Good Conversations Have Lots of Doorknobs


Key takeaways


  • Givers think that conversations unfold as a series of invitations; takers think conversations unfold as a series of declarations. When giver meets giver or taker meets taker, all is well. When giver meets taker, however, giver gives, taker takes, and giver gets resentful (“Why won’t he ask me a single question?”) while taker has a lovely time (“She must really think I’m interesting!”) or gets annoyed (“My job is so boring, why does she keep asking me about it?”). (View Highlight)
    • Note: Giver/Taker in conversation may not be the best pairing.
  • And asking your partner question after question and resenting them when they don’t return the favor isn’t generosity; it’s social entrapment, like not telling your friends that it’s your birthday and then seething that they didn’t get you cake. (View Highlight)
    • Note: This is improv theater but the same dynamics are true in day-to-day conversations. I identify very much as a “Taker”
  • There’s some recent evidence that what makes conversations pop off is indeed the social equivalent of doorknobs (View Highlight)
    • Note: Offer up lots of “grips” that the other person can grab on to