It’s not unusual for someone– who might be a close friend or a brand new acquaintance– to lean in close to me and then tell me something private about himself or herself. I’m THAT sort of person.
Everyone tells me everything. Always have. Always will, I suppose.
In fact, I’ll go so far as to say that if someone feels threatened by me, then I know that person has mental health problems. Because no well-balanced person ever thinks of me as a threat.
They think of me as a confidante, a mother confessor, a problem solver, but never as someone to be wary of.
When I was in college I asked a prof in the Communications department why she thought people treated me like this. I was taking her course in listening at the time and had excelled at all the classroom auditory tests.
Her observations were that I was an active listener [H/T to my parents on that one] and that I appear to pay attention to what is going on around me. So, because I tune into people, they are comfortable around me and want me to know things about them.
At the time I thought that was as good of an explanation as any– and I still do.
I don’t really mind my role as listener, but do find AT TIMES people say some pretty wacko things to me. I’m not a Judgey McJudgerton, so I let most things roll off me. I figure that I’m not here to change people, I’m here to help whoever find his or her own way by allowing him or her to talk openly about– well, whatever.
To wit, it’s rare for me to tell someone he or she is doing something stupid, childish, immoral, unethical. In fact, if by chance I ever tell you that you need to behave differently, then you can be assured that you’ve crossed some sort of line.
And that it’s time for you to re-think how & why you do what you do.
Anyone else find him or herself in the same sort of role as I do– that is, people telling you things for no apparent reason? And if so, how do you handle it? With grace or with annoyance? With zipped lips or with your finger on speed dial to immediately pass the info along?
Just curious. No reason, really.