It is surely assumed that when catching up with a friend for dinner or coffee, they will ask you at least one question.
Not questions like ‘how are you going?‘ as you both settle into your seats. I mean questions that show that they have a genuine interest and understanding of your life. ‘How’s your job at ______,’ for example.
I returned from catching up with a friend for dinner with pure annoyance and offence over the fact that she did not ask me a single question throughout our whole dinner. Not one.
I have multiple friends that I know love having catch ups with me because I listen.
And I genuinely do listen.
I ask them questions, not out of nicety, but because I am truly interested in their life and what they are up to.
I love hearing people’s stories. In fact, learning and listening gives me great joy.
But after I nod and listen intently and contribute to their discussions about happenings in their life, I sometimes wait for the reciprocal question.
Sometimes we sit in silence as I wait for even a simple, ‘how about you?’
And it doesn’t come.
Is this because they really do not care about me and my life? Are they so uninterested in me, and if so, why? Moreover and more pressingly, am I selecting narcissistic people to be friends with?
I genuinely do not know the answer.
Sometimes I try to contribute something about my life into the conversation, but I can see their faces grow uninterested in my story. I’m no fool. I can read the social cues.
Their eyes slightly glazed over. No encouraging signals. No nods or facial interest.
My story then slowly dies. (And believe me, it would have been a good story, had they decided to tune in).
I feel angry that I ever decided to go out for dinner with this ‘friend.’ I feel drained, used and essentially, unmotivated to ever organise another catch up.
Do you also experience this with certain friendships? Are you left feeling drained after catching up? If so, what do we do?