The Art of Being Interested in Others

Saturday, May 10

 


My Dad is fascinated by other peoples life stories. He is genuinely interested in people's backgrounds, current life situation and their future plans and dreams.

I remember once, a family friend had been seeing his girlfriend for a few months and he bought her out to our farm for the weekend. My Dad naturally asked her a lot about herself over the course of the weekend, and I remember our family friend saying afterwards that he had learnt more about her through my Dad's questions that weekend than he had learnt in their relationship that far.

My Mum is also very interested in how other people are doing and often asks me how friends of mine are doing that she has never even met!

I don't think that I've ever appreciated what an incredible personality trait this is until recently.
 


I had a long chat to my friend Leigh about this a few weeks ago in South Africa, and I've become so much aware of this since then.

I caught up with two of my favourite girlfriends Sam and Cath this afternoon, and this subject came up again.

How often do you see someone and afterwards you realise that you have spent the entire conversation talking about them?

And how often are the catch ups that you most enjoy - with people that are genuinely interested in how you are doing?

I suppose we are all naturally a little self obsessed and eager to talk about ourselves, which is why we talk about ourselves spontaneously and also crave to be asked?

Maybe this is why some of my patients like to have more sessions with me than they really need because in the Physio-Patient relationship I am naturally the asker and they the answerer?

I also find that in my life, my friends and family that are most happy and peaceful within themselves are also the most likely to make an effort to ask how I am doing.

And so my life tip today - is 2 fold:

1. Ask others how they are doing before you talk about yourself.

2. Surround yourself with people who are already following tip number 1.

What are your thoughts on this?
 
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