posted Fri, 23 Jun 2006
SH and I have conversations that go like this:
Me: So then I…
SH: Hit him upside the head?
Me: Yes, but…
SH: That’s so cool!
Me: I want to tell my own story!
SH: But doesn’t it show you that I’m really listening when I do that?
Me: No! You’re stealing my punch lines! People want to tell their own stories.
SH: I think it shows I’m involved and really paying attention.
Me: I think it ticks me off.
We also have conversations like this:
Me: Oh! And one time my friends Joan and Steve were visiting with their little girls, Jordan and Jillian. They were bored so I told them to move all the sod I had dug up from my front yard…
SH: Yes! You’ve told me that story before.
Me: Oh. Never mind.
SH: That’s OK. Tell me again.
When SH starts to tell a story I’ve already heard, I pretend I haven’t heard it before. He thinks his way is nicer. I think mine is. He says it is more of a compliment to insist on hearing a story he has already heard, but to me, that’s just patronizing. What’s the point of telling someone a story he has already heard, especially if you know he is going to jump in with the punch line? I think it’s nicer and far more polite to keep your mouth shut and listen to the story again. Unless, of course, you don’t want to hear it again, in which case you say, “You’ve told that damn story about a gajillion times. Would you give it a rest already?”