Sometimes, when I'm talking to certain friends or certain relatives, I find myself doing all the listening as the person goes on and on about their latest project or problem.
Later, I'll hang up the phone or return from coffee, entirely frustrated...and I'll vent to my husband that ______ was annoyingly and obnoxiously self-centered.
This seems to happen to me a lot, actually.
Possibility No 1: The role of listener is what I'm used to, having never been allowed to finish a single sentence in the presence of my n-father...in my entire life...no exaggeration.
Possibility No 2: I hold myself back in conversations and ALLOW the other person to the fill the void.
Sometimes, I wonder if there's some way I behave that seems to bring out the Boor in people. In fact, I was just thinking about this when I rediscovered this article written by Alan Rappaport, PhD, about co-narcissism. This is something he addressed at the top of page three.
He wrote: "Their tendency to be unexpressive of their own thoughts and feelings and to support and encourage others' needs creates something of an imbalance in their relationships, and other people may take more of the interpersonal space for themselves as a result, thereby giving the impression that they are, in fact, narcissists, as the co-narcissists fears."
The one thing I like about this...as a theory...is that there's something I can actually do to lessen my frustration and to have more meaningful, reciprocal encounters. I can take up...oooo!....half-the space. Okay, I'd be thrilled with a third!
Here's a link to the article:
There's much worth discussing...let me know which themes are of greatest interest and I can start up future, separate posts.