Asking People About Themselves
Why is it considered "polite" to ask people about themselves? And why do I struggle with that?
This page is a stub, created on 2020-07-17. Its contents are notes on the issues and angles I want to address about this topic.
- different dispositions
- like to ask
- dislike to ask
- being asked
- like to be asked
- dislike to be asked
- like to tell/volunteer
- dislike to tell/volunteer
- being told
- like to be told
- dislike to be told
- different combinations work well together; others less so
- why this is moralized (connection to cultural rejection of self-interest, glorification of humility, etc?)
- responsibility of the other person
- to speak up / articulate their needs/desires
- assume positive intent and not jump to conclusions (eg, "He's just a self-centered asshole.")
- self-regulation of emotions
- my own attitudes/dispositions (not my conscious convictions)
- tend to be very excited about my own things ("in love with my own stories")
- symmetrically, have a default subconscious expectation that others will share anything they're excited about
- if others not excited enough to volunteer, implication that it's not worth my interest either
- When consciously recognizing another's default disposition (eg, not liking to volunteer), I might explicitly ask about them, but then this feels phony, like I'm following a script because I'm supposed to, rather than because I'm genuinely interested (even if I am!).
- related to banality of small talk?
- related to my not being people-oriented and instead caring more about facts/ideas/things/tasks?