She talks fast. Really fast.
It’s as though she expects to be interrupted, and she’s doing her absolute best to get as much out before it happens.
It’s probably a habit she learned in childhood. A childhood in which people were never really interested in what she thought. What she had to say.
A childhood in which the people around her were never really listening but instead were waiting for their turn to speak in conversation.
She also tells people things more than once. More than twice. Usually more than three times. And each time she says it again it’s as though she expects them not to remember that she told them. Or as though she assumes that they didn’t even listen to or hear her in the first place.
Because she expects to be ignored.
She’s always recommending things to other people. Books or movies that they might like. Knowing that I like documentaries, she recommends one to me.
It sounds interesting, so I watch it. It’s great. Really thought provoking.
The next time we hang out, we’re talking about random stuff when she recommends to me again that I watch this documentary.
“Oh,” I say, “Yes, I did watch it. And it was great.”
She looks stunned. In that moment, it’s as though I’ve challenged her worldview. Because it dawns on her that I’ve not only listened to what she said and remembered, but I actually took her recommendation.
She’s clearly not used to that happening. It throws her off guard for a second. She seems overwhelmed by it. Almost embarrassed.
So I start talking about particulars of the documentary instead, to distract her. I talk about my favorite scenes. Some of the overarching themes. I ask her what she liked best about it. Get her take.
And as we talk over the film, she loses her self-consciousness. I notice she’s talking more slowly. It’s as though she finally trusts me not to interrupt.