Show your cards

Who do you spend the most time talking with? Yourself.

If you're anything like me, you talk with yourself about everything and everyone. You talk about your experiences, about your desires, and about your relationships.

We converse one-on-one with ourselves so often that sometimes we forget this internal dialogue is completely invisible to others, creating asymmetry between how we actually feel and how people think we feel about them. This asymmetry restricts our relationships in a big way.

Analogy time.

The players in our poker game (life) can make an educated guess about how we feel about them, based on the actions we makeā€”but they'll never really know what we're holding onto unless we show them our cards. The cost of not showing our cards becomes obvious once we consider how awful people are at guessing.

When guessing on how people feel about us, we er on the side of negativity. We have a presumption bias that writes-off indicators of interest from others as "how they treat everybody", yet we're quick to find reasons why they might not like us. The people you care about are bad guessers too.

We stunt the quantity and quality of our relationships when we refuse to show our cards. Luckily for us, we don't spend too much time mourning the loss of an unrealized relationship that could have been sparked by asking for a phone number. The real pain hits when the relationships we did have, and the relationships we did deeply appreciate, die before we're brave enough to fully reveal our cards.

We all want to be better partners and better friends (duh!) but spend too much unnecessary mental energy in being indirect about what we want and figuring out what the other wants. via @quietonlooker

Don't rob your loved ones of compliments. Try to share more of the positive discussions you have with yourself about them, to them. Show them your cards.


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