjoyed our chats but gone away feeling bad that they had been so completely about her.

And, second, she helped me.

I have this job on and I am nervous about it. I’m still nervous, I’m not going to say she changed my mind and has made me look forward to it, but she gave me a nudge that helped. It’s a nudge that may mean I get over these particular nerves given time, it definitely means I had a moment when I actually felt relaxed.

Also, she bought the tea.

If we were chatting face to face now I’d be grabbing your arm and bringing you over to her.

Let’s all get a tea some time and you can tell us about you, Steph can tell us about her, and hopefully you’ll both take long enough that I have time to make up some interesting lies.