Relationships fail because most people have conversations like this

Short post here, but it’s important:

Someone asks the questions. (A)

Someone talks a lot. (B)

And when the person who talks a lot does direct the conversation back at the other person, they do not ask them questions. Instead, they say statements.

A: “How are things going?”

B: “Honestly, really good. So much is going well for me! I just moved into a new place. I just started a new job. It’s all fantastic.”

A: “That’s great! Are you adjusting well?”

B: “Oh absolutely. By the way these tacos are great.”

A: “Yup, I love tacos.”

B: “No, they’re like really good. You know I’ve always been a fan of tacos. Tacos are the best.”

A: “I agree.”

B: “Yeah, if I could, I would always eat tacos.”

Etc.

If you read the above, you have to listen closely to see how person A might feel, at some point in this conversation, unheard. Person B does not ask them directly, “What’s going on with you?” They just keep talking (usually about themselves) and saying things at the other person — instead of allowing them the opportunity to talk about themselves too.

This dynamic ruins relationships.

It causes unnecessary conflict and misunderstanding.

It stirs resentment.

Everyone wants to be able to share themselves — and if no one ever asks, they turn bitter.

Which makes them less likely to listen to someone else and ask them questions — and then that person turns bitter, etc.

It’s so simple.

When you’re with someone, ask them questions and actually listen.

This article first appeared on Medium