An issue that continues to arise in my work with patients is this idea that in order to be likable one has to have interesting facts, stories, and adventures with which to regale others.
But the true foundation of an intimate and lasting connection has less to do with flashy stories and more to do with an earnest curiosity in the other person…a reality that has been largely overlooked in our society.
This curiosity applies to friendships as well as romantic relationships. We are drawn to people who take an honest interest in us and our experience. And in a healthy dynamic, we then reciprocate that curiosity and take an interest in their experience.
With this approach, we may end up sharing many exciting stories, but the intention is very different. When we are related in this way, the stories follow an organic path that is more interpersonally connected as opposed to singularly geared towards showmanship.
And the unfortunate outcome that I see with showmen is that they end up feeling more alienated, when their original intention was to feel connected.
So the best advice I can give is take an honest interest in the ones you are looking to get closer to, ask them about their experience, and listen to their answers.
And if they don’t reciprocate the same interest in you, then perhaps it isn’t a good match.