Do you need polish?
July 24, 2017

Once upon a time a gal we used to know told us what she didn’t like about certain people, how they “talk about themselves too much.” And I thought, “Good to know.” I was careful to keep my updates concise from then on, and to offer them only when requested. “What’s new?” she’d say. “I sold my next book,” I told her once, almost as an experiment. And that was it. No followup questions. So I thought, “Wow. She wasn’t kidding.”

Which is okay. It was a great reminder to be a good listener. I used to be the young woman who couldn’t shut up about herself. It pains me to admit that, but remembering how clueless I was helps me stay classier now. Had I gone on about the next book with this gal, for example, I wouldn’t have learned more about how difficult her childhood was.

She went on at some length about not having a decent dress for something that happened seventy years ago. That fascinated me. Not that she was talking about herself -- I like it when people do that -- but that she was still so hurt by the circumstances.

It’s nice when people hang on your every word. Even nicer? Really listening to someone else, and hanging on hers.