Oh, it pains me to realize I am stuck in a conversation involving multiple people who are so insecure they have to compete with stories…
If you have traveled to *here, they have traveled to *there…if you had the *party of the year, they have attended a greater *party…if you relate a personal *story of great drama and emotion, don’t worry your fellow converstaionalist can top that *story.
Grow up people! Enjoy each others stories and personal experiences and don’t feel that you have been ‘outdone’ by a fellow “rivalry” vying for the attention of your peers in the group.
Being caught in this kind of group conversation is painful. Usually everyone else will eventually become silent or try to leave as the 2 or possibly 3 (but 3 is usually destructive) people climb and claw, verbally battling their way to the top of the conversation only to realize no one cares to hear their selfish portrayal of ‘story toppers’ and by now they have realistically convinced the ‘loser’ the winner is the real loser, because they have won exactly what they didn’t want…and audience of none.
Congratulations! You selfish, competitive, non-hearing insecure person! You have successfully dominated the ‘greatness’ of the art of meaningful conversation and reduced it to whatever it is you want people to hear, even though no one is left behind to hear it…Yes, you have won! Enjoy your rewards and try to remember if anyone Else’s sharing has sunk in to your ‘person’ to help make you a more listening, understanding, caring person…
Or maybe you are the one trying to escape from day to day, like me. I sometimes feel or know I have greater stories to share, advice to help, and encouraging words to share…but I won’t share it, I will try to listen and gleen from this other person so I can practice HOW NOT TO BE a person who can only feel successful by hearing their own voice.
Debates are debates, arguments are hostile, I like good meaningful conversation by those who can have it, not dominate it.
Some practical advice to change this behavior? Well it can be derived from a proverb or even from scripture in a Proverb from the Bible, but maybe best said and recognized from an everyday saying – (paraphrased)
Better a fool that keeps his mouth shut, than a fool that opens it and removes all doubt.
I try to practice this myself. If I feel I have nothing significant to contribute to a conversation I become part of it by listening for what may be interesting or significant to me, or maybe its just because I care and want to hear about other peoples lives.