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Friday, August 14, 2020

Give And Take

Over your lifetime, what percentage of people you've met have shown you that they understand how important give and take is in sustaining a conversation?

Recently my wife and I were musing about someone who we'd both had regular contact with over the past twenty years. When she commented on how little she knew of this person - despite that contact - I had to agree; I didn't know a great deal either.

Then I began reflecting on the interactions I'd had with this person over the years. I recalled asking questions - about work, interests, family - and receiving polite answers. What I don't recall is ever being asked a question in return. And for this specific individual, it's possible my memory is failing me. Maybe there was a give and take.

But right or wrong in my recollection of this person, I've spent a few days more carefully considering this matter. I've scrutinized some recent and some older conversations; I've thought about people in my life and the models they've had or not had for give and take conversation, including the model I provided for my daughter; I've tried to be honest with myself about my own skills.

So far, the only payoff from this reflecting has been the certainty that I can get better at this. I believe it's worth it. What do you think? How much more rewarding do you suppose your conversations would be if you put additional effort into give and take?


  1. Totally. I believe it is worth the effort to have give and take. Much more rewarding to be sure! Thanks for the reminder.

    1. Ines; You're welcome. Thanks for your consistent support of my blog.

  2. I struggle with this often. So often conversations start with 'how are you' and lately I feel I have been sharing more than I have been actively listening and engaging with others. It could be due to the past few weeks our family has had a lot going on, but I sense I'm guilty of not reciprocating. I will try to converse more with others this week and report back!

    1. Marisa; There are times in all of our lives - like now in yours - when the balance of give and take is understandably out of whack. Forgive yourself, learn, and begin again. Thanks for reading & commenting.