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  • We start with an unusual observation.


  • There is a huge variance in how much we feel we have to say for ourselves around some people compared to around others.


  • Certain people make us feel boring, others do not.


  • We tend to evaluate people on how interesting they are, but we're thereby liable to miss a more acute and relevant issue: How interesting does a given person make us feel?


  • Why in the company of some people do our minds quickly fill with stories while around others, we experience ourselves as blank, dull and close to inert?


  • Why when some people ask, "So what have you been up to lately?" do we positively brim with a multitude of topics, whereas with others faced with the very same question, we'll struggle to remember that we've ever even existed?


  • To explain the phenomenon, we have to credit our unconscious minds with a faculty we might never have known we possessed.


  • Throughout our interactions with people, we are continually picking up on small clues as to how much our interlocutor is understanding and appreciating of what we're saying.


  • When we mention a given issue, how much do their eyes light up?


  • How much can they follow?


  • How much of our reality can this person accept? How much shocks them?

    這個人能接受多少我們的現實? 帶給他們多大的震撼?

  • How much can they take in their stride?


  • How much of what is knotted and complex in us can they safely receive?


  • How much of our reality would we need to hide from them to spare them, and therefore us an alarmed or censorious response?


  • From the answers to these multiple data points, we come without typically even realizing we've done so to a broad and active conclusion.


  • How much of me this person is likely to get?


  • And rather simply, the more the answer is a lot, the more we will have to say, and the more the answer is not so much, the more a cautionary instinct will form inside us telling us to remain quiet.


  • This simultaneously helps to explain how someone gets to be a companion around whom people feel they have a lot to say.


  • They do this by opening many rooms in their own minds.


  • Or if you like by saying a lot to themselves.


  • Of course, this is far from simple. Many rooms of our minds contain very frightening things indeed.

    當然,這遠非簡單。 我們的思想中有許多房間裡確實包含著非常可怕的事物。

  • Areas of properly daunting loss, pain, horror, and chaos, which we can be forgiven for never wanting to go anywhere near.


  • Yet, a person will feel interested precisely to the extent that they have become a brave and relaxed wanderer inside their own mindsthat they have become familiar, and one could almost say at ease, with things that are sad, dark, agonizing, and potentially shameful.

    然而,一個人會感到興趣,恰好取決於他們在自己的思想中是否成為了一位勇敢而輕鬆的漫遊者——他們是否變得熟悉,幾乎可以說是輕鬆自在,面對那些悲傷、黑暗、 痛苦和潛在羞恥的事物。

  • When they're at home with their own anxiety, grief, strangeness, and silliness.


  • So, by a beautiful principle of reciprocity, they will be at home with ours as well.


  • Where they have gone, we can follow because they have talked to themselves, we will be able and keen to talk to them.


  • What they have felt safe exploring in themselves, we will be able to safely unpack around them.


  • This gives us guidance as to how to become a more interesting person for others by becoming the best possible travelers inside ourselves.


  • We need to open as many doors to our psyches as we can.


  • For this will simultaneously surreptitiously let out a signal to others that we will be a safe recipient for all of their smaller, more private, less often mentioned observations and feelings.


  • Other people will have much to say to us once we have had the courage to say a lot to ourselves.


We start with an unusual observation.


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