Connection Through Curiosity

by Vince Fabra

The path to deeper personal connection is curiosity, not commonality.

Far too often in conversation we will say or hear someone say, “Oh my god! Me too.” Then, the story or anecdote will follow that loosely relates to what was previously said. Here is an example.

“So, when I was in 7th grade, I broke my arm…” she says.
“Oh my god! Me too,” he replies.
“That’s so crazy!” she says.
“I know, right?!” he agrees.

This is a natural conversation habit. Most people do this not to “1-UP” or try to impress, but to try and find connection. We are so excited that we have something to contribute to the conversation that we cannot wait to let the person or group know that we have a similar experience.

Commonality is fine, but how would that same “broken arm” conversation look when curiosity replaces commonality.

“So, when I was in 7th grade, I broke my arm…” she says.
“Oh my god! How did it happen?” he asks.
“Well, (INSERT INTERESTING STORY),” she explains.
“Golly, that was a crazy story,” he says. “What did you feel you gained from that experience?”
“Hmmm… I guess (INSERT PERSPECTIVE GAINED THROUGH DIFFICULT EXPERIENCE),” she says.
“Really cool. I also broke my arm in 7th grade,” he shares.
“Oh my god! Tell me more about that,” she requests.

In conversation, you will naturally feel the need to blurt “Oh my god! Me too!” That does not mean that you are hogging the conversation or that you love talking about yourself. Most times, it is an attempt to find a better conversation with a stranger, acquaintance or close friend. My challenge to you is to find that better conversation through curiosity. Replace your “OMG! ME 2”’s with curious questions and you will learn more, have better conversations and create stronger connections. Try it, tell me about your results and I will try my best to respond with curiosity instead of “Oh my god! Me too!”

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